Fascinating Behind-the-Scenes Footage from Your Favorite Films

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Here at Flavorpill, we’re always interested in seeing how movies are conceived and created. When we spotted a behind-the-scenes video from the filming of the 1975 camp musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Film Doctor, we were excited to check out interviews and other rare clips of the cult classic revealed. We feature the footage after the jump, along with other videos that put you right on set with your favorite films. It’s a chance to see these iconic classics in a different light and experience the energy and action from a unique perspective. See more in our gallery, below.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

In this clip, Rocky Horror Picture Show co-writer and actor Richard O’Brien — who plays the hunchbacked servant Riff Raff — reveals he wrote the rock musical (originally a 1970’s stage play) while he was out of work, to while away the time during long winter nights. He collaborated with Jim Sharman on the horror and sci-fi-themed parody. Frankenstein in a corset was born. This footage also features a young Tim Curry discussing the differences between filming the stage show and the movie. It was the British actor’s big screen debut, and he describes dressing up as Dr. Frank-N-Furter for three months as a schizophrenic experience compared to working in the theater. “If you spend the whole day in a pound and a half of Max Factor, at the end of the day when you wipe it off, there’s always a little bit left in the cracks.”

The Seven Year Itch

It’s only a few seconds long, but this behind-the-scenes clip of director Billy Wilder composing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic subway grate scene is mesmerizing.

The Godfather

This footage from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather splices together behind-the-scenes footage from the 1972 film and completed scenes, with interviews from the cast — including Al Pacino dressed up as family man gone bad, Michael Corleone. Clips of Marlon Brando shooting his death scene are narrated by an admiring crew, including Richard S. Castellano (Clemenza) who explains the power of Brando’s work. “If he tastes wine or anisette, you can almost taste it yourself,” he tells the interviewer.

Return of the Jedi

This Super 8 footage shot in 1982 by Jeff Broz is a rare peek at the making of George Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The seven-minute grainy reel captures the movie’s desert battle (shot in Buttercup Valley, California), Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge, Boba Fett flying sequences, and other action shots. Slave Leia also makes an appearance.

The Exorcist

Watch William Friedkin, his cast, and crew prepare to torment us in this rare behind-the-scenes video that cinematographer Owen Roiza shot personal footage of while working on the terrifying possession tale, The Exorcist. The footage appears on the Blu-ray documentary Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist, which includes fascinating interviews and other extras. This eerie, almost silent compilation from a fan is a compelling look at the movie on its own, however. Makeup application, effects test footage, and Friedkin providing direction all appear. The revealing shot set-ups inspire a new appreciation for the film’s extremely physical production and how taxing it was for all involved.

Blade Runner

Before Comic-Con there were nerdy convention reels like this 1982 film promoting Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. The featurette gives us a peek at some production artwork, filming in action, the movie’s Spinner, and other models from the sci-fi classic. Visual effects designer Douglas Trumbull and production designer Syd Mead are interviewed. Scott tells us more about the crafting of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard and the “taboo” word he banned from set. The clip’s porno-inspired soundtrack is an added bonus.

Frenzy

Hitchcock’s 53rd film isn’t considered the best of his oeuvre, but any opportunity to watch the famed filmmaker in action is a rare and special thing. In this 1971 footage from the making of Frenzy — about a serial killer in London who murders women with a necktie — we see the director keenly observing his production in progress. He also provides actress Barbara Leigh-Hunt moment-by-moment direction during her death scene. It’s a creepy, wonderful clip highlighting the macabre Hitchcock’s complex personality.

Bande à part

Even if you don’t speak French, this video of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 heist film Bande à part shows the filming of its most celebrated moment: the Madison dance. The routine performed by Arthur (Claude Brasseur), Odile (Anna Karina), and Franz (Sami Frey) in a cafe influenced Quentin Tarantino and his creation of the dance that Uma Thurman and John Travolta share in Pulp Fiction. Watch the video over here.

Back to the Future Part II

One of the most memorable scenes in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future sequel — set in 2015 — was the hoverboard chase sequence. The floating skateboard effects were accomplished with a variety of techniques that included cable suspension, wooden props attached to the actors’ feet, and more. This behind-the-scenes clip shows Zemeckis guiding the actors through the action scene. During a promotional push for the film, the director slyly told people that the hoverboards floated due to “magnetic energy,” and that parent groups prevented them from behind sold due to the risk involved. We haven’t lost hope that they might show up in 2015, regardless.

Avatar

Although it’s perhaps too early to call James Cameron’s Avatar an iconic movie, the 2009 film is a new epic for the ages — featuring groundbreaking special effects and having dominated the box office as the highest-grossing film of all time. The enviro-sci-fi film’s extensive use of motion capture — the digital recording of an actor’s every movement and expression — is featured prominently in this B-roll footage. We get to see a lot of green screen, but also several action sequences at play. The video proves that teamwork was essential in crafting Avatar’s stunning special effects. It also reinforces that the actors faced a unique set of challenges during their scenes and how elaborate the post-production work really was.