If you ever wondered what it’s like to film the opening number of a movie musical, this video from 20th Century Fox might clear some things up. The 360-degree featurette takes audiences behind the scenes and inside the making of The Greatest Showman’s “The Greatest Show.”
With a score by Tony and Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land), the original movie musical stars Tony winner Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum and chronicles the origins of his circus.
The opening number was key to establish the tone and trajectory of the movie. “You think you’re going to a Hugh Jackman musical, but this is not like anything you’ve ever seen before,” director Michael Gracey says in the video above. “So we wanted that moment at the very start where it’s like, ‘Woah, oh oh oh oh.’ I wanted people who were eating popcorn to stop and just look up and be like: ‘What?’”
“This movie has spectacle and I think this is something nobody’s really attempted before,” says star Zac Efron, who plays Barnum’s right hand man Phillip Carlyle.
The video takes viewers to the piano with Pasek and Paul, into makeup trailers as the cast gets into their circus characters, behind cameras with the crew, inside the on-set rehearsals with choreographer Ashley Wallen, and to the final filming of the number audiences see on screen. (Use your mouse to turn the screen and see all angles of the 360-degree view; you may have to watch more than once to get it all.)
The film is nominated for Best Original Song by Pasek and Paul for the breakout anthem “This Is Me.” The song snagged the Golden Globe earlier this year.