Just some of the kind words of feedback I’ve received over the years.
THE FILMUMENTARIES PODCAST – 2020/21
“Insightful & informative, this podcast is the reel-deal. Cannot recommend enough. I like to cook with it on, clean with it on, work with it on… You get the picture. Listen up!”
Think you know film-making?
“Been a fan of Jamie’s Filmumentary work for a while and his podcast is a wonderful addition to his love of exploring the creative people behind the magic of film. I find this to be a perfect accompaniment to settling down to paint and the interviews feel very personal and honest while also being very informative and inspiring.”
Graeme Neil Reid, 21/01/2021
Perfect listening while I work.
INSIDE JAWS -2014
“Mr. Benning’s works are invaluable educational tools for my students at Clemson. His sense of structure, timing, & composition are superb. His ‘filmumentaries’ help show how good, practiced authors weave original sources, research, and voices into a magnificent piece of rhetoric”. Allen Swords, Senior Lecturer at Clemson University.
“A Film Fan’s Love Letter to ‘Jaws’…he posts self-described love letters to his favourite films. He calls the works “filmumentaries,” and they are essentially homemade, full-length DVD commentaries of beloved American films….Mr. Benning’s works are meticulously crafted mashups, loaded with unusual facts and teeming with scraps of rare video and audio.”. Erik Olsen, New York Times.
“How One Man Made the Ultimate Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jaws Documentaries. Benning has become the Internet’s resident archivist for the blockbusters that define Hollywood.” Matt Patches, Vulture, New York Magazine.
“Thankfully there are people like Jamie Benning. His exploration of “Jaws” is not only the work of a fan, but that of a meticulous enthusiast providing us with an innovative approach to the genre of both film documentary and online video.” Eike Kühl, ZEIT ONLINE.
“Everything you always wanted or needed to know about the seminal films of our generation. Assembled with love and respect by Jamie. Also…just a load of fun to watch! Enjoy!!!” Jenna Stern, Actress. Jennastern.com
“‘Filmumentary’ hero Jamie Benning has worked his magic on Jaws, and if you’re a fan, you need to watch it!” Empire Online.
“Jamie makes some of the most entertaining, informative, and lovingly crafted documentaries I have ever seen.” Robert Krekel, Sound Designer (The Last of Us), http://about.me/robertkrekel.
“I could watch these all day”. WGN Radio Chicago – http://wgnradio.com/2013/06/25/filmumentaries/
“It’s like the best commentary you’ve ever heard” Paul Harris, America Weekend Radio. http://paulharrisonline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/jamie-benning-inside-jaws.html
“Mind blowing in so many ways… Every geek is eternally indebted to you Jamie!. Chris Jones, Filmmaker, ChrisJonesblog.com.
“Benning’s documentary movies are honestly the most creative and well-thought DVD documentaries ever assembled”. MovieHunger.com
“Jamie Benning seems to have a talent for directing movies about movies”. Geeknation.com
“I’ll admit I had some doubts about this at first, but Benning does a good job of curating all the Jaws material out there.” Whitney Matheson, USA Today.
“Watching one of Jamie Benning’s “filmumentaries” is like watching one of your favourite movies with the ultimate commentary track.” Forrest Wickham, Slate.com.
“One of the most explicitly thorough and masterful Filmumentaries to date ‘Inside Jaws’, from this master of research and construction. It’s rare to see something told so deftly, and this is a running theme through all of Jamie’s work. Star Wars will always be on my sleeve, but Jaws is just next to that!”. Dan Poole, Actor/Director, museoffirefilm.co.uk.
“Inside Jaws is a brilliant look at the making of one of Spielberg’s masterpieces. The sheer wealth of new and exciting material makes this an essential companion piece to the film. Jamie is a master of his art, serving us up his greatest filmumentary yet. His tenacity and craft is inspirational.” Mustapha Kseibati, Filmmaker, mustaphakseibati.com.
“What a splendid thing it is. For all of us who are fans of Steven Spielberg’s classic, this is one to watch.” Liveforfilms.com.
“I don’t care how you watch it, though. Just watch it. Benning doesn’t make a dime from his filmumentaries. They’re true labours of love. And ever ounce of that love is evidenced in every frame ofInside Jaws.” Dennis Burger, TechnologyTell.com
“This is a documentary that you have to watch…I actually think his Jaws doc is a lot better, and full of a lot of great information I didn’t know before.” Joey Paur, GeekTyrant.com.
“Benning has knocked it out of the park again with this one, get involved and watch this superb documentary.” Allen Kobiela, Downwithfilm.com.
“Long-time “Jaws” fans who think they have learned everything there is to know about the movie will likely learn a few new things along the way, thanks to Benning.” Brad Cook, FilmThreat.com.
“Even if you’ve absorbed every documentary about the making of Steven Spielberg‘s template-setting blockbuster, you’ll probably find something new in Inside Jaws. Inside Jaws…will give you an impressive understanding of how the film was made.” Russ Fischer, Slashfilm.com.
“Taking passion projects to a whole new level…that’s a win for fan art.” Kirsty Puchko, Cinemablend.com
“Jamie Benning’s “Inside Jaws” will take you there and then some…probably the most comprehensive look at the movie you could possibly ask for.” Kevin Jagernauth, Indiewire.com.
“There’s great stuff here for even the most die hard Jaws fans. Watch it…” Alex Billington, Firstshowing.net.
“This will please even those that have already devoured the extras on the Blu-ray edition of Jaws.” Justine Browning, Geeknation.com.
“Benning has done an amazing service to movie buffs online.” RoboBrain, AwesomeRobo.com.
“Inside Jaws may be the nerdiest Behind the Scenes Jaws movie you ever watch. There’s lots to feast on here.” Mike Bracken, Movies.com.
“This is a product that was made by someone who LOVES movies. Someone that wants us to be able to appreciate every single thing in a frame and off screen as well.” Phelps. Cinetropolis.net.
“Your pieces go where the sanitized versions will not tread and always celebrate the film in question by providing an honest account of their creation. I really appreciate what you do – you are changing the industry for the better in your own small, but valuable way.” Vimeo user comment.
BUILDING EMPIRE – 2006
“Building Empire is not only the best film on Star Wars I’ve ever seen, its one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Jamie’s appreciation of traditional story combined with an ability to push the boundaries on how those stories are told is what brings his films so close to the Lucas ideal.” Giles Terera, Actor/Director/Producer, museoffirefilm.co.uk, Olivier Award Winner for Best Actor, Hamilton West End.
“A fan documentary like no other on the planet, … in one huge, insightful project that is more than worth the time it takes to watch them.” Cosmolearning.com
RETURNING TO JEDI – 2008
“As one of the people inside Jabba at the time (I’m the one in the yellow sweater) I can only say how vividly this documentary brings back memories – more so than the ‘official’ making-of movies. To hear Dave Barclay doing Jabba’s voice in English, and hear Carrie’s improvised responses in English, break me up. For all the wonderful atmosphere in the finished film, this captures the ‘feel’ of being backstage, and on the set, better than anything I know.” – Toby Philpott, Jabba the Hutt Puppeteer.
STAR WARS BEGINS – 2011
“Jamie’s Filmumentaries are a revelation and a revolution. When I write my LEGO Star Wars specials, I keep one eye on the script and one eye on Jamie’s amazingly multi-layered tours of the making of the original trilogy. And then I watch his filmumentary on “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” for fun.” Michael Price, Director/Writer – The Simpsons, LEGO Star Wars, The Empire Strikes out.
“Jamie’s filmumentaries are fascinating, entertaining, informative, and addicting — so, You Have Been Warned. If you want to learn a thing or two about the filmmaking process, you can’t go wrong spending a little enjoyable time watching ALL of these docs!” David Silverman, Director, The Simpsons, Monsters Inc (Co-Director).
“A beautifully written love letter to the Star Wars Trilogy. A reminder of what makes these films so special.” Nathan Hamill, son of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).
“It’s nearly two and a half hours of nerd paradise.” Mike Hale, New York Times.
“This is a quality product. Jamie Benning’s ‘Star Wars’ documentaries are like DVD extras squared or even cubed.” 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, AOL/Moviefone.com/Cinematical
“I think they are the best Star Wars ever made. Better than any of the official ones.” AVForums Podcast.
“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.” TotalFilm.com
“You think you know these films? Watch Filmumentaries and enjoy everything that went in to making them the classics that they are. Jamie’s research is thorough and so much fun. You’ll feel like you were on the shoot.” Jenna Stern, Actress. Jennastern.com
“…One ambitious fan has taken it upon himself to create individual, extensive and two-hour-plus documentaries for each film.” Buzzlegoose.com“
I don’t know how the documentary included with the Star Wars Blu Ray release can top this one.” Swtorstrategies.com
“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, Collider.com
“As Vader would say, ‘Impressive, most impressive’”. Nathan Barry, WiredGeekDad, Wired.com
“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, ToplessRobot.com
“Frickin Awesome.” Sci-Guys.com
“This ain’t no crummy youtube mashup, this is some serious work.” Agentorange, QuietEarth.com
“It acts as a very appetising starter to the main course of Blu-Ray releases out in September”. Scott Weller, Star Wars Aficionado Blog
RAIDING THE LOST ARK – 2013
“Had a dream last night I was making a Raiders doc. No joke! But after watching yours months ago, there’s no need. Excellent work!” Charles de Lauzirika – Producer of Blade Runner, The Final Cut.
“Jamie Benning is an outstanding human being…he’s poured hours, days, weeks, months into collating and cutting together videos that illuminate and educate“. Ali Plumb – Empire Magazine Online.
“Oh heck yeah. It’s impressive…and it’s just a testament to fandom…this is the way we would like our supplement material. I think it speaks to a lack of satisfaction with the DVD industry”. Weinberg thinks the DVD industry should be hiring Benning to create bonus features that fans would genuinely embrace.”. Scott Weinberg , Movies.com.
“I wonder if the inevitable Blu-ray of Raiders of the Lost Ark could offer anything better.” Matt Goldberg, Collider.com.
“Raiding is jam packed with amazing facts and insights into the creative process.” Nathan Barry, Wired Geek Dad.
“It’s like the best DVD extra you’ve ever seen”. Chris Higgins, Mentalfloss.com.
“Benning makes his filmumentaries out of love for these movies, and it shows”. Brad Cook, Filmthreat.com
“For fans of the Indiana Jones franchise Raiding The Lost Ark is simply essential viewing”.GeeksofDoom.com
“So much insight into one of my all-time favourite films. The agonising wait was well worth it!” Sam Morrill, Vimeo Staff.
How can I purchase the DVDs of your filmumentaries? I’ve seen the StarWars ones on YouTube and Vimeo before they were removed, but only saw a bit of the Raiders and I’m looking forward to Jaws. I would love to see the entire Raiders, so please let me know what I can do to see it. Thanks, and keep up the great work! — Jeffrey
Hi, thanks for getting in touch. Check out the FAQ and you’ll see that you can’t purchase these filmumentaries. You can however download them on Vimeo if you log in. Raiding is there too – http://vimeo.com/user5888890
just two days ago i stumbled upon your work on Vimeo and all i can say is….how have i missed you?!?!?!
Truly it was one of those rare and delicious moments when you hit on something online that just tickles you pink and you cant help but walk around with the biggest grin on your face!
It also thrills me to see others share my enthusiasm for the behind the scenes and making of.
I buy my dvds/blurays based on the amount of extras they have (the films are usually irrelevant to me – prime example ‘Prometheus’, horrible film but over 2 and a half hours of a ‘making of’….i was in heaven!).
So to come across something like this is, for me, like cheap wine to a bum – i just cant get enough!
So i tip my hat and extend a virtual pat on the shoulder to some utter fantastic work! I do hope some one recognizes the time, dedication and utter love you have poured into your work and gives you high praise! 🙂
I await, eagerly and with baited breath, for your next masterpiece.
Another fan in your growing ranks
Well firstly thanks for getting in touch. Its great to hear people are stumbling across the projects and feeling like they’ve hit gold. Thanks also for your very kind words. They really do mean a lot to me. Thanks again.
Jamie…. Brilliant work on all your filmumentaries! I by chance came across the Jaws one on line an really wondered if there could be any new making of info out there. Well you found it and presented it all in a fun an fascinating way. I found myself watching all your “tributes” to the favorite films of my youth! Each and every one was a gem! Steven and George should be paying you for your amazing efforts! For that matter they should considering releasing your films on their blu-ray releases!
I’m a set designer and have designed for theatre, film, and tv (currently on Boardwalk Empire) and can say that one of my great dreams was to have a chance to work on a Speilberg film and it finally came true when I was an art director on the New York team of War of the Worlds. It was amazing to watch the master at work!
Curious any ideal what film you will be doing next? So many great films to dive into! Have you considered E.T.?
Well must wrap this up… Just wanted to congratulate you on your amazing work! Keep it up!
By the way… Don’t know how you feel about the great Epics of the 50-60’s but one of the most fascinating behind the scenes movie of all times is the Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra. It is infinitely more fascinating and exciting then the film itself. Take a peak at the documentary on the blu-ray for that film and you may find there is a lot of I detailed treasures to be found there!
Hi Dan, thanks for the enthusiasm. Wow you’ve worked on some great projects yourself then!
I have thought of doing E.T. I think I am going to tackle BTTF and Ghostbusters first though. Listen to me mapping out the next two and a half years of my life!
Thanks for the support and feedback Dan, I am very grateful!
Thanks for responding! Keep up the great work! Looking forward to your next piece. Don’t know how you get the time to do these!
In my opinion, you have an unusually unique talent for breathing new life into movies we thought we already knew everything about . Even though I consider it a gift you possess, I understand the undoubtedly meticulous work that must have gone into this project. I admire it (and I’m immensely grateful for the winning effort!) I just watched your Jaws filmumentary and was captivated pretty much from start to finish. I’ve bought every Jaws release on many DVDs including the bluray. I’ve watched all of the documentaries, dvd extras, deleted scenes, interviews and read “The Jaws Log”. I thought I knew everything about the film until I stumbled upon your work and was sort of given a reintroduction to the making of the movie, which for me is almost as great as the movie! I’ve been to the Vineyard, visited several filming locations and jumped off of what the locals call “Jaws Bridge” on State beach. I always thought an amazing movie could be made about that time on Martha’s Vineyard back in 1974. It just seemed like such an awesome thing to be a part of (making that film on the island.) It would be the next best thing for me, other than actually living through it. Your work has brought me a bit closer to imagining what that fantasy would be like!– thank you! As soon as I have the chance I’ll be watching your other filmumentaries. I don’t think I can over state how much better you are than the professionals who are paid (very well) to produce work similar to yours. I was genuinely impressed and enjoyed “Inside Jaws” more than my words can express. I could go on, but I’m sure your fan base is about to sky rocket (if it hasn’t exploded already.) Your time is a truly valuable asset and I won’t take up much more of it. I hope my gratitude finds you. I hope you continue to do what you do!!! Thanks again!
Wow. Thank you so much for getting in touch. I am blown away.
You’re very welcome. I’m actually blown away that you did this project in your spare time (and that you gave me a quick response!). As I said before it takes unusual talent and intellect, but I’m also sure it can be tediously hard work.
If you’re looking for ideas beyond GhostBusters, which I’m looking forward to…would you consider “The Wizard of Oz”? I haven’t watched it in years. But saw it every year, once a year, throughout my childhood. It aired on network television in the U.S. I just had a baby boy so the movie will definetly be on my Queue sometime in the next 3 to 5 years. I know it’s ancient and a children’s movie, but I think you might strike gold if you could uncover some rare footage or possibly contact a survivor from the movie. Though, by now, you might need to settle for a survivor’s son or daughter. I just think with the on screen hanging (supposedly) and the enormous cast of little people (how were they treated, paid, etc.) It might be an interesting project.
Also, on the complete opposite end of the rainbow–“Deliverance”. I know it’s dark. And the nerds might not come running, but it will attract a different group of fans. Burt Reynolds had some intriguing things to say about his time on the set, and he’s actually a pretty good story teller. The movie, to me, is more of a crazy ride–the first time you watch it. You’re not sure you should have got on, but you’re stuck seated till the credits roll.
Just some ideas. I’d imagine you really need to love these movies in order to put your heart into them, the way you did with “Inside Jaws.” So eventhough I’d love to see you do a filmumentary on one of the above, I’m anxiously anticipating Ghostbusters. So, again thanks for getting back to me. And for selfish reasons, I sincerely hope you get to one day do this full time.
I’m the Head of Marketing & Creative consultant over at eightfiftysix.com
A website that’s about to go live in the next 10 days.
Among my jobs is a podcast that I host, PRC5, which again will be going live soon.
We’re going to be recording a documentary podcast soon & would love to have you on as a guest to not only talk about your finished filmumentaries but also on the concept in large.
If you have time for a 10 minute or 45 minute interview either would be great.
Please get a hold of me when you can.
I was searching through Vimeo for behind the scenes footage of Raiders when I found your Filmumentary. I dare to say I had as much fun watching your film as I do with Raiders! I’ve been sharing your work with my filmmaking friends ever since. All of your films are amazing and valuable contributions to the art of filmmaking. I just want to say thank you! I look forward to more. Cheers!
So kind of you! Thanks!
Thank you so much for the Sylvain Despretz interview! Illuminating! I bought the book immediately.
Thank you Chandler. Its a great book!