Without a doubt, one of the most popular characters from the big screen in 2014 was Rocket Raccoon, the feisty, anthropomorphic creature with big guns and even bigger attitude in Guardians of the Galaxy. Bradley Cooper gave the character his signature voice, but a whole crew of people helped bring the little guy to life, and now a short little featurette from the visual effects company Framestore shows how they made it happen. From shooting on set with a stuffed raccoon or a guy in a blue unitard with Rocket's face on it, to pre-visualization and other visual effects, it's a quick progression of how we got the final product. Watch!
In the extended trailer for Furious 7 and the Super Bowl TV spot from January, we've seen the crazy scene where Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the crew drive their cars right out of a cargo plane for perhaps the wildest skydiving stunt ever seen on the big screen. And while you would think that something like this would be completely done with visual effects, think again. The crew actually dropped cars from a plane and filmed them with skydivers. This featurette takes a look at how it was done, and it's pretty damn awesome. This sequel is going to be out of control, and hopefully there's plenty more good stuff saved for the movie.
Yesterday's new trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron should have been enough to tickle your fancy for the next couple months as we await the film's arrival in theaters in May (not to mention the return of The Ultimate Marvel Marathon leading up to it). But if you're looking for a little more insight into the Marvel sequel, some behind the scenes featurettes have surfaced online from a couple outlets who were allowed on set to interview director Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and more while production happened last year. Watch!
"He is on a mission from the very beginning." More Bond! Eon Productions has already released the second production diary video for Spectre, the 24th James Bond movie currently filming around the world. Back after Skyfall to direct this next movie is Sam Mendes, and after not appearing at all in the first behind-the-scenes video, they give him the spotlight entirely in this second one. Mendes is a big Bond fan and it's always exciting to hear him talk about getting back into this world and some of his plans for this follow-up. He hints at some big things going on, but more than anything it's just good to hear that everything is being pushed forward again. Catch the new video below, and check out the new photos debuted by Empire as well.
If you saw Disney's animated superhero flick Big Hero 6 last year, then you've already seen the adorable short film that preceded it from the feature's co-head of animation, Patrick Wilson (no, not the actor). Feast was a lovely, charming tale of a Boston terrier named Winston through whom we see various stages of his owner’s life, specifically at meal time. It's a unique perspective for the short story, and it's greatly affecting and moving. Now Disney has released a quick making of featurette that's just over a minute long as to how the story went from storyboard to pre-visualization to final animation. There's even footage of a real Boston terrier used as reference for the animators. We'd love to see more of the process though. Watch now!
Tomorrow brings the home video release of Birdman just as the film marches to The 87th Academy Awards coming this weekend. The film from Alejandro González Iñárritu has been cleaning up on the awards circuit, landing the Producers Guild Award, the Directors Guild Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award, making it the clear frontrunner at the Oscars. And since it's prime time to talk about Birdman, we figured we'd call your attention to some featurettes on the making of the film that we missed. Some are from when the film debuted in October last year, others are from this year, but they're all worth seeing. Watch!
"Above all we have to deliver an amazing sequence." I love James Bond. Eon Productions, the company behind the 007 films, does some of the smartest and most effective marketing in all of Hollywood. During the lead up to Skyfall, they released production diaries during filming to give us a hint at what was coming. With the next film, Spectre, currently filming with director Sam Mendes at the helm they're launching the production diaries again and the first one has arrived. This first video takes us to the snowy mountain top set they're filming at now in Austria, and it looks amazing. I can't believe they're showing this much this early. I've got a feeling this is Sam Mendes doing his own On Her Majesty's Secret Service and I can't wait.
Though the Green Bay Packers may not have made it to the Super Bowl, that doesn't mean they were part of the big game. A new TV spot for Pitch Perfect 2 debuted during the game, and in case you didn't notice them in the first trailer for the a capella sequel, the new TV spot makes sure to point it out again. Yes, the Green Bay Packers are the muscular a capella team singing Destiny Child's "Bootylicious" in this TV spot for the anticipated musical sequel. I'm betting that there's a big chunk of fans who probably weren't aware that the Packers were even part of Pitch Perfect 2, but a short featurette shines a light on them below too. Watch!
If the theatrical trailer for the mouthful of a sequel that is The Divergent Series: Insurgent didn't lay things out clearly enough for you, or just didn't offer enough footage from the film if you're already a fan, then we've got two treats for you. Two new featurettes surfaced online this week with footage from behind the scenes of the film, featuring interviews with Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet and more. They talk about the story, the larger scale production, and what we can expect from the sequel (including more, bigger simulations in the mind). It looks a little too packed, but may be an improvement.
Before Christmas, we called your attention to a fascinating look behind the scenes at the post-production process of Transformers: Age of Extinction, which director Michael Bay is heavily involved in. Even though the may have been disappointing (at least for me), even as an action-fest that we've come to expect from Bay, watching the filmmaker work is always a treat. And now another featuette has emerged online that has Bay talking about how he directs an action scene. And this isn't just a short promo featurette, but a longer 11-minute glimpse into the mind of Bay and how he builds an action scene for the big screen. As you can imagine, Bay is intense, but hearing him talk about action in this excited manner is inspiring in a way.
"Once upon a time, in a far off kingdom, there lay a small kingdom at the edge of the woods." Since awards season is in full swing, so is all the campaigning by studios to get their film's noticed by the voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (voting closes today before the nominations are announced next week). And Disney has been making a big push to get Into the Woods noticed, especially on the technical side of things. The studio has released some great, extended featurettes about how the film was brought from Broadway to the big screen, the difficulty of Stephen Sondheim's music (with Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and more chiming in), and even the meticulously designed costumes. Watch below now!
For anyone who just doesn't get what Michael Mann's latest cyber thriller Blackhat is all about, an extensive seven minute featurette has arrived to lay out the plot, all the characters, go behind the scenes of the film, chat with the cast, and even give you some insight into cyber-hacking itself. Chris Hemsworth stars in the film as a cyber criminal teamed up with American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. The featurette doesn't do much to make this look any less formulaic, but maybe with Mann at the helm this could be something good still.
There's no doubt that The LEGO Movie is awesome. It made Jeremy's Top 10 Films of 2014, my own list of favorite films, and countless other year-end lists of the best films of the year. Last night the film won the New York Film Critics award for Best Animated Feature, it's up for a Golden Globe, the PGA Award for animated films, tons of other animation awards, and it will likely get an Oscar nomination too. And so, Warner Bros. has just put out an awesome new featurette showing off just how this magical flick came together, with plenty of insight from directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller, the latter of whom brought in his own LEGO spaceman figure as the model for Benny in the movie. Watch below!
Everyone knows how important the stroke of midnight is in the classic fairytale Cinderella, and that's why Disney took full advantage of that on New Year's Eve by revealing a new preview of their latest live-action take on the story focusing on the all-important time. There's plenty of new footage we haven't seen in the trailers, showing off more of the gorgeous sets and costumes. In addition, a new featurette has surfaced as well, featuring lead actress Lily James, her prince Richard Madden ("Game of Thrones") and director Kenneth Branagh. We all know the classic story, but maybe this will be worth checking out in March?