The Bad Robot viral crews are hard at work promoting the fictitious Oceanic Airlines. Commercials and billboards (see here) have popped up around the country and now a company van is rolling around select neighborhoods. Love the bumper sticker. (source)
(via The National Post) As you prepare to get lost in Lost Thursday night, consider the creative connection between the monster movie Cloverfield and the rebooted Star Trek film. It is J. J. Abrams, the wizard who has mastered both television and film, and is poised to continue his successful ways. So that got me wondering.
The new episode of Lost will partially resolve some shocking developments for the island-stranded plane wreck survivors. The show should score one of the highest ratings for a series in the last few years.
Then there is Cloverfield which has already set a January opening weekend record of $41 millon and by the time Abrams’ Star Trek prequel hits theatres in November the anticipation should be in another dimension. Hot stuff this J. J.
How does Abrams top all of this, I was thinking? What about spinning Lost from a TV series to a climaxing movie. It’s not out of the question, and money changes everything in Hollywood. (...continue)
The success of Cloverfield has led to the inevitable sequel. There are many sources out of Hollywood confirming Drew Goddard, who wrote the first Cloverfield, will pen the sequel. Paramount is said to be in talks with director Matt Reeves to return as well.
Personally, I'm a little mixed on a sequel. I guess I'm still ticked off at the Blair Witch sequel where they tried to mainstream the movie. And I guess I'm a little worried if they can recapture the magic of the first Cloverfield. Overall, I do have faith in the Bad Robot guys and gals to make another fun experience.
"Production charts have made it known that Drew Goddard will write CloverField 2. Cant really complain since the first movie was fantastic. IS it just me though or is JJ Abrams getting all the credit? Matt Reeves the directors name is hardly mentioned, nor is the writer. Anyrate I am sure you are all stoked for a sequel since so many of you loved the movie.
Paramount has to complete discussions with Reeves, Producer JJ Abrams and scribe Drew Goddard. Then of course they will have to spin together another tale for Cloverfield. Once that is complete what storyline can they go with? Another story out of the first break out? Or perhaps follow up on the ending of the first?" (source)
Star Trek is also getting a Facebook page. Cloverfield had a Facebook page which they used to promote the widget contest which featured exclusive pre-release footage of the movie. Star Trek fans keep an eye out there for possible exclusive updates.
(via the Greyhound) J.J. Abrams has created the quintessential monster movie, if not the defining movie, of our generation. One of the problems with monster movies of our generation is that we are so desensitized by images of violence and imagery that it is very difficult to suspend our belief enough to actually be frightened. Abrams breaks down this barrier and taps into our fear using two methods: first person perspective and Sept. 11 imagery.
The film also stands as a commentary for this generation's obsession with video and pictures. With the ability to take a picture or video from any cell phone or digital camera, our generation is drowning in the wave of video overstimulation. With Big Brother sites like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace hosting videos and pictures, nearly everything seems to be captured somewhere. Many times throughout the film the characters tell the camera man to put the camera down in order to avoid danger. However, the camera man always responds that "People are going to want to see this" or "I need to document." (...more)
Some doomsayers are saying this is a huge blow because Cloverfield should have won this weekend. However, as word of mouth about Cloverfield's camera work and mysterious storyline surfaced around the country some people stayed away. A few people I talked to were worried about the camera being shaky (they get motion sickness) and after I told them what it was like they decided to wait.
As it stands, the box office gross of Cloverfield is over $64 Million (U.S.) with another $15 Million overseas. Most of Europe actually opens this coming weekend so that number will go up. Technically, the movie made a profit already and no one at Paramount is complaining.
(via Variety) "Paramount's "Cloverfield" may have posted the biggest January opening of all time, but it's turning out to be more of a marketing win than a runaway crowd pleaser at the box office.
Pic plunged 68% in its second weekend at the domestic box office, putting "Cloverfield" in that category of films that rely on a huge opening weekend, akin to a much-hyped pay-per-view event.
But Par spent just $25 million to produce the movie, which has grossed $64.3 million in its first 10 days domestically, according to Rentrak. The film, still very early in its run abroad, has grossed $15 million internationally from only a few territories. Par, which likely spent as much marketing the movie as on the production budget, says the movie will easily be a financial success.
Most in Hollywood weren't surprised by "Cloverfield's" precipitous falloff. The pic, produced by J.J. Abrams and shot to resemble a homevideo, got a "C" cinema score, meaning moviegoers were lukewarm at best about what they saw."
College Humor takes a swipe at Cloverfield with their "Missed Connections" fake newspaper personal. Click the above image to get the entire newspaper cutout.
(via The Vulture) So far, most of Cloverfield's reviews tend to write it off — or praise it — as a simple movie about a giant monster biting a hole through greater Manhattan (and lots of Manhattanites). But could it be something more? Maybe!
The Voice's Nathan Lee reads deep, positing that Cloverfield is a "death-to-New-York saga" and a comment on the accelerated yuppification of New York following 9/11. The movie, he says, "enacts its deft simulation of that infamous September morning in order to brutalize the society that flourished from its ruin like some tacky, tenacious, condo-dwelling fungus." Times economist Tyler Cowen thinks along similar lines but suggests it's more a slap at the social-networking generation, writing on his personal blog, "[T]his is a movie about how the young'uns have no tools for moral discourse and that all they can do is utter banalities and take endless pictures of each other and record their lives for no apparent purpose. I can't recall any other movie that so completely devastates its intended demographic." (more)
Star Wars.com gets to sit down with Cloverfield producer Bryan Burk for some info on the smash monster movie.
Producer Bryan Burk talks about the making of Cloverfield and how his early love for Star Wars and filmmaking as a whole influenced himself and his friends -- producer J.J Abrams and director Matt Reeves -- to make a monster movie full of surprises.
So how did you first get involved with the Cloverfield project?
J.J. and I have been partners for a while now. And we were just starting to really set up Bad Robot. We had our production company at Disney, but we were moving on and staffing up to start making more TV shows and films, and bring on people that we knew for our new deal at Warner Bros. for television. We wanted to find a show that would be following up with "Lost," and so J.J. and Alex (Kurtzman) and Bob (Orci) got together and wrote the new show "Fringe." At the same time we knew we were going to do our first movie at Paramount. We were just trying to figure out, what can we do that's interesting and exciting? (more)
If you remember there was a contest to "grab" the html code for the Cloverfield video and see how many times people grabbed the code and put it on their site. Well, I was very fortunate to have a lot of help and I ended up with a nice Cloverfield prize pack. Inside the package were the following:
- 2 Cloverfield coasters
- 6 Cloverfield postcards
- 2 medium "I saw it.." Cloverfield posters
- 1 Cloverfield cup
- full-size Cloverfield poster
- Slusho shirt
- Cloverfield hat
Knowing that our video interviews would not be running until after the film had opened and viewers would finally have had a chance to see the movie's super-secret monster, we decided to ask the filmmaker and actors all about the highly anticipated creature. (source)
The Apiary: For those who haven't seen it, describe your character in Cloverfield and tell us whether or not your character gets eaten by a deadly monster at the end?
TJ Miller: I play Hud, a camera man that has been described as a "Nitwit" by at least three national papers. You see me for a total of 2 and a half minutes, but hear me throughout. I won't say whether or not I get eaten or killed, but I will say, this is not a Hollywood ending, and it's pretty hardcore.
Here's some Slusho Machine Instructions that were sent to me. The guy said the PDF of the instructions on the Slusho Machine were sent to him after a purchase on the Slusho store. Along with his purchase of shirts were the PDF of the Slusho Machine as well as the indication of the machine being sent with his order along with 8 qts of Seabed Nectar, the prime ingredient in Slusho.
Update: I have the PDF offline now. I few people have sent tips to indicate it's really a different machine that's been altered.
According to their website on Tagruato, YMR " is a genetic research firm specializing in deep sea bioprospecting. YMR implements Tagruato's advanced exploration technology to study extremophiles found only in the deepest parts of our oceans."
Here's a blog entry from Dr. Hiro Takahashi on his day at work at YMR. (source)
Experince a day in the life of a YMR scientist
Hello! In the morning I wake up and I go to work!
At work, samples excavated from the ocean floor are brought back to the lab and spread out on a Petri dish containing some 'media': Nutrients for growth that are combined with agar to form a solid surface! Bacteria that were present in the samples will then grow on the dish, forming a 'colony': Generally a small circle of billions of cells that all started from a single cell/spore in the sample! Each individual colony is then transferred to its own plate and grown so that you have a pure isolate: A pure strain of one bacterial type! Once we have those, they are transferred to a liquid media (also contains nutrients, but no agar, so it stays liquid) and grown in an incubator (keeps bacteria warm and shakes them to aerate the media).
This is called liquid fermentation! Whatever chemical compounds the bacteria might produce are often secreted from the inside of the cells into the surrounding liquid media. Afterwards we extract these compounds from the liquid media using a resin that broadly absorbs most compounds that would be interesting! This resin is then washed with organic solvents which transfers all these interesting compounds from the resin into the organic solvents. Organic solvents are things like ethanol, or acetone (in nail polish remover), dichloromethane (in paint thinner), etc.! These solvent washes, which now contain the compounds produced by the bacteria during fermentation, can then be concentrated and this produces a "crude extract": It contains a whole lot of compounds that were either produced by the bacteria or were present in the liquid media to begin with!
This crude extract (we generate thousands of extracts each year) is then tested in a screen to see if it has any interesting bioactivity! For example, somebody might develop a screen to see if a compound kills cancer cells. A simplified method might involve something like putting cancer cells into a dish, adding this crude extract, and then observing whether or not the cancer cells survive. In a real setting this would be very high throughput...each "dish" would be a tiny 'well' (about the volume of a few drops of water) arrayed in a 'plate'...a rectangular piece of plastic that contains a grid of these wells (usually plates contain 96, 384, or 1536 wells). So then each well of each plate would contain a few drops of a suspension of cancer cells. We add a different extract to each well and see if cancer cells live or die! This way you can screen thousands of compounds very quickly.
You could also do this to look for new antibiotics! Instead of putting cancer cells into each well, you'd put some sort of pathogenic bacteria that you want a new antibiotic against. In reality these screens often end up being a lot more complicated because people don't just want to kill cancer or bacteria cells outright (often these compounds would be toxic to regular human cells too), so they develop a screen that targets something really specific, like a particular protein involved in cancer pathways or something!
If one of these crude extracts turns up as a 'hit' on a screen, we then go about finding out what the specific compound is in the extract that's responsible for this interesting bioactivity! Remember that the crude extract contained everything the bacteria made, which can be hundreds to thousands of compounds. To do this, we perform a fractionation of the crude extract, in which these hundreds of compounds in a single extract are separated based on their chemical properties. This generates a series of fractions, so let’s say I had an extract with a thousand compounds that I separated into 100 fractions.
Now each fraction contains maybe 10 compounds. Each of these fractions is then rescreened, and hopefully we find that the bioactivity is in a particular fraction. Now we know the active compound is one of 10! We then repeat this fractionation process on these 10 compounds, rescreen them and find the active one, and then identify what that compound is. If it's a new compound, somebody would go about studying whether or not it could be a useful drug. So for example, using the screen, we might know that the compound kills pathogenic bacteria, but it wouldn't be a useful drug if it's too toxic to people, or gets broken down in the body too quickly, things like that! This might involve a “clinical trial”: Trying the drug on real people after it's been through plenty of tests and development!
After work, I go home and dine with my wife Akemi! Then I go to bed!
/Film has found Rob from Cloverfield wandering around Utah. It's nice to see he made it through the monster attack.
Even though a lot of fans still have questions about the Cloverfield world there's no mistaking the success of the viral marketing surrounding the movie. It also looks like J.J. Abrams might be utilizing similar Cloverfield tactics for his upcoming Star Trek picture.
Check out this new site that popped up. It's NCC-1701 shipyard where construction crews are building the new Enterprise. 4 cameras showcase the area and you have to 'tune' them in to view. Once you get the 4 that are active you'll see workers doing their thing. Wait long enough and an image of the corridors pops up. (s0urce)
- Star Trek Teaser Trailer Online Now + New Viral Site >
- NCC-1701 Shipyard >
- Star Trek Official Site (click red dot next to 'under construction' after trailer loads to visit shipyard) >
Note: If you haven't seen J.J. Abrams' kick-ass monster flick Cloverfield yet, you might want to avoid this spoilery post.
There's some debate as to which type of weapon was used in the ending of Cloverfield. Most now specualate that a non-nuclear weapon was used since the camera survived. While we may have to wait until Cloverfield 2 to find out, Wired.com takes a look at some potential bombs.
"Shells fired by M-1 tanks from the New York National Guard's 42nd Division just bounce off its hide. Same with MLRS and AT-4 rockets, missiles from F/A-18s and Mk 82 bombs dropped by a B-2 bomber. Infantry are like camouflaged candy to the five-legged, 500-foot-tall creature that flattens Manhattan and gobbles hipsters in the new movie Cloverfield. After the everyday weapons fail, in a last-ditch defense the U.S. military apparently deploys one of the most powerful non-nuclear bombs in its inventory: the Massive Ordnance Air-Burst, aka "Mother of All Bombs."
MOAB releases a cloud of combustible gas before igniting, creating a vacuum effect that pulverizes anything nearby and, at a distance, can turn bodies inside out, according to legend." (source)
I'm not sure what to expect from these 2 sites right now. The movie is still drawing interest on the Internet as people search for clues. I'll bet some new details pop up on these sites soon so keep an eye out for new activity.
The shaky camera work is one of the most critical things people have to say about Cloverfield. Gizmodo has tracked down the camera used for the filming and it's not the little handheld you thought it was.
Meet the Sony's CineAlta HD camera, the F23. This little devil did most of the work for the film and is estimated to cost around $110,000.
Hasbro, Inc. brings to market the figure of one of the most tightly held secrets in recent Hollywood history: the “Cloverfield” Monster. Following the 1-18-08 theatrical release of Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot’s “Cloverfield,” fans will be able to order a highly detailed representation of the beast beginning today exclusively on HasbroToyShop.com.
Standing at an imposing 14 inches tall, the creature that wreaks havoc on New York City in the film is immortalized as a super-articulated figure for fans and collectors alike. As with other beasts in the annals of great movie monsters, the creature in "Cloverfield" captures the imagination and tugs at the fears of thrill seeking moviegoers.
The party may be over when this beast comes to town, but the fright inducing look of the creature lives on from the creepy people-sucking underbelly to the swath of parasites the beast lets loose to hunt citizens of the 'Big Apple.' The figure also comes with two interchangeable heads, each depicting one of the Monster’s moods: calm or agitated. The head of the Statue of Liberty, the iconic image which made the film’s much buzzed about and analyzed trailer so eerie and intriguing, is also included. (source)
Cloverfield Monster Features:
- 70 points of articulation and incredible life-like detail
- Authentic sound
- 14” tall
- 10 parasites
- Two interchangeable heads
- Statue of Liberty head accessory
- Special Cloverfield collector’s edition packaging
In conjunction with the launch of the highly anticipated CLOVERFIELD movie release, Hasbro, in a partnership with Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures, has produced a super-articulated and highly detailed limited collector’s edition Cloverfield Monster.
The Cloverfield monster is available exclusively through HasbroToyShop.com. Reserve your Cloverfield monster today to have the opportunity to receive it when it ships later this year. Limited quantities are available. Order here.
Matt Reeves: "The Monster Was A Baby,.. Lost and Disoriented", Also Confirms Object Falls From Sky At End
The most compelling part of the interview is how Reeves described the Cloverfield Monster.
CS: What were the specific visual inspirations for YOUR monster?
Reeves: We hired this guy Neville Page to design the monster, and he is a genius. We would go into his office and he would have what I affectionately referred to as his "Wall of Terror". On the wall were all sorts of bits of color, and as you got closer suddenly your interest turned to revulsion because those pictures were like pictures of intestines and eyeballs and pieces of animals. What he was doing was having a biological, evolutionary basis for every aspect of the creature. That was really cool because there are parts of the monster that can do things that we actually didn't have a place for in the movie, that's how thoroughly designed he was.
The key to it is that the monster was a baby. The monster was suffering from separation anxiety and was absolutely disoriented and pissed, "where's mommy?", and terrified. That was the most important aspect of the creature. Not only was he furious and in a rage but he was scared, because to me there's nothing scarier than something huge that's spooked. If you're at the circus and the elephants are going nuts you don't want to be near them. We talked with Neville about the idea of how when a horse gets spooked you see the whites under the bottom of its eye. He fleshed out those sort of details. We talked about wanting the monster to be different in that it was white. All these different aspects which were important to us. It developed in many different ways and it came down to what Neville was doing which was amazing.
It also turns out that Hud wasn't the only person with a camera attatched to his side that fateful night. During the Brooklyn Bridge scene there is a shot of another man with a camera.
CS: Any possibilities for a "Cloverfield" sequel?
Reeves: This was so fun 'cause we'd never done anything like it, and I think we'd want to find a similar challenge, to find a way to have its roots in this but be fresh and new, otherwise you're just repeating yourself. There's a moment on the Brooklyn Bridge, and there was a guy filming something on the side of the bridge, and Hud sees him filming and he turns over and he sees the ship that's been capsized and sees the headless Statue of Liberty, and then he turns back and this guy's briefly filming him. In my mind that was two movies intersecting for a brief moment, and I thought there was something interesting in the idea that this incident happened and there are so many different points of view, and there are several different movies at least happening that evening and we just saw one piece of another. That idea sort of tickled me. We'll have to see if anyone would want a sequel. If the movie does well and we find a compelling reason to do so then it would be fun to do a sequel.
Did you see the thing in the last shot? In the final shot there's a little something, and I don't wanna say what it is. The final shot before the titles. The stuff at Coney Island, there's a little something there and I don't want to give it away 'cause the fun is sort of to find it, but I will say this: there's a funny thing, you look at the shot and until you see it you don't see it and you really don't see it and obviously you don't 'cause none of you have seen it, but once you see it you'll never stop seeing it.
CS: It's the thing dropping in the water, right?
Reeves: Ahh, you saw it.
This post, which examines similarities between "Lost" and "Cloverfield," discusses the movie's story line and ending so beware of spoilers. Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune looks at two of J.J. Abrams most valuable properties, Lost and Cloverfield, for similarities. Both are filled with cryptic clues that may easily be missed with the first viewing,.
I have an eerie sense that the viral world of Cloverfield will be around for awhile. Actually, I hope it does. I've enjoyed everything so far but I still have a lot of questions. Like why are all the viral world dates centered around 1-18-08 but the movie is on 5-22-0?
Also, what is happening with this cool manga comic that popped online a week ago? Not only does it mention Tagruato in the strip but the official first issue is out and guess whose name is in the credits? If you guessed J.J. Abrams you'd be correct.
The manga is still not translated but hopefully by getting it out there we can find out what is going on. Thanks Brandon for the tip. Again.
(via Wired.com) Japanese magazine Shonen Ace posted the first installment of a manga based on J.J. Abrams' new monster flick, Cloverfield, to its website last week. The tie-in manga, titled Cloverfield/Kishin, follows the story of a Japanese boy named Kishin whose fate is somehow tied into the apocalyptic events taking place in New York City. Artist Yoshiki Togawa will draw three more installments of the manga, with the next one slated for online release in late February. There aren’t any English translations available yet, so for those who are curious, here’s a brief synopsis:
The first chapter opens with Kishin helplessly being picked on at school. The bullies tease him about his mom being a weirdo (we find out she is dead in a flashback sequence). Just as a pretty classmate helps Kishin out, giving him back his stolen pants and untying his arms from behind his back, the school emergency alarm goes off. But that doesn’t mean he's off the hook yet –- the bullies decide to lock him in the gym storage space, snickering: "Isn't that what you're supposed to do in an emergency? Go somewhere safe when you're in danger? It's dangerous outside, with us here."
While this is going on in Japan, a cargo shipper at sea is anxiously waiting to dock. He has a baby on the way and can't wait to get home to his wife. Just as he's being reassured that they're not far from shore, a mysterious set of eyes starts to emerge from the sea. The last sentence reveals that Kishin and this monster are somehow tied together.
Check back to Underwire for a synopsis of Chapter Two.
I've been hoping that someone could translate that for us in case he's rambling on some coded message or otherwise vital clue. One of the guys at Unfiction has found the translation.
"He was Slavic.
He said "No! No! You are going the wrong way! You can not go the wrong way! There are little big spiders (hard to translate, exactly, but he let him know that there were smaller monsters who were also big, and spider-like)! There is a monster!"
Nothing revealing. Probably just something for everyone to obsess over, or maybe a throwback to the babbling and screaming citizens of Tokyo?" (source)
Roar! (Cloverfield Overture) probably has more musicians working on it than the film had making the movie. Give it a listen from the guys at UnFiction.
We've talked about the Cloverfield ending and how it looked like something fell from the sky (see: The Cloverfield Ending : Did Something Fall From The Sky?) That being said a clip of the incident has popped up online. It's still real hard to tell from this video. However, with a good eye you may see an object plop down and cause a splash on the horizon of the ocean when Rob films his trip with Beth on the Ferris Wheel.
Awhile back on the viral site for Tagruato there was a post about a missing satellite that fell into the Atlantic. Right now the timeline for the whole viral thing is out of whack. None of them coincide with the timeline for the movie so it's hard to gather what is really happening. See if you can get anything out of the video to help us figure it out.
"At the end of Cloverfield you can see something. Many believe that the origin of the Cloverfield monster is from space, and that might be true considering at the end of the movie something falls from the sky.
I still believe that the Targruto company was responsible b/c of their deep sea drilling, but maybe we'll find that out in the next movie.....i hope. The video isn't all that good and you might have to watch it in full screen, but i've seen the movie 3 times already and something does fall from the sky into the water....it happens on the horizon kinda near the boat."
"The creature-feature "Cloverfield" became the first monster hit released in 2008, debuting with $41 million, a record opening for January, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Paramount's tale of a giant reptile causing chaos in New York City surpassed the $35.9 million premiere weekend of the "Star Wars" special edition in 1997, the previous best for January. " (source)
(via ARGN.com) Who was to know that when J.J. Abrams launched the first trailer for what we now know as Cloverfield that the buzz surrounding the movie would be so powerful that the famous Mann Chinese Theater in Los Angeles would have a special midnight showing of the film?
Well, we won't say "told you so!" -- in fact, we didn't tell you much, except that there were curious web sites to be found in July of last year, and that the Ethan Haas viral web site was officially unconnected to the 1-18-08 mystery.
Thankfully, there are many resources out there for fans of the movie to get caught up on what's happened in the web campaign so far, in case (like me) you decide that today is the day you finally take a look at some of this stuff.
- Continue: Cloverfield is Out -- What Now? >
Movie Marketing Madness has been keeping tabs on Cloverfield since the beginning. Chris has analyzed the viral campaign that Paramount and Bad Robot initiated in early July. Since then he has taken a critical look at the movie and the marketing up until the release date last Friday. If noting else, he has established the most complete Viral Guide to Cloverfield I have come across. If you are new to the Cloverfield world or would just like to catch up than I recommend this post to get all the news you need.
"To understand just how fervent the buzz has been about the movie, you kind of have to look at how Paramount sold the movie in two completely different ways to two completely different audiences. Or, as I call it: The Tale of Two Cloverfield Campaigns"
That quote kinda scares me. As much as I loved Cloverfield I dread them really tinkering with a sequel. Most of the energy and mystery of the first Cloverfield is what drove up the interest. The only good thing about a sequel is maybe they can actually put to use the viral campaign from the first one!"While we were on set making the film we talked about the possibilities and directions of how a sequel can go. The fun of this movie was that it might not have been the only movie being made that night, there might be another movie! In today's day and age of people filming their lives on their iphones and handy cams, uploading it to YouTube... That was kind of exciting thinking about that."
Also at the beginning of Cloverfield (as well as the Star Trek teaser) you'll notice that Bad Robot (Abrams production company) gets a 3-D makeover on their logo. You can see it a little in this Star Trek Teaser Trailer video below. You'll also see the same text used for both movies.
Initial box office reports put the Cloverfield opening day total at around $16.7 Million (source). If that number stands the take would place Cloverfield at #2 all-time (less than $2 Million off the record) for a single day in the month of January (source) wedged between Meet The Fockers and Titanic. Very impressive!
The other site is T.I.D.O., the anti-Tagruato site that aims to bring the autracities of the large corporation to the public. Their site is locked and only features the below image. If you look closely you will see an entry dated Jan. 17th but it's hard to read. An Internal Affairs Department seal is pasted over the site. Thanks for the tip, Blackfog69.
"J.J. Abrams wanted to keep the movie's very existence under wraps until the debut of the teaser, which he'd already sketched out. ''When I was a kid, a trailer was the first place I ever heard about a movie,'' he says. ''I just thought the greatest thing in the world, the thing that would just blow my mind, would be if I saw a trailer for a movie that totally intrigued me but I had never heard of before.''
In April 2007, Abrams learned that in order to get Cloverfield's teaser hitched to Transformers, the filmmakers would have to submit something to Paramount ASAP. Problem was, filming hadn't started yet. In fact, Cloverfield's screenwriter, Drew Goddard, wasn't even finished with the movie's script due to the demands of his day job as a coexecutive producer on Lost. So instead of cobbling something together from existing footage, as most filmmakers do, Abrams & Co. awarded the teaser a shoot of its own.
According to Reeves, ''a large part of our 12-week prep for the whole movie was used just to prepare for the teaser.'' The actors, who had auditioned for the film without even knowing it was a monster movie, felt crunched too. ''We were like, 'What? We don't even have a script!' They gave us a couple pages of outline and we just went with it,'' says Odette Yustman, whose character spends most of the movie trapped in her apartment awaiting rescue. Improvising proved to be a blessing for the crew.
The film ''had a lot of complicated logistical issues,'' says Reeves. ''How do we do the special effects? How do we make it all look naturalistic? How do we edit? We used the trailer as a workshop; the experience taught us how to make the movie.''
- Continue: 'Cloverfield' Making a Monster >
New video footage of the Cloverfield Monster wrecking havoc in the city. Do you recognize the Japanese guy on the right?
Contains Spoilers to the Movie!
More debate and mystery surrounds the Cloverfield ending. When you sit through the 12 minute ending credits, which I recommend to witness the killer "(Roar!) Cloverfield Overture", you will find a garbled audio track at the very last part of the credits. It sounds like Rob is still recording on the camera. Here's a clip of the audio track.
It sounds like someone says "Help us..." and a bunch of garbled audio. However, the guys at Unfiction have played the last part of the audio clip backwards to reveal this (click the blue triangle to play)
At the very end you'll hear: "It's still alive!"
Freaky! The Cloverfield Monster is still alive. So that brings us to the next question. Will there be a Cloverfield sequel? Can we see Cloverfield 2 in the near future?
Now the question is are these creatures more Cloverfield Monsters or are they just hacked up other sea creatures that were victims of the Cloverfield Monster. Thanks Ferry for the tip!
The ending of Cloverfield will have people questioning the movie. I've had a couple of people send me questions on one instance in particular. It involves the very end of the movie so please only read further if you want to be spoiled or discuss it.
We have just witnessed the destruction of New York by the Cloverfield Monster and the U.S. Military. The camera that is recording Rob's night comes to an end in rubble and debrie. The tape ends and goes to the footage recorded underneath of when Rob and Beth are at Coney Island.
Here's where something happens that has some people talking. In the distance something big and black falls into the water. I couldn't tell if it fell from the sky or just popped up and went back under. I only caught a glimmer but a few people swore it fell from the sky.
Did Rob catch the first and last sighting of the Cloverfield Monster on tape? Did the Monster come for outer space or was it just there at this time swimming around the sea? If you happen to go see the movie again (or for the first time) pay special attention to this part and see what you think.
After 6 months of fake websites, unknown titles, and a mysterious monster that may or may not be Godzilla it comes time to actually view Cloverfield. I secured my midnight showing tickets and headed downtown to catch the event. It's hard to imagine any film living up the amount of hype that Cloverfield has received. However, I came out of the theater completely satisfied.
J.J. Abrams (producer), Drew Goddard (writer), and Matt Reeves (director) teamed up to bring the Godzilla saga to the States. "Cloverfield" is a modern-day "Godzilla" built around underlying allegories just as the Japanese classic. The concept of Cloverfield was to modernize the classic monster-destroys-city genera and it succeeds with honors. While Godzilla had nuclear war, we are left to place the Cloverfield Monster into our society. The Monster itself can stand for a wide array of various issues. Or if you want it's just a big-ass monster destroying Manhattan.
Technology is the tool Matt Reeves uses to bring Cloverfield to the modern audiences. The strength of the movie lies in that technology has updated the way people see the world. Reeves brazenly displays that fact for all of us to see and digest in unaltered bits of video. This new attitude toward recording events as they happen takes its style from the 9/11 attacks and more so the homemade footage of war torn Iraq. It's doesn't take much to imagine the more chaotic scenes from the movie being set in Baghdad.
Cloverfield is a smart and savvy update on a tired genera. Director Matt Reeves created an instant pop culture reference point with Cloverfield. The way studios make and market movies now has a new benchmark.
Cloverfield was produced on a tiny budget of $25-30 Million with a cast of unknowns and will easily be the most profitable movie of the year. Hype alone will get its money back in the first week. J.J. Abrams and crew knew their target audience and hit them directly with a bullseye.
The beauty of Cloverfield is it doesn't try to be much more than an account of a tragic event. Central character Rob Hawkins has everything in his life taken away from him. He struggles through a night where he witnesses the death of most of his loved ones and friends. That's more than most people can take.
Rob and the rest of the characters end up leaving a visual record of how they ended their lives. The way people record disastrous events and share them with the world changed the style of film making as well as the storytelling. The social networks and viral videos have created a new generation of filmmakers. People who want to share an experience in an intimate way.
Cloverfield wisely loses the blackboard moments where a military leader or scientist explains the facts that have led up to the event. In typical J.J. Abrams you will probably leave the theater with more questions than you enter with. The back story of the characters is kept rather vague to keep with the moment-in-time style. Instead of long narratives and deep back story you jump right into the fray with the characters as they are at that exact moment.
You learn about them from that instance in time on. With the world crumbling around them, Reeves doesn't spend time flushing out their life history. Instead, you are left to take out of the film only what is viewed on the camera.
The same goes for the Cloverfield Monster. No moment arises when people really know what's going on or where the Monster comes from. Instead, they are simply reacting. The military doesn't know how to stop the Monster and will sacrifice the entire island of Manhattan to stop its carnage. The cast of Cloverfield is not there to stop the Monster by any means. Instead they are racing against the clock to survive. Rob will stop at nothing to find Beth and each character has the choice to turn around at some point but stays with the group.
Cameraman Hud continues to film the night's events because he believes it is a story that needs to be told. When the Statue of Liberty's head rolls to a stop people whip out cameras and cell phones to preserve the moment. We also lose the conveniently ended story where the couple kisses in the sunset. No sunset here, folks. Only the blast of a nuclear bomb and tons of rubble.
The only real storyline setback is the forced love story between Rob and Beth. While I loved the older tape under the tragic events portion, the lack of character development does hinder this type of storyline. The two characters just aren't flushed out enough to really empathize with Rob going into the Gates of Hell to rescue Beth.
There are 3 main drawbacks to consider before viewing Cloverfield. First, the film is shot entirely in the hand-held mode. The film clocks in around 73 minutes (plus another 12 for the end credits) which makes the YouTube-style cinematography bearable. Just be warned if this is not your type of film. There's no way I could have lasted 2+ hours like this! I enjoyed the new take on the monster movie and the style didn't bother me at all.
Second, if you are a true fan of the Clovefield viral world you will be very upset. It plays almost no part in the film. There's no Slusho (other than Jason's shirts), no Tagruato (unless you count a 1/4 second logo on a burning oil tanker, and no Jamie and Teddy. Jamie appears for roughly 1 second passed out drunk on a couch. This is a heavy blow for people who have vested months of questions and research into following the mysteries of Cloverfield.
Finally, the ending is questionable. You either like it or hate it. Because of the nature of the movie, the ending takes an odd turn. Rob and Beth are near ground zero for the end and the camera footage of the attack stops. It cuts to the tape running out as the two are at Coney Island a month before. Then fade to black. That left a lot of people grumbling in the theater after the lights came on. Personally, I like the ending and thought it fit rather nicely into the style of the movie.
A few quick answers for pending questions. Yes, you do see the Cloverfield Monster. There are plenty of shots as it destroys the city as well as a nice, solo shot in the end of its head. Also, there is no soundtrack. Cloverfield tries to cling to a reality-based account of the attack and thus the soundtrack is ditched. It works for this type of movie. However, my favorite part of the movie is in the end credits. Composer Michael Giacchino actually does music for the film. He gets one song in the end credits and makes the most of it. "Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)," has it all! It's what every action, monster, and drama film should have in their credits. Take a few minutes to sample it after the movie ends.
Also, the film also takes place on May 22. No year is mentioned but it is not far off from now. Even though you can still go to the 1-18-08 website and see they still tag their pictures as taking place on 1-18-08 you will have to suspend that fact and go with the new spring timeline. And yes, the door is left wide open for a sequel.
Overall, Cloverfield is a fun and wide ride that will assault your senses. It is fast and furious and redefines the monster movie style. I know most of my visitors who have been with me for awhile are going to see the movie regardless. I truly hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I also just want to say thanks for everyone that stopped by this site. I never dreamed of how big this movie or my little blog would get. I would never have guessed of all the big sites who picked up my posts or that I would even be doing interviews for newspapers. It's all humbling and has been a real fun time.
As a token of my appreciation I have a link to a video that will show you a quick 20 second clip of the Large Cloverfield and Small Cloverfield Monsters, should you wish to see what they are before you see the movie.
This is the first confirmation that I've seen where Cloverfield was NOT going to be the name of the flick and was always just a code name for shooting. Bad Robot will tell you they wanted it all along but I have argued that they stuck with it because of various reasons. Mainly that they tried a few out to get reactions like "monstrous" that received so much backlash. By the time they had to pick a title they were left with few options.
Actress Lizzy Caplan gives her take on how the guys at Bad Robot are just messin with our heads!
"Cloverfield's" Lizzy Caplan & Slusho
Excuse this basic layout. Blogger is being a pain today. A lot of websites are down including all mine.
I use a custom template and it looks like that might be the cause. A lot of people with custom templates have their sites down.
"Abrams started his talk by showing a wrapped box he's owned for decades. It's a "mystery package" he bought from Lou Tannen's Magic store in New York. It has a big question mark on it. He's never opened the box and never will open it because he says the mystery of what's inside the box is more interesting than anything that might be in the box. "It represents infinite possibility; it represents hope; it represents potential... mystery is the catalyst for imagination... maybe there are times where mystery is more important than knowledge.".
J.J. Abrams traces his love of the unseen mystery -- the heart of Alias, Lost, and the upcoming Cloverfield -- back to its own magical beginnings, which may or may not include an early obsession with magic, the love of a supportive grandfather, or his own unopened Mystery Box" (source)
Should you be so inclined you may be able to head over and check them out. You might even catch a short video of the Cloverfield Monster along with images of the movie in their forum if they existed. It also might also totally ruin the movie for you so don't go snooping if you don't want to get spoiled. (hat tip to Brian)
IESB.net has landed a ton of Cloverfield premier pics. You'll see the cast and crew of Cloverfield along with some out of place celebrities looking for attention. I'm not sure what Ashlee Simpson and that Malcom in the Middle kid are doing there but if you told me that the Cloverfield Monster ate Ashlee Simpson I'd be very, very happy!
Unfortunately, they don't label their pictures so some of the people are a mystery to me. Along with the Cloverfield cast you'll notice another cast of J.J. Abrams newest movie. The new cast of the Star Trek flick is on hand. And yes, Greg Grunberg is among the list of stars that showed up. No one's mentioned yet if they've seen him in the Cloverfield movie during the screenings. You'll also see some cast members of NBC's Heroes including Zachary Quinto who will play Spock in the Star Trek movie. You'll notice a couple stars from "Lost" there as well.
The highlight of the photo album has to be the headless Statue of Liberty replica complete with claw marks on the backside. (see photo album)
Writer Drew Goddard in purple
Director Matt Reeves on right
What is Cloverfield?
Welcome to 1-18-08 Project Cloverfield Blog.
Cloverfield is the J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) produced monster flick directed by Matt Reeves. Get caught up on all the Cloverfield news including the viral world of Tagruato, TIDOwave, and Slusho!? And now Aladygma?
However, I love viral campaigns. Cloverfield taught me the fun of being involved with the viral world of movies and TV. That's why I'd like to branch out this site to cover some of the major viral campaigns as they are developing. Feel free to drop me a line or tip on any you find interesting.
Welcome to Cloverfield
A few pictures and covert videos from the film showed up online and there were only a few core facts we knew of including the poster, the teaser trailer, and a few websites at 1-18-08, Tagruato Corp, and Slusho .
In November, the official full-length Cloverfield trailer was released that helped open up the story as well as cement the "Cloverfield" name for the movie. A short glimpse of the Cloverfield Monster was seen but for most people they still had little or no clue as to what it was.The movie centered around five young New Yorkers throwing their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives. Cloverfield opened the weekend of 1-18-08 and set box office records for a movie in January with a monster take of over $40M. Continue to check back here for updates on the mystery and viral campaigns of Cloverfield.
Get Started with the Cloverfield Viral Marketing
What does viral marketing mean? Click here.
1-18-08.com Updates with pictures randomly. Each picture is layered onto of the previous update and all can be dragged and moved around the screen. Click and hold the mouse to 'grab' an image and move it around. While holding the image, shake it back and forth quickly and it will flip over. Some images have writing on the back.
Slusho This is the Japanese frozen drink made from a secret ingredient gathered from the bottom of the ocean. Slusho gives you a kick and makes you extremely happy. Prior to 1-18-08 Slusho was not sold in the US. However, recent FDA approval gave Slusho clearance to come to the states. Rob Hawkins, the lead character, was recently promoted to vice-president of Slusho and was on his way to Japan the night of the attack. Slusho is owned by the Tagruato Corp. of Japan. Slusho also first made an appearance on J.J. Abrams Alias during a scene where characters buy the drink at a store.
Tagruato This ficticious Japanese company is the parent company of Slusho as well as the Yoshida Medical Research, Bold Futura, and ParafFUN! Wax Distributors. Besides drilling the oceans for Slusho ingredients, Tagruato builds everything from space satellites to medical gear.
T.I.D.O wave An activist group set out to bring to light all the damage Tagruato has done to the envirnoment.
Jamie and Teddy A minor character from the movie, Jamie popped up on a 1-18-08.com picture and the MySpace profiles for the movies characters before getting famous for her "Jamie and Teddy" website. The site is comprised of video journals from Jamie. The site is password protected but can be accessed by the password "jllovesth"
Poster Official Cloverfield Poster. The poster was officially released the week of the 2007 Comic-con in San Diego.
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