Tag Archives: behind the scenes

‘Rogue One’ sizzle reel shows off ‘Star Wars’ practical effects (New poster inside!)

The very first standalone Star Wars movie is coming soon, and to (ahem) celebrate, Disney and Lucasfilm shared this Rogue One sizzle reel at Star Wars Celebration in London this week. The nearly three-minute reel takes you in front of and behind the camera, giving you an inside look at how much effort is going into making the world of Star Wars come to life outside the confines of the three trilogies. Episode VII director J.J. Abrams was praised for his use of practical effects in The Force Awakens, and it looks like Rogue One helmer Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is taking a page out of Abrams’ playbook. The gritty war zones that makeup Rogue One are littered with real explosions and imaginative creature costumes. Of course, these moviemakers simply couldn’t put on the show without pushing the limits of CG animation, but it’s good to know that where possible, what we end up seeing on the big screen is the real deal.

Go on and enjoy the reel; in it you’ll also hear from the cast and crew and maybe learn a little more about the resistance fighters’ daring mission to steal the Death Star plans. Celebration attendees left the panel with the first official poster for Rogue One, and you can eyeball it after the break; that tropical locale in the teaser and sizzle reel now has a name and it’s Scarif. Also screened at the panel but not released on the Internet (yet) was the second teaser trailer for the flick; spoiler alert, it ends with the mother of all teases: Darth Vader is back!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theatres December 16, 2016. READ MORE ‘Rogue One’ sizzle reel shows off ‘Star Wars’ practical effects (New poster inside!)

Coldplay films colorful music videos to match new album ‘A Head Full of Dreams’

Coldplay is back with its seventh and possibly final album for awhile, that is, according to frontman Chris Martin. If this is it for the foreseeable future, they sure are going out with a bang. The record, A Head Full of Dreams, is a solid effort from the alt-rock/pop British band. It has its quiet moments (“Everglow” and “Kaleidoscope”) as well as those anthemic tunes fans have become accustomed to over the years (“A Head Full of Dreams,” “Hymn for the Weekend” and “Adventure of a Lifetime”). All in all, it’s a decidedly uplifting and inspiring take, especially coming off last year’s mildly melancholic Ghost Stories.

Shortly after releasing the album into the wild just last month, Martin and co. started to drop eclectic music videos for the singles. They started with a mesmerizing music video for “Adventure of a Lifetime” which features CGI versions of the band members dancing around as apes. They teamed up with director Mat Whitecross and actor/motion capture expert Andy Serkis (Lord of the RingsPlanet of the Apes) to magically animate themselves using the latest tech in 3D motion capture. It took six months to make!

The second music video to release was the one for “Birds.” The band travelled to Salvation Mountain to record the trippy, kaleidoscopic clip directed by Marcus Haney.

Following lead single “Adventure of a Lifetime” is the official second single off the album, “Hymn for the Weekend.” Coldplay shot the video for it on location in Mumbai, India with director Ben Mor. Beyoncè, whose vocals are featured on the track, plays a beautiful movie star and Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor makes a cameo as the band runs around the streets of Mumbai exploding with color and radiance.

“Hymn for the Weekend” is embedded above. You’ll find music videos for “Birds” and “Adventure of a Lifetime” after the break. There’s also a fun behind-the-scenes look at Coldplay making the CGI video with Whitecross and Serkis.

One more thing. This summer Coldplay’s going on tour! Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 5 at 10am local time. Check out the full list of nation-wide stops below the fold. Oh, and don’t forget they’ll be jamming out during Super Bowl 50’s halftime show next Sunday! READ MORE Coldplay films colorful music videos to match new album ‘A Head Full of Dreams’

‘Wet Hot American Summer’ featurette takes you back to the summer of ’81

We’re only four days away from the launch of the Wet Hot American Summer revival on Netflix! To celebrate this momentous occasion, travel back in time to 1981 in this nearly three-and-a-half minute Wet Hot featurette. In it you’ll go behind-the-scenes and witness the sheer excitement taking place during the first day of shooting when the entire cast from the 2001 cult comedy reunited for the 8-episode streaming series. Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks and all the rest return to play younger versions of themselves since the new Wet Hot takes place during the first day of camp at Camp Firewood (the movie took place on the last day of camp). You’ll hear from the returning cast, as well as some of the newbies including John Slattery (Mad Men), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Jason Schwartzman (Bored to Death), Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), and Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital).

“Working on this just feels like when we shot Wet Hot—it’s really cold, we’re moving really fast and, you know, everybody’s having sex with each other,” says Poehler.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is out this Friday, July 31. Watch the official trailer here.

Comic Con: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ brings together entire main cast & the fans get a concert (Behind-the-scenes video inside)

IMG_2405

It’s a funny thing, really. Though little was divulged in terms of new announcements at the Star Wars panel at San Diego Comic Con 2015, it turned out to be the most amazing Con experience and one I will never forget.

A packed Hall H chants “Let’s go Star Wars!” and claps as if we were at a sporting event. Only at Comic Con, am I right? In time, moderator Chris Hardwick (the Talking Dead host and Nerdist leader was everywhere this year!) came out to introduce producer Kathleen Kennedy of Lucasfilm, director J.J. Abrams, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Abrams talked up Episode VII‘s reliance on practical effects over CGI, and he made a point by bringing out a new character named Bobba Joe. The creature, operated magically by five people, managed to walk across the stage twice without falling over or bumping into anything. The oversized puppet really impressed the audience with its finesse. Abrams says to expect many characters like this in the film.

“We aren’t ready to show you scenes from the movie or a new trailer, but we wanted to bring something that was as unique and unexpected as we could,” Abrams told the crowd. The behind-the-scenes reel shown to panel attendees brought tears to many eyes–it encapsulates the sheer force of the Star Wars franchise and does a great job of sharing the level of detail and blood, sweat, and tears that Abrams and co. are putting into this thing. Also, Simon Pegg pops up in a surprise cameo! You can watch nearly 4-minute clip after the break.

The cast came out next. Our three heroes John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaacs (Poe Dameron) and then the villains Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), and Gwendolyn Christie (Captain Phasma) and then the legacy players Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and Harrison Ford (Han Solo). And yes, the crowd went more than wild at the sight of all this talent, especially when Mr. Ford entered the scene. He received the biggest standing ovation by a mile. Gleeson accidentally leaked the name of the villains’ base: Starkiller Base. Beyond that, nothing new was announced here. A handful of first-looks at practical effects characters were displayed, and you can see those in the gallery.

Just as the panel felt like it was wrapping up, Abrams said this: “Who wants to go see a live Star Wars concert right now? We only have room for all of you. We are literally all going to walk to a location together and experience a Star Wars concert tonight.” It’s hard to describe the rush I felt along with everyone else there. It was like a wave of excitement crashed into the crowd and all of sudden we were all high on life all at once. And with that, the entire Hall H–over 6,000 people–proceeded to collect their belongings and follow a procession of Stormtroopers to the Embarcadero Marina Park South where the San Diego Symphony was waiting to perform selections from the iconic Star Wars score. The walk took about 45 minutes or so, but that wasn’t a problem for anyone. With our exclusive lanyards we walked proudly behind the convention center and slowly made our way to the secret venue on the water. Once everyone was situated with free colored lightsabers, Abrams and the entire cast came out again to introduce the symphony. Composer John Williams wasn’t on hand, unfortunately, but he did pre-record a message wishing the fans a good time and “May the force be with you.” The sun set, the music played beautifully against a backdrop consisting of classic scenes spanning all six films, and just when we all thought it couldn’t get any better, fireworks exploded in the sky just as the Star Wars main theme kicked in at the end of the concert. A rainbow of lightsabers showered the symphony with love.

This was truly a shared experience to cherish for a lifetime.

READ MORE Comic Con: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ brings together entire main cast & the fans get a concert (Behind-the-scenes video inside)

Go behind the scenes in ‘The Walking Dead’ with star Michael Cudlitz (Comic Con poster inside)

We’re still many months away from the sixth season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead, but to keep you going until October, the network is sharing a candid look behind the scenes with your host, Michael Cudlitz. In this clip, Abraham Ford’s portrayer guides you around the set of the season 6 opener, checking in with various cast members including Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Lennie James (Morgan), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Christian Serratos (Rosita), and Dani Guerira (Michonne). Also, a special someone stops by to give Guerira an impromptu kiss!

Though very little is divulged in terms of where things are headed (spoiler alert) following the surprise return of Morgan at the end of last season, Cudlitz hypes up the upcoming premiere calling it a “huge, huge episode” and saying that “the first episode is going to blow your mind.” Mission accomplished, Cudlitz; I’m shaking in my post-apocalyptic boots.

And if that isn’t enough to satiate your walker obsession, be sure to jump after the break to eyeball the Comic Con exclusive key-art for season 6; it appears to set up to distinct factions: Rick and his people versus Morgan and the Alexandrians. Interesting, indeed! Stick it here for the latest Walking Dead deets as a trailer is likely to leak out of Comic Con in July. READ MORE Go behind the scenes in ‘The Walking Dead’ with star Michael Cudlitz (Comic Con poster inside)

First look at next Bond film ‘SPECTRE’ (video inside)

That’s Daniel Craig back in his spy gear for the next film in the 007 franchise. That snowy mountaintop is the Austrian Alps, one of many locations the film will travel to this time around. In addition to shooting here and at Pinewood Studios in London, Bond 24 aka SPECTRE will visit Rome, Mexico City, Tangier, and Erfoud.

Want to see more? Jump after the break to watch a behind-the-scenes clip featuring Craig, co-stars Léa Seydoux and Dave Bautista, and returning director Sam Mendes as well as other members of the production. The video teases “one of the major action sequences of the movie, a jewel in the crown so to speak.”

“The thing Sam and I talked about was how we are going to top Skyfall”, says production designer Dennis Gassner. “We are going to continue the history of the Bond films, making things that are exciting for the audience to look at and what could be more exciting than to be on top of the world.”

SPECTRE releases November 6. Click here to learn more about the movie. READ MORE First look at next Bond film ‘SPECTRE’ (video inside)

Up-and-coming director Chris Alender’s short film ‘Eye of the Storm’ catches J.J. Abrams’ attention

In 2008, J.J. Abrams put director Matt Reeves on the map with the shaky-cam monster movie Cloverfield; Reeves would go on to also direct the thriller Let Me In and this year’s excellent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Abrams is looking to strike gold again by fostering new talent, according to Deadline. Enter Chris Alender, the founder of Soapbox Films, a production house that specializes in the making of music videos, commercials, and films. One of his films, namely Eye of the Storm, must have caught J.J.’s attention because Alender is now working hand-in-hand with the Star Wars director on an upcoming top secret project for Sony Pictures. Of course, as details slowly but surely spill out about the Abrams/Alender project you’ll hear it here.

But more on Alender’s short film. Eye of the Storm, embedded above for your viewing pleasure, is technically a music video for musician Ben Lovett whose song of the same name is featured throughout the clip. It wears an aesthetic that’s reminiscent of what you’d find in a Sin City movie, and yet it’s distinctive enough to be hailed as a success all on its own. Elements from science fiction and steampunk are fused together here to create a mini-adventure in the sky as a giant ship soars into the eye of a massive storm. There’s a mystical potion and a dragon, to boot. What Alender’s created here, essentially, is an exquisitely executed short film that leaves the viewer wanting more by the time you get to the end. Equally impressive is the effort put into making it a reality; after the break, check out a BTS video revealing practical effects used to manifest stunning results.

Abrams knows how to pick ’em. Cannot wait to see what Alender cooks up next. READ MORE Up-and-coming director Chris Alender’s short film ‘Eye of the Storm’ catches J.J. Abrams’ attention

‘Better Call Saul’ behind the scenes

Perhaps this will help you ride out the anticipation for Vince Gilligan’s next AMC project: it’s a behind the scenes look at Better Call Saul, the highly anticipated Breaking Bad prequel/spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk as sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill. In the clip you’ll hear from Odenkirk, other cast members including Jonathan Banks (reprising Mike Ehrmantraut) and Michael McKean (he’s playing Jimmy’s brother Chuck McGill), as well as members of the show’s crew.

Better Call Saul premieres in February.

Extended look at Fox’s origin story ‘Gotham’

Here’s your first intensive look at the fall’s most anticipated new drama, Gotham. Warner Bros. and Fox have released a 20-minute behind-the-scenes look at the massive origin story revolving around Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Creator Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) has DC Comics heroes and villains at his disposal and from the get-go viewers will be drawn into gritty, violent world filled with the likes of a young Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), and Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy). The ensemble cast also includes Sean Pertwee as Wayne’s butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth, Donal Logue as Gordon’s parter Harvey Bullock, and Jada Pinkett Smith plays an original villain envisioned specifically for the series, Fish Mooney.

You’ll hear from Heller, McKenzie, and most of the cast, as well as other creatives involved in the making of the series. It’s a fascinating look at how the world of Gotham has been remade for the small screen. If you haven’t been counting down the days until Gotham‘s September 22 premiere, consider this the tipping point.

‘Homeland’ stars discuss upcoming new season

Homeland stars Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, and Nazanin Boniadi take time during their promotional photoshoot to talk season 4. In addition to a brief glimpse at this season’s shooting location (Cape Town, South Africa will stand in for parts of the Middle East), this new clip does a fine job at teasing the upcoming Brody-less season just as the “First-Look” trailer did before it.

Homeland returns October 5 to Showtime with a two hour premiere.

‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 underaway

Production on The Walking Dead season 5 is officially underway and here’s a clip to prove it! In it you’ll hear from a number of cast members and show producers.

“It’s the most ambitious first episode I think we’ve attempted,” says Andrew Lincoln aka leader Rick Grimes. Adds Steven Yeun aka Glenn: “It’s a great welcome to the season.”

Lincoln talks about how the upcoming season is about hierarchy. “A lot of people are going to work out where they belong in the group.” That is, if they can find a way out of Train Car A…

The Walking Dead returns this October on AMC. And don’t forget to tune into a Talking Dead special airing Sunday, July 6 at 9PM; host Chris Hardwick, Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple, and actress Aisha Tyler will discuss what’s in store for season 5.