4 Smile-Inducing, Behind-the-Scenes Moments
A few months ago I wrote about the behind-the-scenes shenanigannery that ruins potentially good movies, and because it's important to maintain balance in this world, I thought I owed it to movies to talk about some behind-the-scenes moments that make things better. The old article involved a lot of research and long explanations about the business of Hollywood, and the process of rewriting and so on and so forth. This one has a bunch of dumb pictures. Balance!
Shampoo Commercials and Superman
Have you ever seen one of those shampoo commercials featuring a beautiful woman with hair that is just flowing majestically in the wind?
Did you ever wonder how they achieve that awesome hair-in-the-wind look? No, of course you didn't, neither did I. If I gave one stupid second of my life trying to figure out how they achieved that hair-in-the-wind look I probably would have just said, "Oh, it's wind, I bet." Well, we're all wrong. Here's how they pull off that look.
Hahahahahaha holy shit I'm so happy. Rather than bring in a fan or wind machine, some studios hire people to dress up like a green Putty and flip some model's hair all day long. And then they spend the whole drive home trying to figure out what to say when people ask them what they do for a living.
It's not just shampoo commercials that utilize this completely ridiculous technique. It's also how they make Superman's cape flap.
Oh, and while those two guys are working the marionette strings? This is also going on:
Those guys were hired to shoot air directly up at Superman and also stare at his junk (it's a confidence thing, all actors use it).
The fact that Brandon Routh maintained a straight face while two fucking green men were puppet-mastering in the background is the only argument I need to demand an Academy Award for him. Those guys were on set all day in some giant green void waving their hands around like assholes while a nearby director was yelling "Flappier! Flappier goddammit!"
I swear this whole article won't be about green screen, but remember in Twilight when the Girl One met the werewolf?
Here's what it was like on set:
Is everyone else also having the best day ever?
I actually give those kids a lot of credit. I haven't seen any of the Twilights yet, but I imagine that if the actors had laughed through the entire movie, I would have heard about that. I have to assume they did SOME takes where they didn't laugh at the fact that the big, scary werewolf was a doofus in a full-body condom, and that takes some real acting chops.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad, a show that starts off with a mustachioed man making meth as a lark but slowly turns into a crushingly depressing adventure in people repeatedly making horrible decisions, is the only show I've seen in my entire life where I had to consciously remind myself that it is fictional. There are plenty of shows and movies that have the opposite problem, where the events are so far-fetched and the people are behaving so ridiculously that I actively have to force myself into a suspension of disbelief that makes me feel like an idiot child, and I don't really have a problem watching those shows. But Breaking Bad got so dark and depressing and emotional that I had to remind myself not to worry, because these are actors on a TV show. Every once in a while I'd forget and I'd wake up in the middle of the night worried that my "friend" Jesse Pinkman might be in trouble (because my brain is broken in a way that is really quirky unless you are me).
Pictures like the below remind me that everything is OK.
I'll try not to spoil too much about the end of Breaking Bad beyond saying that it is heavy. It was never exactly a light-hearted show, but in the early seasons they at least had a few moments of relief and levity. By the final season, the worst characters just got worse and the characters that brought some level of lightness to the show were either dead or emotionally broken. But, hey ... look at Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul right now.
And look at them here! At a Halloween party!
Walter White is an emotional cancer that spreads and poisons anyone unfortunate enough to come across his path ... but look at him here!
It's not just that these images take my mind off the drama of Breaking Bad by reminding me that it's fictional, it also represents one of the purest and most love-filled relationships I've ever seen. Look at how much respect, admiration, and love these two phenomenal performers have for each other!
I was the kind of kid who would watch Pete & Pete and say, "I hope they're actually buddies in real life!" A thought that I also held for the characters in Animaniacs. I've grown up a bit, but glimpses of that little kid still show up for me. Except now it's less about hoping fictional friend characters are actually friends and more about my hope that the people working on a show or movie got as much enjoyment out of making it as I did watching it.
Tom Hanks and Haley Joel Osment in Forrest Gump
This recently surfaced video of Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Haley Joel Osment is either an audition or a rehearsal for Forrest Gump, and it's pretty great. The beginning is actually pretty standard; we get to see Hanks reading lines as the Forrest Gump character that he hasn't quite figured out yet with Wright, who absolutely has, and you see the screen test for young Forrest and Jenny, but then you come to the end of the video (around 6:30) and it's one of the most charming things in the world.
Osment is struggling with his lines/ability to read and is clearly getting nervous, and Hanks seems to immediately relieve the tension by pretending that he forgot his line and asking Osment to help him out.
About a minute after that, the two aren't reading lines or rehearsing, they're just chatting. I can't tell what exactly it is. My best guess is that Hanks is trying to demonstrate his chemistry with his young co-star, and his way of doing that is to make this kid laugh by making fun of other people on set. Hanks is asking Osment about cartoons and then abruptly stops to point out some guy's "boney old hand."
And the kid goddamn loves it.
There's not much to it. It's just the nicest man in the world being nice to a nervous little boy that is built out of cuteness and leftover puppy parts. Osment is freaking 5, there are cameras in his face, and he's sitting next to one of the best actors alive, nervous as all hell, and this further demonstrates that Hanks is just the nicest, coolest dude in the world. Just hangin' out, making a 5-year-old laugh.
They giggle about the shirt for a while, and then the director yells cut, which is insane, because what was this a rehearsal for? Was there a scene in the original script for Forrest Gump where Forrest and his son hang in a dark warehouse making fun of people? They were wise to cut that scene, if so.
"Life is like a box of- HA! Check out that idiot's stupid fucking hat! What a joke."
Daniel O'Brien is the head writer for Cracked and author of How to Fight Presidents, which you can buy right now! John Hodgman calls it "very funny," and Kanye West has currently not yet read it.
For more from Daniel, check out The 3 Most Depressing Minor Characters in Famous Movies and 3 Classic Movies That Desperately Need an Epilogue.
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