A New Take On Classic Movies

by filmumentaries
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Aspects of Fandom

One of the only other areas of Star Wars that I’ve always loved is the range of vintage action figures. So I recently dug out my collection from the loft and thought about a way to display them that didn’t … Continue reading

Rare Video: Visit to The Empire Strikes Back set at Elstree

04/09/2011 by filmumentaries | 0 comments

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Many thanks to Scott Weller of for providing this amazingly rare video in which on lucky kid visits The Empire Strikes Back Set at Elstree Studios back in 1979/1980.

Older UK dwellers (like me) will remember the long running Jim’ll Fix series in which kids could write in and ask for their wish to come true. This kid was clearly the luckiest of all!

I wonder where the kid is now.

BBC Radio 4 Film Programme Interview with Francine Stock

20/05/2011 by filmumentaries | 0 comments

Shortly after the initial release and widespread coverage of Star Wars Begins, I was contacted by the lovely Francine Stock of BBC Radio 4 Film Programme. My other half and I ventured up to Broadcasting House in Central London one chilly afternoon.  Francine and her producer gave us a warm welcome and after a half an hour chat with a microphone in front of me, we were done. Below are the results.

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Star Wars Begins – The Complete Documentary

01/02/2011 by filmumentaries | 7 Comments

Press Release – 2nd February 2011

Filmmaker Jamie Benning has finally finished his trilogy of documentary-commentaries.  This final chapter concentrates on the first Star Wars film. Like his two previous documentaries, Building Empire (2006) and Returning to Jedi (2007), Star Wars Begins is an unofficial look at the creation of the classic movie and features deleted scenes, alternate takes and different angles, bloopers, original on set audio recordings and a huge amount of commentary from cast and crew, culled from every corner of the galaxy.

What’s interesting about the format is that Benning’s documentary is feature-length, and follows the flow of the original movie itself with the deleted scenes added where they would have been, with interviews placed over the top of the action they’re describing. The overall effect is much more engrossing than a DVD commentary track and the wealth of material contained makes it well worth sitting through the entire runtime of 2hrs 18mins.
If you’ve never seen the deleted scenes of Jabba the Hutt or Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine, or heard David Prowse saying Vader’s dialogue, then you will get a real kick out of this. Many reviews and comments have centered on the fact that it’s like watching your favorite movie but from an entirely different perspective.

Benning has obviously invested rather a lot of time and effort into creating this film, and the other two parts of his own trilogy. Lets hope that on the forthcoming Blu Ray Boxset (released in Sept 2011) LFL will go into as much detail and exude as much love for the subject matter as these films do.

All of Jamie Benning’s Star Wars ‘filmumentaries’ are unofficial. They are all completely non-profit making exercises and are made with respect to copyright and with a genuine affection for the films.



“It’s nearly two and a half hours of nerd paradise.” Mike Hale, New York Times

“This is a quality product.” Francine Stock, BBC Radio 4, The Film Programme.

“Quite simply, if you’re a Star Wars fan of any kind, this thing is an absolute blast to watch… Readers immediately fell in love with ‘Star Wars Begins’ after we covered it…”Erik Davis, / / /

“Jamie Benning has created a series of Star Wars documentaries that have taken the Internet by storm. With even die-hard Jedis declaring they learnt more from his docs than from 30 years of fandom.”

“…One ambitious fan, has taken it upon himself to create individual, extensive and two-hour-plus documentaries for each film.”

I don’t know how the documentary included with the Star Wars Blu Ray release can top this one.”

“I haven’t been this impressed by a fan made documentary in…well…ever… he’s crafted a truly amazing doc on the making of Star Wars.” Steve Weintraub,

“As Vader would say, ‘Impressive, most impressive’”. Nathan Barry, WiredGeekDad,

“I feel like I have failed as a nerd for never having heard of this before… it’s unbelievable, and it’s unbelievably interesting”. Rob Bricken,

“Frickin Awesome.”

“This ain’t no crummy youtube mashup, this is some serious work.” Agentorange,

“It acts as a very appetising starter to the main course of Blu-Ray releases out in September” Scott Weller, Star Wars Aficionado Blog

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