One thing that defines scripts and films in general is the tittle. Some titles are so iconic that once you mention them you pretty much have a full on breakdown of the story.
One funny thing about titles is that they don’t always start out the way they end up. A classic example of title changes was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Originally the title was Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy. The title was switched when Paul Newman took over the lead role. The film wouldn’t have been any less successful, or less classic had the title not changed, just really odd to pronounce.
When the Wizard of OZ went into production, over 124 actors ere hired to play the munchkins. A little known story is that one of the actors experienced a little known toilet near catastrophe.
An undersized actor fell into a toilet, that’s right he fell in. The actor was trapped in said toilet until someone from the studio found him and helped him out.
While this is a more humorous and lighter story about the Munchkins, there is no doubt that the tale speaks to a lot of unfortunate happenings that plagued the filming of this tremendous classic.
Do you ever wonder about the term movies?
The fact of the matter is that the term itself did not really refer to films. “Movies” was a term used to refer to people in the industry. In other words movies were filmmakers.
The fact is that “movies” was a term used with disdain. If you were a movie you were largely and generally considered trash of the worst kind of name to call someone.
In those days filmmakers were looked upon as invaders rather than welcome individuals. Incredible to think that the term we use now was actually politically incorrect.
When you think of all time great actors, Marlon Brando’s name usually comes to mind. Brando’s style drew audiences in to a point where it didn’t matter what he was doing, the audience would hang on his every last word. Years past his prime Brando made a comeback and cranked out a couple of films. One of Brando’s later roles was as the portly psychologist in Don Juan DeMarco. As always Brando put together the kind of performance that people still talk about today.
In one particular scene Johnny Depp was having trouble remembering his lines. Brando taped a paper with the lines to a coffee cup in the scene and guided Depp through his lines. Depp completed the scene without issue.
Depp became a contender, a somebody!
Some performances in film are simply unforgettable. When you see a specific scene or shot you can almost tell what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen. The magic of a film is at times placed on the shoulders of a single performance.
Whether or not this practice is engage upon intentionally really only depends on the director and performer dynamic. The way to know if it was the performance is being able to understand the story behind the performer. A great example, an all time great example is Gene Kelly.
Everyone thinks of Gene Kelly’s performance in Singing in the Rain. The iconic sequence in Singing in the Rain where Gene Kelly is climbing all over light posts, dancing and singing while in the middle of a downpour is an all time great moment. What makes that moment even greater is the fact that Gene Kelly was suffering from a fever of 103.
All time great indeed!
One of the biggest villains in animated film history is the evil Lord Farquuad from Shrek. Like every villain it’s assumed he has some sort of back-story. The back-story is actually Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO. The story there is that Jeffrey Katzenberg hated Eisner, who in turn referred to him as an “ evil midget.”
Farguaad must have been a compromise between the midget nature of Katzenberg and the square, hero like jaw of Eisner. In a way Lord Farquaad is the best of two bad worlds. The character is a memorable villain so it doesn’t say a lot for Katzenberg or Eisner.
You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch! At least we can assume Jim Carrey must have been thinking that when he was filming How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This particular film was not just a box office smash but also a defining moment in the funnyman’s career. What a lot of people don’t know is that the film was serious torture for Jim Carrey.
The makeup was extremely constricting so Carrey was having a really hard time putting forward a good performance. There was a great deal of concern so the producers enlisted the help of the Seals, Navy Seals. The producers actually hired a US Navy Seal to counsel Carrey on torture resistance techniques.
Talk about striking out in Whoville.
If you ask anyone who their favorite James Bond is chances are that you will get a universal response in favor of the legendary Sean Connery. The reason for Sean Connery’s popularity is twofold, his machismo and on top of that his portrayal of the cool spy.
Something interesting to note about Connery is that he was wearing a hairpiece through his entire run as the British super spy. Sean Connery would eventually toss the wig out the window and continue his highly respected trajectory as a film Icon but it was the Bond role, wig included, that made him a star.
The film Independence Day is a summer blockbuster classic that established Will Smith as a major box office commodity. The film is basically about a bunch of good guys getting together and saving the planet from a decidedly lethal alien invasion. Yes the plot of the film is somewhat generic but the film was written and shot in a way that generated real interest.
An unknown fact about Independence Day is the fact that James Brown played a part in it. James Brown did not perform nor did he use his super powers as godfather of soul in order to help. Using James Brown’s voice, screaming, created the sound of weapons exploding in the alien spaceship.
Wow, HEY, get down now!
Avatar is by and large on of the biggest hits in the history of cinema. With mixing some incredible 3D effects and creating some crazy worlds the film touched on new and amazing territory. Avatar is a great film that touches on a million subjects from the environment to relationships between different beings. The general social commentary of that film only enhanced the incredible visuals, a rarity in film.
A funny fact about this classic is that it was almost released ten years before. The film was due to be released in 1999 but at that time the budget of the film would have been a staggering 400 million dollars. One has to wonder what Avatar would have been like if Cameron had gone ahead, ten years and a different cast may not have gelled nearly as well.