To be honest, I wish Paramount had taken the same approach that was used for promoting and releasing Peter Jackson's "King Kong" back in the day. I remember that around the cinematic release of that film, there was also a 2-Disc DVD available, that chronicled pre-production and production. Quite a brilliant move, that is: To sell some of the special features along with the major buzz of the cinematic release, when the excitement for the project is peaking.
With Benjamin Button's extraordinary and groundbreaking effects work, I would surely have lined up to own such a DVD-set right away ... but since we will have to wait for the specials-packed DVD, posts like these will be the closest we get:
In an interview titled "Fitting Visual Effects Into Benjamin Button's Workflow" the folks of the Digital Content Producer podcasts sat down with Digital Domain's Executive VP of Production, Ed Ulbrich, a longtime collaborator of Mr. Fincher. The interview is available as downloadable mp3 or streaming.
The second item is an interview fxguide did with DD's Visual Effects Supervisor, Eric Barba, who had previously worked with David Fincher on "Zodiac", on the "Orville Redenbacher" commercial and the Nine Inch Nails "Only" music video. It's a very insightful read into the challenges Digital Domain had to master to do their pioneering work, and it does shed some light on Fincher's approach to the project:
I can only imagine what a pain it must have been to create shots, where a real actor is putting on or off his glasses and making that match with Brad Pitt's digitally inserted face. What is especially amazing about it, is that everday things like getting a haircut, wearing a hat or taking a bath, which no ordinary movie-goer would ever suspect to be ambitious CGI-efforts, are in fact groundbreaking challenges. Quite different from walking dinosaurs or shrivelled Gollums, which automatically draw attention to themselves.
So, hats off to David Fincher and his team for not taking the easy route. And to all of you, enjoy these interviews!