Monday, November 25, 2013

A night of "making of" featurettes

TCM has reached Part 13 of its Story of Film series, with the movies reaching the early 1990s. Once again, I'll admit to not knowing much about tonight's movies, so I can't really comment about them. I notice, however, that TCM has also scheduled several featurettes on the making of various 1980s films.

You've probably seen the sort of short I'm talking about before; I've mentioned shorts such as Redd Foxx Becomes a Movie Star before. In the January 2012 post I also mentioned All Eyes on Sharon Tate, although that one is a bit different because it's only partly about the making of the movie, and just as much about what Tate did away from the set. Not that it isn't interesting, of course; it's just not solely focused on the movie it's promoting.

As for tonight's "making of" featurettes, there are four of them showing up, although I think I've only seen two of them. First, at about 9:49 PM, is one on Cannery Row. The most interesting of the four might be the one on 2010, at 11:28 PM. 2010, being set in large part on a spaceship, has a lot of special effects, and this featurette discusses in part how they did the effects. That, to me, is much more interesting than hearing a bunch of dramatic actors.

The other two shorts, which I'm fairly certain I haven't seen before, follow the night's third feature, Beau Travail, which begins at midnight. First is one on Fame at about 1:33 AM, followed by a featurette on The Blue Lagoon at about 1:47 AM. Brooke Shields was about 15 when she made The Blue Lagoon, so no perving on her!

Any ideas on what the earliest "making of" featurette was? I know there was one on the trucks that ferried everybody across Africa for the making of King Solomon's Mines back in 1950, and even before that, I seem to recall a short popping up on TCM from time to time about location scouting in Idaho for Northwest Passage. But they really only seem to have become commonplace in the 1960s. (I'm not talking about simple trailers, of course.)

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