rey closeup lightsaber battle force awakens reshoots

Now that Star Wars: the Force Awakens is getting released on 3D Blu-ray, director JJ Abrams is being more open about the making of the film. Here we get two new clips from The Force Awakens audio commentary, both of which seem to suggest that reshooting Star Wars scenes might result in a better film (you hear that Rogue One cynics?).

In one of the clips, the writer/director reveals the two shots in the Rey/Kylo Ren lightsaber battle that were added after the fact — one of which was a suggestion of filmmaker Ava Duvernay (Selma) and the other is one of my favorite shots in the film. The second audio commentary clip features Abrams talking about how Rey and Finn’s relationship was dramatically changed after Harrison Ford’s on-set injury allowed him to go back and do Force Awakens reshoots.

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transformers 5 video

Now that we’re five chapters deep into the Transformers series, it’s safe to say that just about everyone on the planet has an opinion on these movies. And while I’ve never been the biggest fan of what Michael Bay has done with these characters, I have to admire his audaciousness as a filmmaker. There are many, many things you can say about Bay’s filmography, but anyone who calls him lazy or derivative hasn’t been paying attention. Like him or not, he’s really one of a kind and his movies are made with a voice that is all his own.

And that’s why I’ve been digging the behind-the-scenes videos that have been trickling out of Transformers: The Last Knight, showcasing Bay in his element: commanding large armies of artists and technicians as part of a grand plan to orchestrate cinematic mayhem. The latest trio of videos are more of the same in the best possible way.

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Don Roy King video profile

Even people who aren’t die hard Saturday Night Live fans like myself know who Lorne Michaels is. When you’re the man responsible for creating one of the biggest, groundbreaking television shows of all time, and you continue to run the show for nearly four decades (there were some years he wasn’t in charge), even casual fans are bound to learn your name. But for the past 10 years, there’s been another man responsible for bringing SNL to your screen.

Don Roy King has been the director of Saturday Night Live for 10 years now (not quite as long as Kenan Thompson’s time on the show which began in 2003). He calls the shots for a 90-minute sketch comedy show that is broadcast live across the nation on network television after being put together in a single week. There is no other job like it, and it’s a miracle the show even gets off the ground each week. But with the work of Don Roy King, more often than not it goes smoother than it ever should, and a new video profile dives into his career and work on the fast-paced show. Read More »

Twin Peaks season 3 featurette

I won’t be convinced that Twin Peaks season 3 actually exists until the closing credits roll on the first episode sometime next year. Until that happens, the return of one of television’s most beloved and most frustrating shows is purely theoretical. Not even this new featurette, which features members of the original cast and a few newcomers discussing what it’s like to return to that bizarre small town, has me certain about this.

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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Joe Alwyn

As the new movie by Ang Lee, and an adaptation of a highly acclaimed bestselling novel to boot, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk would be one of our most anticipated movies of the fall no matter what. But the project’s been getting special attention for the way it was shot and is being presented: in 120 frames per second. For comparison, most movies are in 24 fps; Peter Jackson made a very unusual move when he shot The Hobbit in 48 fps.

So, what does that high frame rate do, exactly? In a new featurette, Lee and his cast members talk up the “immersive experience” of 120 fps. Plus, there’s a behind-the-scenes promo featuring NFL stars J.J. Watt and Richard Sherman, both of whom appear in the movie, and a more straightforward 30-second spot. Watch it all below.  Read More »

Doctor Strange and Christine Palmer

Although Doctor Strange is the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, all of its core characters are new to the big screen. Sure, comic book fans might know about the Sorcerer Supreme or the Ancient One already, and sure, even casual moviegoers are probably familiar with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton. But what will Cumberbatch be like as Stephen Strange, or Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo? A new featurette offers a closer look at some of the performances we can look forward to seeing in the movie.

Meanwhile, there’s also some news about one character we won’t be seeing in Doctor Strange. Ever since we learned Rachel McAdams would be playing Christine Palmer, fans have wondered if she might take on her comic book alter ego, Night Nurse. However, Kevin Feige has now shot down that rumor in no uncertain terms.  Read More »

Justice League Sizzle Reel - Gal Gadot

When our own Peter Sciretta visited the set of Justice League a months ago, director Zack Snyder and his team had an obvious mission: they were dead-set on getting the people who didn’t care for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to get excited for the latest superhero team-up. Between that set visit and the footage screened at Comic-Con, we were seeing glimpses of a less serious-minded, more fun comic book movie, one with things like banter between characters and the occasional smile. So while I remain skeptical, I’m certainly willing to give the DC Extended Universe another shot. I like the DC comic book world too much to become completely disinterested! And despite not caring for Batman v Superman, I still enjoy most of Zack Snyder’s movies and think that he may have a terrific Justice League movie lurking inside of him.

So, does a new sizzle reel of behind-the-scenes footage from the film alter my thoughts at all? Will it alter yours? Let’s answer that question right now!

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Captain America Civil War Visual Effects

Just last week we learned that the suit that Chadwick Boseman wears as Black Panther was created entirely in post-production by visual effects. Directors Anthony & Joe Russo confirmed that the look they wanted the suit to have on camera simply wasn’t possible to create practically without having a suit that would have been much more torturous than the suit that was worn on set (which was already rather inconvenient to wear, especially in the hot heat of Atlanta, Georgia where much of the movie was shot).

Now we can see how visual effects were used to bring Black Panther’s suit to the big screen in the way that Anthony & Joe Russo wanted. A visual effects reel from the company Cinesite gives us a glimpse into the level of details that went into creating the suit, as well as Hydra’s Siberian base where the other super soldiers were being stored, and the Spider-Man centric end credits scene. Read More »

michael bay's baybuster

We’ve previously shown you The Bayhem, a custom RED camera that was created for director Michael Bay. Today we want to introduce you to the Baybuster, a custom car rig created for the filmmaker that allows him to get crazy car flips. If Michael Bay had his own tricked out Mad Max-style Batmobile, the Baybuster would be it. Hit the jump to watch some videos showing the Baybuster in action.
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Jurassic World behind the scenes footage

What’s the point of showing up on a talk show if you don’t have a movie, tv show or music album to promote? It seems like almost everything these days is timed for the sole purpose of spiking the social shares and trying to create an explosion of buzz in the real world. Movie promotion usually comes in two waves, with the release of a film theatrically, and then later around the home video release. After that, we usually don’t see more material from a film because film studios believe there isn’t a point. But now in the world of cinematic universes and not just franchises but brands that stretch into the far reaches, maybe they see a reason?

I recently discovered that Universal Pictures has been updating the Jurassic Park youtube account with new content on almost a daily basis. The new content is anything from featurettes that originally appeared on the home video release, to behind the scenes b-roll footage, to rough-cut dailies, previs and more. Now I know you might not be as big of a fan of Jurassic World as I am, but I think you might be able to find some enjoyment in the wealth of content that has been released. I’ve always found it frustrating how much footage is captured during the making of a film, yet only a small percentage of it makes it to the home video release. I hope more movie studios can learn from this.

Hit the jump to check out some of the highlights from the Jurassic World behind the scenes footage.
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