Back to the Future opening shot

A truly great shot is one you’ll never notice. It tells a story with no apparent effort, putting the audience right in the space needed to get ideas across with no interference between lens and eye. Filmmakers can take obvious pride in their attention-getting compositions. But I’d wager the shots for which many directors, cinematographers and crews feel the most pride are the ones that audiences never realize are incredibly difficult. One great example is very intricate Back to the Future opening shot.

There’s a lot of great stuff in Back to the Future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many people have never thought about how challening the opening shot might have been. The /Film readership is a savvy bunch, many of you filmmakers and/or deep enthusiasts of the art of film, so it may be no surprise that the BTTF opening is a beast of a shot. Regardless, there’s something to be learned from dissecting how it was done. In a new interview, the film’s special effects supervisor Kevin Pike explains just how they did that long Back to the Future opening shot. Read More »

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‘Tusk’ Featurette Explores the Film’s Podcast Roots

Tusk Featurette

In Tusk, Justin Long plays a douchebag podcaster who travels to Canada in search of a story, and gets a hell of a lot more than he bargained for. The film is nuts, because it veers from horror to comedy in broad strokes. The end credits of the film (no spoiler) actually play some of the audio from the podcast that spawned the film, and that’s kind of the rosetta stone for deciphering the film’s disparate tones. This Tusk featurette is also a good thing to watch before seeing the movie, because it will help you understand just how seriously (or not) Kevin Smith approached the story.  Read More »

Michael Bay Bayhem

Transformers: Age of Extinction hits Blu-ray and home video next week, and Paramount has given us an exclusive behind the scenes clip to premiere. I introduce the clip in a lead-in I shot over a year ago from the Hong Kong set constructed in Detroit Michigan. The clip shows how Jack Reynor learned stunt driving for his role as Shane Dyson. Paramount has also released some other behind the scenes clips from the Michael Bay film; watch those as well after the jump.

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Edge of Tomorrow practical effects

We’re accustomed to thinking that any given sci-fi film is going to be mostly CG, perhaps thanks to the legacy left by the Star Wars prequels and many films that followed. But some still use a great deal of practical makeup and effects work. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one good example. The under-seen Edge of Tomorrow, from Doug Liman, is another. In the behind the scenes footage below you’ll see how Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt wore their bulky power suits during shooting, and how they threw themselves around the sets to create the film’s impressive battle sequences. Watching these Edge of Tomorrow practical effects is captivating enough that I’d love to see a cut of the film with all digital work removed. Read More »

Watch The Hilarious Star Trek Into Darkness Blooper Reel

Star Trek Into The Darkness Blooper Reel

Paramount Home Video recently released Star Trek: The Compendium which collects JJ AbramsStar Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, alongside a collection of new extra features. One of the extras is the Star Trek Into The Darkness blooper reel, which is now available to watch online. Watch the hilarious six-minute Star Trek Into The Darkness blooper reel now embedded after the jump.

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Exodus Gods and Kings behind the scenes

It’s not hard to imagine why Ridley Scott would want to make Exodus: Gods and Kings. It’s an epic tale for the ages, with plenty of opportunities to show off dazzling visuals and stunning performances. But if you want to hear Scott explain his attraction to the material in his own words, a new featurette has you covered.

The new video takes a peek behind the scenes of Exodus: Gods and Kings, highlighting the impressive scale of the project. Everything about this project looks massive — the sets, the cast, the scope of the story, even the racial controversy it has attracted. Check out the Exodus Gods and Kings behind the scenes featurette after the jump.

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Sin City A Dame to Kill For behind the scenes

On the screen, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is all about bright white and pitch black. But on the set, the dominant color was green — as in green screen.

As these two Sin City: A Dame to Kill For behind-the-scenes videos show, almost everything you see on screen aside from the actors is really made of pixels. If you’ve ever wondered what the film might look like without all the fancy VFX work, find out after the jump.

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star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope-original

You would need an encyclopedia to know how many different versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy are out there. From obvious changes made to create the Special Editions, or the addition of “Episode IV” to the first film, to more subtle ones like color correction or audio tweaks, there are dozens of different versions of each film. All fans want, though, are the original negatives, with no “special” additions, but corrections to make them look and sound as good as modern technology will allow.

Unfortunately, that’s probably never going to happen because of rights issues and George Lucas’ wishes. So a group of fans made the Star Wars Despecialized Edition, a painstaking project that’s still in progress. The Despecialized Edition removes all the additions and tweaks slathered onto the films over the years, while simultaneously upgrading the sound and picture to modern standards. The results are pretty incredible and a new featurette shows the jaw-dropping changes and work put into the project. Read More »

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