Marvel’s Director By Night Is Their Most Wonderful, Intimate, And Special Making-Of Documentary Yet
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Marvel’s Director By Night Is Their Most Wonderful, Intimate, And Special Making-Of Documentary Yet

“Director By Night” begins with Michael Giacchino’s brother, fellow filmmaker Anthony Giacchino, heading down to his parents’ basement to dig through all the old audio and video recordings that he made, from his childhood into his teenage years. With his adorable mother accompanying him downstairs, where she’s immediately embarrassed about all the junk that almost every family inevitably collects in their basement, Anthony explains that his hope is to dig into all this stuff to reveal who Michael Giacchino was before he became the composer for shows like “Lost” and movies like “Star Trek, “The Incredibles,” and “The Batman.” Even though Giacchino is known for the music he’s created for film and television, his passion for filmmaking began behind the camera, where he would make movies of all kinds, from sci-fi and fantasy adventures to unofficial “Indiana Jones” sequels, and all this led to “Werewolf By Night.”

What follows is this delightful journey showing Michael Giacchino having early Zoom meetings about the development of “Werewolf By Night,” seeing some of the special’s practical monsters for the first time, and constantly being amazed at the cinematic craftsmanship on display. Since the man behind the documentary camera asking questions is Michael’s brother, what we get is a much more candid, genuine, and just plain fun glimpse behind the scenes at the making of a Marvel Studios production. Anthony sneaks up on his brother after completing a shot, and then Michael turns the camera on Anthony with his iPhone, making for a meta moment of making the documentary within the making of “Werewolf by Night.” It’s more of an insight into any filmmaker’s passion than we’ve ever been given before. 

Making “Director By Night” even more personal and genuinely entertaining is the presence of Michael and Anthony Giacchino’s elderly but spry parents, Mike and Josephine Giacchino. Not only do they get a hilarious introduction that makes for a unique use of the Marvel Studios fanfare that typically accompanies their production logo (trust me, this is such a perfect moment), but throughout the documentary, Anthony and Michael call them on their way to and from the studio before a day’s shoot. These phone calls result in splendidly sweet and funny conversations about Michael’s career and childhood. 

But what makes “Director By Night” truly special is that this will undoubtedly be a piece of pop culture that inspires the next generation of filmmakers.