Rocky will always maintain a place in history for its incredible story. While the film itself showcases the heartfelt and endearing journey of Rocky Balboa, the character’s actor Sylvester Stallone is the real star behind the flick. As the man who wrote the original script of Rocky, he was the person behind a lot of the magic which made it on to the silver screen.
Rocky was first released back in 1976, and depicted such a wonderful narrative involving the titular character, his boxing career, and indeed his girlfriend, Adrian (played by Talia Shire).
While the film looks exceptional to this day, it was actually created on a real shoestring budget, forcing a lot of concessions to be made during filming and production.
Stallone was helped along the way with legendary director John G. Avildsen. As a proprietor of a slew of iconic coming-of-age and underdog movies, the director certainly had a vision for all of his flicks – including Rocky.
Rocky was vastly different to his other films, however. Rocky was originally penned by Stallone himself, who was dead-set on starring in the film as the titular character, and indeed helped along the entire journey from scripting, to production, to filming.
A brand new documentary about the hard-hitting production of Rocky has now been released by Branded Studios, with Sly Stallone himself narrating the footage which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of Rocky’s rocky beginnings.
Becoming Rocky charters 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage from the production of the flick, elegantly discussed by Sly on-the-fly, detailing a number of the film’s features which haven’t been discussed much in the past 40 years.
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Express.co.uk recently caught up with Director and Producer of Becoming Rocky, Derek Wayne Johnson, as well as Co-Executive Producer Charlotte Fantelli about the film, and some of the original film’s finer details.
On directing Sylvester during the documentary, Johnson explained Stallone didn’t take many notes from him, admitting that made him “a little nervous”.
“But the night before he narrated I did send him some notes,” Johnson explained. “And to this day I don’t know if he looked over those notes at all!
“The only thing I gave him was an intro and an outro for me to really bookend [the film].
“Everything else is one take. And it works so much better, because it’s just him free-flowing with this footage.”
The final product gives viewers an astounding glimpse into the creative process Stallone was working with back in the ’70s, in a last-ditch attempt to make a film he felt passionately about.
Perhaps the most intriguing parts of Becoming Rocky are the pieces of information about the film which didn’t make it in to the final 119 minutes.
On what surprised him the most about the production of Rocky, Johnson confessed: “I would probably have to say… how fluid Sylvester was, and John Avildston was, to do any sort of rewrites.
“And you actually see Sly in a couple shots [in Becoming Rocky] where he’s like working on the script on the set. I thought that was fascinating.
“Nothing was locked in, so to speak. If Sly had an idea and John liked it, he would go with it. If John had an idea, Sly would go with it.”
Although Sylvester originally penned the first Rocky script, it went through a huge amount of changes during the short filming time the crew had.
Because of this, Johnson explained, a number of things were changed – including its tone. The first story penned for Rocky was actually a lot more gritty than fans will know it today.
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“So the script,” Johnson continued. “Although it was a beautiful script… it actually was a harder, darker script in the beginning.
“As Sly would say: much more in the line of Mean Streets – the [Martin] Scorsese classic.
“Avildston came in and helped Sly sweeten it up a bit and made it a little bit more charming. I thought that was fascinating.”
Becoming Rocky also delved into the technical history of Rocky and indeed the filmic advancements within it.
It details the beginning of the steadycam, as well as a number of camera tricks which make the film look a lot more detailed than it is.
Fantelli was fascinated by these details as well, as she praised the Documentary saying: “Goosebumps, just absolute goosebumps.