Filmmaker David F. Sandberg, whose DC Comics adaptation Shazam! just arrived on home video, took to YouTube earlier this week to share a short video elaborating on a few moments he had mentioned during the commentary track (which comes as a bonus feature if you buy the movie from Apple TV/iTunes). The video included brief snippets of two (mostly non-spoilery) portions of the movie — one during Shazam’s fight with Sivana in a crowded shopping mall, and another as the movie nears its final act and Billy Batson runs away from the group home. In both cases, Sandberg had given away the key element of these stories in his commentary track, but did not have enough time to really dig into the mechanics of it.
In each case, the video talks about troubleshooting around things that could have become continuity errors but instead just challenged Sandberg and his crew to find creative solutions — something he says is at the heart of moviemaking, especially when it comes to giant movies with a lot of scenes, actors, and set pieces to consider. He also touches down on an unintentional bit of storytelling that fans have caught…even though it was not at all intended…as a result of one of the scenes.
In that scene, Darla (Faith Herman) had not yet made her way to Toronto, as she was still filming something else (likely This is Us). This meant that during an exterior shot of the foster family, Sandberg had to improvise and decide “well, Darla is still inside tying her shoes.” That might have led to a segment that felt a little clunky in the moment, but when it’s explained, it makes perfect sense — and there’s an “alternate” explanation of the moment, mentioned at the end of the video, that is pretty inspired.
The other sequence focused on making Shazam fly in the mall sequence; without the benefit of a giant green screen rig to use in the mall, they had to improvise — and the result was, according to Sandberg, spending so much time focusing on the pixels around Shazam that everyone in playback totally missed some crew members just standing around, presumably talking about the next shot. The fix? Well, they’re in the mall! Just give them some shopping bags and you’re good to go.
Shazam! is now available on streaming video on demand services, and will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on July 16. Joker arrives on October 4th, Birds of Prey on February 7th, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020, and The Batman on June 25th, 2021.
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