Back to the Future Part III set video

Yesterday brought a lot of fun updates for fans of Back to the Future, from the forthcoming arrival of Pepsi Perfect (in a very limited supply) to a trailer for Jaws 19 to the arrival of skateboards modeled after the iconic hoverboards from the film, just as the word for the floating device has been recognized by the dictionary.

And now we bring some unique footage from a Back to the Future Part III set video, shot by someone who just happened to live next door to the house that was used as the McFly residence. She’s a peeping tom! It’s nothing too revealing, but it gives you a good idea of the vibe on a film set, which usually requires a lot of standing around. Read More »


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Macbeth featurette

Macbeth, from director Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, appears to be, if nothing else, a visually overwhelming adaptation of the play by William Shakespeare. Fassbender plays the general Macbeth, of course, who becomes king through treacherous violence, while Cotillard plays his devious and ruthless wife Lady Macbeth.

This Macbeth featurette features interviews with those three primary voices (Shakespeare not included) and features interesting notes just as Kurzel saying the script read like a western, and the idea that Macbeth is suffering from PTSD.

There are some good “making of” shots here, too, which are just as visually striking as the film’s footage itself. Fortunately, this featurette is just a bit more substantial than most things of this type. Running five minutes long it’s still a pretty digestible piece of marketing, but it gives the actors room to talk, and so we’ll take it.

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Avengers Age of Ultron gag reel

Earth’s mightiest heroes know how to get down, as we saw in the Avengers: Age of Ultron party scene earlier this summer. But the actors who play them are no slouches either. Marvel has released another Avengers Age of Ultron gag reel, this time with more dancing, more pratfalls, and enough shameless flirting to power your next ten works of fanfiction. Watch it after the jump.  Read More »

realistic movie explosions

Even though special effects have never been better than they were today, there’s always room for improvement. For example, even though we’ve had stellar digital visual effects at our disposal awhile now, there have been plenty of disappointments on the big screen. In fact, one area where Hollywood sometimes had difficulties was in creating realistic movie explosions. But thankfully, science stepped up to help.

A new video from Theodore Kim, professor of Media Arts, Technology and Computer Science at the University of California, explains how Hollywood has been able to create realistic explosions in movies, and it’s all thanks to a fancy algorithm. Read More »

Game of Thrones Effects

The Game of Thrones effects are often incredibly good — so much so that the times where things are a bit under par (as we saw a few times in the last season) the deficiency truly stands out. One of the huge batch of Emmys awarded to the show this year was for visual effects, and that win is well-deserved. We’ve seen quite a few visual effects breakdowns for the show as a whole, and even a couple specifically aimed at the most recent fifth season.

That said, we’re always game to learn more about how the show’s effects are done, and so this five-minute reel showcasing the work that goes into bringing the dragons Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal to life is really terrific. This reel is entirely focused on season five, and it has all the dragon fire and hidden musculature you could want. Read More »

Movies Shot in Vancouver

There are plenty of times movies aren’t shot on location in the actual city in which they take place. Sometimes it’s just cheaper and easier to have one city pretend to be New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago rather than dealing with all the costs and logistics of actually filming there. And if the filmmakers have done a good job, then you won’t know the difference.

However, for those who live in the Canadian city of Vancouver, it’s not hard to tell when Hollywood has turned your hometown into some other location. And as you see in this video detailing some of the movies shot in Vancouver, sometimes it’s not even another North American location that Vancouver has been turned into on film. Read More »

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Agents of SHIELD Visual Effects

With state of the art technology at our disposal, we know that visual effects in feature films are pretty much always going to look good. That’s why the bad special effects seem to stick out even more like a sore thumb nowadays.

But in the world of television, smaller budgets still make it a little difficult to create convincing special effects, even on bigger budget, sci-fi shows that require effects to immerse the audience in the story properly. That’s why it’s impressive to see how good many of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD visual effects have turned out to be on the small screen.

Check out a VFX breakdown from the show after the jump, but beware of potential spoilers since this is from the second season of the show. Watch below! Read More »

Age of Ultron featurette

Regardless of your feelings about Avengers: Age of Ultron, seeing the process of creation for a movie like that one is always fascinating. With so many moving parts to juggle, from actors and their characters and storylines to locations, effects, and all the post-production details, there are innumerable tricks and secrets to learn.

Yesterday we saw an Age of Ultron featurette showing some of the creation of Vision; today we have three more. One explains the effects that brought some powers to life. Two others explore how James Spader interacted on set with other actors including Mark Ruffalo, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. (One neat bit: during takes, they had to use balls mounted a couple feet above Spader’s head as an eyeline for the giant Ultron.) Watch all three below, and prepare to Marvel at Mark Ruffalo’s continued astonishment at the particulars of his job. Read More »

vision featurette

A bit of advice from Ghostbusters applies to many actors accepting gigs as superheroes: “When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES.” That’s pretty much Paul Bettany‘s recollection of getting the offer to play Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as recounted in this excerpt from a new Vision featurette on the upcoming Blu-ray.

But there’s also a second piece of advice that applies here, too, as summed up nicely in Ben Affleck’s anecdote about having a Batman conversation with Christian Bale: “Make sure you can piss in that suit.”

It takes a lot of paint, fabric, and rubber to make a mere mortal look like a superhero. Those costumes aren’t always comfortable, but it’s easy to overlook that detail in the excitement of taking the role. Fortunately, the Vision makeup process was pretty brief. The suit was even water-cooled, leading Bettany to quip that “it’s a little like being inside a gin and tonic.”

Check out the Vision featurette excerpt below for a lot more. Read More »