Monday, January 27, 2014

King of Monsters is King of Movie Trailers Too

Yes, Elizabeth Olsen, Godzilla is huge! 
Zefr is a company that helps market YouTube content. As expert marketers they also keep track of YouTube views and statistics. In an article by The Hollywood Reporter, Zefr notes that the Godzilla 2014 trailer tops the charts as the most viewed trailer this week, beating out the sequel to 300 and Disney's Sleeping Beauty remake, Maleficent.

Read the blurb about Godzilla 2014 below.

The first teaser for the new Godzilla update was the most-viewed coming attraction on YouTube for the week ending Jan. 26.

The trailer recorded 4.8 million views on YouTube, according to technology company Zefr, which tracks the numbers. The flame-throwing monster's preview has notched 27.8 million total views since its release on Dec. 10. The movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen opens May 16.

New coming attractions held the second and third spots in the week's rankings of the ten most-viewed trailers. At No. 2 was the third trailer for 300: Rise of An Empire with 3.1 million views. The movie's first trailer has notched more than 46.8 million views since arriving in June. The swords-and-sandals epic hits theaters the first week of March.

Maleficent's new "Dream" trailer placed third, with 1.7 million views. The Angelina Jolie-Elle Fanning spin on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty opens May 30. 
Since Zefr used to be MovieClips, and still owns the YouTube channel MovieClips, it is no coincidence that the YouTube video the article points to is the MovieClips version (as opposed to the Warner Bros. version). So watch the embedded MovieClips version as well as the MovieClips Instant Trailer Review.

You can read the original Hollywood reporter report 'Godzilla' Teaser Outpaces New Previews for '300: Rise of an Empire,' 'Maleficent'.

Friday, January 24, 2014

3 New Godzilla Blu-rays to be Released Summer 2014; Smog Monster, the Sea Monster Ebira, and Gigan!

Three Godzilla Classics are getting the Blu-Ray Treatment
"This isn’t at all surprising. With a new Godzilla coming this May, we can probably expect to see quite a few of the King of the Monsters’ classic conflicts finally get the Blu-ray treatment."

Dread Central has picked up the press release from Section 23 Films announcing the release of three Godzilla movies in the blu-ray format. Dread Central delightfully gives their own take on each of the three Godzilla movies. Below you can read excerpts from the original press release.

Godzilla® vs.Hedorah™

The fun begins as 1971's Godzilla® vs.Hedorah™, released theatrically in the U.S in 1972 as Godzilla® vs. the Smog Monster, pits Godzilla® against the forces of pollution in the form of a constantly mutating, acid-spewing behemoth from outer space. With eye-popping 1970's “mod” costumes, hairstyles and psychedelic visuals that include conventional cel animation alongside the special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, Godzilla® vs. Hedoarh™ director Yoshimitsu Banno's ecologically focused take on the world's greatest monster is easily one of the most unique films in the series and required viewing for any giant monster fan or cult film enthusiast.

Godzilla® Vs. The Sea Monster

What happens when three major movie monsters slam dance in the South Seas? The answer is 1966's Ebirah™, Horror of the Deep, originally released in the U.S. in 1968 under the title Godzilla® Vs. The Sea Monster. Pairing Godzilla® and another of TOHO's most popular kaiju, the giant moth Mothra™, against a wide variety of adversaries, including the titular sea monster, giant birds and a mysterious terrorist organization, the wet and wild widescreen spectacular was directed by Jun Fukuda.

Godzilla® vs. Gigan™

Finally, 1972's Godzilla® vs. Gigan™ ups the giant monster ante once again with a series of tag team battles featuring four classic kaiju. Released theatrically in the United States in 1977 as Godzilla® on Monster Island and again directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film unites Godzilla® and spiny ally Anguirus™ against two of the series' most popular opponents: the three headed monster King Ghidorah™ and the new alien cyborg Gigan™.

About Kraken and Section23 Films

About Kraken Releasing: KRAKEN RELEASING is a new international video distribution label specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genre entertainment for mainstream audiences. Together with sister labels MAIDEN JAPAN (TOKYO MAGNITUDE 8.0, PAT LABOR, ROYAL SPACE FORCE) and SWITCHBLADE PICTURES (BIG BAD MAMA-SAN, ATTACK GIRLS SWIM TEAM VS. THE UNDEAD) Kraken's goal is to bring the best filmed entertainment from around the world to our customers.

About Section23 Films:
Section23 Films provides home video marketing and distribution services for a variety of companies, including Sentai Filmworks, Switchblade Pictures, Maiden Japan and AEsir Holdings. With its special focus on genre entertainment, Section23 Films distributes some of the very best anime, martial arts, and horror titles on the market today.

Go to Dread Central and read their review of the three Gozilla movies, including videos of each one.

 ** UPDATE!!! The three covers to the DVD Blu-Ray covers  have been released **  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forbes Columnist Stomps on Godzilla 2014, G-Fans Stomp Back!

Forbes Columnist, John Furrier, Thinks Godzilla 2014 Will Flop
"I got lots of emails on one of the movies Godzilla;It seems many in the “crowd” think of all the predictions, “Gozilla” [sic] will flop the most." --John Furrier, Forbes Columnist

Them are fightin' words! In a column titled "Hollywood: Is 'Godzilla' The 'John Carter' Of 2014?" John Furrier picks three movies he think will flop based on incomplete earnings information and poor definitions of a "box-office bomb". King Kong and Pacific Rim did quite well world wide.

But he makes his arguments, and the best part is G-fans push back in the comments. read what he as to say about gareth edwards Godzilla 2014 specifically followed by comments from G-fans.

He can't even spell Godzilla right, unless he meant Gojira, which he still screwed up.

He put it in quotes, so he was trying something. Gojira?

(#1 To Fop) Godzilla. Hands down, “Godzilla” will be the biggest box office bomb of 2014. Godzilla as a character is box office poison. The fact is the last 3 Godzilla movies released domestically have flopped: “Godzilla 1985” made $4M; “Godzilla 2000” made a whopping $10M and the last attempt at a Hollywood-style big budget remake, also called “Godzilla” bombed so bad that its lead toy licensee went bankrupt. Had the movie made a profit the studio wouldn’t have just let the rights expire in 2003 without even attempting a reboot or sequel. They had 5 years to make a new film based on this property yet they passed. Think about it—Sony, the studio that greenlights sequels to most anything—”Resident Evil 6″ is on the horizon and don’t forget about “Underworld 5″—walked away from investing another cent in Godzilla.

Moreover, the last Godzilla movie produced was a decade ago—“Godzilla: Final Wars”—and that bombed so hard that the studio, Toho, Co. Ltd., put the entire franchise on ice. That movie cost $20M and made $12M in Japan and had the lowest admission numbers for a Godzilla movie in nearly 30 years. Following that bomb, the film’s director, Ryuhei Kitamura, has been cranking out budget-rate horror slasher flicks ever since—choice fare like “Midnight Meat Train” and “No One Lives.” bbr
Aside from Godzilla, the giant monster genre as a whole is anemic. “King Kong” flopped, despite having Peter Jackson at the helm; “Pacific Rim” bombed, despite having umpteen giant monsters battling on screen; “Gamera the Brave,” about a lumbering giant turtle monster, delivered weak numbers at the box office; and if you go to the outer edges of the giant monster genre, recent films like “Jack the Giant Slayer” bombed and “Walking with Dinosaurs” flopped as well.

The bottom line is if Peter Jackson couldn’t turn “King Kong” into a mega-size box office hit, the chances that an indie film director—Gareth Edwards—attempting to make a big budget giant monster action film like “Godzilla” a global, profitable hit are essentially nonexistent.

The $160M “Godzilla” is also sandwiched between some of the summer’s sure-fire mega hits, with Sony’s the “Amazing Spider-Man 2” coming at it with strong tailwinds just two weeks before, and the double team of Adam Sandler’s latest summer comedy “Blended” and Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” opening just one week later with strong headwinds pointing right at “Godzilla.” “Godzilla” will essentially be getting hit from all sides, and theater owners will be allocating more screens for “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” rather than take a chance on empty theaters screening “Godzilla.”

It’s also worth noting that the marketing to date for “Godzilla” has been rather weak (and nearly invisible). This appears to be continuing—and part of the plan—as Warner Bros. has elected not to feature a “Godzilla” trailer during the upcoming Super Bowl, while “Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “X-Men” are there in full force.

Considering that “Godzilla” is the last film that Warner Bros. is cofinancing with former producing partner, Legendary Pictures, we believe that Godzilla’s box office results aren’t exactly WB’s top priority at this time. Especially considering that the studio is opening up an Adam Sandler summer comedy only one week after Godzilla’s release. It should also be noted that WB is only financing 25% of “Godzilla,” so its exposure is minimal. And since the two companies have effectively divorced, we don’t expect a “full court press” on the marketing front from WB, who is distributing worldwide except for Japan. SRC: Godzilla 2014 is John Carter

This is the best part, when the fans push back.

Christian Stump 3 hours ago
You must have an interesting definition of the words “flop” and “bomb” considering Pacific Rim and King Kong both pulled in around half a billion worldwide. Hate how freely those words are tossed around. Godzilla will surprise many, easily beat budget and be a sleeper smash. Count it.

Flynn23 5 hours ago
I’m sorry but what? The Hollywood version of Godzilla was made on a budget of 130 mil and made over 350 million dollars (which by today’s standards is a lot more), so I fail to see the “bombing so hard” in that. Plus Godzilla Final Wars had a high budget and was only shown in the Asian market, of course it wasn’t going to succeed. Get your facts right next time.

Sam Tamoglia 3 hours ago
you apparently have only payed attention to people having no faith. Godzilla was one of the most popular things at comic-con. You also should pay more attention to the cast and crew who praise the films. you also have neglected mentioning the original’s success. You also haven’t mentioned any viral campaign’s. It doesn’t need to make the most money to be a good movie.

Paski George 2 hours ago
I’m going to come back to this article in 4 months and call you a retard.

TheByte0fPSN . 2 hours ago
The fact that all of these comments are towards Godzilla and not the other movies should also tell you that you could not be any more wrong.

Amir Laz 1 hour ago
Notice that he did not mentioned how much money the 1998 American film made at the box office.
and Godzilla 1985 and 2000 were only theatrically release in just the US not world wide. this new film is being released world wide. so don’t take peoples words guys when they only done half of search.

Bijan Biares 1 hour ago
Speaking of monster movies, you did not mention Cloverfield, which had a budget of 25 million and made 40 million on its opening weekend already. And that was just in North America. Worldwide it grossed approximately 100 million dollars, the first movie in 2008 to reach that mark. That doesn’t sound like a flop to me.

Adam Young 58 minutes ago
The biggest problem previous Godzilla films had is the studios never took the subject matter seriously. while Cloverfield divided Kaiju audiences, it did provide a more serious take on the material that shows that when done right, giant monster movies can pay off ( budget $25 million – made $170 million + ).
And of course I had to chime in too.

Guy Edwards 49 minutes ago
John, I’m not sure you understand marketing 101. If you have a crappy product, your going to get crappy sales. Even worse, I don’t think you have done your homework. A few of your examples “flopped” because they were not good products; Green Lantern, 47 Ronin, and After Earth all scored low on Rotten Tomatoes: 26%, 13%, and 11% respectively. And as Christian Stump mentioned King Kong and Pacific Rim did very well world-wide, which is the market studios care about (they both also scored well on the tomatometer 84% and 71%).
I hope on the weekend of May 16th, when Godzilla 2014 comes out, you will remind us how wrong you were about this article. And how wrong you were about Godzilla.

Please comment below and tell us why you think John furrier is wrong.

Non-Profit "Godzilla: Heritage" Fan Film Is Inspiring

Promotional artwork for fan Film "Godzilla:Heritage"
Godzilla: Hertage is a non-profit labor of love. From what we have seen so far it will be a masterpiece. You can see production videos below from their Facebook page The making of the costume alone is inspiring, but the few teaser audio clips and the description of the movie really alone would send cills up the dorsal spine of any G-fan.

The film is described as, "The film seeks to return the Godzilla mythology to its darker roots and ground the character and some of its memorable kaiju in an altered continuity that explores a world where they have been a staple of everyday life for almost 60 years. The project will utilize traditional suitmation and miniatures as well as more contemporary effects. The film is a non-profit project . "Godzilla" and all related character designs are copyright Toho Company, Limited."

Included with the description is the plot summary:
Since Godzilla's first attack in 1954, mankind has been under constant threat from gigantic creatures known as "Superfauna" - animals mutated by the coming of the nuclear age and man's abuse of the atom's destructive power. Humanity was united against a common foe and for almost 60 years, worked collectively to study and combat the creatures as millions died, cities crumbled and the world's economy continued to collapse. Now in 2012, the world seems to finally be bringing the threat under control. Jack Martin is a correspondent for United World News and the grandson of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Steve Martin, who's riveting coverage of the 1954 raid on Tokyo made him a legend. With his grandfather's shadow always overhead, Jack has spent his career attempting forge his own legacy and in the process, has severally damaged both his reputation and his marriage to family friend, Amaya Ogata. Before leaving the agency, Jack decides to travel to a small pacific island with his life-long friend Mitch Lawrence, who now owns United World News. While the two wait to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for a new UWN building, Godzilla suddenly reappears after nearly 30 years of absence...and he hasn't returned alone. With the King of the Monsters' threat looming, Jack must decide whether to flee or finally embrace his heritage and report the attack as it happens - risking not only his life, but the lives of his best friend and his wife.
Perfect. Huh? It has great continuity with the original while breathing some interesting new elements for a modern age. Check out the production videos below as well as the audio teasers.

These audio teasers below really give a sense of authenticity to this film. Super cool!

Check out their Facebook Page

Here is a special thanks from the director, Gregory Graves to all the fans Godzilla: Heritage

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gareth Edwards Announces Godzilla 2014 Prequel Comic Book, "Godzilla: Awakening"

Godzilla 2014 director, Gareth Edwards, announces a comic book prequel to the movie
"I'm very excited to announce the official Godzilla graphic novel from Legendary Comics, which will pave the way for the film in May." --Gareth Edwards, Godzilla 2014 director

More Godzilla 2014 News! The graphic novel is titled Godzilla: Awakening promises to be 72 pages set decades before the film. Artwork will be done by Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah and Lee Loughridge, with cover art by Arthur Adams.

Co-writing the story will be Max Borenstein (Godzilla 2014 screenwriter) and Greg Borenstein.

Official Information below:

In May 2014, audiences will witness the epic rebirth of the King of the Monsters as Legendary and Warner Bros. bring Godzilla to the big screen. To pave the way for the iconic creature’s return, Legendary Comics is proud to present the official graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening. This 72-page story, set decades before the film, is co-written by Max Borenstein (screenwriter of the new Godzilla) and Greg Borenstein.

Delve into an incredible mystery, generations in the making. At the dawn of the atomic age, humanity awakens lifeforms beyond imagination, unleashing monumental forces of nature. This explosive, larger-than-life adventure is the perfect way for fans to experience the new Godzilla before seeing it in theaters.

Godzilla: Awakening is illustrated by Eric Battle (X-Men, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman), Yvel Guichet (Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, Superboy Annual, End of Nations), Alan Quah (Rage, The Vampire Diaries, Anywhere) and Lee Loughridge (Batman Adventures, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, Marvel Zombies Return), and features cover art by Arthur Adams (Godzilla, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Uncanny X-Men).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bryan Cranston Talks Godzilla 2014 on ET Canada

Bryan Cranston on the set of Legendary's Godzilla 2014
"As a kid, Godzilla was you know, my creature of choice. I love the absolute destructive nature of this beast." --Bryan Cranston explaining why Godzilla is King.

Tonight ET Canada will broadcast an exclusive interview with Godzilla 2014 star Bryan Cranston. Watch the whole segment at the bottom of this post. Before you scroll down you can read a few excerpts from the video below.
Fresh off his Golden Globe and Emmy-winning time on "Breaking Bad", Bryan Cranston tells us why he was more than happy to be a part of the reboot.  "As a kid, Godzilla was you know, my creature of choice," the actor dishes to Sangita, adding, "I love the absolute destructive nature of this beast."

Spilling secrets about the elusive film, Cranston likens the material to another film that also cast a monster from the deep as its lead antagonist.  "They're taking a very restrained approach to this, much like "Jaws" did," he says. Continuing by saying "Steven Spielberg didn't always show the beast."

But never fear, the actor says, the film will still terrorize: "The essence is present and it's there, and it's moving and it's creepy.  So the tension will mount for sure."

SRC: ET Canada

Do you think we will see enough Godzilla in Godzilla 2014? Is it possible to see too much? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Godzilla 2014 Toy Picture Leaked

This is an artistic interpretation of the leaked photo. The original photograph has been removed
by requests of the counsel for JAKKS Pacific, Inc. 

TokuNation has recently released a potential image of the new Godzilla 2014 toy. Read what they have to say below:

The figure in question is currently speculated to be either a standard Bandai of America release or a large Jakks Pacific figure. Based on the image the tail appears to be jointed, at least in the middle, the shoulders and hips appear to feature articulation to some degree, and it looks like the mouth opens. Without more information to go on than this image, your guess is as good as ours as to what this thing actually is. Stay tuned to TokuNation for further updates of this story, and for all of your Godzilla 2014 Film news!

SRC: TokuNation
Below you can read fan reactions from



It feels a bit off, but I guess I can get used it...
The path I follow leads into darkness, where not even the tiniest ray of light reaches my eyes.


if you look closely the display notes say 'models are not final, pending licensor approval'.


Thank god, I was about to really get frustrated with it.
The path I follow leads into darkness, where not even the tiniest ray of light reaches my eyes.


the tail isnt that long in the trailer it was long so i think this is a prototype?


@GODZILLAFAN1995 The sign is most likely talking about the toy itself. Meaning this may be the final design of Godzilla but the way the toy works is subject to change.


Am Gigan it,s nice that you found this toy but the tail is a little small in the trailer you can see Godzilla,s tail long so this is not the final desgin and also I pretty sure there making and fixing there toy just the way they want it


the spines of this toy are shorter than what it was in the teaser and the tail is different to the one on the poster.


I think this proves that the feet will be stumps, but besides the feet, everything else looks AMAZING


@GODZILLAFAN1995 & XXSABERBLACKCROW This is a toy. Not a collectible. Not everything is going to match perfectly. The little differences mean nothing. This is Godzilla 2014


This is not a final design, so we have some time to get something a tiny bit better.

It's cool, no doubt. But it's not 100% what it will look like yet.


Is that the Bandai America one?


@KYERO It could mean that but I'm 99% positive the signs mean the model and function of the toy are subject to change, not the design.
@KAIJUFAN2014 I have no idea, it's a Godzilla 2014 toy and that's good enough for me.


I do really like the head of the Godzilla but Godzilla in the picture kinda looks like he wants too dance with someone


I like the design, but I don't really like the massive overbite.


@COOLGODZILLA1234 Don't worry, the toy looks like it has a movable jaw, the upper mouth is overexaggerated for this action to work. Godzilla will not need braces in the film. :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ILM Releases Pacific Rim FX Reel

Gipsy Danger and other Kaiju are Isolated w/o Atmospherics Revealing Great Detail 
A new FX reel has been released by the team of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). In the video you get to see wireframes, layers of effects to add depth to environments and even the skeleton and musculature of kaiju.

It is quite an amazing reel, and I should probable just let it speak for itself. . .

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Newsarama: Mutos are Test Tube Monsters Created in Secret Lab

Everything Kaiju's photoshop rendition of the Muto lab reveal has released it's top ten movies to watch in 2014, and coming in at number 10 is Legendary's Godzilla. Although they got the ranking wrong they do seem to know more about Muto's than most of the media. In the description of the movie they clearly label Mutos as, "test-tube monsters. . .created in a secret government lab that threaten to take over the world." You can read the full movie description below as well as a video of Damian Brovo, editor of Universe G, speculating what this all means.

Born off the coast of Japan in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, the lizard-king Godzilla returns to theatres in 2014. Directed by avowed kaiju mega-fan Garth Edwards (Monster) with a final script by Frank Darabont, this new film coming on May 16 looks to crush earlier renditions of Godzilla and leave Godzilla-sized footprint for a new generation.

In this new Godzilla, the monster known in Japan as Gojira will be fighting against test-tube monsters, dubbed Mutos, created in a secret government lab that threaten to take over the world. Godzilla’s cast is a veritable goldmine of acting talent, with Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Kick-Ass star (and future Avenger) Aaron Taylor-Johnson leading an ensemble which includes Ken Watanabe, Juliette Bionche, Elizabeth Olsen (also a future Avenger), and a staple of the Godzilla franchise, Akira Takarada.

Edwards’ Godzilla is coming out on the 60th Anniversary of the titular lizard’s birth.

Check out Damian Bravo of Universe G below:

3D Artist Creates Magnificent Category 5 Pacific Rim Kaiju

3D artist Marcus Dublin created this magnificent kaiju named Titanus (click picture to enlarge) 
 "I loved the designs of the [Pacific Rim] Kaiju so much that I decided to make one of my very own." --Marcus Dublin; 3D artist

This 3D model has so many novel details while staying true to the style to Pacific Rim, it is definitely a master piece. If we were to have any critique it would be that the silhouette is a little too similar to Leatherback, but with the the innovative placement of the exo-platting and horns that seem inspired by a  triceratops head plate is true genius. There is more than enough detail to make this Kaiju stand out on it's own.

Marcus Dublin's skills goes far beyond model making, he has rendered his model in different environments with different lighting and paid strict attention to textures. And the glowing kaiju blue highlights are as if Guillermo Del Toro drew them himself. If you look at the spiral marking of creatures from Hellboy or Pan's Labyrinth these spiral paths are signature to Del Toro and most artist miss the mark. These hit the mark perfectly, they look like they are dripped from above and take a life of their own by swirling back in on themselves. 

Check out more photos below. Click on any of the photos to enlarge, trust me, you will want to see these full screen!

Titanus in the City

Titanaus in the City at Eye Level

Titanus in the Ocean Above

Titanus in the Ocean Below

Finally for you 3D model geeks here are some of the meshes, Titanus without textures and the isolated textures themselves.

You can check out more Marcus Dublin's work at his two websites:

Marcus Dublin – Lead Artist
Art Bully Productions, LLC / Co-founder 
Company Website:

Personal Website:

Storywriter for Godzilla 2014 Talks Creative Process

Dave Callaham (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival) 
Max Borenstein is credited as the screenwriter for Godzilla 2014, but Dave Callaham is credited for the story. Read Dave Callaham's creative process and his approach to Godzilla in an interview by We edited out all the non-Godzilla stuff for your convenience.

FV: So what’s next for Dave Callaham?

DC: Before The Expendables was released, I pitched my take on a new Godzilla movie that Warner Brothers and Legendary are working on and was hired to write a first draft. I recently delivered that to the studio.


FV: Going back to the writing process. What’s your philosophy or mentality as a writer?

DC: I want to elevate. My philosophy as a writer is to always make something better than it ought to be. This is obvious. I’m sure every writer says that. But I really want to, if it’s an action movie I want to make it, like Heat is a good example, again, I want it to be an action movie with characters you actually care about, and stakes and themes. I always want the story to have themes even if it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. Godzilla is a pretty cut and dry, giant monster smashes stuff. But the reason I got excited about it is because I saw themes and relationships to the modern world that I could tell in this story that was important. I always strive to elevate. And you see a movie like The Dark Knight and it tells you, or Inception, another Chris Nolan movie, it tells you, you can make giant movies that work on many different levels, that are intellectual, that are important, that are valuable and they work on a commercial level. And they’re exciting and they’re fun and they’re popcorn. People don’t do it too much, and I don’t think they try hard enough to do it. But I’d like to try. I do try. And you know, you learn that sometimes you try and things get changed. But if you don’t try then no one will.

FV: Do you use outlines, do you write a treatment first…

DC: It’s different every time for me. I have done the note card process to a point where every single scene was written out and it was exactly as I put it in the script. And I’ve done the lighter version of that where I have note cards of all the big scenes. So I know how things are gonna progress, but the connective tissue’s not in there. Now what I do, is I do note cards but I do them on Final Draft. I used to actually physically put up the note cards. I do an outline or a treatment on paper that’s bullet-pointed, just main points and how things go from act breaks. I turn that into Final Draft note cards, and then I turn that into the script.

I don’t note card, outline, or plot out act 3. I plot through act 2 and I know how the movie’s going to end and I know what the break is going to be, and I know generally, there’s going to be a big fight, they’re going to end up in Dallas… whatever. But I just found that my writing process always involved the script changing from what I thought it was going to be. It’s always the same idea at the end of the day, but it’s like I took a different road to get there than I thought I would because the characters sometimes become people you don’t expect them to, or sometimes you kill characters, or they never even exist.

FV: Is that because of the conditioning of the story, of the script, to get to where you need to be, or is that just allowing your imagination…like I want to kill this character today.

DC: I try to do it in service of the script. A lot of times I’ll say “oh wouldn’t it be cool to have a character who has this big emotional moment and this big arc.” Because it would be fun for me to write that character. But sometimes I’ll take a step back when I’m getting real close to writing and say “that character doesn’t inform the story in any way. That’s a character I should just save for a different story.” Or halfway through a script I’ll realize, there’s a hole here for how they’re going to get from point A to point B or how they’re going to get to destinations. Because sometimes characters get created that you don’t plan on creating. You know, I mean an outline will never be the detail that you need it to be to get it to script form. You’re going to end up inventing stuff as you go along. Not just characters, but plotlines, or MacGuffins, or whatever. It always changes. And I just got to the point where it didn’t seem logical to me to plan out act 3, because it’s never going to be what I plan out. So, I know what act 3 is going to be, very loose sense. But I write the rest of it, and then I just go.

FV: Do you approach your story first or create your characters first?

DC: Depends on what it is. Story, almost always. I don’t write the kinds of material where it’s so small that character can legitimately inform the whole thing. That would work for something like Rainman, but I don’t write like that. I write action stuff. So there’s always gotta be a hook or something. Even with Horsemen, which is very character driven and has good character work. It was a bigger idea, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

FV: So if you’ve got act 1 and act 2 pretty well laid out, how long does it take you to write that first draft? How long do you want to spend?

DC: Horsemen and Godzilla, the first and last things I’ve done, are pretty similar. I think they both took 3 months for a first draft. And they were both 2 ½ months to write the first 2 acts, and I wrote the last act in a week on both of them. Because it’s a runaway train at that point, and there’s no more questions. Act 2 is the hardest, because I know where I need to get them, how am I gonna get them there? By act 3, if you can’t just roll with act 3 you’ve messed up somewhere. Act 3 should write itself.

I get really emotional writing act 3. It’s coming out of me at that point. A lot of times I have to struggle to force myself to write the first two acts. First act’s easy, second act is hard. Third act, I’m just dying to do it. I’ve spent all this time leading you to a place, now it’s time to show you.

FV: Ho much time do you spend rewriting?

DC: Depends. Like on Godzilla I was under a pretty strict time crunch. So I wrote it, it was very, very long. I sent it to a couple friends and I did a week of super intensive rewriting. If you’re writing on spec you’ve got the luxury of time so it just depends on how long it takes to get it right. Usually once or twice. I don’t like to rewrite.

FV: Do you just know when it’s right?

DC: It’s not that you know it’s right, it’s that you’ve lost track of it because you’ve been working on it for so long. So usually for me it’s not actually a matter of “when it’s right I send it out,” it’s “when I have nothing left to give,” I send it out. And maybe someone will give me a note that reopens my eyes to something I haven’t seen. But I got a spec that I started writing 3 years ago. I wrote a full draft, rewrote it, put it away for a while, rewrote it again, put it away for a while, and wrote 60 brand new pages at the beginning of it to try to fix it. And it’s been sitting like that for a year. It’s still not ready to show to anybody. It’s never been exposed to producers or buyers or anybody.

FV: How do you approach the blank page? Where do you go to find inspiration?

DC: I watch recent movies that I like. I read a lot of comic books because to me it has the right combination of text and story-telling and visuals. If I’m writing a small character piece I could read fiction and be fine. But on Godzilla I wanted to always be thinking in giant, sweeping science fiction terms. So I was watching a lot of those types of movies. You know, I could be watching Star Trek and it would help me with Godzilla just because it put me in the right mindset of “the universe is yours to play with.” I watch a lot of Discovery channel stuff, History Channel and that always helps.

On Godzilla as an example and Doom I did this too. I watched a lot of nature documentaries because I felt like I’m writing about an animal; it’s just a giant animal. But if I can get some cool set pieces out of behavior that I see animals doing in the wild in the show, then I can maybe translate that into something. Just whatever’s appropriate. And then I read a lot. I’ll be reading fiction for the sake of constant creativity, but I also I feel like on everything I write there’s research I could be doing.

On the script that became The Expendables I read all about mercenaries. I read biographies of mercenaries and I read about first hand accounts of armed conflicts and things like that.  On Godzilla I read about the history of Godzilla, Godzilla’s history through film. But I also read a 600 page manual that is handed out to municipal areas, cities, counties, states, about disaster preparedness and how to react when a disaster does hit and how to make sure that you rebound from it. Because I was trying to tell the story from a perspective of Godzilla being treated as a disaster. So anything that I find appropriate I’ll read. Even if I don’t get a specific idea out of it creativity-wise, it gets me in the right mindset. I don’t want to be doing anything while I’m writing a script other than living in the world of the script. So if I’m not writing it and I turn around, I’m trying to spend time with my wife and have fun, but if I’m reading, I’m reading something that’s gonna help me in the right mindset, and if I’m watching something hopefully it’s gonna help me do that too.

Music by the way is also really inspiring to me. I don’t like writing to things with lyrics. When I first started writing I listened to classical music. Now what I do is I listen to scores of movies that are the right tone for what I’m doing. I listen to Clint Mansell almost religiously when I’m writing emotional scenes. I listen to The Fountain score. And when I’m writing intense, emotional action sequences, I listen to the 28 Weeks Later soundtrack. You know that? It’s got that crazy piece that just builds and builds and builds, and it’s pounding, but it’s not metal.  If I’m not in the mood and I play that really loud and close my eyes for 5 minutes and just listen to the piece I’ll get in the mood. It’s very helpful.