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The Making of Episode I - The Phantom Menace Documentary

Bobson Dugnutt

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Following on from my Episode III documentary “Falling Into Darkness”, I’ve decided to go back and tackle the first of the prequels in a similar manner. I think I’ve found that there is a lot more material to work with as there are a few TV specials I’ve tried to weave into the mix of DVD featurettes, Webisodes, Blu-Ray breakdowns and other works.
So far, I’ve tried to gather the most amount of material possible, that I’ll list here;

TV SPECIALS
Star Wars - The Magic and the Mystery (1997)
A Long Time Ago - The Story of Star Wars (1999)
From Star Wars to Star Wars - The Story of Industrial Light and Magic (1999)

DVD FEATURETTES
Costume
Design
Fights
Story
Visual Effects

STARWARS.COM WEBISODES
All I Need is an Idea
Assistant Director
Bad Droid Karma
Boys in Paradise
Costume Drama
Home Sweet Home
It’s Like War Now
Movie Music
Prime of the Jedi
This is a Creature Film
Thousands of Things
Three Thousand Anakins

MISC. STARWARS.COM CONTENTS
Casting Director
Depth
Interview Outtakes
Naboo Soldier
One Day to Go
Podracing
Something Out of Nothing
Sound
The Fall
Watto

BLU-RAY COLLECTION INTERVIEWS
Darth Maul Costume
Pre-Senate Address Costume
Queen Amidala Senate Costume
Senate Guard Costume
Full-Sized Battle Droid
Jar Jar Maquette
Naboo Starfighter Model
Republic Cruiser
Sando Aqua Monster
Trade Federation Battleship Model
Anakin’s Podracer Model
Dud Bolt Puppet
Eopie with Anakin Maquette
Queens Royal Starship Model
Sebulba Maquette
Sith Speeder Model
Watto Maquette

BLU-RAY INTERVIEWS
Coruscant Overview
Tatooine Overview
Naboo Overview
Rick McCallum Interview - Filming in Tunisia
Rick McCallum Interview - Podracers
Liam Neeson Interview
George Lucas on Preparing to Write Episode I - 1994

OTHER SOURCES
An Exclusive Interview with George Lucas - Part 3 of 3 - ROTJ VHS (1995)
SW UK Fan Club VHS - Behind the Scenes of Episode I (1999)
The Beginning - Making Episode I (2001)

 
So far I’ve edited together what I will call the first 3 parts of this documentary. Currently it’s planned as a feature film, but if it gets too long, it could be a doco-series.
 
Part 1 is covering everything George Lucas that was before even pre-production began. A few interviews from 1994-1997 feature here as Lucas hasn’t even considered directing the film yet. Runtime is 18:30
 

Part 2 covers Pre-Production and a lot of stuff that occurs before production that doesn’t fit into the later works I have planned. There’s the storyboarding, budgeting, creature and prop shops, table reads and another George interview right before shooting starts. Runtime is 21:04


Part 3 includes talk of casting of the main 4 characters being Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padme and Anakin. There’s talk from the casting director, George and the cast of course. Runtime is 19:29
 


I’m not entirely sure how the rest will be structured or how many parts there will be. But hopefully I get to include as much as I can.
Feedback on the editing, or if I’ve missed some Behind the Scenes material, or even a good title suggestion. All are welcome.
 

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I've always wanted something like this!!! I’m glad you’re going to make Episode I too. Good luck!
 

Bobson Dugnutt

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Here's another 2 parts of the doco.

Part 4 is entitled The World of Naboo, as it covers everything from the design and creation of Theed and its technology, the Gungan city, the underwater chase, and some of the final battle. Runtime is 27:41


Part 5 is all about everyone's Gungan, Jar Jar. It's a bit shorter than the other sections (runtime is 12:41), but I was thinking about combining it with perhaps Watto to make a chapter on digital characters. I'll have to see how much Watto content there is.

 

DominicCobb

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I actually almost banged out a quick extended edition of The Beginning a year or so ago using just the webisodes, since they're clearly cut from the same cloth. There's a lot of stuff to work with and it's cool to see you expanding out and including a lot of other stuff as well. Will keep an eye on this (and will have to check out your ROTS doc).
 

hothstation

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Fantastic! Thank you, @"Bobson Dugnutt" for all that you do.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Very nice. I can’t think of another movie where the trailer and the making of docs are so much more entertaining than the actual movie. I love that you’ve used that trailer anticipation to set the stage. Though I think those clips are all for the full length trailer, it was the teaser that I remember. I paid to go see an awful Freddie Prinze Jr. movie called Wing Commander in order to see that teaser. But that teaser was incredible.
 

Siliconmaster

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Nice! I have your Episode III edit on my list of things to watch, and I will now happily add this as well!
 

greenturnedblue

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I really loved your making of episode 3 edit looking forward to this one!
 

Bobson Dugnutt

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I'm glad to hear that there are people looking forward to this. At this point, it might have to be a mini-series of some sort, as the first 7 parts add up to about 2 hours. I still have podracing, Coruscant, lightsaber fights, Maul, editing, etc. left to go. I feel this thing might run up to maybe 3:10 at least, but that's just an estimation. 

Here is Part 7, which is all about Tatooine. Runtime is 23:47. Originally I included Watto and Sebulba in here, but I've now moved them back to Part 6, of which is all about digital characters. 

 

Bobson Dugnutt

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Part 7 is all Podracing. It's still a bit disjointed so I need to rearrange some stuff as it flows from concept -> design -> animatics -> CG work -> Mos Espa arena. 


Next will most likely be Coruscant, the Queen, Maul, etc.
 

Bobson Dugnutt

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I've been going back through and updated the VHS footage of the film and the interviews with HD footage. Even the interview footage not avalible elsewhere has now been upscaled to HD with Topaz.

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I've also gone back and moved around some footage in the Podracing segement and adding some new footage.

Here's how it all looks now.

 

Bobson Dugnutt

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Part 8 is about Coruscant (briefly) as it moves onto costuming and touches on what an Assistant Director does on a Star Wars set.


A shorter Part 9 covers the climactic Gungan/Droid battle. There was a lot of work here to merge two different VHS recordings with different framerates and subtitles, as well as upscaling it and editing it together with some other footage from the DVD/Blu-Ray.


Full running time right now is 3hr 27min. Final length I have to assume is around maybe 3:50, maybe more.

It seems light Part 10 will be lightsaber dueling and training, while Part 11 may be editing and deleted scene talk. The final Part 12 I'm thinking will be about wrapping up the film, some final interviews and the release of the film with some early Episode II talk about what it could be.
 

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It would be interesting for you to do Episode II and close off your run of fanedits with something I've always wanted to see... the sequel to the Empire of Dreams doc for the Prequel Trilogy. Something that could bring together your work on the singular films. Just throwing ideas around... I'm looking forward to see both your Prequel docs in their entirety once they're done!
 

Bobson Dugnutt

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It would be interesting for you to do Episode II and close off your run of fanedits with something I've always wanted to see... the sequel to the Empire of Dreams doc for the Prequel Trilogy. Something that could bring together your work on the singular films. Just throwing ideas around... I'm looking forward to see both your Prequel docs in their entirety once they're done!

I'd absolutely love to complete the trilogy once this is done. I was considering doing the OT as well, but Empire of Dreams is already pretty in depth, as well as behind the scenes stuff being even more spread out over the past 40 years. The ST could be done however...


Here’s Part 10, covering the lightsaber work and fights. Runtime is at 18 minutes. I really wish there was more footage to cover this area especially.

 

Bobson Dugnutt

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Part 11 is Sound and Music, and Part 12 is Editing and Deleted Scenes. It seems like the final part will cover the release of the film and some of the hype surrounding it. There's a lot of other odds and ends and some interviews that don't fit anywhere so I may make a seperate bonus feature with all of these tidbits.

 

Bobson Dugnutt

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Anyone still keeping tabs on this?

Anywho, here's the last part of the series, all about the hype and anticipation around the film's release


I still plan to collect up some of the unusued clips from here and there and collate them into somewhat of a bonus video, but for now I need to go back through and polish anything. The final total runtime is 4hrs and 39mins. Hopefully this is indepth enough for all you TPM Fans out there.
 

Jrzag42

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The sound cuts out in the last video from 1:57 to 2:07. Haven't watched the whole thing yet so I'm not sure if there are any other instances.
Really enjoying these by the way. I watched chapter 10 the other day and skimmed a couple of the others, now that it's all finished I'll make an effort to watch the whole thing.
 

Bobson Dugnutt

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The sound cuts out in the last video from 1:57 to 2:07. Haven't watched the whole thing yet so I'm not sure if there are any other instances.
Really enjoying these by the way. I watched chapter 10 the other day and skimmed a couple of the others, now that it's all finished I'll make an effort to watch the whole thing.
Thanks for the heads up, I'll fix that sound error. Hopefully after one last scan through, adding some nametags to those who need them and rendering, I can be done with this project of mine for now.

Here's just a few bits and pieces that I couldn't fit in anywhere else from the sources I was using. There is still so much more footage out there though through interviews that sadly can't go through. Hopefully roughly 5 hours is thorugh enough though.



Also, does anyone have title suggestions? I was considering Dueling with Fate, or something to that effect. Something reminicent of Falling Into Darkness: The Making of Episode III would be good.
 
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