Learn as Roland Emmerich Breaks Down Some of His Most Iconic Scenes

Roland Emmerich on the Moonfall set Credit: Lionsgate
Some men just want to watch the world burn. 

I will always rally to support original filmmakers. With the world relying so much on intellectual property, it's so much fun to see people like Roland Emmerich putting it all on the line for original stories. Especially ones that go big. 

In this episode of "Notes on a Scene," Emmerich breaks down scenes he's directed throughout his film career, including science-fiction classics Stargate, Independence Day, and his newest original venture, Moonfall.

Check it out and let's talk after. 

Learn as Roland Emmerich Breaks Down Some of His Most Iconic Scenes 

Emmerich is one of the best directors at using practical effects on a big scale. He started with Stargate, where they actually used water to create the effects at the center of the portal. When water didn't work for the straight angle, he adopted one of the first digital shots. That's sort of been the story of his career and his biggest lesson in filmmaking—be daring, but be willing to adapt when necessary. 

When they shot Independence Day, a lot of the effects were done with a mixture of models, practical explosions, and digital sequences. That trend continued as he worked on Moonfall. While much more had to be done digitally, the technology was much better when it was done in the '90s. Still, he found himself building practical sets, working hands-on to make things feel more tangible, especially the stakes. 

Another thing he makes sure to add in every movie is a baseline level of humor. Emmerich knows that characters in his worlds are dealing with truly insane events. Most are average people, trying to cope. For him, the humanity of this means people will make jokes. There will be sly wit, charm, and just a sense that characters will deal with problems one by one, as they work to comprehend the world he's built.  

One sneaky thing is Emmerich's work with messages and themes in his movies.

As he says, "I try to put in every one of my movies some sort of message. I don't want to overdo it, because I don't want people to get annoyed by it, but it's good to have a message."

Whether it's a community banding together as one world to fight aliens, or our reliance on big tech, ignorance toward climate change, or inability to seize the day, Emmerich makes sure these subtle hints add more to the story. 

No matter what, these beliefs all align with the characters and their arcs

What are your favorites of his movies? Let us know in the comments.      

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1 Comment

Moonfall appeared last week in youtube full movie by surprise. I started to watch it but it is so bad I fast forwarded till the end. What a waste of money & cast.

April 30, 2022 at 11:52AM

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Javier Diez
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