Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In July of 2013, I took a short trip to Marvel Studios in Manhattan Beach to visit the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While I’m not allowed to write about what I learned and saw on the sound stages, Disney has given me the go-ahead to share a transcript of our on-set interview with Captain America himself Chris Evans. Note, as with a majority of the set visit interviews we participate in, this chat was conducted in a roundtable setting with our colleagues at other film outlets. Read the full interview right now after the jump, along with some new production photos.

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Peter Sciretta and Miss Piggy on the set of Muppets Most Wanted

Last May, I was lucky enough to visit the set of Muppets Most Wanted, and alongside a group of other journalists, interviewed the stars of the film on Platform 11 of Union Station. No human actors were on set the day of our visit, but I’m fine with that as it means I got to chat with two of my childhood heroes: Kermit, Miss Piggy and their newest Walter . After the jump you can read the transcripts of these three roundtable interviews.

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/Film Visits The Set Of ‘Muppets Most Wanted’

muppets most wanted

On May 6th 2013, I ventured downtown to visit the set of The Muppets 2 (now titled Muppets Most Wanted). Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Jim Henson fanatic and love love love The Muppets. One of the greatest results of starting this site was being invited to the set of a Muppet movie and getting to talk to Kermit and the gang. For 2011′s The Muppets, we were on set to watch the Muppets drive up to the ABC (disney-owned) news station in a car. For Muppets Most Wanted, I got to see dozens of Muppets about to board a train at Union Station. I’m thinking that I might just be lucky enough to watch the Muppets exit a plane onto the tarmac at LAX if they ever make another Muppets film.

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Kevin Costner on Jack Ryan set

In October 2012, I visited the set of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit in Liverpool, England. I didn’t witness much filming on this set visit, which would normally be a horrible thing — but our roundtable interview with Kevin Costner was one of the best interviews I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve never been a huge fan of Costner. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed his films. Costner went into detail on his theories as an actor, storyteller, and filmmaker. Sitting in the room, listening to these ideas and stories, it was clear why Costner has had the career that he has. Its not because he has blond hair and blue eyes; this is a very smart man. Read the interview now, embedded after the jump.

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Jack Ryan behind the scenes

On October 25th 2012 I found myself sitting in The White Horse pub watching a monitor showing Chris Pine run through the misty rain into a financial building. While the sequence in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is supposed to take place in the brand-new financial center in Moscow, Russia (a clue to the film’s antagonist) it was being filmed in Liverpool, England.

For nine years, producers have been trying to restart the franchise, based on the character Tom Clancy created in books like The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games. Taking a cue from the recent James Bond films, Jack Ryan is an origin story — a pre-boot set in the now. In this versions, 9/11 has taken place, and is a huge motivator for our hero. The following is what I learned about the film from co-star Kevin Costner and director Kenneth Branagh, fresh from Thor.

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Anchorman 2 header

There’s one major downside to the way Adam McKay and Will Ferrell make movies. Eventually, they have to go through the footage and pick out one joke for any given moment. When making a film like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the director and star shoot so much footage that, once they finally made it into the editing room, the difficult work finally began.

Back in October, a group of journalists visited the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood and met with McKay and his editor Brent White while they were still working on the film. During our discussion we learned how long the initial cut was, about that rumored second version of movie, the test screening process, and how Seth Rogen almost ruined the film in post-production. We heard of an alternate ending and musical numbers, and saw two hilarious scenes from the December 20 release.

Below, read about all that and more as I present 12 fun facts from a visit to the edit bay of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Read More »

Anchorman 2 SeaWorld

Ron Burgundy is back and this time he’s fighting a dolphin. At least that’s what happens at the beginning of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The film begins with Burgundy back on the bottom. He somehow lost the national anchor job he landed at the end of the first film, and is working at San Diego’s SeaWorld. Drunk, belligerent and confrontational, the former anchorman introduces the 3:20 dolphin show and things get so bad, he ends up jawing back and forth with a dolphin.

For Ron, the person, this is terrible. But for Ron, the character, it’s great. After nine years away, star Will Ferrell’s most iconic character is back on the big screen December 20. But on May 24, 2013, we were lucky enough to be on location at SeaWorld in San Diego, CA for the final day of filming Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Below, read about how this wacky scene develops including some of the most hilarious improvs you’ll ever read. Read More »

47 Ronin behind the scenes

In 2011, I traveled to London to visit the set of director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen adaptation of 47 Ronin. The 47 Ronin story is not something I would have expected a Hollywood movie studio to tackle. While Rinsch is bringing a super-stylized fantasy-infused vision to this classic Japanese tale, some of which makes it look more like a studio film, it still stays true to the original story. That may have resulted in marketing challenges, and has likely lead to challenging test screening responses. Reshoots and rumblings of studio unhappiness aside, I have to admit three things:

  1. I still think the trailers for this film look very promising.
  2. I’ve been a fan of Carl Erik Rinsch’s commercial work for years now, and am excited to see what he will do with a feature length movie.
  3. We were very impressed with what we had seen on the set at Shepperton Studios.

Hit the jump to watch a video blog I recorded after the visit, and find out more about what we saw and learned while on set.

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