As any filmmaker will know, you go through the rigorous stages of pre-production so that when it comes time to shoot the thing, you’re as prepared as you could possibly be. Matt Reeves had shown interest in directing the film, but wanted to wait until Drew Goddard had completed a finished script. The only issue was that there wasn’t any time to wait. Reeves explained the situation to The Hollywood Reporter:
“When I first came in, I said to J.J. [Abrams], ‘Well, before I determine whether or not I’m going to do it, why don’t I wait until Drew Goddard is done with the script?’ And he said, ‘You can’t do that.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because we’re shooting in 12 weeks.’ And I was like, ‘What!?’ So Drew and I started meeting and talking, and then J.J. came in to talk. And so we started planning this whole thing out, and it all happened so fast.”
The “Cloverfield” crew knew they wanted to make a monster movie set from the point-of-view of the people on the ground, but even something like that requires organization. When you’re drawing from limited resources, sometimes you just have to work on the fly. A larger-budgeted found footage project like this, however, not only requires shooting in New York, but there’s also the matter of planning out the logistics of the film’s heavier VFX sequences. I can’t even imagine the pressure of having to make a huge commitment to an idea that hasn’t even been fully scripted, but they pulled it off.
A tightly-structured narrative is present within the margins, but the appeal of “Cloverfield” lies in how much it sucks you into what feels like a personal accounting of history from an alternate universe.
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Matt Reeves Had Decided Whether To Helm Cloverfield Without A Finished Script’
Author: Matthew Bilodeau
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January 20, 2023