"Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours…" Warner Bros has unveiled the first official featurette for the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, to compliment the first teaser trailer revealed in December. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who ends letting loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City in the 20s. This video features chats with Redmayne as well as stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, director David Yates, and producer David Heyman. This is a nice behind-the-scenes video giving us a better feel for this new J.K. Rowling-scripted film coming out in the fall. It's lookin' great so far.
"With Justice League, you've really started to lay a foundation for a pretty expansive world…" DC is ready to challenge Marvel head on, and is introducing the next round of characters with short featurettes. Warner Bros hosted a special DC event on The CW last night, which is where the first footage from Wonder Woman also came from, and the new Suicide Squad trailer. In addition, plenty of new concept art has arrived for Zack Snyder's Justice League as well as extra footage from Batman v Superman. In the upcoming movies, Ezra Miller plays The Flash, Ray Fisher plays Cyborg, Jason Momoa plays Aquaman. Discussions with each are below, along with even more to see from the first Dawn of Justice film this March. Looking good?
"We're going to see her coming-of-age, the entire history, what's her mission." We'll meet the new Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie this March, but they've already started filming the solo Wonder Woman movie due out in 2017. Patty Jenkins is currently in the middle of directing Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian princess-warrior. It also stars Robin Wright, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and David Thewlis. This video features a chat between Geoff Johns & Kevin Smith, before showing just a few clips of footage from the film. We expect to see a full trailer sometime around March, but maybe sooner, you never know. Check this out below in the meantime.
"Directing is a matter of emphasis - you emphasize what is important, by under-emphasizing what is less so." Need filmmaking inspiration? Watch this. We don't feature enough of the videos made by YouTube user Every Frame a Painting, and they're always fascinating to watch. The latest one is a profile on ensemble staging, or the art of setting up an ensemble of actors within scenes as part of visual storytelling. The film used to explain this is Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder, a fantastic murder mystery thriller, and the perfect reference for this technique. There's some great quotes at the beginning as well, and plenty to learn.
"That's how it starts - the fever, the rage… That turns good men cruel." It's a New Year and that means a new set of movies across the next 12 months to get excited about. 2016's line-up of cinematic adventures includes Marvel's Doctor Strange, DC's Suicide Squad, plus Gambit, X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, as well as Steven Spielberg's The BFG, Paul Fieg's Ghostbusters, Duncan Jones' Warcraft, Tim Miller's Deadpool, and Pixar's Finding Dory. This new 2016 mashup video from Nick Bosworth (who makes the Final Cut videos) is just a very quick tease but it's a nice preview of what's ahead.
By now, hopefully everyone has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens at least once, because it's time to delve into spoiler territory. The Irish Tourism Board has launched a new featurette on Star Wars, focusing on the one major scene that was filmed there. The scene was shot on the island Skellig Michael, and it's the very last scene in the movie, involving a certain Skywalker character. It's a beautiful location that is used nicely, and the video shows how they worked to get the shots they needed without causing any harm to the environment. This is more of a tourism video to attract fans to Ireland to check out this location, but it's also cool to see a few more behind-the-scenes shots from this most recent Star Wars adventure. Fire it up below.
"These shots are about creating an intimacy with the actors within an epic landscape." 20th Century Fox has debuted this new making of featurette for Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant, which explores the grueling processing of filming this story. The shot for almost a year in the freezing cold in Canada, using only natural light, and submitting themselves to the raw elements of nature. The end result is a spectacular cinematic experience - every shot is stunning, and it's powerful to watch so raw, real beauty. This is a brutal tale of survival, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, and it's riveting to watch. This video shows a lot of footage and examines the themes that Iñárritu is touching upon.
"We are a passionate group of artists who believe that the smallest details help tell the bigger story." This month, Laika Entertainment based in Portland, Oregon is celebrating 10 years of "bold and memorable filmmaking". Laika is the stop-motion animation studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings (coming up). They do such amazing work constructing these wonderful films by hand, retouching frame-by-frame, moment-by-moment, creating everything from scratch and animating it painstakingly day-after-day. To celebrate the occasion, they've released a short 10th Anniversary video looking at the artistry behind Laika. It's a great reminder of just how much goes into this kind of animation.
"It's true. All of it." IMAX has launched another new featurette for Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a week left to go until opening. This doesn't really feature any new footage that we haven't seen before, so everyone trying to steer clear of any more footage before next week, this video is okay. The featurette is a reminder that The Force Awakens has at least one major sequence (on Jakku) filmed with IMAX cameras, and the entire cast talks about how the format enhances the experience. We're so close, and as much as I still wish this was shot entirely on IMAX cameras, I'll take one good sequence. "When you go to see a movie in that format you know you're going to get something that is the best version of going out to the movies."
"He's got an incredibly complicated emotional structure going on." Marvel has released a very short, but nonetheless fascinating featurette on the story of Doctor Strange. Production is now underway in London on Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme. This featurette is less than 60-seconds and only includes discussions about the characters and some glimpses at concept art, but no real footage is available yet. Scott Derrickson is directing the film. The full cast includes Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Scott Adkins & Chiwetel Ejiofor. Get your first Strange introduction below.
"We've got eight people that are very different, very dangerous and to varying degrees, hateful…" The Weinstein Company has debuted a new featurette for the upcoming Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight, starring one helluva ensemble cast. The eight who get stuck in a blizzard at Minnie's Haberdashery are: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and Demian Bichir. This featurette explores the dynamics and relationships of the cast, to compliment the technical featurette about 70mm from before. The best part about this is the cast, and Goggins is one of my favorites, plus Jackson as always. Check out this fantastic 4-min featurette below.
"What happens to these characters we know and love - it's a world I want to get back to immediately." Lucasfilm has unveiled another new featurette for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, premiered at Brazil Comic-Con, showing some never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage. Not that we need to see any more footage to be sold at this point, but who cares, the more the merrier especially if it includes a look at the full-size Millennium Falcon set piece. Director J.J. Abrams shows up in this often, as does Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer and a few other special guests. Only two more weeks left.
"We all get punished." So who is Krampus? And why is he haunting this family on Christmas? Find out more in this new featurette for Mike Dougherty's Krampus, which opens in theaters this weekend. I've seen this movie and I want to tell you - it's awesome, it's worth seeing, it's one of the best holiday horror movies you'll see. It's a throwback to the Amblin-type movies of yonder when kids could get genuinely frightened by real horror (like with Gremlins, Poltergeist). As actor David Koechner explains in this short featurette, it's a Christmas horror that has the three Hs: horror, heart and humor. Bundle up, stay by the fire, and enjoy.
It's still so amazing that a couple of studios are actually making stop-motion animation feature films every year. The creative skill, patience and artistic vision that goes into creating a full-length stop-motion movie is so impressive, and it's always interesting to get a glimpse at that process. Paramount has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the indie drama Anomalisa, the new Charlie Kaufman film co-directed by Duke Johnson, which is a stop-motion film that has been earning rave reviews at film festivals. "Anomalisa is 118,089 Frames of Film. Each Animator had a goal of 2 seconds (48 frames) of animation per day. See how it all came together…" I wish they showed more here, but they're probably saving it for the DVD release.