Writer/director Damien Chazelle made a name for himself back in 2014 when Whiplash was hailed as one of the best films of that year, and it looks like the rising talent was no fluke. His next feature, La La Land, is a modern day throwback to the grand old Hollywood musical and is considered one of the top contenders for awards this season. La La Land screened at several of the top fall film festivals and earned widespread acclaim, which has made it one of the most anticipated offerings for cinephiles in the winter.
Lionsgate is obviously enthusiastic about the project and its ability to connect with audiences. They’ve put together a strong marketing campaign consisting of visually-stunning trailers and TV spots featuring the movie’s catchy collection of original songs. Now, the studio continues their advertising efforts with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film and the hard work put in by the cast and crew. You can watch it above.
The featurette covers several key components of La La Land, beginning with the pairing of stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. This marks the third time the two have worked together (following Crazy, Stupid Love and Gangster Squad), so there’s a clear comfort and history there that may have been hard to replicate with other actors. Chazelle compares his dynamic duo to legends like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, which is certainly a high bar to clear. By all accounts, however, Gosling and Stone delivered great performances, so La La Land could very well join the ranks of the all-time greats. Chazelle also touches on some of the supporting characters, played by J.K. Simmons, John Legend, and others.
As one can expect, there was a lot of preparation put into the pre-production process as Chazelle and his team planned out the various musical numbers. Stone, Gosling, and their co-stars rehearsed extensively, learning tap dancing, jazz, and ballroom in the months leading up to shooting. Some may also be impressed to see that Gosling was up to the task of practicing piano, since Chazelle wanted to incorporate long takes to show viewers that the leading man was playing songs for real. It harkens back to Whiplash, where Miles Teller’s actual drumming accounted for a sizable portion of the soundtrack. In the video, Gosling speaks enthusiastically of one of his “most fulfilling” pre-production phases in his career, where he played piano for months.
Time will tell if moviegoers will respond to La La Land as positively as critics did, but it certainly looks like a one-of-a-kind movie experience this holiday season. There was much work and effort was put into the film, and it seems everyone will be paid handsomely for their efforts, since Chazelle’s latest is expected to rack up the accolades in the coming months. December is packed to the brim with interesting projects poised to end the year on a high note, and La La Land should be one of the more memorable.