Like most 90s kids I was obsessed with Air Bud. The idea that your ordinary life could suddenly become extraordinary was fascinating. Not only was the plot desirable but this was the first film I saw behind the scenes footage featured at the end of the VHS tape. I finally got to see a bit of how a film is actually made. In Air Bud: World Pup, I would fast forward the end to get to the cast interviews and behind the scenes snippets.
Acting Behind the Scenes
Seeing the soccer choreography and bloopers from the actors helped me understand how fabricated this entire world was and how intriguing it was. The film is the earliest memory I have of moviemaking. I learned that the world I thought I knew wasn't exactly real. Buddy was not real. His family was not real and he really did not know how to play sports. Although this broke my heart I was also incredibly interested in how they got the dog to do incredible things and how the actors won me over as a believable family. Also, how they managed to create a world in which these characters lived. Such as the house they lived in, a believable amount of soccer playing, scary dog nappers (the idea still scares me btw), and a huge realistic World Cup crowd at the end. In the behind the scenes footage all this is revealed to be make believe. With costumes a soccer team is created, with practice soccer playing is made believable, and with the help of the Women's World Cup Team at the end the film becomes that much more authentic. This film made me realize that with some sort of artistic ability you can create anything, from set making to costume design, to CGI. From then on I wanted to be a part of the moviemaking process.
This little movie was a turning point in my life. Now I was not only fascinated by the movie's plot I was way more curious to see the behind the scenes in every movie. From then on after a movie would end I would immediately fast forward to find bloopers or any behind the scenes footage I could find, whether this was seeing an actor break character or the director yell "cut". I imagined that the actors and filmmakers got a thrill every time they were on set and about to create a different world. I love watching the process behind making a movie and comparing this to the final product.
Makeup/Set Building and Behind the Scenes
Another film that was crucial in my desire to work in film was the first Pirates of the Caribbean, The Curse of the Black Pearl. Finally on DVD and not VHS, this film also featured behind the scenes footage. It was here where my interest in locations, sets, makeup and costumes grew. This magical film features all my favorite things. Seeing Keira Knightley as a young 17 year old already making movies and getting dressed up in period costumes was so exciting. I wanted to be her so bad. This film still excites me when I watch it. Seeing the behind the scenes shows how hard the filmmakers worked to create a realistic and entertaining world for its audience.
These special features also taught me about CGI. CGI was another layer of art. It blends the digital and the physical world of filmmaking. With the help of props, makeup and costumes the scene can be set but with the help of CGI the mythical level of the story can be told. This film also sparked my interest in animation and 3D modeling, a class I was lucky enough to take in college.
The behind the scenes featured in these films focus require the audience to watch the film but from another angle. We are watching the director watch the film. Also with including these behind the scenes footage at the end of the film, or on the DVD, some films also feature a director/cast running commentary over the entire film. In this case we are not watching from the sidelines, we can to experience the film as a filmmaker. We cannot see how it's physically made but we get a sense of how the director feels about the overall product. We also get to hear personal behind the scenes stories straight from the director or actor's mouth. What a Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes was the first film I remember listening to a commentary. During this screening I learned what it was filming in these locations, interactions with the cast, and personal stories about preparing for a particular scene. Watching this version of the film gave me a whole new outlook on filmmaking. When watching the film the first time you are completely absorbed into the story. But watching the commentary places on the outside looking in. You now recognize the fabrication of the world you previously thought existed.
Watching behind the scenes footage after a film not only excites me on a filmmaking level, but I feel as if it places me on the same level as the filmmakers and actors. I feel as if we have all shared the same stories and experiences while on set. It connects me to the film in a different way than just being a viewer. I highly recommend watching the special features of a film. Not only do you get to see filmmaking first hand, but you also get to see your favorite actors in their element doing what they love to do.
My name is Meadow Rhodes and I'm 24 years old. Recent Banana Slug alum and film major. Check here for film updates/funny videos/life advice/reviews and all around nonsense!