After enjoying the monumental 'Hamilton' on Disney+, you can't help but wonder how in the hell they managed to pull off such a feat. Well, here's all the details on how the production was shot as a movie.
If you haven't already tuned into the musical Disney+ - then clear the afternoon and tune that baby into your TV set and get watching the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical. And after you've done that, here's how the making of 'Hamilton' happened for its big screen debut.
Filmed back in 2016, this version was directed by Thomas Kail, who also directed the Broadway show. In an interview with Inquirer.net, Kail says he and Lin-Manuel Miranda began talking about filming a year beforehand when it had already become a worldwide phenomenon.
Filming the footage over just three days, here's the bones of how the production was shot. Kail said:
"I made the film over the last three years, but we shot it in three days. We shot on June 26, 27 and 28 of 2016. We shot two live performances straight through with an audience—no stopping. That was the matinee on the 26th and the evening on the 28th. We had a little bit of time on the 26th after the show, all day on Monday and a little time in the beginning of the 28th to then be onstage, get some over the shoulders and get the Steadicam in there without an audience.
"So, we have two performances that were live. The film you see is taken from both of those. Then, we also had 13 numbers of the possible 46 that we got onstage and did it without an audience. So, the vast majority of the 33 numbers was all taken from the Sunday or the Tuesday. Then we had some of the bigger numbers out there—‘Hamilton,’ ‘My Shot,’ ‘Satisfied,’ ‘Helpless,’ ‘Non-Stop,’ ‘One Last Time,’ ‘The Room Where It Happens.’ Those were numbers that we were able to get on stage, and we did a couple takes of those without an audience. Then we sifted and sorted.
"I had six cameras that were shooting on the Sunday with different operators and then three fixed cameras or nine total. Then, I changed all the positions for the fixed cameras for the Tuesday so the multiple gets high really fast, but that’s how we made it… Our show is not just about the principals—it’s about the entire ensemble, and so much of our storytelling is done in the physical vocabulary. If I’m going to close up, it means I’m not on that dance step. It’s very hard to do both those things. So, it was a real balance of making sure that I wanted to give intimacy and proximity, which you have in cinema."
Phew, sounds like one hell of a stressful three days.
If you're looking for even more 'Hamilton' goodness on Disney+ this weekend, an exclusive 'Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes on You' special has been added to the streaming platform. Expect behind-the-scenes information on the production as well as in-depth interviews with some of the cast and crew.