Weekend Watch: Behind The Scenes of Bumblebee
Welcome to Weekend Watch, a recurring feature where we highlight some of the best geek-related videos around the web. Whether it’s short films, behind-the-scenes videos, video essays or top 10 countdowns, the only requirement is that they are about–in some shape or form–our favorite geeky topics!
In this edition of Weekend Watch, we will be taking a look at various behind-the-scenes glimpses into the making of Bumblebee. You can read our spoiler-free review of the film here, but it also managed to make our top 10 movies of the year list as well. This weekend, we’ll be delving into a bunch of behind the scenes content for Bumblebee, including five different featurettes as well as a look into the G1 design choices from the movie. Plus, we have a lengthy B-Roll video, along with a great interview where John Cena tries to guess the names of famous robots.
Bumblebee Origins Behind The Scenes Featurette
First up, we’ve got a fairly quick featurette from Flicks And The City Clips shows us more about Bumblebee’s inception as a prequel, along with the development of the character himself. Even though we get a few glimpses of behind the scenes footage, the emphasis here is on the influence of the film’s director, Travis Knight. Although the featurette gives us a quick into Knight’s success with Laika Animation Studios, it also gives us some insight on how the director was able to translate those lessons into Bumblebee’s philosophy, along with his own personal influences.
Bumblebee Character Featurettes
This series of featurettes, courtesy of Paramount, give us a quick look at some of the new characters. In the first video, we get a look Charlie Watson’s introduction to audiences, along with some valuable insight into her specific journey in Bumblebee. Aside from highlighting Charlie and Bee’s connection to one another, it also establishes the sense of self-discovery that helps to personalize the movie.
Next, we get a look at John Cena’s Agent Burns, including his involvement with Sector 7. In the featurette, we learn that Knight cast Cena for not only the physical presence that he brought to the role, but also more about his role in the events of Bumblebee.
This featurette highlights the Decpticon influence in the film, focusing on the first triple changers that we’ve seen in the live-action movies. Shatter and Dropkick are very reminiscent of the various Transformers toy lines, and this quick video only reinforces that 80’s vibe of Bumblebee.
Behind-the-Scenes With John Cena
In this video from WWE, we get a quick look at life on the Bumblebee set through the lens of none other than John Cena himself. There’s not much to glean about the making of the film itself here, it does provides a fun look into not only the actor’s personality, but also his “transformation” into agent Burns in the make-up trailer.
Bumblebee Director Breaks Down Transformers G1 Designs & Featurette
This featurette, also from Paramount, gives us a quick overview of Knight’s approach to Bumblebee in terms of design influences. One of the film’s main selling points is the fact that it harkens back to the original Generation 1 designs, leaning heavily into that part of the Transformers canon. It’s always great to see that the cast and crew had a real affection for the defining era of the franchise’s mythology, but the simplification of Bumblebee’s overall aesthetic is the real selling point here.
Next, we have a wonderful video from IGN where Knight further dissects the design inspiration behind some of Bumblebee’s characters. Aside from further delving into Knight’s personal history with each of these characters, this video also looks at the fine line of appealing to this G1 aesthetic while also fitting in as a prequel to the other Transformers movies. It also looks into the specifics of Bumblebee’s design mentality for Optimus Prime, Soundwave, and of curse the titular character himself.
This video from On the Set gives us a great fly on the wall look at the making of the film. Not only do we get a look into the dynamic on set, but we also gain more insight on Knight’s directorial style in general. This B-Roll video covers some of the smaller sequences, but it also gives us great looks into the creation of the more action-oriented scenes in the film. We also get some quick looks at Knight directing the actors on set, along with a ton of interactions between setups. The mood is often light and fluffy in this B-Roll, so it’s easy to see how Knight’s chemistry here ultimately permeated its way into the film.
John Cena Guesses Famous Robots
Finally, we’ll end with a fun video from Wired, whereby John Cena tests his knowledge on all things related to robots in popular culture. Although it’s only tangentially related to Bumblebee, this quiz is actually pretty great. There are some obvious choices like Robocop, Wall-E and Optimus Prime, but the selections become wide enough to make it interesting for the actor. Aside from getting the opportunity to witness Cena hum the original Transformers theme song, this also gives us a chance ponder the question of which fictional Transformers character the former wrestler would like to be.
Which video was your favorite to watch? Let us know in the comment section below!