annotating Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's profile of Dave Chappelle, "If He Hollers Let Him Go" [more inside]
Website Doctor Who Spoilers, which specializes in collecting behind-the-scenes photos from location shoots, has published a handy and clickable chart of most of NuWho, including the forthcoming season, with links inside each one to tons of photos and background info on each location. [more inside]
Ever wondered just how an episode of The Price is Right gets pulled off? How the right things are behind the right doors at the right time? How the contestants get picked? The show recently recorded a pretty awesome behind-the-scenes look at how it all comes together.
"I saw the trailer for Captain Alex [previously on mefi], and two weeks later I flew from NYC to Uganda." Redditor Uncle_Benon shares a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at filming an action flick in Wakaliwood, a studio based in the slums of Wakaliga, outside Uganda's capital city. [more inside]
SBNation, YouTube's independent sports network, presents "Sunday Symphony: How the NFL's most advanced game broadcast is made." "An exclusive, all access look at the people, technology, and highly organized chaos that results in the NFL's most advanced game broadcast."
While filming Star Trek Into Darkness, Simon Pegg decided to play a prank on his costars and convinced them that they needed to use something called “Neutron Cream” whenever they were shooting in a specific location. Their reactions are fantastic. [via]
Let's think back to the 1960s, when more people were writing surreal, paranoid themes. Now place Jim Henson in that context, and you get Time Piece (YouTube, excerpt; behind the scenes clip, YT). Add in collaboration with writer (and puppeteer) Jerry Juhl and you have The Cube (YT, full film), as well as the setting for the hypnagogic story of a man pursued in the desert, called Tale of Sand. This was first written up as a screenplay and pitched as a movie in the late 1960s, then revised and re-pitched in 1974. But no one bit, so the screenplay was shelved, and then Jim gained fame for Sesame Street and The Muppets. Elements of Tale of Sand appeared in The Muppet Movie (YT, full movie) and other places since then, but the work was largely unseen and forgotten. Jump ahead three decades, and the Henson Company teams up with Archaia, first releasing Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal comics, then digging in the Henson Company vault to bring Tale of Sand to light with cartoonist Ramón Pérez. You can see a preview of the graphic novel on Graphicly (including a nice dynamic display) and Amazon (static images, but more pages in the preview). [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
No Animals Were Harmed is the Film and Television unit of the American Humane Association. Their website provides details on the different kinds of certifications films and television shows earn and how they go about earning it. You can browse recent films (such as Life of Pi and Django Unchained) or page through their archive (which includes everything from Fellowship of the Ring to Rushmore to… (cough)… Apocalypse Now).
"For Iron Man 2, there was a massive set built for the Stark Expo. It was the largest blue screen ever used in a film. It was so funny being there and having Jon explaining that to me, realizing we had done the same thing years before." A comprehensive behind the scenes interview with the creators of Nick Arcade. (Previously)
Jeff Broz and his teenage friends filmed this seven and a half minute Sand-O-Vision "documentary" on the set of Return Of The Jedi, in 1982.
Thomas Dolby's first album of original material in nearly 20 years is not only a CD and an online MMO game, but it's also an opportunity to look inside the creative process of one of the more respected artists of our time. [more inside]
The Soundworks Collection gives a behind-the-scenes look into the work of talented sound teams working on feature films, soundtrack scoring, and video games with a compilation of exclusive interviews, awards shows / event panel coverage and sound stage / studio room videos. Vimeo Channel. YouTube Channel. [more inside]
How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
Watch the 93 minute documentary on the making of The Social Network for free on IMDB - How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) (via)
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
"As part of its ongoing mission to document the Art and Production History of Star Trek, this site will present technical articles on Star Trek prop and costume authentication - focusing on The Original Series - with detailed photos and episode screenshots to complement the information presented; as well as feature pictorials to showcase Star Trek memorabilia in private & public collections, present rare Behind The Scenes TOS imagery & discuss other topics." [more inside]
Behind the opening scenes of Blade Runner. “Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team created thousands of acid-etched brass miniatures lit from below with hundreds of bundles of fiber-optic lights, shot in forced-perspective through layers of smoke to create layers of light refraction, creating depth.” The first of a three-part series on the making of Blade Runner’s unforgettable opening sequence.
The Vault - Fascinating photography from the storerooms at various NZ museums, archives and libraries, by Neil Pardington. Including mammals, birds and card catalogues. [more inside]
Janet Reid is a literary agent who helps aspiring fiction writers pitch their work in a public forum. Her feedback can be kind of brutal, but there are a few winning queries in there and it illuminates a part of the writing process that we civilians don't often get to see.
Storyboard is an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. The Birth of Storyboard is a (minimally edited) video of the conversation that spawned the project. The feature—that will be published in November—is about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. In the past he has woven the process of creating his work into the work itself, so Wired writer Jason Tanz thought it would make sense to do the same. Looking to promote his directorial debut, Kaufman has agreed to take part in the project.
Of Muppets and Men. [1 2 3 4 5 6] Excellent behind-the-scenes documentary showing the mental, verbal and physical athleticism of putting together The Muppet Show. Also, a TMBG video mashup with excerpts from the doc. [All YouTube, Previously]
My Dad and I Visit a Porn Set. Jonathan Ames, an author and columnist for the New York Press, is invited by Vivid Video(NSFW) to guest direct several videos. On the second day of shooting, his father joins him. They both write about the experience.
An insider's take on the olympics Working at the speed skating rink apparently holds ample opportunity for port-a-loo incidents and other funny not-so Olympic moments.