PODCAST

The Filmumentaries Podcast

Jamie Benning

Look no further if you want knowledgeable in-depth conversations between film historian Jamie Benning and some of the greatest artists in all the movie making crafts from effects to editing, stunts to storyboards.

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53 - Jon Spira - Reel Britannia - BritBox
Jun 15 2022
53 - Jon Spira - Reel Britannia - BritBox
This episode I have a returning guest, Jon Spira who directed Elstree 1976 and Hollywood Bulldogs is back to talk about his new series streaming on Britbox, namely Reel Britannia. Jon has written and directed this himself and it’s a blast. I’m fortunate enough to have watched the first three episodes before I spoke to Jon. The fourth episode is just being finished up as I speak. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Britbox.com Elstree 1976 - Hollywood Bulldogs -
53 - Jon Spira - Reel Britannia - BritBox
Jun 15 2022
53 - Jon Spira - Reel Britannia - BritBox
This episode I have a returning guest, Jon Spira who directed Elstree 1976 and Hollywood Bulldogs is back to talk about his new series streaming on Britbox, namely Reel Britannia. Jon has written and directed this himself and it’s a blast. I’m fortunate enough to have watched the first three episodes before I spoke to Jon. The fourth episode is just being finished up as I speak. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Britbox.com Elstree 1976 - Hollywood Bulldogs -
52 - Book Announcement With Justin Berger
May 25 2022
52 - Book Announcement With Justin Berger
So this is not a typical episode. While I do have a guest, he does not work in the film industry. He is however a big fan of Star Wars, who like me, enjoys channelling his love for these films into something creative. Justin Berger is the author of The Empire Strikes Back Unauthorized Timeline 1975 - 2020. It’s a reference book that catalogues all the major and minor dates surrounding the inception, pre production, production and aftermath of The Empire Strikes Back. During this episode Justin and I have an announcement, the title and thumbnail to this episode was a big hint…
51 - Michael Pangrazio - ILM Matte Painter and Weta Art Director
May 3 2022
51 - Michael Pangrazio - ILM Matte Painter and Weta Art Director
Today I have an amazing guest, an exclusive of sorts, because he really hasn’t done many interviews over the years…. Namely ILM matte painter and Weta art director Michael Pangrazio. Now if you recognise that name you’ll know that Michael is responsible for some incredible works of art from Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Dragon Slayer, Willow, it’s another long list. He also co-founded Matte World along with previous Filmumentaries Podcast guest Craig Barron, that’s episode 46 if you want to take a listen. Michael is now based in Australia working with Peter Jackson’s Weta in New Zealand for some 15 years. We spoke over Zoom in April 2022. Please support the podcast www.patreon.com/jamiebenning
50 - Lorne Peterson - Part Two - ILM Chief Model Maker
Apr 25 2022
50 - Lorne Peterson - Part Two - ILM Chief Model Maker
Welcome to episode 50. Five zero of The Filmumentaries Podcast. Fifty… So after just over two years I’ve hit the podcast has hit middle age. And you know what, it’s feels pretty good. Thanks for all your support over the past 24 months. I really do appreciate it, especially those that have been able to support the podcast. Ok, so if you heard episode 49, you’ll know that it was the first of a two parter with ILM’s chief model maker Lorne Peterson. Today you’ll be hearing the second and final part of my conversation with him. Please share.
49 - Lorne Peterson - Part One - ILM Chief Model Maker
Apr 19 2022
49 - Lorne Peterson - Part One - ILM Chief Model Maker
For this episode, number 49 you’ll hear my conversation with a founding member of Industrial Light and Magic, who has brought an immeasurable amount of skill and artistry not only to the original Star Wars trilogy, but also to the prequels, Indiana Jones, Men in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic Park, E.T. The list is immense. The man I speak of is ILM former Chief Model Maker Lorne Peterson. Lorne was so taken with my interview with industrial designer Nilo Rodis Jamero (that’s episode 17 from January 2021 if you’d like to take a listen) that he felt compelled to talk to me. He said he found the Nilo episode quite emotional and I quote “I was nearly brought to tears. My voice broke up when I tried to ask my wife for something. It was an epic 33 years with many a milestone along the way and every week brought new adventures, each day actually. We essentially got to live and work in Florence during the Renaisance.”I’d contacted Lorne many months before and when I had no reply I assumed he wasn’t interested. I was so pleased to hear back from him, not only because he is someone whose work I admired immensely but also because an episode of my podcast was the catalyst for him to reply. Happy making.Lorne joined ILM just as Star Wars was being made. He stayed for 33 years. Just think of the titles he worked on and the changes he observed in the industry. Our conversation went on for over two hours, so it will be split up into two episodes for April 2022. The first one right here and the second part will be up by the end of the month.Please share.Support the show (
48 - Paul Franklin - Senior Visual Effects Consultant at DNEG
Mar 23 2022
48 - Paul Franklin - Senior Visual Effects Consultant at DNEG
In February 2020 I had the pleasure of speaking with fellow Brit, Senior Visual Effects Consultant Paul Franklin.Paul famously worked with director Chris Nolan on both Inception and Interstellar. He won a BAFTA for his work on Inception and an Academy award for both Inception and Interstellar.Early in his career he was a videotape editor, then he worked for Psygnosis, the video game developer and publisher. Finally arriving in film in the mid to late 1990's.LinksThe Escape - Talk - Palace Film Festival - the show (
47 - Sarah Virani - Regent Street Cinema, London.
Mar 15 2022
47 - Sarah Virani - Regent Street Cinema, London.
This episode is my conversation with Sarah Virani, Partnerships and Marketing Manager at Regent Street Cinema. Sarah contacted me on social media with the intention of getting the message out about this lovely little cinema in London. Full disclosure, I was offered complimentary tickets for a screening, but I haven’t taken Sarah up on that offer. What really  interested me was the historical aspects of the theatre. As you’ll hear, it’s been there in some form since 1848! Being a cinema history buff, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit and check out the birthplace of British Cinema. This is, I guess, my first location report type episode. It was good fun. It is shorter than a normal episode, but I hope you enjoy it.Normal proceedings will continue as from episode 48.  Next up is D-NEG's Paul Franklin. the show (
46 - Craig Barron - VFX Guru - Ex ILM and Matte World
Feb 25 2022
46 - Craig Barron - VFX Guru - Ex ILM and Matte World
For this episode I have a conversation with VFX guru Craig Barron. Craig started his career in the effects industry as a young man at ILM. You’ll love his story about how he got there. Years later he went on to co-found Matte World and then became creative director at Magnopus.He began  at ILM in time to work on The Empire Strikes Back. Later he worked for Martin Scorcese on Casino and a million and one movies in between . Craig also  co-wrote a wonderful book about matte painting called The Invisible Art with Mark Cotta Vaz. It’s a huge, lavish history of that particular part of visual effects and has some of the best reproductions of matte paintings I’ve seen in print. Well worth picking up if you can find it at an affordable price. (It's currently out of print).If you enjoy this or any of the episodes, please share!Support the show (
45 - Garrett Brown - Steadicam Inventor
Feb 16 2022
45 - Garrett Brown - Steadicam Inventor
For this episode, number 45, February 2022, I have another film legend, Garrett Brown.If that’s not a name you recognise, you will know his work. Garrett invented the steadicam. He also operated it over 100 films, most notably for me, Rocky, The Shining, and Return of the Jedi. Three very different films and three completely difference applications of the steadicam.The steadicam of course is a camera stabilising system, with the stability of a conventional tripod mount but with the fluid motion of a dolly shot as well as the flexibility of hand-held camera work. Garrett’s incredible invention smoothly follows the operator's broad movements, while the the Steadicam's arm absorbs jerks, bumps, and shakes, while its almost frictionless gimbal gives precise control of the camera and framing. It’s used on everything from film, light entertainment TV shows and just about every sport you can think of.Garrett won a special Academy Award for Science and Technology for his invention. Just to put this into perspective,  winners include those responsible for colour film, Cinescope, IMAX, Avid. All seismic innovations in the industry.Huge thanks to my friend and old colleague Patrick Van Weeran for putting me in touch with Garrett back in 2017 and providing me with some research literature that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. If you’re a patron of $3+ then there is a video version coming soon for you over on patreon.com.Steadicam Demo Reel -  the show (
44 - Frank Pavich - Director of "Jodorowsky's Dune"
Jan 27 2022
44 - Frank Pavich - Director of "Jodorowsky's Dune"
For this episode number 44, I have documentary director Frank Pavich. Frank appeared along with Dan Lanigan and Soby on episode 39 in November 2021, in which we discussed the purchase of the Jodorowsky’s Dune book. A story which has been picked up again by the press just in the past week or so.  I may not have got the hits, but I got the scoop!The documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, which Frank Pavich directed has been favourite of mine since I was introduced to it by my friend  2015. I've watched in many times since, trying to find our everything I can on the subject.That quest still continues to this day. I love reading every tidbit about Jodorowsky’s Dune. So as soon as episode 39 of the podcast was over, I knew I had to get Frank back on.. Over the past couple of months we’ve become friendly acquaintances.  We chat quite a bit on whatsapp and share a similar enthusiasm for stories. So you’re in for a fun episode here.You can buy Frank's doco here ...and the fantastic soundtrack here Support the show (
43 - Jon Spira - Director of Elstree 1976 and Hollywood Bulldogs
Jan 15 2022
43 - Jon Spira - Director of Elstree 1976 and Hollywood Bulldogs
For this episode, number 43 I spoke with documentary director Jon Spira.I became aware of Jon’s work in 2015 with the release of Elstree 1976. A broad look at the men and women who were tucked away, far far away, in the back ground of some of the shots in Star Wars. They were often extras and masked characters that we didn't even know were there. His film is a kind of microcosm of celebrity culture and how being on the periphery of a huge cultural event like Star Wars can impact on ones life.I spoke to Jon in November 2021 for a couple of hours. We had briefly met once before at a BFI screening and we’d been intending to have a chat ever since.Since making Elstree 1976, Jon has most recently made Hollywood Bulldogs Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman which is currently on Britbox here in the UK. I really enjoyed listening to the stories of this unconventional group of men who worked on some of the biggest films in movie history.Hollywood Bulldogs Trailer - 1976 Trailer - the show (
42 - Turning The Tables - Host Jamie Benning interviewed by Dan Lanigan!
Dec 20 2021
42 - Turning The Tables - Host Jamie Benning interviewed by Dan Lanigan!
My friend and colleague Jason Henry, director of Disney+'s Prop Culture, suggested that he should interview me for my own podcast. A "getting to know Jamie Benning episode" he said.  I was reluctant at first, but Jason assured me that my listeners would be interested in hearing my story.  The day before we were due to record, Jason suggested our mutual friend and presenter of Prop Culture, Dan Lanigan should host the interview.So here is Dan Lanigan, presenter, producer, prop collector turning the tables by interviewing ME, Jamie Benning.I hope you enjoy it. 😬Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to you all. And thanks for the continued support.Support the show (
41 - John Walsh - Author of Escape from New York - The Official Story of the Film
Dec 15 2021
41 - John Walsh - Author of Escape from New York - The Official Story of the Film
Bonus episode.I released episode 40 today. My conversation with author John Glennie. But as it's close to Christmas, I thought "what the heck"... lets put out episode 41 too.Both are with authors of great movie books that you should be adding to your Christmas list.So, here's my chat with author John Walsh about his new book Escape from New York The Official Story of the Film, available now!Twitter - @walshbrosBook at Amazon - at Waterstones - the show (
40 - Jay Glennie - Author of amazing movie books on Raging Bull and Trainspotting
Dec 15 2021
40 - Jay Glennie - Author of amazing movie books on Raging Bull and Trainspotting
Welcome to episode 40 of The Filmumentaries Podcast.Now I am a lover of movie books. I own a lot of them. I have owned more than I now have. Some favourites include Alan Arnold’s Once Upon a Galaxy - The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, Paul Sammon’s Future Noir - The making of Blade Runner, Steven Bach’s – Final Cut. So many to name. But what I didn’t know, I am embarrassed to say, that I had no idea about fellow Brit author Jay Glennie’s books on The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull and Trainspotting until pretty recently. A kind twitter follower mentioned Jay and his books. Immediately I could see that Jay had a great eye for the huge stills that are included within his books, but also that there was a clear and engaging narrative throughout.In late November 2021 Jay and I spoke over Zoom. the show (
39 - The $3M Dune Book Sale - With Frank Pavich, Soby and Dan Lanigan
Nov 30 2021
39 - The $3M Dune Book Sale - With Frank Pavich, Soby and Dan Lanigan
This is the second episode in a matter of two days. I only just released episode 38 with Howard Kazanjian yesterday. BUT I felt the need to get this episode and it’s story out there because it’s one that I’ve been chasing since 22nd Nov 2021.It started while I was at work at F1 talking with my friend Will Buxton. Will is a presenter and a big movie fan and we got talking about the imminent auction for the Jodorowsky’s Dune pitch book. So if you don’t know this story, I implore you to seek out the 2013 documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune” and watch it before you listen to this podcast.But if you want to go ahead now and listen I’ll give you a quick summary. So back in the mid 1970’s the Chilean-French director and performer Alejandro Jodorowsky became consumed with producing a film version of Frank Herbert’s Dune. He managed to pool the resources of people like Dan O’Bannon, Moebius, Giger and Chris Foss. Much of the talent that went on to work on seminal sci-fi films and indeed inspire a whole generation of filmmakers. So Jodorowsky put together a pitch book. This thing is huge with thousands of illustrations, storyboards, costume designs, architectural designs by these artists with the intention of sending it around all the Hollywood studios to convince them to buy his idea for the movie and let him direct it. Ultimately this endevour failed but its influence still resonates strongly today.One of these hallowed Dune books sold for $42500 in 2019. And on the 22nd November this year another sold but this time it went for $3 Million dollars. All thanks to one man stepping in and buying it on behalf of a collective who at that point had managed to raise $750,000 dollars. (As of today that amount has topped $11M).That man’s name is Soby. He was some what of a mystery to me for several days but I managed to connect with him over twitter (thanks to Will Buxton for the heads up) and we got chatting. He agreed to come on the podcast to talk through just what went down, and WHY!It then occurred to me that I should contact the director of the documentary Jodorwosky’s Dune, a guy called Frank Pavich. Again after a quick search I made contact with Frank and he was also keen to join having seen the story in the press himself.  I then wondered if I could get my friend Dan Lanigan, prop collector and co-creator of Disney+’s Prop Culture. Dan was also very keen and I knew he’d bring his unique perspective to the conversation.To my knowledge somewhat of an exclusive - this is the first podcast interview with Soby regarding the Dune book sale. And to have both Frank and Dan involved is such a treat.LinksWhat is a DAO - is crypto currency - is blockchain - is the Dunning Kruger effect - the show (
38 - Howard Kazanjian - Producer of Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Return Of The Jedi
Nov 29 2021
38 - Howard Kazanjian - Producer of Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Return Of The Jedi
For this episode I’ve got well known producer Howard Kazanjian. Its name I’ve been familiar with for many decades now having seen it on the credits of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. I’d heard sometime last year that Howard was releasing a book about his career, to be penned by the then very ill J W Rinzler. Jonathan of course appeared on this podcast back on episode 11 while he was being treated for cancer. Then Jonathan sadly passed away in July 2021 but did manage to complete the book and as Howard told me at the end of this interview you’re about to hear, Jonathan did get to see a published version of the book.I’d been in touch with Howard since last year and he was reluctant to talk until the book was released. This was further complicated by the fact that the book was released in the UK later than in the U.S. But he was a man of his word and when I told him I’d read the book he was willing to come on the podcast.So just last week we spoke over zoom. Thanks to Howard for his time.Howard Kazanjian - A Producer's Life is now available in bookstores. the show (
37 - Dune Sound Designers Mark Mangini and Theo Green
Nov 9 2021
37 - Dune Sound Designers Mark Mangini and Theo Green
For this episode, number 37, November 2021, I have a real treat. You will not have failed to notice that Denis Villeneuve's Dune has finally arrived. Back on episode 16, I interviewed sound designer Mark Mangini about his career and his work on Blade Runner 2049. We stayed in touch and I asked if he’d be willing to come back to talk about his new work on Dune. He then introduced me to his colleague Theo Green, also a sound designer and we set a date to talk all this Dune. So this is the first time I’ve done a podcast about a new movie and I got quite a buzz. So i’ll be doing this from time to time.Just so you know, Mark is the American voice, Theo is the British voice. We did have some technical difficulties at the beginning, which I’ve left in, because if I cut it out it wouldn’t make much sense as we refer back to it a couple of times later on in the conversation. And you know, this is a warts and all kind of podcast. So you’ll hear Theo’s young family in the background at times, but that’s all part of the rich aural tapestry of this sound design episode.Huge thanks to Mark and Theo as well as Emilie Erskine of Erskine PR who organised the interview and was able to provide me with those wonderful sound clips from Dune (2021).Support the show (
36 - Sean Barton - Editor of Return of the Jedi, Quadrophenia, Jagged Edge
Oct 15 2021
36 - Sean Barton - Editor of Return of the Jedi, Quadrophenia, Jagged Edge
So for this episode, I went out into the wide world and actually did an in-person interview. I reached out to editor Sean Barton via IMDB Pro. Actually my first time using the site. So that’s a 1 for 1 hit rate so far. As a hater of Zoom, Sean was very gracious in inviting me to his house on the other side of London. Both of us are double vaccinated and LFT’s were done beforehand just to be sure. So I rocked up with two Zoom H2 mics (one purchased the day before because my spare was failing to work) a mic-stand and a list of general topics that I wanted to talk about. Actually I only looked at the list for the first question and the rest of the conversation flowed rather nicely. He really is such a nice man and so easy to talk with.If you don’t know him by name, you’ll certainly know him by his work. Sean edited the seminal cult film Quadraphina for Frank Roddam, he then teamed up with Richard Marquand for Birth of the Beatles, Eye of the Needle and in 1981 they both began work on the last film in the Star Wars trilogy. A little independent film called Return of the Jedi. You may have heard of it.Both Richard and Sean worked together again on the psychological thriller Jagged Edge, starring Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. I re-watched all of the above in preparation for the chat and I was surprised to find how fresh Jagged Edge felt. Of it’s time for sure, but it still works. It was clearly the proto erotic-psycological thriller that lead to a slew of them in the 90s. Despite the fact there isn’t much eroticism in Jagged edge. Enjoy. And please do SHARE! the show (
35 - Colin Goudie - Editor of Monsters and Rogue One
Sep 30 2021
35 - Colin Goudie - Editor of Monsters and Rogue One
So… for this episode I have the pleasure of talking to the editor of Monsters and Rogue One, the always great Colin Goudie. We speak at some length (I think it was 2.5 hours) which I’ve edited down to about 2 hours. It’s still long, but well worth your time. Colin is a veteran of BBC dramas and documentaries and is very well regarded in the industry. You’ll hear as we chat that Colin brings his intelligence and humour to everything he does.As well as Monsters and Rogue One, Colin has more recently edited 'To Olivia' and 'The Show'. Both worth checking out.To Olivia, a Sky Original film, available on Sky Cinema and Now TV from 19th February 2021Support the show (
34 - Gabriel Hardman - Comic Book and Storyboard Artist - Logan, Interstellar, Inception, Aliens Dust to Dust
Sep 21 2021
34 - Gabriel Hardman - Comic Book and Storyboard Artist - Logan, Interstellar, Inception, Aliens Dust to Dust
For this episode I have Gabriel Hardman.  Now Gabriel and I got in touch over Twitter, thanks to good guy Duncan Fegredo. I didn't actually know much about Gabriel, but after some  searching online I found that I was in fact aware of some of his work. He's a comic book artist and writer. And he’s also a very sought after storyboard artist. So I got in touch with Gabriel and immediately it was obvious that he was a good guy and he said he was willing to come on the podcast to talk about his work.So we spoke a few weeks ago now, again over zoom. Having seen some of his storyboards I was keen to ask him about the process that he goes through to create them. When he's brought on board, when he finishes his job on a film and I was quite surprised with some of the answers actually. I also wanted to talk to him about his comic books, and as part of my research, I read one of his Aliens books, which was great. I thought he really had a good grasp of medium and was able to create a tense atmosphere for the reader. There's a great opening scene Aliens Dust to Dust which shows he’s clearly adept at using the elements of cinema and comic book artistry hand in hand.It really had me on  the edge of the seat.I hope you enjoy our conversation.Please share!Support the show (