After grossing more than $624 million at the box office this summer, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black 3 arrives on Blu-ray and DVD today. The release also marks the debut of Sony Pictures’ new Movie Touch technology which the studio recently previewed at a special press event with Make up Effects Artist Rick Baker, VFX Supervisor Jay Redd and Animation Supervisor Spencer Cook in attendance.
Currently available for the iPad, Movie Touch is a free download from the iTunes App Store which allows users to view the full-length film and access bonus content either on its own or as the movie plays by touching anything from characters to pull up interactive profiles and filmographies or entire move segments to access behind behind-the-scenes footage and featurettes from Men in Black 3‘s intense production.
“One of the things that I find amazing is that there’s so much stuff in the movie that people have no idea [about],” Baker explains. “Like that whole Cape Canaveral sequence. I was on the set at the studio where they had a couple of pipes and a blue screen that didn’t come to the top of the set. I thought, ‘How the hell are these guys going to make this look like Cape Canaveral?'”
“We were wondering that, too!” Cook laughs, “Animating the time jump was pretty tricky, too. It was so much about the specific performance, as in some of the other alien shots, but it was about animating a human character and intercutting with live action footage of that human character. We were constantly alternating between blue screen of Will Smith on a stage and a fully digital Will Smith.”
Throughout the film, Baker’s amazing alien designs are something sure to have fans hitting the pause button.
“From the first ‘Men in Black’ on, I kept pitching this idea to have homages to aliens that I grew up with because I really wanted to make those,” he recalls. “They kept rejecting the idea. When the original script came in and time travel was such a key element, I said, ‘Okay, this is why the idea was rejected for the first two movies.’ I went in and pitched again and said, ‘Look, aliens in 2012 look like ‘Men in Black’ aliens that you know. In 1969, they should be retro aliens. We should have big, bug-eyed, exposed brain aliens.’ They actually went for it!”
“I think my favorite character, just from movies I grew up watching, was a version of the Martians from ‘Invaders From Mars’,” Redd adds. “I thought that was hilarious seeing them there.”
After Men in Black 3, Sony plans to continue the use of Movie Touch with their home video releases and will next see it employed on Total Recall, hitting shelves December 18. For more information on the technology, check out the video in the player below.