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Falling Into Darkness: The Making of Episode III (Released)

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I’ve always been annoyed by the wide spread of behind-the-scenes content of the Prequels (specifically ROTS) and that the Complete Saga Blu-Ray has a lot of stuff buried within the “Collection” that most people would skip over. The DVD has some great stuff too, that was broken up into featurettes and webisodes, some of which were only on starwars.com. I’ve amassed all the Making-Of content that I could from a variety of sources to make a feature length documentary based around Revenge of the Sith, broken up into five chapters.

Chapter I - The Cyborg and the Jedi (38min)
The first chapter discusses the opening battle over Coruscant and talks about the ships featured, General Grevious, Dooku, digital filmmaking, lightsabers and Obi-Wan, and his progression from Episode II and then into Episode IV

Chapter II - Capital of the Republic (27min)
This one is a bit more broad and kind of a catchall for a lot of stuff, but is mostly stuff on the city planet itself. Things included are Coruscant locations, Padme, Palpatine, Mace Windu and their fight, C-3PO, and finally costume and creature design.

Chapter III - The Expanding Galactic War (35min)
Planets, planets and more planets. The Clone Wars cover a lot of planets, and so does this section. Utapau, the Utapauns and the Boga chase dominate the first section. But Order 66 is described as well and the featured planets with Kashyyk and the Wookies taking up the backend.

Chapter IV - Last Turn to the Dark Side (35min)
Anakin and his turn to Darth Vader is explored in great detail here in what I think is the longest section. Anakin as a character is discussed as well as Hayden Christianson as an actor. His development as a character across the trilogy and his darkness within, character design and costuming from his Jedi robes to his horrible burns and the Vader suit itself.

Chapter V - The Fires Within (21min)
The last chapter covers Mustafar and the surprising miniatures that make up the planet. This is covered amazingly in “Within A Minute” so there’s just a few tidbits here as well as some of the new Imperials being talked about. The rest shows some of the premiere, the joy from within the fanbase and the cast/crew and the conclusion of the journey of Episode I-VI.

The current cut is 2:38, which is longer than the film itself. But considering this was cut down from 5 hours of footage, it ain’t bad. I’ll continue to make cuts here and there to fasten things up.

Rough cuts are as follows (these have been updated since with more footage and cleaner cuts)

Battle Over Coruscant, Grevious and Obi-Wan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZUE7gX8mEc
Utapau, the Utapauns and the Boga chase - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygoDTkDC4FU
Order 66, Kashyyk and Wookies - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y00gZfXYJ8

SOURCES

WEBISODES

  • One World, Two Movies
  • Two Worlds, One Movie
  • We Still Do A Little Bit
  • Creating General Grevious
  • This Weapon is Your Life
  • Video Village
  • Epic Designs for an Expanding Universe
  • C3PO: His Moment to Shine
  • Becoming Obi-Wan
  • The Wookies Are Back
  • B107: The Life of a HD Tape
  • Pickups and Reshoots
  • Bringing Creatures to Life
  • Becoming Sideous
  • Going to the Dark Side
  • Behind the Curtain
  • The Journey: Part 1 and 2

FEATURETTES
Episode III DVD (2005)

  • Anakin: The Chosen One
  • Its All For Real - The Stunts of Episode III

The Star Wars Trilogy Boxset Bonus Disc (2004)

  • The Return of Darth Vader: Episode III Preview

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-Ray (2011)

  • Coruscant, Utapau, Order 66/Kashyyk and Mustafar Overviews
  • The Collection: Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Tion Medon, Burnt Anakin and Imperial Officer Costumes
  • Utapau Sinkhole, Mustafar Mountain, Kashyyk Tree, Felucia Landscape, Boga, Arc 170 and Jedi
    Starfighters, The Invisible Hand, Grevious Models Minatures and Maquette
  • Interviews: Samuel L Jackson, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Blue Screen Acting Discussion

OTHER

  • Star Wars Episode III: ILM Siggraph 2005 Reel

If anyone has any other sources for addition into the project, feel free to suggest them.

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Ooh…this is promising.

Edit: There is a “feature length” documentary on the making of Episode III (Within a Minute). Do you plan to integrate that material as well or does this sort of stand alongside it?

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Octorox said:

Ooh…this is promising.

Edit: There is a “feature length” documentary on the making of Episode III (Within a Minute). Do you plan to integrate that material as well or does this sort of stand alongside it?

There is so much material in there and it’s such a good doco into the making of the Mustafar section of the film, that I thought it was best to leave that along and create a second one so that I don’t end up making a 4 hour long slog that becomes a bore.

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I’ve got a rough cut up now if anyone would like to preview it. It’s mostly technically sound and I know what needs fixing, but I wouldn’t mind getting some fresh eyes to see if the whole things flows as a feature, or if it’s better as a few segments episodically.

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Here’s the complete Chapter II, focusing in on Coruscant and the characters that inhabit it. I’m still working on some technical stuff like nametags below some of the people, but it’s pretty much polished to a point where I am happy with it.

Roger

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The final cut is probably nearing completion. All the nametags, and technical details have been fixed to my knowledge so a release may be soon.

I think I’ve settled on a name, which probably will be Falling into Darkness: The Making of Episode III. I’ve made a poster too, with some Mustafar concept art.

poster

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Here’s the opening segement, with some opening logos and titles, as well as a very dramatic montage

open

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Looks great! It may just be my headphones, but the music sounds a little loud and makes it hard to hear what everyone is saying. If you can, I would duck it down during the interview footage and then bring it back up when the logo appears.

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Yeah, the interviews at 1:40ish are definitely too quiet, but Ewan’s and onward seem an ok volume. I agree that dropping the audio down the for full interview sequence will help, and then the music can be even louder than it already is for the title drop.

Otherwise I am very excited to see this!

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Man, this seems really cool. I have been playing around with the idea of doing something similar but with the entire prequel saga akin to Empire of Dreams. This will be a source of inspiration for sure. Can I get a link when it’s ready?

“You can’t polish a turd. But you can shape it to look like candy.”

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nth’ing the comments on the audio levels, but otherwise, fantastic work. Definitely looking forward to this.

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I’d love to watch this when ready, please send a link. Thanks!

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I’ve now fixed any audio issues present throughout and it’s ready for viewing. PM me if you would like to see a preview and potentially provide feedback.

Preview file is 720p, 3000kbps and 3.60gb.

Final runtime is 2:46:11. I wouldn’t mind cutting some things if anyone sees anything worth dropping as it may be a tad long.

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I’ve found another featurette and now the running time is topping 2:51:41, and I’ve got to ask; is this release better done as a single feature, or as a chapter structre detailed earlier for ease of watching as I know many people can feel like almost 3 hours is a bit of a slog.

I’ve scrubbed through it again and cleaned up somethings and I’m assuming it’s ready for a final release and completion is nearing.

Did any of the previewers have feedback before I finalise this?

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i have no problem with a 3h movie…

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I’ve created a concept for an opening to a Phantom Menace one of these, that I’ll probably do down the line, once this is done and out in the world

open

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SandMTV said:

Could you or someone else PM me this documentary, please?

Same for me, please!