Paul Feig has just finished his first edit on his Ghostbusters reboot, and he says he feels great about it. Feig stopped in to talk to good friend Ron Bennington about the film on Monday at the SiriusXM studios in New York City.
Feig had invited Bennington to spend a day on the super secret Ghostbusters set earlier this fall at an undisclosed location in Massachusetts. Immediately following the wrap of the final day of shooting, Feig and Bennington sat down in Feig’s trailer for an hour-long interview about the movie. That interview has not yet been released– it’s still under embargo due to the hush-hush nature of the film. But we were able to catch some glimpses of what it was like on the set of the new Ghostbusters when Feig dropped by the Bennington show Monday.
Here’s what we know. The sets are phenomenal– there’s a hotel lobby set, and a subway set among others, and they look so realistic that Bennington couldn’t believe he wasn’t in New York. We know the four Ghostbusters have incredible chemistry on set, and were fall out funny, even in between takes. At the very least we know there’s a killer outtakes reel, which Bennington got to watch when he was on set. We know that there will be CGI but Feig shot as much of the film as possible using Practical shots, meaning not CGI. And we know Chris Gethard shot some scenes or at least a scene for the movie (more on that below) although there’s no word yet on whether he’ll make the final cut.
As we’re doing even the preliminary stuff some of the effects are coming in for some of the stuff that we’re putting out early, and I’m like wow this is cool, this is really cool.
The pressure of helming such a giant movie can be intense, Feig admitted. “I love the people so much but the process is so terrifying because every single second of the day is a chance to screw it up,” he said to Bennington. “Anytime you let your guard down, you go, I’m going to miss jokes, I’m not going to think of something, I’m going to miss a moment that’s an iconic moment that just happens. So even though I love it and I get really sad at the end of it, there’s a part of me at the end that goes, oh thank God, we made it, we’re done. But then I miss everybody so much the minute we walked away.”
Not missing an iconic moment, however, is one thing he has some control over. That’s why he said he switched to shooting digitally instead of using film. Ron mentioned seeing Melissa McCarthy get off a line between takes that would have been a major laugh in the film. “Well that’s why I always keep the cameras rolling. I love film and I shot everything up until Spy on film but I actually switched out of it because more than I need the artistry of film, I need the long takes that I get with HD so I can just keep the camera going,” he said. “Even if I can’t use it in the movie I’ll put it on the DVD or something. Love that stuff.” Those moments, he said, are lightning in a bottle. “That’s all I’m doing is trying to catch lightning in a bottle.”
One thing that’s important to Feig is keeping the energy up on set. When you’re sitting in your trailer for hours, and you lose your energy he said, it’s much harder to work, so he tries to eliminate as much downtime as possible. One of his secrets to keeping up the energy is to do away with the lunch breaks. Feig uses “french hours” which he described a ten-hour day with no break for lunch (as opposed to 12-15 hours with a lunch break). They make up for it by having great food circulating around the set at all times. There’s a famous seafood truck parked just outside all day long, a pastrami carving station, and rotating offerings of other specialty foods in addition to regular set catering. “Everyone eats well on my set,” Feig said. “You get inundated with food, quite frankly.”
“Leslie Jones just destroys. Leslie Jones is such a good actress. That was the big revelation to me…She’s going to explode on the world in this.
They avoided talking specifics, not wanting to give away any big surprises, but Bennington brought up that he was excited to see comedian Chris Gethard in the outtakes. Feig said that Chris was great in the movie, but couldn’t confirm or not confirm whether he’ll make it into the final edit when all is said and done. Which means we can now confirm what we previously already knew, Gethard shot at least one scene for the Ghostbusters reboot.
Bennington spoke to Gethard last month about his experience shooting on the film. “I was on the set of a major motion picture,” Bennington said to Gethard without mentioning names, “a blockbuster, and they invited me to watch with the entire crew, the outtakes and funny things that happened and I saw Chris Gethard get punched in the face by a huge comedy star, and the room burst into laughter.”
Being careful not to mention any names, Gethard said he really did get knocked out by the unnamed huge comedy star. “I took it for real. it was a real punch. If that footage ever sees the light of day, you’ll see it. She punches me square in the face, right under the nose, glasses fly up, she catches them and I just went down,” he said, quipping, “not good, not cool.” Gethard said the one good thing about getting punched in the face on the set of a giant film is that everyone takes things pretty easy on you after that. He even got a gift from the huge comedy star when he got back to his hotel that night. “There was like a big thing of chocolates with a note. I think it said it was great working with you and even greater punching you in the face.”
I’ll just say that someone was wearing a metal backpack and I got hit in the head with that in one of the takes and that was even worse. Someone swung around and I got hit with a metal backpack that may or may not involve protons.
Ghostbusters is in theaters July 15, 2016. Bennington’s Monday interview with Paul Feig is available on SiriusXM on demand. No word yet on when the hour-long conversation with Feig will drop, but we’ll be watching for it.