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Ghostbusters 2016 Movie Production Notes

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jul. 5, 2016 at 11:30 PM , Categories: 2016 Parody Remake
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Whether some of you like it or not, the new Ghostbusters movie comes out on July 15th. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will it signal the apocalypse? We'll know in 10 days. (It can't be any worse than the horrendous-beyond-words Hardy vs. Hardy storyline currently going on in TNA Wrestling. I forsee a clear Gooker winner come January. - Sorry, watching wrestling while I'm typing this and got distracted by the awfulness of the "attack of the drones" segment on tonight's Impact broadcast.)

In the meantime, here is the official Production Notes for the movie. This is the type of thing that used to be typed and printed on multiple sheets of paper in physical press kits, like there was for Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, but I'm guessing that Sony (or any studio) isn't making physical press kits anymore. All of this text came from a 57-page .docx file I obtained from the Sony Pictures Publicity website. I'm including it ALL here - spread onto multiple pages - as there is some interesting information contained therein that should be documented online for reference.

Also, if you want high-res high-quality assets from the new movie, I took the liberty of downloading everything from the Sony Pictures Publicity site and re-uploaded it in a MASSIVE 205 MB zip file (link valid for a limited time). It was more of a pain in the butt than it should have been to get it all. I won't go into detail, but suffice to say, you're getting it easier through DropBox. It awaits to be seen if Sony adds more stuff to that site, or if this is it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 1 - Introduction / About The Film / About The Characters
Page 2 - About The Props, Gadgets, And Vehicles / About The Design And Locations
Page 3 - About The Ghosts And The Visual Effects / About The Costumes
Page 4 - About The Director / About The Cast (Part 1)
Page 5 - About The Cast (Part 2)
Page 6 - About The Filmmakers (Part 1)
Page 7 - About The Filmmakers (Part 2)
Page 8 - About The Filmmakers (Part 3)

GHOSTBUSTERS
Production Information

Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today - Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they're here to save the world!

Columbia Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, an Ivan Reitman production, Ghostbusters. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Chris Hemsworth. Directed by Paul Feig. Produced by Ivan Reitman and Amy Pascal. Written by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig. Based on the 1984 film "Ghostbusters," an Ivan Reitman film, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Executive Producers are Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ali Bell, and Michele Imperato Stabile. Director of Photography is Robert Yeoman, ASC. Production Designer is Jefferson Sage. Editors are Brent White, ACE and Melissa Bretherton. Visual Effects Supervisor is Peter G. Travers. Special Visual Effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Costume Designer is Jeffrey Kurland. Music by Theodore Shapiro. Music Supervision by Erica Weis.

Ghostbusters has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for supernatural action and some crude humor. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on July 15, 2016.


ABOUT THE FILM

More than 30 years after the first film debuted... more than 25 years after ghosts were last busted on screen... the long wait is finally over. Ghostbusters is returning to theaters, with a new team and new characters in a new adventure.

The new film began with director Paul Feig, who, as the creator of "Freaks and Geeks" and the director of Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, has built an impressive comedy resume of some of recent years' most successful, groundbreaking, and memorable comedies. Given the opportunity to reboot the franchise, it was Feig who saw a way to bring one of his personal comedy influences into the 21st century. "I was an enormous fan when Ghostbusters first came out," he says. "I saw it the opening weekend in the theater and had honestly never seen a comedy do what that movie did to that audience. People, including myself, just lost our minds, not only because it was funny. It was the funniest people - we all loved Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, so seeing them together - this supergroup of funny guys - made it even better. But the thing that put it over the top was the context of an enormous world of fighting ghosts with technology... that's the greatest idea in the world. It's one of these things that make you say, 'I wish I had thought of that idea.'"

Naturally, the idea for another Ghostbusters - as a sequel - was one that had been explored for quite a while. "I've always wanted to do another sequel," says Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the first two iconic films in the franchise, and now produces the new film with Amy Pascal. "It's one of those movies that you should revisit and I was really hoping that I could do it. But unless we all agreed on something, it wasn't going to get done. Getting four people - especially these four people - to agree was kind of impossible. And then, unfortunately, we lost Harold."

With the passing of Harold Ramis in 2014, the studio and Reitman began to look for a new comedic talent to take the helm of a future film. That's when Feig entered the picture. "I knew they'd been trying to put together a sequel for a long time," says Feig. "I started wracking my brain. Funny people fighting the paranormal is still the greatest idea ever, and it felt like there was still so much to explore outside the worlds of the first two films. I thought, 'How would I do it?' Well, I'd make it with the four funniest women I know. That excites me, because it makes it something new."

"Paul has been intent on doing a big tentpole movie with women, but it was hard to figure out the right film, with the right cast - the chemistry had to be right on every front," adds executive producer Jessie Henderson, who is Feig's producing partner. "We took our first stab at that with Spy, but his idea for Ghostbusters was an opportunity to take it to an even bigger level, with special effects, visual effects, and the ensemble cast."

Reitman was also excited about the opportunities for comedy in Feig's idea. "What's really exciting about Paul's take is that it's not about the gender," he says. "It's the friendship of four particular characters as they do something extraordinary."

With the studio and Reitman in his corner, Feig teamed with Katie Dippold to co-write the screenplay. "There was only one person I wanted to write this with, and that was Katie," says Feig of his co-writer on The Heat. "I've worked with her on other projects and I know she loves ghost stories. She loves scary movies. It was a match made in heaven."

"At first, we spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted the script to be," says Dippold. "There were so many different creative debates - what elements of the original do you want to see again? What should feel new? Then we talked about the story and the characters. Nobody wanted to do remakes of the original characters - Venkman will always be Venkman. So we came up with four new characters of our own."

"Paul was intent on making a movie that lived up to the spirit of the original but had a new reason for being," says Amy Pascal. "It always comes down to the characters, and that is what Paul has always been brilliant at creating."

It was in this way that Feig approached the film as an entirely new story as a new team answers the call. "I wanted the movie to start with our world today - a world that has never seen ghosts that we can prove," says Feig. "Our Ghostbusters have dedicated their lives to scientifically proving ghosts exist, but they're considered loonies, because there's no physical proof. But when they actually get to see the ghosts they've been trying to see for their whole lives, they're going to prove that their whole lives' mission was correct. They all have this common goal, and they complement each other."

So, Dippold and Feig created new characters who would mesh well as a team. He explains: "Abby is the paranormal expert; she's dedicated her life to studying ghosts. Erin is the physicist, who tries to bring a scientific grounding into it. Holtzmann, the engineer, can take the concepts that Abby and Erin come up with and actually build the physical equipment to fight them. And finally, Patty joins the group as the newcomer who knows the ins and outs of New York City, which will be one of the keys to solving where the ghosts are and what's happening to Manhattan."

"You've seen men as comedic eggheads but not since Elaine May in A New Leaf have women been portrayed as funny scientists," says Pascal. "It was a fresh and unique take on the material that needed to be told."

But writing the characters as complementary was only half of the challenge - Feig also had to cast the roles with actors who were hilarious and could bring them to life. Into these roles, Feig cast Melissa McCarthy as Abby, Kristen Wiig as Erin, Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann, and Leslie Jones as Patty.

"I think the reason why Melissa is one of the most successful comedians working today is that she brings an everyman quality to her work," says Reitman. "She brings great energy, great truth - she has a quality of being very funny and very real. People love her because she's here to represent them.

When it came to casting the role of Erin, Feig says McCarthy was already on board, which led to what seems like a first go-to candidate in her Bridesmaids co-star. "Kristen's name just kept coming up," Feig says, "but I didn't even know if she'd want to do it, because she's been showing what a great actress she is in so many dramas lately. Then, out of the blue, my wife was talking to Kristen and she said, 'Oh, I know Paul's doing Ghostbusters, and if he'd ever want me to do any little part in it, I'd love to.' That was music to my ears, because Kristen would be so good in this role. She's really one of the funniest people in the world - she makes me laugh and always has."

"For the role of Jillian Holtzmann, we needed an actress who could go outside the box," Reitman states. "I saw the extraordinary sketches in which Kate McKinnon plays Justin Bieber, and captures his essence in a totally original hilarious way. For Ghostbusters, she brings a unique, quirky, comedic energy to her role that is perfect! Kate is a comedic force to be reckoned with."

For the final role, Feig was struck by lightning. "I first saw Leslie Jones do a 'Weekend Update' segment. About a minute into her bit, I sat up and said to my wife, 'That's one of our Ghostbusters,'" says Feig. "We met, and we bonded over the fact that we both started in standup at about the same time, in the 1980s. She's such a big personality, but it's sincere - she's so passionate about everything she does. She commands the screen as Patty Tolan."

But one other reason why these four actresses were right for the roles was that beyond their individual talents, Feig knew they would blend well as a team, creating a whole that was even stronger than its individual components. "That's why it was important to me to cast actors who were friends in real life, because when you do that, you get a level of camaraderie, realness, and warmth between them that you don't sometimes get when you put actors together who don't know each other," Feig continues. "It's always been important to me - it's one of the reasons why I think Bridesmaids worked so well. Kristen and Melissa were Groundlings together, did Bridesmaids and 'Saturday Night Live' together. Kate and Leslie are on 'Saturday Night Live' right now. All four of them have worked together in various projects, and they all have a very different sense of humor that complements each other: Kristen is just so good at that contained, neurotic comedy that she keeps very fun; Kate is such a physical comedian, but has this inner oddness, providing the movie with a weirdo energy; Leslie is just an explosion that comes onto the set; and Melissa is the leader of the pack. You're really getting four very distinct characters, four very distinct personalities, whom also happen to be able to kick a lot of ghost ass."


ABOUT THE CHARACTERS

ABBY YATES is passionate about the paranormal and science in general. She's always been a believer - she's given up a lot for that belief, and she won't let the non-believers grind her down.

The role is played by Melissa McCarthy, who re-teams with Feig for the fourth time.

"Abby has always been the believer," says McCarthy. "It doesn't matter if people are making fun of her, which they always have. It doesn't matter if nobody else believes. It doesn't matter that people think she's crazy. She's just always believed in the paranormal. I just love that she's stayed the course, no matter what."

In their screenplay, Dippold and Feig created a friendship between Abby and Erin, who is played by Kristen Wiig. "Our characters were friends all through high school - they were the two eccentric girls who believed in ghosts and the paranormal," says McCarthy. "But they had a bad parting, because Erin didn't want to defend herself anymore, so she went in a more academic direction. Now, in the movie, they come back together. It's a little bumpy in the beginning, but you can tell that the history is there. And that's easy to portray with Kristen, because I've known her so long and she's one of the greatest people I know."

That chemistry extends to the entire foursome, McCarthy says. "Kate McKinnon is remarkable - she's a true kind of crazy, mad scientist that I just love watching. And to say that I adore Leslie Jones is an understatement...she is truly brilliant and no one else on Earth could do what she did with Patty."

Of the foursome together, she says, "It felt right. The first time all four of us were doing a scene, it made sense. It was really, really fun."

One of McCarthy's most memorable moments was trying on the proton pack for the first time. No movie magic here - McCarthy says that the prop is just as heavy as it looks. "Especially for what we have to do with them - we're diving, we're running, and we're fighting. Every time we get blown back by something and we land on our backs, there's sharp, heavy jagged metal," says McCarthy. "On the other hand, I hate when you can tell that somebody's running with something light, so I'm glad that's not what happens in this movie. We look like we're struggling because we are.'"

Ghostbusters allowed McCarthy to do many of her own stunts. "I really love all that stunt stuff," she says. "I'm asking to be thrown into things. I try to do everything they'll let me do. And then every once in a while Paul would have to say, 'No, you're not doing that. You're not getting dropped onto a car from 25 feet up.' And when he says that, I'm thinking, 'Yes, that makes sense,' but what I'd hear myself saying is 'Why not?' And Paul would say, 'You're insane,' and walk away."

One of the stunts that McCarthy was able to perform herself was crowdsurfing at a rock concert. "I've never done that before," she says. McCarthy notes that stunt work sometimes involves complicated rigs or wires, and she asked the stunt coordinator, Walter Garcia, what was the best way to perform a stage dive. "He said, 'The best way you do it is you run to the end of the stage and dive off.' Okay. Let's do that. The first take, I was a little tentative, but once I did it I knew I was in good hands. Of course, I realize there were ten stunt people out there waiting to catch me, so I'm not sure I'm going to try that in real life, but that was wildly fun."


ERIN GILBERT believed in ghosts as a child, but as her physics career grew, she realized that her fascination with the paranormal was holding her back and hurting her credibility. She determines to put that old life behind her and forge a new career as a legitimate scientist... until her past comes back to haunt her.

The role is played by Kristen Wiig. "Erin grew up believing in ghosts - she actually saw a ghost when she was a child, and no one believed her except Abby. That really scarred her. She wanted to live a life where she wasn't the weird one, so she left the paranormal world behind and went into academia, becoming a professor at Columbia University. Of course, she finds Abby again and meets Holtzmann and Patty. As it turns out, they're these four misfits that find each other. I love that kind of story."

Like McCarthy, Wiig relished the chance to do stunts for the film. "It was unlike anything I've ever done before. We couldn't wait to get into the stunt rehearsals."

Wiig was similarly thrilled by the chemistry between the four Ghostbusters. "It's always a great experience when you can find that right project to work with your friends and people that you love," she says. "I've known Melissa for many, many years - we knew each other for almost 10 years before 'Bridesmaids.' She's just really, really fun to work with and we laugh all the time, so it was so nice to be together again. Leslie makes me laugh so hard with everything she does - every time Leslie said something, I would just lose it. It's a very funny character, but I don't even have words for what she does with every line - she's so specific and it comes directly from her. And Kate - Kate's the best. I find her so interesting. She's so fearless - she takes chances every scene. She does the unexpected, and it's always funny. I love watching her."


JILLIAN HOLTZMANN has always been an oddball. She thinks outside the box, doesn't follow social norms, and she likes putting things together, inventing things. She doesn't judge others but she gets a thrill out of pushing the buttons of uptight people, especially Erin.

"SNL" standout Kate McKinnon plays the engineer. "I loved the idea of playing a scientist," she says. "I like playing a woman character that doesn't revolve around a romance, which is rare in a movie. I'm so glad to have been given that opportunity."

"Holtzmann is a genius," McKinnon says, describing her character. "Holtzmann is the tech geek in all of this, which is usually the geekiest geek. She is in charge of perfecting the machinery that allows them to accomplish this mission. She is an essential creature. She's bizarre. She is freakish. She's full of joy. She is me. Yes, this is the closest character to my actual self that I've ever played, if that tells you anything."

"Kate was actually the first person I cast in my head," says Feig. "We had this part of Holtzmann - a really nutty, weirdo part, and if you know Kate, she's lovely but she's a nutty weirdo in the most wonderful way. We start casting by asking, 'Who could shine in this role?' Kate's been shining on 'SNL' but not in a film yet. There's something about her that's so charismatic - she's a movie star. It seemed like the part could be a great showcase for her, so it was a really easy decision."

"Holtzmann is the hard scientist, she's the nuts and bolts person," Feig explains. "I don't even know if Holtzmann has a passion for ghosts, but she has a passion for figuring out how to scientifically interact with ghosts, how to capture them, and how to use her skill to interact with them. She's the hardware nut, and once she starts perfecting her hardware - her proton packs and her synchrotrons and all that - she really starts to go crazy. I'm a big hardware geek, so it was really fun to invent so much cool new weaponry and to have Kate's character do it."


PATTY TOLAN was born and raised in NYC. She has always loved reading, especially nonfiction and New York City history - and discovering new things, including the paranormal - so really, she's an amateur NYC historian with as much knowledge as any of the other three. After she sees a ghost while on the job, not only does she know who to call, but she joins the team to lend her expertise.

Leslie Jones, another "SNL" star who has broken through in the past two seasons, takes the role. "I've been in this business long enough to not believe anything until you actually see it happen," Jones kids. "So when they were saying Ghostbusters, I was like, 'That's not really going to happen.' Then when I heard Paul might want me in the movie, I was like, 'That's not really going to happen; he'll cast Queen Latifah.' And then, I got a call saying that Paul wanted to meet with me - and I actually met with him on the same day they announced that I was going to be a cast member on 'SNL.' And even when I was sitting there meeting with Paul, all I kept thinking was, 'He's going to see who I really am, and he ain't going to put me in this movie.' But he said, 'That's what I want. I want you.' It still seems like a dream. I keep thinking that I'm going to wake up in my apartment in Santa Clarita, where I was before everything happened, and I'm going to wake up and go, 'Seriously, that was a great dream.'"

About her character, Jones says, "I really was into creating something that was realistic. If I was going to be the person that wasn't a scientist coming into this situation, then I was going to be the eyes for the audience. I'm bringing the audience into this situation as a regular person, and we're observing it together. They're going to be talking about ectoplasm, currents, ghosts, and portals, and somebody has to be the one who's going to ask, 'What's a portal? Where does it go? Why?' Patty brings the normalcy - she reads a lot of books, she knows everything about New York, she's a sponge for facts and keeps her mind open. It was important to me and to Paul that Patty is the one who says what the people are going to say in the audience."

Like McCarthy, Jones also got the chance to perform her own stage dive. "That was so fun," she says. "What was awesome is that Paul did the stunt before I did - we were totally willing to do it, but just a little nervous about jumping into the mats. Paul said, 'I'm not going to let you do something that I wouldn't do.' And all of a sudden, in his suit and everything, he dives into the mat. I was like, 'If this man can do this in his suit, I can do this.' And it was really fun! I got it on the second take but wanted to do it a couple more times. And that crowd was sick - they stayed energetic the whole time, chanting Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters. I was thinking, 'This is happening, for real.'"


Of course, once the Ghostbusters go into business for themselves, they need a little help out front. And what better help could they ask for than an attractive, dim-witted receptionist. KEVIN might be a few apples shy of a barrel but he's good-natured and sweet, and when the chips are down, he's another Ghostbuster at heart - another misfit who finds a home.

For the role, Feig tapped the unexpected comedy chops of Chris Hemsworth. And even though his co-stars are comedy pros, they were impressed by his skill. "He's one of the best improvisers I've ever worked with," says Melissa McCarthy. "That completely threw me, because we were doing 18-minute takes during the interview scene and he was never thrown. He was saying some of the strangest stuff, completely in character - we had to hold for four minutes while Kristen and I tried to stop crying with laughter. He even started singing once, and I had to stop him... I guess he's just bionic."

"Kevin is a big, dumb puppy dog," says Hemsworth of his character. "He's full of enthusiasm and ambition, but he's completely naïve and looks at the world from a very, very different angle than everybody else. It's fun to play someone who is completely unaware."

"We made Kevin into a loveable kind of lunkhead who has gotten by on his looks, but he earnestly wants to be part of the group," says Feig. "It takes him a while to figure things out - Kevin's a little slow on the uptake - but once he gets it, he gets it. Chris turned him into a three-dimensional, hilarious character."

Just how clueless is Kevin? Check out his glasses. "From the start, I wanted to wear glasses, and Paul was cool with that. But the problem was, the lenses were reflecting the lights, so we took out the lenses - as if no one would notice. And then, midway through, I started scratching my eye, and Melissa started to laugh and said, 'You've got to do that again - and I'll try not to laugh.' And the more we thought about it, the more we thought it was perfect - the lenses kept getting dirty, so he took them out. That's a great, practical response, but only if you look at the world from a different angle from everyone else. He's quite unique."

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