"They seemed excited about the amount of work it would take to do this movie…" Lionsgate has released a 4-minute extended featurette for Damien Chazelle's stellar La La Land, going behind the making of this magnificent modern musical. It's one of the most refreshing and exciting movies this entire year, and it's incredibly impressive thanks to the vision of writer/director Damien Chazelle. Chazelle is featured in this video a lot, talking about various aspects of the movie, from choosing the actors to the choreography to the set design. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play the star-crossed Los Angeles lovers. I'm glad Lionsgate is sharing so much of this movie before release, they seem to be totally supportive of it and that's great. Enjoy.
"It's a whole world I've been thinking about for quite a long time…" Disney + Lucasfilm have unveiled one more exciting new featurette for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This video goes behind-the-scenes of the production with director Gareth Edwards, who talks about how this is like "the world's greatest toy set" and how it's like being a kid again. Oh to visit this set would have been a dream come true. I wish there was more behind-the-scenes footage in this, but I do remember we had that other Celebration reel earlier this year that showed quite a bit. It's also interesting to see them showing the direct connections between A New Hope and Rogue One, but makes sense. Can't wait to see this, it's going to be exhilarating. Almost time.
"[She] has gone above and beyond my expectations for the role." Paramount has launched a new featurette for the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, ahead of the full trailer launch this weekend. In what seems an obvious move to get ahead of the whitewashing claims, the video features Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Oshii, who directed the original two anime Ghost in the Shell movies, talking about how happy he is seeing Scarlett Johansson in the role as The Major. The featurette actually has lots of new footage, and plenty of behind-the-scenes shots, which is great to see because this does look really cool. There's a Matrix vibe to it, at least with the action, and I'm glad to see them embracing a digitized world. Stay tuned for the trailer next.
"The Assassins believe that above all else, mankind should have free will." 20th Century Fox has put out another new featurette for the Assassin's Creed movie, examining the "Creed Mythology" in an attempt to explain some of the context behind the story and what we're seeing. We know that Michael Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, an imprisoned man who is forced into an experimental sci-fi program that allows him to go back in time as his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. The story is actually about the Assassins vs the Templars, who have "been at war for centuries." Marion Cotillard seems to be on the other side, as one of the Templars, who want to control humanity. This actually looks damn good, I'm quite curious to see.
"The challenge is how you make cinema evolve, how you make cinema fresh." This is about to premiere at the New York Film Festival, and they're showing it in 3D at 120FPS, so get ready for some wild reactions. Sony has released a new featurette for Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, examining the decision to film at a high framerate. This is exactly what I've been waiting to see, as it shows some of the cameras they used and spends time discussing the decision with Ang Lee - who defends his choice to use 3D and 120FPS (in a few scenes) by stating: "it's about intimacy… You lose your judgment, you really get sucked into that world." Joe Alwyn stars as Billy Lynn, a soldier who returns home from the Iraq war and struggles with PTSD. I'm very curious to hear reactions from NYFF and get a look at this (in 120FPS) myself.
"Before Harry Potter. Across an ocean. A new world of magic awaits!" Warner Bros + IMAX have released an extended 4-minute featurette with tons of new footage for the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, directed by David Yates, in theaters this November. A special fan event was held in IMAX theaters around the world on October 13th, where fans were treated to footage and Q&As with cast & crew. To celebrate the occasion, they put out a featurette which explains this new storyline better than any other trailer. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who accidentally lets loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City. This also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, and Samantha Morton. Fire up the footage below.
"Really trying to make this ultimate combination of organic and digital." IMAX has released a fascinating featurette on the making of Terrence Malick's new documentary Voyage of Time, examining the creation of the universe leading all the way up to the origin of man. We've already featured two different trailers for the two versions of this movie, but this video dives into the processes and techniques they used to make the visuals in the movie. It's remarkable to see how they made some of these visuals using practical methods, including fluid tanks and smoke machines and other tricks. They tried to make this as realistic as possible, and it looks so so so beautiful. Malick is going all out with the visuals here with great attention to detail. I really can't wait to experience this in its full IMAX glory. "We deserve to pause sometimes and just reflect."
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.