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From Script to Sand: The Skorponok Desert Attack (2007)

Video  |   |  Documentary, Short  |  16 October 2007 (USA)
5.6
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Title: From Script to Sand: The Skorponok Desert Attack (Video 2007)

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD for Transformers (2007). See more »

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References Jaws (1975) See more »

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From particle work to trailer-shot
25 March 2008 | by (Rijswijk (ZH), The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Here is a behind the scenes featurette that somehow didn't fit in either the 'Our World' or 'Their War' sections on the second disc of the Transformers DVD. Instead it gets to join the trailers and a design montage under the 'More than meets the eye' banner, as well as it's own private page here on IMDb. All this for Scorponok, who's movie version isn't even a full fledged Transformer according to Teletraan One (the Transformers Wiki), but part of another Decepticon called Blackout. Further more, Michael Bay keeps referring to it as 'Scorponox'. Actor Zack Ward and several other crew members quickly adopt this name (Bay being their boss after all) and Ward gets 'eaten' for it by the one who's name he mispronounces in the movie. Writers Orci and Kurtzman claim they put Scorpo into the script because they a) needed a 'Jaws in the desert' and b) wanted to shout out to the fans of 'Transformers: Beast Wars' (besides the fact that Scorponok was also a G-1 Headmaster).

But with the technical enough confusion. This part of the DVD focuses on one particular action sequence in the first half of the movie and all the various stages it went through during pre-production (design; animatics; proof of concept; scouting; production). A lot of it seems to revolve around an image the Bay-master soon designated as a 'trailer shot' and was filmed on an old missile range in Mexico. As usual Bay liked to put his actors in as much real danger as possible, and he proudly recounts how the fear on their faces is actual terror instead of acting. The Decepticon itself was represented on set only by a remote control piece of it's tail and the famous ILM Sphere (which is held up to collect the right reference for reflections to be added on the CGI version). Also notice that all this behind the scenes footage is so well documented that whenever someone is not facing a microphone, he or she gets subtitles. Still that's not hardly as weird as a the actual Transformers film which featured subtitles in a Decepticon font. Surely the first movie ever to have alien subs!

7 out of 10

P.S. There are also four bits and pieces hidden in the menu's on the second disc as not so hard to find easter eggs. First up is a fake commercial for an all new 'Bay-Bot' (an Autobot with a human head that bears a superficial resemblance to Michael Bay). Next is a short piece on the casting of Mojo the Chihuahua (since they had to film the dogs for reference anyway, why not put it on the DVD?). The last two eggs revolve around the filming of two deleted scenes (both of which would have been part of the big brawl in Mission City). Mind you, the effects for these portions were never finished, so don't expect to see the 'deleted' parts themselves. In the scene where an X-box turned into a Decepticon (because of the Allspark), the 'X-con' was supposed to tear a socialite (Michelle Pierce)'s dress off. This Benny Hill style gag was omitted, presumably because mild nudity is still harder to get through the censors than violence. The second casualty left on the cutting room floor involved Michael Bay's own Hitchcock cameo moment in which he would be torn out of a car by Megatron. Notice that Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox were on hand to watch (and Megan was wearing even skimpier clothing on her day off than she does in the film).

Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong.


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