Luke and Biggs

The best thing about documentaries is there’s something for everyone. No matter what you’re into, from the grandest ideas like religion or politics, to the smallest things like Star Wars, someone has made a movie about it. Then things can get even more specific within those ideas. In the case of Star Wars, two new docs tackle the series from two very different, but equally interesting angles.

First up, a new documentary has turned to IndieGoGo to research the Star Wars prequels. It’s called The Prequels Strike Back. Then, there’s a short documentary you can watch right now about Biggs Darklighter, Luke Skywalker’s best friend who was largely cut from the original film. Learn more about both Star Wars documentaries below. Read More »

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Jabba the Hutt puppet

How much do you know about the creation and performance that gave life to one of the nastiest aliens in the Star Wars universe? Dive deep into the guts of slimy intergalactic gangster Jabba the Hutt in a new short documentary from the guy who made some of the most detailed making-of films we’ve ever seen, for movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jaws. Jamie Benning has put together Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth: Life Inside Jabba the Hutt, using incredible vintage footage showing the inner workings of the Jabba puppet, and a new interview with puppeteer Toby Philpott.

This doc tells you more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the workings of the giant alien slug Jabba the Hutt puppet, and goes into great detail about the staging of every major scene in Return of the Jedi, and the team of people required to bring the character to life.  Read More »

inside-jaws-header

(Note: We’ve bumped this for the occasion of the anniversary of the film’s original release on June 20, 1975.)

For moviegoers, there might not be a more quintessential summer movie than Jaws. (Pun intended.) But even if you’ve absorbed every documentary about the making of Steven Spielberg‘s template-setting blockbuster, you’ll probably find something new in Inside Jaws.

Jamie Benning creates what may be the ultimate fan documentaries, or “filmumentaries,” as he calls them. He’s done the job on the original Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark; now he turns to Jaws. Benning’s films are like hyper-extended commentary tracks that collate interviews, production info and photos, deleted scenes, alternate takes, and other materials into a hyper-detailed “making-of” portrait. And so Inside Jaws is a 2 1/2-hour commentary track/documentary that will give you an impressive understanding of how the film was made.

Watch it below. Read More »

Summer is coming, so it’s almost the prime season to revisit Jaws. Steven Spielberg‘s 1975 film was the first modern summer blockbuster, and effectively signaled the decline of the New Hollywood movement and the beginning of the studio era we know now.

Regardless of the effect Jaws had on the Hollywood business landscape, it stands as one hell of a film. The characters are sharply drawn, the performances are entertaining and don’t merely wade in the dramatic shallows, and the filmmaking craft of Spielberg and his crew is top-notch.

You’ll get to see just how good that craft was when Jamie Benning releases his online doc Inside Jaws: A Filmumentary. Benning has already chronicled the making of the original Star Wars trilogy as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, and he’s proven to be a master at collating footage, interviews, photos and other disparate elements that help paint a total picture of the making of these films. If Inside Jaws is even vaguely as thorough as Benning’s other films, it’ll be a keeper.

See a trailer for the doc below, and read info about Jaws getting a new, slightly more restrictive rating in the UK. Read More »

Jamie Benning has made three excellent ‘making of’ documentaries — or ‘filmumentaries,’ as he calls them, about the original Star Wars trilogy. His efforts collate interviews and rare behind the scenes footage and photos in what are essentially the most detailed commentary tracks a fan could hope for.

Benning followed his Star Wars docs with Raiding the Lost Ark, which tracks the creation of the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. We’ve showcased the beginning of this ‘filmumentary’ in the past, but the full-length version is now available online. It’s a must-see for any Raiders or Steven Spielberg fan. No matter how much a viewer knows about the making of Raiders, I’d be very surprised if there was nothing here that is new, as Benning has incorporated everything from classic interviews to the minutia of little-seen production reports. Read More »

Odds are if you read this site, you are an incredibly huge fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s pretty much a given. If you love films, especially geek, genre films, then Steven Spielberg and George Lucas‘ introduction of Harrison Ford‘s Indiana Jones character is either right near, or the absolute epitome of, what this little art form we call “film” can do. It’s thrilling, it’s funny, it’s surprising, it’s pretty much perfect in every single way. Plus, it was released long before most of us were eating, drinking and sleeping our love of the art form. For that reason, whenever we can delve into the kind of trivial, behind the scenes minutia that went into making the movie, we have to call it out.

Or, you can now just get all that in one place.

Jamie Benning has been making documentaries, or “filmumentaries” as he likes to call them, based on our favorite films for quite some time. He brings together all the tiny bits of interesting insider information you’ve always heard about Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and now Raiders of the Lost Ark, and puts them in a well-edited, entertaining package that runs along side the main feature becoming almost a visual commentary on the movie. Raiding the Lost Ark is the title of his latest production and while it’s not 100% done, Benning has put the first 17 minutes online. Watch it after the jump. Read More »

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