The Big Short Premieres

11 17 2015

Adam McKay’s Oscar contender feature film The Big Short premiered last week to close out the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the reviews are coming back with golden glow.

The Big Short came to us via editor Hank Corwin, a long-time collaborator and friend. We met with Hank and Adam McKay at Paramount, and they briefed us on the creative they were seeking: visuals that would help depict America from 1979, when Wall Street started bundling mortgages and selling them, to 2008 when the housing market crashed.

Over the course of a couple of months, we screened thousands and thousands of possible shots, filtered down to several hundred images that were delivered for the film. It was key that the imagery depict the cultural climate of America during the crash and recession and fit into the narrative of the film as a whole. The content we ended up licensing was cut into montages and sprinkled throughout the film to characterize the disconnect between the Wall Street elite and the actual people adversely affected by their number crunching.

We tapped deep into the archives, searching through social media, photo sharing sites, even personal blogs. From there, we had to track down every person included and convince them to let us use their personal images, adding releases from family and friends. An example of this throughout the film are shots from diners, in which we would have to track down waitresses and patrons residing in small towns across America. Often people were suspicious of our intentions, which seems only natural if you approach them out of nowhere and ask them to sign paperwork to be featured in a film.

In the end, we licensed and delivered an abundance of footage, 212 shots in the film that help support the sometimes tragic/sometimes funny/always engaging story that Adam McKay has committed to the screen.

The film stars Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt and is directed by Adam McKay. You can catch it in theatres in limited release on December 11, with a wider release following on December 23. Watch the trailer above!