Listen to the 'Spider-Verse' Filmmakers Talk about How They Pulled It Off
A BAFTA chat with the minds behind 2018’s breakout hit, 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was an incredible breath of fresh air for a genre that desperately needed it. The film flipped superhero movie conventions on their head, showcased a new style of animation, and delivered the perfect combination of action, emotion, and visual flair. If you haven’t checked it out, do so after you read this article.
A new video from BAFTA Guru features an interview with the creative team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which they discuss how they managed to bring you one of 2018’s best movies.
Check it out below:
So what can we learn from producers Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman? Let’s find out:
1. Work Together
Phil Lord and Chris Miller make up one of the premier writer/director partnerships in the studio system today. Their credits include 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Lego Batman, and more.
Yet as they freely admit, when they were in the middle of writing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, they knew the script needed some work. They had zero hesitation about asking their friend Rodney Rothman for help. (Rothman would later be credited as one of the three directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).
2. Make It Different
Even though it’s about Miles Morales, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse contains the 4th iteration of Peter Parker in the last 20 years. Everyone involved knew that the movie had to distinguish itself in some way, but they also knew they were stepping into a fluid situation. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took four years to make, so it was already in production when Spider-Man: Homecoming was released. As Bob Persichetti says in the video, when that film came out, they realized they had to step up their game and make sure their film was totally different. Fortunately, audiences rewarded them with praise and $$$$.
3. Get On The Same Page
Animation is expensive and time-consuming, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was even more expensive and time-consuming than usual. Chris Miller explains that normal animation can finish about four seconds of the movie per week. The film managed about one second per week.
With that kind of resource-intensive production, mistakes can be a massive roadblock. The entire creative team needed to be in agreement on the story, visuals, and overall feel of the movie from the beginning, or else this webslinger would have never gotten off the ground.
4. Keep It Centered
The plot of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse can get kind of confusing. There are a bunch of characters running around, several of whom have the same name, most of whom are wearing the same costume, all moving rapidly in various action sequences. But from the beginning, the film focused on Miles Morales and never forgets that he’s the one at the center of the story.
Although the other Spider-Men and Spider-Women are fun and interesting, their primary role in the story is to help Miles become the Spider-Man he’s supposed to be. As Phil Lord says in the video, “It was always going to be Miles.”
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was my favorite movie of 2018. It pushed the animation medium forward, revolutionized the superhero genre, and delivered an exhilarating thrill ride that didn’t skimp on the emotion. If you missed it the first time around, now’s your chance to check it out.
Looking for more on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? Check out this article about how they used animated naturalism to make it feel real!