Fox has released an impressive behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie, which opens in theaters in December. Dubbed the "Leap of Faith", the video focuses on stuntman Damien Walters' free fall jump - which was filmed on camera. Jumping from a height of 125 feet, it's one of the highest stuntman free falls in almost 35 years. Walters is the stunt double for Michael Fassbender in the film, playing Aguilar, a Master Assassin sent back in time to unlock the secrets of his ancestry. You've seen the leap they filmed in the trailer - jumping off of the top of one of the buildings in ancient Florence. And in this featurette you can see them setting up and actually pulling off the stunt, and it's kind of awesome. I like that they're sharing this now, before release, not just as a Special Feature on the DVD next year. Take a look.
"Fonts that are big and bold are more powerful…" It's always great to see behind-the-scenes people profiled in meaningful ways. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been making outstanding videos called Originals focusing on various filmmaking stories and profiling many of the remarkable people who create the movies we love. This one is about titled designer Dan Perri, who created the title design for Star Wars as well as Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and so many other films. I love his explanation for Scorsese's After Hours, how his design actually builds up your heart rate so you're then ready to watch the film. Another stellar reminder that every single aspect of a film is important. Enjoy.
"May the force be with us." Wow. Get ready to geek out! Star Wars Celebration is happening in London this weekend, and they presentation for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story just wrapped up. During the panel, a new poster (with the Death Star) and a making-of featurette were revealed and oh my are they awesome. The video shows tons of behind-the-scenes footage, including director Gareth Edwards talking about working on this as well as some incredible shots of practical action and various creatures and characters. Felicity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, along with Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna and Forest Whitaker. I'm so excited to dive deeper into this world again, and this is an exhilarating video. A totally new story that looks as incredible as the rest of the saga.
WB continues to introduce audiences to the cinematic world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with featurettes focusing on new characters in the Harry Potter universe. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who winds up letting loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City in the 20s. It looks like they're still finishing the FX, so most of the footage involves characters interacting. There's some brand new shots we haven't seen before, and plenty of discussion from author J.K. Rowling, who was much more involved in the making of this than she was Harry Potter. The full cast includes Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell and others. They're doing a good job building up interest in this, as I'm getting more and more curious with each new video they release.
"The score is a huge part of the movie." A24 has released a new featurette on the making of the score for the craziest corpse movie of the summer, Swiss Army Man, directed by "The Daniels" - Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert. The music in the film is by Andy Hull & Robert McDowell, of the band known as Manchester Orchestra. They're also releasing a song in conjunction with the film called "Montage", featuring vocals by stars Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, which is heard a bit in this new featurette. I'm glad that A24 is profiling different aspects of this film, since there's so much of it that is original, including the score (as they explain in this). If you aren't yet sold on this unique film, maybe these kind of featurettes will help. Enjoy.
"The Assassin's Creed universe is a cinematic experience - the action sequences are massive…" Fox has released the new featurette originally shown during E3 for the video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, starring Michael Fassbender as Aguilar. This has been in the works for a while and is being prepped for a Christmas release. While there are interviews with Fassbender and director Justin Kurzel, neither of them talk about overcoming the stigma of being a video game adaptation, which is still an issue especially after Warcraft. Instead, they focus on talking up how exciting the movie will be and how "massive" it all looks. Which is great, but I wish they would talk more about all of these challenges. That said, this still looks cool.
"Yes, we can pull these orcs off." Universal has released a new featurette profiling the work VFX studio ILM did on Duncan Jones' Warcraft movie, which is mostly CGI considering the Orcs are humans performing on set with motion capture rigs. ILM says their facial capture technology for this movie is groundbreaking, and pushes the boundaries of filmmaking beyond what we've seen with Avatar and the recent Planet of the Apes movies. A couple of movie websites recently visited ILM to see first hand what they're doing, but for everyone else, there's now a video featurette out that shows and discusses some of this technology. It's very impressive to see how much they're really challenging themselves with this movie, and I'm excited to see it. As I've been saying all along - seeing the final fully rendered version of this movie is going to look incredible.
"There's a reason for the CIA to want to bring him back… he is called the one-hundred-million-dollar weapon." Universal has released a new featurette for Jason Bourne, profiling the return of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne for his fourth movie. Tommy Lee Jones also stars, along with Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed and Ato Essandoh. This whole featurette is just a bit cheesy, and features more footage from the trailer than any actual behind-the-scenes footage, along with some interview clips - but it doesn't have that much. I'm very excited to see this movie, I think it might be very cool, just not impressed by this little bit of marketing. I want to see some actual behind-the-scenes footage for this one.
If you've seen Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book already, you know it's a wonderful film set in a lush jungle with lovable characters. Aside from Mowgli, played by youngster Neel Sethi, every other character is a CG animal. And here's the craziest part - the film was shot entirely in downtown Los Angeles. How did they pull this off? Lots and lots of blue screen (and CGI). Disney has released a behind-the-scenes featurette showing some of the special sets and other tricks they used to film this movie - it's impressive to see. In addition, SlashFilm has some photos of the making of The Jungle Book with details like that 224 unique animals were created, and the average render time per frame was 19 hours. The magic of Hollywood. Take a look below.
"Music is my life!" Paramount has debuted a new trailer and a new featurette for the upcoming Meryl Streep movie Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Streep as the legendary Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of being a singer despite having a terrible voice (her story is similar to the one told in the film Marguerite). We've featured at least one teaser trailer for this previously and now we get a look at the full trailer with more footage of her horrifying crowds at Carnegie Hall. Hugh Grant also stars, and the cast includes Rebecca Ferguson, John Kavanagh, Simon Helberg, and plenty others. I'm not sure how popular this will be with younger people, but it does look amusing. And Meryl Streep is always fun.
"Every particle of your body will be blown away!" Now this looks amazing! My kind of science fiction. MTV has also debuted a new behind-the-scenes featurette (in addition to Kong: Skull Island) for Luc Besson's Valerian, or Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan & Cara Delevingne. The video features MTV's Josh Horowitz on a tour of the Valerian sets in France, speaking with director Luc Besson about the production and the casting and everything. As a huge fan of The Fifth Element, I can't wait for this - big, gritty, futuristic sci-fi and it looks awesome. I love the outfits, and details like the little futuristic gizmo on DeHaan's neck. There are so many tiny things to pick up on in this footage - enjoy!
"What the hell is this place?" Now they have my attention. Universal has debuted a new featurette for the upcoming Kong: Skull Island movie, showing some behind-the-scenes production footage inbetween interviews and talks with various people involved in the movie. This is the very first time we're seeing any footage from this, so it's exciting to see, especially knowing this eventually all leads to Kong vs Godzilla. The cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham and many others, all being directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The scenery looks very impressive and I am intrigued to see more finished footage from this, but I do have a good feeling about it. Take a look.
"How would a proton pack work?" This is cool! Following the debut of the first official trailer for Paul Feig's new Ghostbusters, a new featurette has been discovered along with a new viral website. Hidden in one of the frames in the various math equations written out on the whiteboard is a web address leading to paranormalstudieslab.com. The site just contains various data and info and documents, so far all about the proton packs. The new featurette is also specifically about the proton packs and the people from MIT they brought in to design them to be as realistic as possible. The perfect compliment to that impressive first trailer, since the new proton packs are featured prominently throughout. Can't wait to see more from this.
"The poet might know what he wanted to write, but he will never know what he wrote…" Whether or not you like the film, Iñárritu's The Revenant is an example of filmmaking at its finest. The intense attention-to-detail, filming only with natural light at the right time of the day (and the cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki), the amount of work that went into making it, the performances, it's all extraordinary. To celebrate this achievement, 20th Century Fox has released an extensive 45-minute documentary about the making of the film that they say uncovers "the parallel between the lost era and its relevance for our world today." If you truly want to appreciate how hard it was to make this film, and get a glimpse into the process of making a feature film, this is a must-see documentary. Plus it's fascinating to hear so much from Iñárritu directly.