Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
For years, DVD extras have given general audiences great insight into how the assembly process for films works. Now the internet is taking over, as filmmakers can bring video directly to fans. Looper director Rian Johnson has taken to the idea more than most, releasing things such as his “live” commentary tracks discussing the making of his movies long before the DVD is out.
And now Johnson has released his early pitch reel for Looper. Created, as his explains, after he finished the script but before pre-production, the “strange curiosity” features footage from films such as Days of Heaven, Fight Club, Blade Runner and Se7en. It also has something most similar reels don’t have: a voiceover track performed by the actor who ended up in the final film. Here we can hear Joseph Gordon-Levitt speaking an early version of the explanatory dialogue that opens Looper, with a darker tone than seen in the final version.
What other films did you see in there? Looked like a little Kalifornia, some Star Trek, and was that the Coen version of The Ladykillers?
This is a strange curiosity I thought might be interesting – just after I finished the script for Looper but before we began preproduction I asked Joe to record some voice-over, and with help from my friend Ronen Verbit constructed this “fake trailer” using clips from other movies. This is a fairly common thing to do when you’re trying to get a movie off the ground, but it was the first time I tried it. It was meant to show more some of the film’s tone, and to show how the odd concept could be presented in a clear and compelling way in the marketing. Zach Johnson did the sketches. Note that we hadn’t begun the casting process yet, and the clips were chosen just based on their visuals and not by who is in them.