As a filmmaker and movie-lover, I am a HUGE BTS (behind the scenes) fan. I won’t even consider buying a movie (DVD, download, or otherwise) if it doesn’t have BTS special features. I love hearing the stories and seeing how the magic is made. (The BTS features for David Fincher’s “Social Network” is like a film school in a box!).
BTS videos are usually very cut and dry. They don’t typically have a lot of “art” or “craft” instilled. Which is fine. And they certainly don’t make you cry. Usually.
But today I saw a BTS video that literally got me verklempt. It was the montage played at the San Diego Comic-Con this week for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. By the end of it, tears were welling up.
I had planned to do another video for today’s Saturday Matinee. But once I saw this, it was a no-brainer.
If you’re a fan of Star Wars (and I mean the original, pre-Prequels, pre-remastered mess), then I defy you to watch this without having some form of emotion. If you don’t, you must be as cold as the space these ships fly in.
I have no doubt the crowd in Hall H went berzerk and crapped their pants when they saw this. I like how Wired Magazine put it on their site:
I couldn’t agree with you more Wired.
Below the video, read my opinion about why this works the way it does.
Why this BTS Works So Well
This BTS works on a number of levels:
- Conception: it’s obviously well thought out. They went into this knowing the story they wanted to tell and how they wanted to tell it.
- Anticipation: the beginning was terrific. A simple montage of movie slates in front of locations and characters you recognize.
- Juxtaposition: the way they juxtapose the old with the new creates an emotional ride.
- Theme: there is a clear theme to this video: the old meets the new. And the old is “new” again. You see old tech and new tech coming together. We see and/or hear from the stars we first fell in love with (I almost didn’t recognize Mark Hamill), and hear from today’s young cinematic thespians who are making waves in the world.
I hope this video starts a trend among filmmakers to put a little more thought and craft into their BTS videos. Make them emotional. Tell a story. Don’t just educate. Entertain.
Brandon Dawson says
BTS~ When the magic is incarnated and one enters the minds eye of the prophet!~ an engaging blog post, Ron! INDEED, as Alan Moore would suggest, the artist (and hopefully a film weaver is) is a magician. You expressed and affirmed this well.
Martin Beebee says
Great breakdown, Ron.
Oh. My. God. This is so great — I think the fact that they’re doing so much practically is really going to make this film stand out among the glut of CGI flicks, above and beyond the fact that it’s another Star Wars episode. There’s a rawness and energy that the VFX crowd simply hasn’t mastered yet.
Seth Godin posted a few days ago another thought about why this works so well: it continues to build anticipation and expectations, far beyond what another teaser would have done, precisely because it doesn’t scratch that itch of wanting to see more of the movie:
“Instead, of following the conventional wisdom and showing, he told. He told a story of care, of excitement, of anticipation.
He created tension instead of relieving it.”