Matt Johnson’s Operation Avalanche is a unique mockumentary (starring Johnson as a character also named Matt Johnson) about a film crew who, with the aid of Stanley Kubrick, fakes the 1969 moon landing.
To shoot it, Johnson collected interviews and footage from Houston’s Johnson Space Center under false pretenses, posing as a documentary crew simply making a film about NASA. The filmmakers also used 16mm film and other techniques to make the movie look like it could have been shot in the late ’60s.
“We had a great reference [for the color scheme], which was the actual footage that NASA shot at Galveston in the 1960s,” Johnson tells The Moveable Fest. “We knew what their 16 millimeter [footage] looked like and we had to keep working until our footage matched that. It’s not like we were just inventing that look. We were very specifically trying to match our shots to what we already had in the movie because a good 10 percent of what you’re watching is actually archival footage from NASA. Again, in [that opening sequence] when we’re driving to Texas, we cut to archival footage all the time and when we’re at NASA, we cut to archival footage all the time, so we needed to have that be our look. We just kept working until we had it.”
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