Test Screening Details On 'The Simpsons'

Here’s more from that hush-hush Portland, Oregon, test screening of the hush-hush The Simpsons movie which is still a work-in-progress with only partial animation and in need of tweaks like Hans Zimmer’s score. Naturally, the attendees were forced to sign a multi-page nondisclosure agreement. Given all the secrecy, what does Fox think they have buried there: gold? Why, yes, box office gold! Who’s not gonna see this pic. And what summer blockbuster would be without a big sickening summer promotion. Right now, 7-11 and Fox are working on a deal to transform 11 of 4,700 stores across the U.S. to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Marts selling some of Homer Simpson’s favorite snacks. Inside every 7-11 will be a bonanza of Simpsons characters hawking the food. And all 7-11 customers will be able to buy products inspired by the show, including KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola, and iced Squishees (the cup will say Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee). But back to the test screening. My immense thanks to Shawn Levy of The Oregonian, whose source adds nice detail to the already posted brief write-up by a contributor to Ain’t It Cool News:

“A reliable informant sends the following: ‘I, too, attended the first public test screening last Tuesday night at the Lloyd. Matt Groening sat four seats away from us, James L. Brooks and a plethora of writers sat behind us in two rows. It was good but very rough. Lots of animatics, both pencil drawings, and CG match moves and storyboards. Pretty enjoyable all around though and a pretty amazing screening experience, perhaps one of the best of my life thus far. It’s in the top five at least. Here are a few more details:

  • The film was about 90 minutes + some more.
  • It was very rough in places with CG animatics and match move models of characters and then pencil sketches. Some were just story boards.
  • The plot of the film is like a big episode, but kept pretty straightforward and linear. Not a ton of wacky digressions, but the focus is on the family first and foremost.
  • The first 45-50 minutes are pretty tightly written and cut, with a lot of well structured ‘A’ jokes followed up very quickly by the smaller ‘B’ joke.
  • At this point, the film is pretty well mapped out and plotted, but still very very malleable.
  • I would say the most work needs to be done near the last third of the film. It just feels a bit fast in how it wraps up, otherwise, it’s a solid piece of entertainment.
  • There were more than a few points where I had to remind myself that I was watching a movie, not just an episode and they even make a few jokes about this too.
  • The film is in Scope/2.35:1 and makes a joke about this in the first 3-4 minutes.'”
  • Ain’t It Cool News contributor Biker-Boy wrote earlier about the test screening:

  • The film in its current form is massively unfinished; with, I would guess, around 30% of the film in the final hi-def, super sharp animation. The rest was divided between hand drawn storyboards, and low res, choppy colour animation.
  • The voice soundtrack was complete, but the musical score wasn’t.
  • All this probably means that, even if unchanged, the final print will maintain its pacing, excitement and charm a little better than the version we saw, as 2 or 3 hand-drawn storyboards don’t quite manage to convey all of the things which makes The Simpsons so special.
  • We did get a pretty good idea of what to expect though, and where the film makers are going with this big screen version. So what did I, a Simpsons appreciator of long standing, think of the movie? It’s excellent. Is it mind blowingly awesome? No, not quite. Almost, but not quite. At least not in it’s current form. (more…)
  • This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2007/03/test-screening-details-from-the-simpsons-pic-1766/