On the set of HBO’s Westworld (2016)

Behind the scenes of the making of Westworld

A gallery of behind the scenes images from the first season of HBO’s Westworld, which was shot on Super 35mm with Arri film cameras, Cooke prime lenses, and Fujinon zooms.

To read more about the making of the sci/western hybrid, check out these features from Filmmaker Magazine, American Cinematographer Magazine, ICG Magazine, and Kodak. All the images are courtesy of these sources. Continue Reading ›

The films of Michael Cimino

Michael Cimino and Vilmos Zsigmod on the set of Heaven's Gate

Compiled this collection of posters and set stills from the career of Michael Cimino, who passed last week. The images come from a variety of sources, but many are via Heritage Auctions, Behind the Clapperboard, and Cinephilia and Beyond. Continue Reading ›

The making of Captain America – Civil War (2016)

Captain America Civil War behind the scenes

A gallery of behind the scenes set pics from the making of Captain America: Civil War. The latest Marvel flick was shot over an 84 day schedule, with most of the production’s sets built at Pinewood Atlanta Studios. The climactic airport battle mixed footage from Atlanta with location work at Germany’s Leipzig/Halle Airport (for more info on the scene check out this Hollywood Reporter story).

Unlike the majority of the film – which was shot on the Arri Alexa XT Plus – the airport set piece was lensed with the Arri Alexa 65, which will be used for the entirety of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. For more info on the technical aspects of Civil War, track down the June issue of American Cinematographer Magazine.

Click here for more Deep Fried Movies “behind the scenes” gallery.

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Pic of the Day: On the set of Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Behind the scenes of John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China

A few behind the scenes pics from John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China (1986), recently shared by the British DVD and Blu-ray label Arrow Video on its Facebook page. Check out the entire album here. For more Carpenter set stills, here’s Deep Fried Movies’ career-spanning Carpenter retrospective.

 

Behind the Scenes: Anomalisa (2014)

ANOMALISA

I recently had the chance to interview Joe Passarelli, cinematographer of the stop-motion animation film Anomalisa (2014), for Filmmaker Magazine. Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature, Anomalisa was shot over the span of two years on an army of 18 Canon 7D cameras – one for each miniature set. Below is a quote from my Filmmaker piece highlighting the challenges of shooting stop-motion. Then continue onward for a gallery of production stills.

“We had one shot where the camera slowly pushed in that took five or six months to animate. Each frame, the camera is moving less than an eighth of an inch. So when you’re shooting something over that period of time, you’re going to deal with all of those technical things that you mentioned — people bumping cameras, people bumping lights, bumping props. When that would happen we would have to go on to set and try to fix it. But if something was really unfixable, then visual effects would come in and we’d talk with them to devise a plan. But even beyond the animator or somebody hitting something on the set, every morning we would come in and we would turn on the lights and the sets would look like an earthquake happened. Because it was cold in the morning but the night before it was warm because the lights had been on for 12 hours, the wood would breathe and (as the temperature) changed things on set would shift. Then sometimes the camera would sag slightly if the lens was heavier and it was on a motion-control rig. It was a very interesting process to figure out.” – Joe Passarelli

 

Behind the scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Behind the Scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street #20

I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.” – Wes Craven on the origin of A Nightmare on Elm Street, from Vulture’s oral history of the film.

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Behind the Scenes: Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

MIssion-Impossible

“The first thing I try to communicate to my crew is that there will be no shaky-cam and no rack zooms, because those techniques are only used to hide the fact that there is no energy. When you eliminate those gimmicks you’re confronted with the reality of the shot you have in front of you, and nine times out of 10 you say to yourself: “This just isn’t working.” Then you have to find ways of infusing the shot with energy and excitement, and ask yourself what you can do to sustain the shot so that you’re not relying on staccato editing.” Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie states his principles of action cinema in an interview with Film Comment.

As he’s morphed from movie star to aging action hero, Tom Cruise has become more Evel Knievel than thespian. After five Mission:Impossible outings, I can tell you virtually nothing about Cruise’s super spy character Ethan Hunt. He’s a cipher whose personality shifts from film to film, retaining only a very Cruise-like intensity.

Cruise’s latest act of daredevildry involves hanging off the side of an Airbus A400M military plane as it takes off. Any doubt that Cruise himself is the man clinging to that plane should be alleviated by the photo above, which (on the left) shows an airborne Cruise harnessed with safety cables. To the right is the final color corrected image, with the cables painted out in post.

The film was shot largely with Panavision Millennium XL2 35mm film cameras and Panavision C Series anamorphic lenses. The Arri Alexa 65 was employed for an extended underwater set piece. Continue Reading ›