Review by C.J. Bunce
Not every motion picture warrants a behind the scenes look at the production, cast and crew, but it’s easy to see why Gemini Man does. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Ang Lee pushed moviemaking to its next level with this year’s film about the impact of cloning and clone technology bundled in a big-budget action film starring down-to-earth film star Will Smith. Lee shot the film in 120 frames per second instead of the standard 24, and he used both 4K resolution and 3D, utilizing a unique camera rig. Boasting the first major motion picture to star the same actor in two roles as the same man at different ages, required adapting current technology to get the job done, but the project steeped for several years for the technology to be ready. Michael Singer′s new book Gemini Man: The Art and Making of the Movie digs into the film process with extensive interviews with Bruckheimer, Lee, and the key cast and crew, revealing the extensive work required to get the film from idea to screen.
Singer takes readers from the film’s inception 20 years ago as a Disney film to the first day of shooting last year when production finally began, to each major scene and set piece. Fans of the movie will find it all here, from Will Smith’s scenes as an assassin spotting his target aboard a speeding train, to his character’s return home back in Savannah, Georgia, to the motorcycle action sequence in Cartagena, Colombia, to the castle in Budapest, Hungary, and Smith facing off against a younger version of himself, to the Gemini compound and secrets that bring the story all together and illustrate the humanity behind the futurism.
The best sections in the book recount the motion capture/performance capture process and Smith and his double playing opposite each other in key action scenes. The author doesn’t leave readers to be guided by second-tier production staff, instead having the top filmmakers on the picture themselves discussing in their own words how they changed technology step-by-step to bring Gemini Man to life. This includes interviews with producer Bruckheimer, co-producer David Ellison, director Lee, actors Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong, Ralph Brown, and Douglas Hodge, Smith’s double, Jalil Jay Lynch, plus director of photography Dion Beebe, production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer, technical supervisor Ben Gervais, costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, stunt coordinator J.J. Perry, and more.
Here is a look inside Gemini Man: The Art and Making of the Movie:
Like a James Bond movie, Gemini Man features many international locations, and author Michael Singer includes hundreds of photographs including several taken by producer Jerry Bruckheimer himself, behind-the scenes images, stills, and set pieces that illustrate Ang Lee’s eye for cinema and the production’s attempt to make an innovative action movie with a sci-fi twist.
Gemini Man: The Art and Making of the Movie is for fans of the film, fans of Will Smith, and anyone who wants to stay current on the latest and greatest film technology available. It’s available now here from Amazon. Gemini Man, the movie, is in theaters now.