The Matrix is a classic sci-fi film that had groundbreaking visuals, excellent casting and an incredible story to tell. BD takes you behind the scenes of this cultural phenomenon to tell a story of his own.
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What’s up everyone, welcome back to the Devils in the details, I’m BD, and thank God it’s Friday.
Today’s show is dedicated to the 1999 blockbuster movie, The Matrix, widely regarded as one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time.
It was directed by the Wachowskis brothers and stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss.
Lawrence Fishburne, Joey Pantaliano and Hugo Weaving as agent Smith, ahhhhh who could forget agent Smith.
Dan, Cut to agent Smith saying something cool!
The brothers directorial debut, was a little film called Bound.
And because of the critical success of that film, the siblings were able to convince the studio to give them $10 million dollars.
Although it wasn’t what they originally wanted for the budget of The Matrix, they had asked for 60 million.
Nevertheless, the brothers took the money, and set off to shoot, The Matrix, only they didn’t shoot The Matrix, they shot one single scene.
The opening sequence with Trinity, escaping the grasp of the agents across rooftops, rooftops recycled from the film Dark City, by the way.
How they were able to film that one scene and get away with it, I have no idea. But they did.
And after showing that footage to the studio, the executives were so impressed with what they had seen,that they gave them the rest of the budget that they had originally asked for.
The Wachowskis were heavily influenced by kung fu and John Woo movies, Japanese animation, science-fiction films, and books about the nature of reality.
And out of the cyberpunk reality, the matrix was born. But that’s not where it started.
One of the biggest influences that helped shape the story of The Matrix into what it became was the writings of Philip K Dick.
Philip K Dick first described the matrix in 1977
He asserts in fact, that there are glitches in the matrix.
So although the Wachowskis did not create the matrix, they certainly had an overwhelming understanding of what it could be.
The script that they penned, was extremely well written, utilizing every sentence, every word to it’s full potential.
There’s almost no throwaway dialogue in this film at all.
The casting of this film was also extremely spot on. And I was very surprised to find out how many candidates had turned the film down originally.
The studio wanted a big name for the role of Neo, so the part was offered to many A-listers who all ended up turning it down.
Like Brad Pitt, Will smith, Val Kilmer.
Nicholas Cage…Nicholas Cage, that would’ve been awesome
But in the end, it was between Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp. With Reeves obviously ending up getting the part.
The production was moved to Australia, for cost-effective purposes.
Although fight training had already begun in the United States, it continued in Australia, and that’s when the injury’s started occurring.
Prior to filming, Keanu Reeves had to have cervical spine surgery which forced him to wear a neck brace throughout training…
…and also didn’t allow him to be able to kick, so choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping had to adjust the fight scenes accordingly.
Hugo Weaving also suffered an injury during training, which resulted in him requiring hip surgery.
And Carry Ann Moss twisted her ankle so badly, that she feared that she may be replaced for the production of the film.
But they all got through it, and delivered a fantastic movie.
There are a lot of little details that I noticed during my multiple viewings of this film, and some that I only found out about when researching for this video. Let me list a few of them.
There is a noticeable green hue to the world inside the matrix, as opposed to a blue-ish tint in the real world. This was a conscious decision by the filmmakers to differentiate both worlds.
In some scenes, the film makers utilized twins, in fact as many as they were able to find.
This also, was done on purpose, to further the notion that the matrix, was a computer program.
As we know, one of the characters in the film, Mouse, was one of the lead programmers of the matrix.
And so to make his job a little bit easier, he would have copied and pasted a lot of the code to save himself some time here and there.
Resulting in copies, or “twins”.
I also liked the references to other films, one in particular, Alice in Wonderland.
INSERT VIDEO: choose either Morpheus saying, I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes, or follow the white rabbit. And the girl with the tattoo. 4:44 The Matrix
My favourite performance in this movie was without a doubt, Hugo Weaving’s agent Smith.
Weaving drew his inspiration for agent Smith’s voice, from the directors themselves.
The film also boasted some stunning visual effects and incredibly well crafted action sequences.
Earning the film a total of 4 Oscars at the 2000 Academy Awards.
Now obviously I can’t talk about the matrix, without talking about bullet time.
Although the Wachowskis did not create bullet time, they certainly popularized it.
John Gaeta, The special-effects supervisor on the film, stated that he pulled ideas from a few different sources.
More specifically, one source of inspiration was from Otomo Katsuhiro, who co-wrote and directed Akira, which he says “definitely blew him away”.
And another source, director Michel Gondry, Whose music videos experimented with a different type of technique called view-morphing.
It did take them a little while to perfect the technique, but the payoff was astounding, and gave us some of the most unforgettable visual scenes ever put to film.
There is also one un-credited character in this film, and that’s The Nebuchadnezzar.
The ship that our cast of characters calls home.
It was intentionally designed to look messy, disheveled, with tangled wires and cables hanging throughout its corridors.
As though the ship itself was cobbled together with spare parts found throughout the landscape and fitted together by its crew.
A true marriage of man and machine.
Although I truly enjoyed this film, and have since watched it so many times I can’t even count.
I have to honestly say that, unfortunately, I was not a big fan of the sequels that came after it.
Although they all performed extremely well at the box office, the second one in particular, which almost doubled the originals worldwide gross.
The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions left me feeling a little, disappointed.
Now with that being said, If you haven’t watched the matrix in a while, I recommend you do so, you’ll be surprised at how well it holds up even though it’s coming up on its 20th anniversary.
Once again guys, thanks for watching, I really appreciate your support. Feel free to leave a comment down below and Please don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
This episode was brought to you by Coke can, no not that one, not that one either.
I’ll see you guys next Friday.