Collider Visits the Set of THE WEDDING RINGER; 18 Things to Know About the Comedy

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The Wedding Ringer (due out in theaters on January 16, 2015) is a comedy about lovable but socially awkward groom-to-be Doug Harris (Josh Gad), who needs to impress his in-laws and pull off the perfect wedding.  With less than two weeks until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need.  As the two of them try to pull off the perfect wedding, a real friendship forms between Doug and his fake best man.

Back on October 17, 2013, Collider was invited, along with a handful of other press, to visit the set of The Wedding Ringer while they were shooting the big wedding scene at the Hollywood Methodist Church, and we were able to chat with some of the cast and filmmakers.  And while the film is clearly a comedy, everyone involved stressed the fact that it is also about friendship and the bromance between Doug and Jimmy.  Hit the jump to find out more about what we learned on set.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Set Visit Report; Creating the Turtles Step by Step

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Taking on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t like signing on to direct any old film.  It’s a property that comes with an enormous fan base and, therefore, sky-high expectations and even while shooting it, director Jonathan Liebesman was well aware of it.  Last June we got the chance to visit the film’s Wall Street set in New York City and Liebesman took a brief break to say hello and also note, “I’ve never had a film that people are so excited to see so long before, so I think it’s just challenging to do something that meets the expectations.  Honestly, that’s hard.”

Fortunately, Liebesman’s got some quality talent backing him up including VFX supervisor Pablo Helman, the man responsible for leading the initiative to bring the Turtles back to the big screen in the most groundbreaking and realistic way possible.  Hit the jump to find out what it took for Helman to take the Turtles from concept to design to set and beyond.

Olivia Williams and John Benjamin Hickey Talk MANHATTAN, What Attracted Them to Their Characters, Getting Swept up in Research, and More

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What happens if you round up the nation’s most brilliant scientific minds, seclude them in a makeshift city in the middle of the desert, and drown their lives in secrecy?  These are the questions addressed in Manhattan, the new historical drama from creator Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing).  Manhattan offers a semi-fictionalized version of the infamous Manhattan Project – the clandestine research and development project that resulted in the creation of the atomic bomb.  While the events of the show are based on history, Manhattan largely steers clear of iconic figures like J.  Robert Oppenheimer and Leslie Groves, and focuses instead on the interpersonal drama between fictitious characters as they contend with the costs of secrecy and isolation.  Manhattan airs Sunday nights on WGN America.

I recently visited the set in Santa Fe, New Mexico where the labs, homes, and barracks of Los Alamos have been recreated from the ground up.  While I was there I had the chance to sit down with Olivia Williams and John Benjamin Hickey for a video interview.  They talked about the dramatic potential inherent to the story of the Manhattan Project, getting carried away with research, their characters’ fascinating marriage, why Manhattan is a dream project, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

On the Set of FX’s New Dark TV Comedy MARRIED

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It’s really fucking windy.  One gust snaps a branch off a large tree.  The branch crashes to the ground about two or so feet away from a crewmember near ‘video village’ (set jargon: for where the crew can watch the scene-at-hand being filmed).  Needless-to-say, soon thereafter, a couple crewmembers move the monitors and director’s chairs far away out of tree line.  This actually doesn’t help much – as the wind is a capricious dick determined to inflict physical damage onto some poor shmuck.  That moment comes later on when one of the publicists for my set-visit (also coincidentally named Tom) is hit in the head by a wayward branch.  The man is fine (thankfully) and shrugs the whole ordeal off like it was no big deal – but this does little to alleviate my naturally worried state.  When the question is posed whether or not I would like to continue watching the shoot or go inside a small portable home to conduct interviews, there really isn’t much deliberation: I go inside.  Hit the jump, to continue reading.

Over 50 Things to Know About Luke Evans’ Take on Dracula from our DRACULA UNTOLD Set Visit

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There are a lot of vampire films out there, perhaps too many, but the team behind Dracula Untold is out defy that by doing something different, combining historical facts with the fantastical.  Bram Stoker’s Dracula may haven been inspired by Vlad the Impaler, but first-time feature writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless decided to take the connection literally.  In Dracula Untold, Dracula is Vlad the Impaler.

Back in September 2013, we got the chance to visit the film’s Belfast, Ireland set where stars Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon and Dominic Cooper as well as producer Alissa Phillips, production designer Francois Audouy and costume designer Ngila Dickson were all on hand to talk about what’s going to make their vampire movie a standout.  Hit the jump for over 50 must-know facts about Dracula Untold.

101 Things to Know about THE BOXTROLLS from Our Set Visit to Laika’s Studio

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If Hollywood gave out awards simply to honor the hardest working people in show business, the folks over at Laika would undoubtedly sweep the categories.  Known for their stop-motion animation films Coraline and ParaNorman, the studio’s newest effort pushes the medium’s boundaries in all conceivable directions.  The Boxtrolls, adapted from Alan Snow’s book “Here Be Monsters!”, has a family-friendly coming-of-age story about fathers and sons at its core, surrounded by cutting edge stop-motion animation and visual effects technology, an inspiring voice cast, and a team of incredibly dedicated artists and craftspeople.

While on set at Laika’s Portland, Oregon-based studio, I had a chance to talk to producer David Ichioka, directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, and CEO/Lead Animator Travis Knight about The Boxtrolls.  Even more impressive than the interviews with those passionate filmmakers was my guided tour of working animation stages, concept design presentations, and the rapid prototyping facility, where I was informed of each stage of the process by veterans of their craft.  There’s a lot to get to, so I’ve gathered up 101 “Things to Know” about The Boxtrolls after the jump.

Over 80 Things to Know About GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY from our Set Visit; Plus Video Blog Recap and New Images

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Last September, when director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was filming outside London, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  While I knew a bit about the diverse characters starring in Marvel’s latest franchise before I arrived, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the size and scope of the movie, or how Gunn and his filmmaking team were preparing to blow open the doors of the Marvel Cosmic universe by introducing tons of new characters and worlds.  Trust me, Guardians of the Galaxy is telling a huge story on the other side of the universe and it’s going to enable Marvel to bring in numerous new elements to their already expanding universe.

During the set visit I got to watch filming, participate in group interviews with James Gunn, Dave BatistaChris PrattKaren GillanZoe Saldana, and many others, and walk through the art department, weapons room, costumes, SFX, and many other behind-the-scenes locations.  From all this I put together a huge list of things to know, recorded a video blog when I got back from set, and have five new images from the prison sequence provided by Marvel/Disney.  Hit the jump for more.

Producer Dylan Clark Talks about the APES Franchise, Bringing on Director Matt Reeves, and More on the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

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While I love getting to talk to the actors and director on a film set, one of the people I always want to talk to is the producer.  Because while the actors can talk about their character and how things might have changed along the way, the producer knows all of the behind-the-scenes stories and can go into a lot more detail about a movie’s journey from page to screen.

Last year, when director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was filming in New Orleans, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  At the time I thought the film was going to be something special, but as you have heard me say the past few days, the finished film is even better than I imagined.  On the set producer Dylan Clark talked about bringing in Reeves, the Apes franchise, the challenges of making the sequel, motion capture, balancing the human and ape story, and so much more.  If you’re curious how Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came together and what it was like on set, you’ll enjoy this interview.

Former NYPD Officer Ralph Sarchie Talks DELIVER US FROM EVIL, Having His Life Story Made into a Movie, and His Experiences with the Paranormal

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While on set for Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us From Evil in the utterly creepy sanctuary of a dilapidated church in the Bronx, we were able to speak to former NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie about his experience not only in the NYPD and in the paranormal, but also at having the book based on his life turned into a movie, with Erica Bana playing him.  He spoke about how all of this came about, a bit about his spirituality and experience with the devil, and about the strangeness of being part of a movie filming in the same location he once chased a perpetrator down the street.

Deliver Us From Evil is a paranormal thriller inspired by real-life cases recorded in a book by former NYPD officer Sarchie (Eric Bana), who is originally a skeptic, but encounters a priest (Edgar Ramirez) who convinces him that an inexplicable case is actually caused by demons and other paranormal forces.  The film also stars Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, Chris Coy and Sean Harris.  Hit the jump for my interview with Sarchie.

30 Things to Know About David Ayer’s FURY From our Set Visit, Plus New Images

by     Posted 170 days ago


My boots are caked in mud.  The ground is a watery brown mess that makes it difficult to walk.  I have to watch where I take every step.  All around me are American soldiers and Sherman tanks moving with purpose.   When the tanks roll, I feel the muddy ground shake.  As I peer around the side of the building on my right, I see even more soldiers and another tank moving towards our position.  As they get closer, the soldiers are moving even faster, like they’re on a mission and it’s almost the end.  As the tank rolls in front of me, I see Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf in uniform looking serious.  A few seconds later, I hear director David Ayer call cut, and the three cameras shooting the action, the tanks, and the soldiers all go back to first position.

Let me go back a bit.  Last year, when Fury was filming outside London, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  As some of you know, the movie takes place at the end of World War II where a battle-hardened Sherman tank crew face overwhelming odds trying to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.  Besides Pitt and LaBeouf, Ayer and producer John Lesher have put together an awesome cast that also features Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, and Jason Isaacs.  During the day on set I learned a lot about the movie and I’ve compiled a big list of some of the highlights.  In addition, Sony has provided us with a few new images.  So hit the jump to check it all out.  Fury opens November 14th.

INTO THE STORM: 35 Things to Know about Steven Quale’s Natural Disaster Film Starring Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies

by     Posted 171 days ago


While on the Detroit-based set of director Steven Quale’s natural disaster picture Into the Storm, I fully expected to see a lot of green screens standing in for destructive tornadoes.  So imagine my surprise when stars Richard ArmitageSarah Wayne CalliesMatt Walsh, and more braved torrential rain and gale-force winds from on-set practical machines simulating the deadly storms.

Between takes, our group of visiting journalists got a chance to interview the film’s cast and crew about the storm-chasing picture.  I’ve provided links for the interviews after the jump, but first I’d like to share some behind-the-scenes info on the New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures production.  Also starring Alycia Debnam-CareyArlen EscarpetaMax DeaconNathan KressJeremy SumpterKyle Davis, and Jon ReepInto the Storm opens August 8th.  Be sure to check out the film’s recently released trailer here.  Hit the jump for more from our set visit.  Spoilers follow.

30 Things to Know from the Set of HEMLOCK GROVE Season Two

by     Posted 171 days ago


Hemlock Grove is a hell of a town.  Between the vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, and inseminating angels (okay, so that one turned out not to be real) last year’s finale saw the town awash in the blood of countless characters.  Some of those deaths stuck and some of them didn’t (Did we really think we’d seen the last of Olivia?) and with season two just around the corner it’s looking like Hemlock Grove is about to get even crazier.

Earlier this year I joined a few other online reporters in the creepy corners of the mysterious town – or at least I joined them on a sound stage in Toronto where Netflix built Hemlock Grove’s key sets.  While there we got to tour around many of these sets, including Roman’s new house, the board room of Godfrey Institute, the secretive biomedical labs of the White Tower, and Destiny Rumacek’s apartment.  During breaks in filming we also had a chance to talk with cast members Bill Skarsgard, Famke Janssen, Landon Liboiron, Madeline Brewer, Dougray ScottJoel de la Fuente, Demore Barnes and Madeleine Martin.  We even got to chat with new showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee and a few key crew members about what’s coming up in season two and the behind the scenes process of making Hemlock Grove the bloodiest town on TV.  Hit the jump to check out the 30 things I learned on set.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              30

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION VFX Supervisor Scott Farrar Talks about Shooting in Multiple Formats, Redesigning the Autobots, and More

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Believe it or not, the technology does not yet exist to make 30-foot tall transforming battle robots, not in a practical manner anyway.  So the big bots of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction are left up to ILM’s visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar and his team of up to 350 artists.  I got a chance to talk to Farrar, along with a small group of journalists, while on set in Detroit, which was masquerading as Hong Kong before Bay blew the whole thing up.

In addition to the movie’s robot redesigns, Farrar talked about the difficulties of shooting in multiple formats, advantages of shooting practical effects on set and digitally augmenting them later, and the process of digitally recreating buildings and entire cities.  Hit the jump for more from Farrar on the behind-the-scenes process of visual effects.

Stunt Coordinator Mike Gunther Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Working with Mark Wahlberg, and Stunt Training, Plus Bonus Michael Bay Comments

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In a movie like Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, the poor human characters are expected to keep up with the 30-foot-tall, super-powered robots in relentless action scenes.  Tasked with getting the actors in shape and shepherding them through these challenging sequences is stunt coordinator Mike Gunther, who took time out of his busy schedule to talk to our visiting group of journalists.

While the crew was setting up a massive stunt sequence most of the day, Gunther talked to us about the variety of stunts on display in this film, working with Mark Wahlberg and Bay, training the actors for the stunts, performing practical stunts around the spaces where the robots will eventually be added in, and the process of shooting these action sequences.  Hit the jump for the full interview.

Producer Ian Bryce Talks about Working with Michael Bay, Logistics of the Globe-Trekking Shoot and More on the Set of TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

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It takes a lot of experience to keep a production like Transformers: Age of Extinction running smoothly; luckily, veteran producer Ian Bryce is more than up to the task.  Bryce has been in the Transformers game alongside Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay since the original 2007 film, so he was a perfect person to talk to about how the franchise has changed (and how it’s stayed true to its origins) during a visit to the film’s Detroit set.

Bryce talked to our small group of visiting journalists about his excitement for the new film, learning from the previous three movies, the new IMAX 3D cameras, challenges of filming on location, and his favorite action scene so far.  He also reflected on his working relationship with Bay.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

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