Behind the Scenes: The films of David Fincher

“I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me, I’m always interested in movies that scar. The thing I love about Jaws is the fact that I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean again.” – David Fincher in a 2010 interview with The Independent

With Gone Girl out on home video tomorrow, Deep Fried Movies takes a look back at the career of David Fincher via this gallery of set stills encompassing each of this 10 films as director. Continue Reading ›

The Shot Behind the Shot: Hollow Man (2000)

Hollow Man (Sony Pictures Imageworks fb)

Kevin Bacon and Gone Girl’s Kim Dickens on the set of Hollow Man (2000) in a Before/After visual effects comparison from the frontier days of green-suited CGI. The film earned more than $190 million at the worldwide box office, yet was RoboCop and Starship Troopers director Paul Verhoeven’s last big studio film.

Pics come from the Facebook page of Sony Pictures Imageworks, who created the Hollow Man effects.

Behind the Scenes: The Films of Tim Burton

“Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” – Orson Welles (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) in Ed Wood (1994)

“We don’t have permits. Run!” – Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) in the same film

Box office prosperity has never had a great deal of correlation to artistic quality when it comes to movies, but few directors have a filmmography where that relationship is as inversely proportional as Tim Burton’s. Which is a wordy way of saying that the more money a Burton film seems to make (i.e. Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland), the less likely I seem to be to enjoy it. That equation is summed up by the fact that my favorite Burton outing (1994’s Ed Wood) was by far his least attended. Ed Wood put so few butts in seats upon release that the same year’s Monkey Trouble, Lightning Jack and House Party 3 all more than doubled its box office take.

Below is a look back at Burton’s paradoxical career through a series of Behind the Scenes pics detailing the making of all 17 of the director’s feature films. I like to think that on each of them, Burton channeled Bela Lugosi (or at least Martin Landau’s incarnation of him) with the call to arms, “Let’s shoot this fucker.”

 

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The Special Effects of Gone Girl

(Above left) The set-up for a “Dry-for-Wet” shot from David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) depicting the imaginary watery grave of a sociopathic femme fatale (played by Rosamund Pike). (Above right) The final images from the film. The behind the scenes pic comes courtesy of the November issue of American Cinematographer magazine. Read the mag’s feature on the film here.

An early adopter of digital camera technology, director David Fincher continued to push the pixel boundaries by making Gone Girl (2014) the first major film to use the Epic Red Dragon as its main production camera. The Dragon sensor allowed Fincher to capture footage in 6K resolution. Though most audiences will experience the film in either a 4K or 2K version, that extra information gives additional leeway in post-production to create the type of invisible computer generated effects shown below. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes, Throat Rip Edition: MacGruber (2010)

MacGruber (art of the title)

“Look, I’m not good with plans. And I’m not good with clues. What I am good with is kicking ass and ripping throats.” – MacGruber

I don’t remember how my family – parents, aunts, siblings, etc – ended up together at a screening of MacGruber when it opened back in May of 2010. But I do distinctly recall the collective awkwardness of watching Will Forte’s incompetent bomb disarmer engage in multiple graphic sex scenes with a ghost while seated alongside extended family members.

I recently came across an interview from the excellent site Art of the Title Sequence with director Jorma Taccone and main title designer Ryan McNeely discussing MacGruber’s opening and closing credits. Here’s a link to the interview, which is also the source for these before-and-after effects shots. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 and 2014)

New Turtles (USA Today) copy

With nearly 25 years separating their releases, the 1990 film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its 2014 Michael Bay-produced reboot provide a glimpse into the changing methods of visual effects.

The newest Turtles are computer generated, with the movements and facial expressions of actors in motion capture suits digitally translated into six-foot-tall pizza eating reptiles. The 1990 Turtles – created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop – required two people to operate them: an actor/stuntman inside a foam latex turtle suit and an effects technician to remotely control the animatronic head. To make the turtles’ mouths’ move, headgear with infrared sensors were used to sync the turtles’ gum-flapping with the operators’ mouth movements.

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Behind the Scenes: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

With its release date still more than a year away, it’s impossible to know whether Star Wars: Episode 7 will eventually share more details of its production or string us along 88 seconds at a time. However, the film that’s been labeled “Marvel’s Star Wars” – James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy – has already established a new precedent for behind the scenes access thanks largely to Gunn’s Twitter feed, which boasts dozens and dozens of candid set snap shots.

Guardians hits home video this week and to pay homage to the most fun movie of the year here’s a collection of behind the scenes stills, posters and concept art. Continue Reading ›