Lost in La Mancha
To start our narrative Unit, Alan showed us the documentary 'Lost in La Mancha' which follows Terry Gilliam's lengthy attempt at adapting 'The Man who Killing Don Quixote', a Spanish novel from the 1600's. The documentary is a cautionary tale in film-making, showing the struggle between a man's vision and reality. The documentary shows the stages from Pre-Production to Production, where Gilliam's project eventually collapsed. Plagued from problems in Insurance and funding from the start, the project took a huge hit on the first week on filming when a flash flood halted production and a lead role, French actor Rochefort, became seriously Ill and had to return home.
I really enjoyed this film, I always assume that large-budget film schedules go smoothly as the 'experts' are in control, but this really did show a different side to film-making, the unpredictable and risky factors which pop-up. As Alan said, being in CG does have it's advantages, chances are, any future projects of mine won't be affected by a flash-flood.
I decided to look at a few similar documentaries, which gives focus to the production of films. Jordon mentioned on his blog about 'The Pixar Story', which I watched earlier today.
The Pixar Story
This documentary was incredible, showing the entire history of the founders of Pixar, right up to the modern day. It focuses on Steve Lasserter and Steve Jobs, who are the main contributors of Pixar. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computers, was responsible for the inital founding and financing of the studio, while Lasserter was the creative force and director behind it's sucesses. The documentary shows the past struggles between the company and Disney, who it is now owned by
The documentary chronicles the company from the very first tests in 3D and Advertisements, such as 'Tropicana' (one of the first adverts to ever use 3D animation) to Toy Story (The first feature-length 3D film) to the most recent CG blockbusters, such as the Incredibles and Cars.The documentary shows a detailed insight into the 3D industry, as well as the struggles of moving from 2D to 3D in the 90's. There are moments in the film, which ring a bell with 'Lost in La Mancha' such as the problems Toy Story 2 suffered from in it's production, forcing Pixar to start the project from scratch only 9 months from deadline.
This film was very enjoyable and shows just how hard the studio has worked for the success it has received. It is definitely very inspiring and I recommend anyone who hasn't already seen it to take a look.
Full Tilt Boogie
Out of the three films of this post 'Full Tilt Boogie' is definitely my favourite. This film is the published diary of the production of 'From Dusk Till Dawn', the horror/gore Tarrantino Vampire flick from the late 90's. The film follows the production from start to finish, highlighting all the problems, fun and stress that goes with producing a small blockbuster film with a very dedicated crew.
The set-up of this documetary is very similar to 'Lost in La Mancha' the only difference is, obviously, 'From Dusk Til Dawn' was completed, released and became a high-grossing movie. It is a very light-hearted diary shoiwng the constant social side of a set along with the gossip and practical jokes. 'Full Tilt Boogie' sets the mood very quickly, opening with Tarrantino and George Clooney 'acting' being lost on set, wandering around, shoving away fans whilst the cameramen search frantically to find them to begin a scene.
Although the problems are no-where near on such a scale as Gilliam's project, there are some set-backs throughout the film, including a set fire when some pyrotechnics go wrong as well as a Union strike which, for a short while, jepodised the production.
This film is definitely worth watching for any Tarrantino or film fan in general, it also features a few crude shots, such as blood, gore and Vampire breasts. If you enjoyed 'From Dusk to Dawn' like I did, then this will be a treat.