The first film from my most anticipated of 2015 list hits theaters when ‘Project Almanac’ will be released on Friday. However, the found footage time travel film from Dean Israelite is heading back to the editing room for a few tweaks before it debuts because of some offensive footage that can be seen in the movie’s trailers.
According to Air Force Times, the families of Col. Robert Wolff and Lt. Col. Mark McGeehan were greatly offended when they found out that a scene in the film features the characters watching a “nearly identical” clip of a fatal plane crash that claimed the lives of four Air Force officers at Fairchild Air Force Base in 1994. Naturally, they petitioned Paramount Pictures and producer Michael Bay to remove the two-second shot from the movie before its release and the filmmakers happily complied. To see how the clip from the movie compares to the actual footage, go to the 1:53 mark of the trailer and then watch the following video of the incident:
In an apology from Bay, he noted that he was unaware that director Israelite had used real footage instead of visual effects and expressed how sorry he was that this detail went overlooked:
photo credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
“My relationship with the United States military has been very strong my entire film career. Every branch of service has appeared in my past films or TV shows. I have encountered nothing more than extraordinary brave men and women who serve our country. I’m very proud to be able to represent them professionally in my films.
Unfortunately today I learned that the movie ‘Project Almanac,’ produced by my Platinum Dunes company, directed by a talented first-time director, used a 2-second shot in a grainy news clip of a real B-52 crash. When the director presented his cut to me, I actually thought the short clip was a created visual effect like many of the other shots in the film.
I let film directors make their movies at Platinum Dunes and give them tremendous responsibilities. Well, unfortunately a very bad choice was made to use a real crash instead of creating a VFX shot, without realizing the impact it could have on the families.
I have asked Paramount Pictures to remove this shot immediately from the picture. I want to also extend my deepest apology to the families, and also to the U.S. Air Force.”
Paramount also responded by saying that they are working to alter the film and its promotional material to omit the footage. It’s not expected to hinder the original release date and it should still come out on January 30th as originally planned.
What do you think about ‘Project Almanac’ using actual plane crash footage in the first place? Do you think that it was an insensitive cost-cutting measure by the filmmakers? Or did you find that you have no problem with archival footage from real life tragedies appearing in movies? Share your thoughts in the comments.