The Matrix Was Behind Filming Schedule, They Did Not Gamble Their Budget on the Opening Scene (Proof in Comments)

The Matrix Was Behind Filming Schedule, They Did Not Gamble Their Budget on the Opening Scene (Proof in Comments)

The video is from the 1999 DVD commentary and the voices you hear are Carrie-Anne Moss, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, and editor Zach Staenberg (who won an Oscar for his work here).

The discussion is specifically about the shooting schedule, not the budget. What happened was filming was set for a 90 day shoot, but they were falling behind schedule. The Wachowski Brothers had them clean up the opening action sequence (add some touches, sound effects) and sent that over to the studio. That ‘blew away’ the studio heads, who backed off about the schedule, and let them go over-schedule (ended up being 118 days). There is nothing about a budget gamble of 10mil, and later on Staenberg even says that the original script called for Trinity to jump over the alley way while a train rushed underneath and that ‘the budget wasn’t an issue, we just couldn’t find any alleys in Australia that had a train running between them’.

The film was in pre-production for 4~ months (confirmed by Moss in the commentary), where all of the main cast underwent loads of training from martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. During that training, Keanu suffered a two-level fusion of his cervical spine, and had to have surgery. As a result, they filmed most of his non-action scenes first.

This was the first action scene they filmed, but they did not film the movie in order. Several scenes were filmed before this one; ie, their entire budget was not put into this one scene.

The original quote about the 10mil budget being gambled on the opening sequence seems to have started in 2008 (that’s the earliest reference I could find) on this site: http://www.matrixresolutions.com/index.html?page=behind_the_scenes

Around 2012-2013, the claim starts popping up on sites like Screenrant, along with clickbait sites that feature ’15 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Matrix’. My assumption is, sometime between 2008 and 2012, someone edited the IMDB trivia section with the false information from the MatrixResolutions site, and other sites then scooped it up as official because it came from IMDB.

Thanks for compiling the relevant materials and setting the record straight, pretty solid info

TIL not all TIL are true.

I knew this smelled like movie lore b.s.

This was confusing to me because I had never heard the original rumor in the first place. I'm glad to hear the rumor in the context of it being disproven though.

There was a post on Reddit just within the past few days or week that was taking this rumor/quote as fact when it wasn't really true at all, and OPs awesome post clears it all up

Kinda like LifeProTips are just general things you realize as you get older.

Idk if anybody posted this, but that entire rooftop chase reused assets and the majority of the rooftop set from the film "Dark City"

I give it never.

I wonder if the misinformation started as so much film industry misinformation, in that blogs written by people with no real perspective or concept of how things work misinterpreted a third hand account about the film going over budget because the studio saw this scene and allowed them to shoot an extra 28 days. On a film of that scale 28 days could easily be another $10mil in the budget. Film budgets are broken down by the day and on a big film it can cost over $300,000 a day.

LPT - you shouldn't look directly at a chick's tits or man's junk during a business conversation. Just glance when you're sure they're looking away to avoid appearing creepy.

I JUST saw all 3 Matrix films yesterday for the first time ever. Coming from an Actors POV, I was really blown away by the action choreography.

Yeah, the trivia I remember was that the Wachowski's made Bound for something like $15mil as a test to show the studio that they should get much more to make The Matrix.

I'm pulling that completely from my own memory so... add grains of salt as you wish.

Looking back that was indeed an incredible opening sequence to a movie.

A two level fusion is the treatment, not the injury. They remove a damaged disc between the vertebrae and replace it with an implant. 

http://www.medicalexhibits.com/obrasky/2009/09063_02X.jpg

The damaged disc causes a shitload of pain, hence the reason for the surgery. Most people have damaged discs to some degree, they don't heal very well or at all due to really poor blood supply. Most people don't have symptoms. If everyone got an MRI tomorrow there would be a shit load of people with bulging, compressed, and herneated discs. They only cause pain when nerves get involved.  And then holy shit does it hurt.  The disc will bulge out (think of squeezing a water balloon) and that can push the nerve up against bone. (This is only one example)

It's called a fusion because the end goal is that bone grows all over and around the spacer implant and in a few years you basically have one mass of bone where there used to be two.  Actually, the rods and screws only hold things in place while this happens, after fusion is complete they are essentially just sitting there doing nothing. Obviously they don't bother to remove them.

A two level fusion is the treatment, not the injury. They remove a damaged disc between the vertebrae and replace it with an implant.

The damaged disc causes a shitload of pain, hence the reason for the surgery. Most people have damaged discs to some degree, they don't heal very well or at all due to really poor blood supply. Most people don't have symptoms. If everyone got an MRI tomorrow there would be a shit load of people with bulging, compressed, and herneated discs. They only cause pain when nerves get involved. And then holy shit does it hurt. The disc will bulge out (think of squeezing a water balloon) and that can push the nerve up against bone. (This is only one example)

It's called a fusion because the end goal is that bone grows all over and around the spacer implant and in a few years you basically have one mass of bone where there used to be two. Actually, the rods and screws only hold things in place while this happens, after fusion is complete they are essentially just sitting there doing nothing. Obviously they don't bother to remove them.

Very possible. When researching the claims, I just assumed whoever created the matrixresolutions site in 2008 had a bad recollection of that time they listened to this commentary track in 2000 and posted the info without going back to verify what they were saying was accurate.

Then someone updated IMDB (because anyone can), and around 2012 other sites found that tidbit and just ran with it without attempting to verify.

Give it a week

From my research on this topic, you're actually kinda close. I didn't study Bound too closely, but what I did read was that the Wachowski's pitched Matrix and specifically wanted to direct, but since they had no experience directing they were declined. Instead they directed Bound, and they were cleared to direct Matrix as a result.

According to my research on this, he didn't want the job because of what the Wachowski's were pitching: turn actors into fighters. Films were typically shot with doubles, who could perform the actual acts, and thus very little training had to go into the actors. The Wachowski's wanted to spend months having the choreographer train actors to move and fight correctly.

According to Wikipedia: Yuen was optimistic but then began to worry when he realized how unfit the actors were.

LPT wear sunglasses indoors to stare at all the titties you want

I saw the Reddit post the other day with the false information. My wife saw it on BuzzFeed today. I give BuzzFeed two weeks before they correct their story.

They'll probably make an article out of this post too, but never mention the other, and just have two conflicting stories up.

I knew it was BS when I read it.

Producers have folks on set...watching. They don't make an investment of 10M just to have two brothers bamboozle them and squeeze them for 80M. Nope.

The level of planning that goes into the first 10M would be huge. Executive producers would have sniffed it out months ahead of time.

In fairness to /u/MrFlow - this has been incorrectly on the internet since 2008, mainstream sites since 2012. And the DVD commentary is almost 20 years old. I couldn't find a single interview with anyone involved in the filming to confirm the 10mil story, which is mostly what sent me looking for where the story originated.

I mean, it did what it was suppose to, it really drew you into the movie in the first minutes. And the trailers they showed nothing, so I would say the majority of people had no idea what they were getting into at the time, which makes the intro all that more important to be compelling. Definitely not enough that could be said about the movie, simply a work of art.

Apparently the choreographer didn't want the job for some reason. The Wachowskis had to bend over backwards to get him on board. But then again now that the opening scene myth has been busted, who knows if that's even true anymore!

Ok, reading that the movie is nearly 20 years old hurts.

BuzzFeed

Correct

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Its amazing just how much misinformation there is out there that people parrot as if they know to be fact.

People don't realize that 28 days over schedule is a big deal too. That's other movie that may need to film, other jobs people would be on, that's being a month behind on post production. It's a problem. Though the studio was confident they were making something compelling, interesting and most of marketable and working through these problems would pay off.

the majority of people had no idea what they were getting into at the time

Those are my distinct memories going into the theater. What is this movie about, computer hackers? Which it kinda is, but on a whole other level.

The more I look back the more I realize just how amazing the first film was. This series had the potential to be the Star Wars of my generation.

The real LPT is always in the comments...

Another factoid you see on Reddit often is the claim that Gavrilo Princip stopping to eat a sandwich allowed him to assassinate Franz Ferdinand.

Smithsonian tracked the origin of this myth to a Brazilian alt-history novel, that then made it into a British TV documentary that saw wide release.

It was posted yesterday to TIL: https://np.reddit.com/sub/todayilearned/comments/6nby65/til_that_the_wachowskis_asked_warner_bros...

Thank you for correcting this, /u/erythrasma ... I almost got bamboozled by /u/MrFlow

The real TIL is always in the comments

I think he was stiff because he'd never used his muscles before.

keep in mind that was just the shooting schedule. doesn't include editing, musical score, cgi, etc. and before shooting they would presumably be building props, costumes, sets, etc.

Yup, there was a comment in an ask reddit post the other day about it. I pointed out why it would be impossible for the movie to cost 10m when Keanu was paid 10m up front and got downvoted.

That's not even a Reddit tidbit, i was literally taught that in history class.

purple monkey dishwasher

They went over schedule or budget, but they created the single best action move of all time. Seems worth it.

I still love the universe. The Animatrix and the two video games really fleshed things out.

All respect to any transgender person; just trying to stick to how the film is still currently referred to as a film by 'The Wachowski Brothers'. I admit it's a grey area and absolutely mean no disrespect to anyone.

I always wondered which sets specifically got re-used.

No. IMDb is riddled with inaccurate information. That's not to say it's a bad resource, but don't take what's there as gospel.

One example is Big which I recall having trivia saying it had an alternate ending where Susan turns herself into a teenager and surprises Josh in class. This is of course the ending to 14 Going On 30. This inaccuracy has since been fixed.

the matrix was a big deal. as big as star wars was in the past [prior to ep7]. Everyone associates slow motion 360 and black fashion attire with the matrix.

That's a fake laugh

I was wondering what he could possibly have done to fuse two vertebrae together.

I had no idea what I was about to see. When he wakes up in the real world for the first time it blew me away. It was an actual holy shit moment in cinema for me. I've never experienced anything like that moment in any other movie so far.

Nonsense, it only took them 6 years to figure out that I Kissed a Girl was about sex.

This time the work was already done for them, so it'll probably be corrected in 3.

Fun story: when I was in my 20s I was working a gig with several celebrities in attendance. I had no idea Jennifer Tilly was there until the moment someone behind me whispered, in the sexiest razzie (word?) voice ever, 'Where's Phil?' (her partner, Phil Laak).

Turned around and she's like an inch from my face, all smiles, knowing she was just messing with me.

She has such an unforgettable voice.

Fusion Dance obviously. He was trying to become Morpheo with Morpheus.

fuck i love the matrix

I envy him for about 2 hours. Then pity him for the next 4

Wow I had no idea you could potentially wrap up something like The Matrix in just 90 days.

I didn't study Bound too closely

hey man, we're all friends here, you can admit it

Sorry but how do you suffer a fusion of the spine? Isn't a spinal fusion a surgery you have performed on you?

Humans aren't always great at remembering things and can wind up playing a game of telephone all by themselves. So a noteworthy factoid can mutate when you try to recall it.

The studio wasn't sure about the project (because it was behind schedule) until they saw the opening scene.

gets recalled by a hurried blogger that maybe wasn't paying that much attention and writes down:

The studio wasn't sure about the project (and so wasn't going to fully fund it) until they saw the opening scene.

I can't recall another movie where i was so invigorated coming out of. Didn't want it to end. Wanted to learn kung-fu. All of it. THE MATRIX was wildly exciting upon first viewing.

I actually saw both in theaters, three times each. Giant fan :)

That's definitely what word came to mind, but it isn't really like that when you hear it in person. It sounds like an angel who has been smoking for 100 years. Unforgettable and impossible to describe, apparently :)

they did not film the movie in [chronological] order.

This is also evident by Neo's haircut in the movie.

Over schedule is over budget.

Relevant XKCD.

That time between Reloaded and Revolutions though, before reddit there was (also) amazing internet discussion - I wish the young redditors could have experienced how deep and intense it was back in those more "gentle" days of actual fan forums - great times.

You should check out The Raid and The Raid 2. Most of the actors are martial Arts masters

Dark City will forever be hidden in The Matrix's shadow :P

The second and third were good movies too. Everyone is hyper-critical of them, but they were good. Just not groundbreaking milestones in the film industry like the first one was. That's too damn high of a bar.

It is a fantastic film. Well written, with a solid cast. It excels at atmosphere.

If you do see the movie, I recommend the Director's Cut. The theatrical cut has a voiceover narration at the start of the film that spoils a lot of the plot.

I feel 20 years older than I was before reading this post.

Nah, my memory is an excellent source. Like I said above, "Don't take this with a grain of salt; I'm absolutely, 100%, certain this is true."

I feel like my parent's generation had the opening scene of Star Wars with the star destroyer filling the screen, and my generation had Neo waking up to the nightmare of reality. God damn.

the trilogy should be watched as if it is one long movie rather than individual sequels.. do that and the trilogy as a whole is still the best sci fi trilogy of all time imo.

yesterday for the first time ever.

I envy you!

http://imgur.com/3IaBXRa

Puppy monkey baby

So, don't believe everything you first see on Reddit ? Gotcha.

Animatrix is so good. The two parter history is seated in my mind.

*seared. I have no idea what position those films are in in my head.

But it's funny that IMDb is (or was, I don't follow it too closely) considered to be good enough source for Wikipedia. I once corrected some cast info on Wikipedia and IMDb at the same time. My Wikipedia edit got reverted because it was unsourced (how am I supposed to provide a source for "this person is/isn't in the movie which I saw"?). Once the IMDb edit got through, Wikipedia accepted it.

Very few movies or television do.


According to my research on this


I keep picturing you as this OP

According to my research on this

Prove it🤔

What if this TIL isn't true? Boom paradox.

Great detective work man! Does IMDB trivia have the same protections, as say... Wikipedia? 🤔

T2 could kick it's ass!

Raspy?

Lol at whoever downvoted you. OP got mixed up, you are correct the fusion was a surgical procedure. (Source: Have had 2 spinal fusions, neither happened on accident).

The second "fact" on that website is also verifiably untrue...

This is the first multi-media creation in human history, not to be confused with multimedia. The entire Matrix story is told not only in three movies (plus The Animatrix), but also in comics and video games.

Many, many, many serial properties had comics/books/movies/TV shows/ radio shows telling a story decades before The Matrix.

I never even heard this myth but it was an interesting read anyway, thanks!

Just a heads up before someone freaks out on you but it's probably better to refer to the former "Wachowski brothers" as just The Wachowskis now even though "brothers" was common at the time the Matrix was released. It seems like such a small thing but from trans folks, many of whom have to deal with people refusing to acknowledge their choice of gender expression, it seems like a bigger deal. I just thought I'd say something politely before somebody says something rudely. :)

Disagree, think has aged very well.

if you think it went pure action you missed pretty much everything in the sequels

Mine too. The marketing for the first film was fantastic. It was that sort of hook where you don't mind it a bit when you sit down after getting off the hype train and it unfolds in something like this. And i am used to hype=>disappointment.

This is the major problem with crowdsourcing info and current blog culture. On one hand it's great that everyone has a say, and many people have become active sharing knowledge through imdb, wikipedia, etc., but on the other hand, very inexperienced/underqualified people can just post shit, and if it does go unchallenged it becomes the new norm.

That's super scary, because there are just massive amounts of knowledge that are either so trivial or specialized that it creates a window to exploit (even if not intentionally) and gets rehashed on the myriad content-sharing websites.

I remember studying Anthro once, and I devised some possible migration rout for humans that would have accorded with all our literature and studies, and I thought damn, if I put this in writing it would seem super legit, and yet I totally made it up. Many seasoned anthro types would have fallen for it.

If it's just a 2 level cervical spine fusion it doesn't impede range of motion that much. Edit: Three levels actually Part of the Keenan Ivory Wayans Show interview:

[Keenan]- Now, we were talking backstage about your scar... [Keanu]- Yes. [Keenan]- ...on your neck. You just had a operation from a previous motorcycle accident. [Keanu]- Yeah. Well, um...I don't know. I had, ah, 2 disks removed from between my vertebra, and then they, ah, took some, ah, cadaver bone and stuck it in there as placement, and they took a steel plate. [Makes motion indicating behind or beside] And they want 3 of my vertebra to fuse. [Keenan]- Wow. [Keanu]- And it's just from motorcycle accidents. I played hockey as a kid. I'm just a terrible driver. I keep crashing. [continued with jokes about it setting off metal detectors at the airport...which is funny now because of that scene in The Matrix...=) ]

It doesn't even make sense. No way would the studio be like "We gave you $10mil and you completely blew it on one sequence, we'll definitely trust you with another $80mil!"

Like even if they thought the sequence was really good, that's just a stupid thing for a studio to do.

I remember that. There were a thousand theories floating around about what was happening and what might happen next. People were digging very far into religion and mythology to make connections and find influences in the story. I remember making a 6-8 page Word document collating all the Internet theories I could find and adding my thoughts and then distributing it amongst my friends. It was an amazing time, and I think it amplified my disappointment with Revolutions when it finally came. The internet had far better ideas than what the filmmakers came up with.

Oh cool never knew that was also shot in Aus. That movie was also pretty good but man the director didn't shoot the action well at all.

90 days (118 actual per commentary) is a lot of days.

Hours on set are long. Cast schedules limited. Crew, equipment, location and stages expensive. Setbacks and compromises abound.

Time is a luxury on a film set. Leaders who don't come prepared or lack proficient experience fail, or get really lucky.

It's off topic, but does anyone else chuckle when hearing "the Wachowski Brothers" now?

Edit: also, I'm confused about this part

Keanu suffered a two-level fusion of his cervical spine, and had to have surgery.

Isn't a spinal fusion a surgery, not a disorder?

I rewatched it recently, and the sequels just really do not hold up. They had the potential to make a great trilogy that really went in to what makes humanity, what drives humans, AI vs human consciousness... and instead they went pure action movie, cheesy quips, "love conquers all", etc.

Like, bringing Agent Smith into the real world? Tons of potential in that move. Does he start to discover his humanity? Grow feelings? No. He still just wants to kill people.

And the final battle in zion is just ridiculous. They have thousands of machines vs like 50 gunners, and instead of just flying at the gunners, they swarm around them letting them shoot them?

Or the last Neo vs Smith fight? They fly at each other, punch each other, and fly backwards? Like, I get it probably looked cool in their heads, but no.

The only good thing about the sequels is that the mythology they built actually opens up the possibility for a reboot that explores all the stuff they didnt before, that could even be called The Matrix: Rebooted, where the codebase is growing unstable again and generates another "One".

I feel like I wouldve liked the sequels better if they went the predictable route of having Zion just be a second level of the matrix. Hell, make that the plot of Matrix: Rebooted, that the machines never gave humans the choice to stay in the matrix or leave after Neo sacrificed himself, because all they were really choosing was between one version of the matrix and another.

The choreographer is a really great guy, you can look at just about all of his movies and the choreography is matrix level. He did a lot of those old kung fu movies.

In some respects it hasn't dated very well but totally worth seeing.

As a trans person, I always refer to myself as a guy when talking about the past, unless it's relevant to the story.

I feel like the amount of attempts to imitate its style has harmed it in retrospect. Like, doing stuff like the slow motion effects became so overdone and eventually cheesy that the original movie now feels stale and cheesy too?

Curse you pesky truth!!!

Edited IMDB.

To be fair, they were the "Wachowski Brothers" when they made the film.

I don't believe you.

here are some of the scenes he choreographed.

For anyone wondering the choreographer was Yuen Woo Ping,