(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 »
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After several years releasing movie on top of movie, Steven Spielberg has taken his time choosing his next project. Around half a dozen films were under consideration, but now two films have gotten release dates, officially announcing them as his next two projects.
The first is no surprise, the Untitled Cold War Thriller starring Tom Hanks. It’s been scheduled for release Oct. 16, 2015. After that, Spielberg will direct an adaptation of The BFG by Roald Dahl. That’ll hit theaters July 1, 2016. Read More »
Today is the 21st anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park, which hit theaters on June 11, 1993. With those twenty-one years in the rear view mirror, it can be difficult to remember just how groundbreaking the film was at the time.
In ’93 there were only a few films that used digital effects, and not even a handful that used them as extensively as audiences saw in Jurassic Park. Now, when digital effects are used so pervasively that they can be impossible to distinguish from “real” images, it is good to mentally return to the days when a few seconds of animated T-Rex footage could blow the minds of some of the movie industry’s most powerful figures.
A ten-minute installment of ‘Moments That Changed the Movies,’ produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, helps us turn back the clock to the dawn of the digital effects era. Watch after the jump. Read More »
If you needed any confirmation about what Steven Spielberg‘s next movie will be, this could provide the news you’re looking for. Tom Hanks and Spielberg have been developing a true-life Cold War thriller, and a new actor has just signed on. Mark Rylance (Anonymous (above), The Other Boleyn Girl) will now play a role in the film that has a recent rewrite by Joel and Ethan Coen. The movie will tell “the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who was put into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.” Read More »
Fresh off a Tony award for Best Actor in a Play, Bryan Cranston could be taking that stage role to the small screen. Steven Spielberg is reportedly in talks to acquire the rights to the Broadway play All the Way, which currently features Cranston playing President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, All the Way tells the story of how Johnson dealt with the tumultuous politics of 1964, which included the Vietnam war and the Civil Rights movement.
The hope is that if Spielberg gets the rights to the play, which just won a Tony Award for Best Play, Cranston would reprise the role on TV. Read More »
Would you watch a Steven Spielberg movie starring Tom Hanks, written by the Coen Brothers? Yeah, thought so. Last year, Matt Charman wrote a true-life cold war drama that tells the story of a US attorney who negotiated with the KGB to secure the release of a spy plane pilot. Tom Hanks came on board, and Steven Spielberg was recently attached to the Dreamworks project. It’s at the point now where the film is being talked up as one of the most likely next projects for the director. And now Joel and Ethan Coen are rewriting the script. Read More »
We know some details about the parceled out Halo “digital feature” that will hit screens in the near future, but until now we’ve known little about the flagship Halo series that Steven Spielberg is producing for Xbox Live and potentially Showtime. Now, however, we know that Spielberg’s Halo series will arrive in fall 2015, alongside the new game Halo 5: Guardians. Read More »
The long take is a celebrated aspect of filmmaking; we love the long take because it combines showmanship, storytelling, and technical skill. Some filmmakers use long takes audaciously, while others use them as a way to immerse the viewer in the action of a scene. Another aspect of filmmaking technique that was once prized in Hollywood and is now rarely discussed with respect to modern filmmakers is invisible style. That’s an element of classical Hollywood filmmaking that wants audiences to notice the story, rather than the way it is being told.
It takes great skill to employ the long take invisibly. Steven Spielberg isn’t a filmmaker who often lands on lists of “the best long takes.” While he employs them often, he doesn’t go for the five to eight-minute approach. His long takes tend to be limited to a couple minutes. They are skillful constructions that get a lot of story across and save time by reducing camera setups.
Think about the drinking game scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark — it’s one long take, but it’s a take that emulates a familiar editing style. The take doesn’t call attention to itself as a technical achievement; it’s a piece of invisible style that prioritizes story. Below, check out a set of videos that examine Spielberg’s skillful and unobtrusive use of the long take.
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