Cleanin’ Up The Town is a fascinating in-depth look at the making of 1984’s Ghostbusters.
Back in 2008, brother and sister production team, Anthony and Claire Bueno started work on a definitive behind the scenes Ghostbusters documentary entitled Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters.
In 2016 they asked Kickstarter for £40,000 is able to complete their documentary which had already gathered over seventy onscreen interviews with people who worked on the first two Ghostbusters films. Many of whom had never been interviewed on camera before.
Their Kickstarter campaign was successful and they have been hard at work during the last three years finishing up the documentary with more interviews and giving it that all-important final polish.
Cleanin’ Up The Town has received its premiere this year in the US and as I write this, will have its UK premiere in December at the BFI IMAX cinema in London.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given access to what I believe is the festival cut of the film as it runs half an hour shorter than the listed IMDb runtime of two hours. But even though I’m half an hour short, this was still a film nerd’s delight.
Claire and Anthony Bueno, The driving force behind Cleanin’ Up The Town.
Cleanin’ Up The Town starts at the very beginning with Dan Akroyd explaining where he got his love of the paranormal. From there it expands into the idea from which the first scripts were drafted.
These were simply impossible to bring into fruition as the stories were set far into the future and requiring extensive special effects for two-thirds of the runtime. This simply couldn’t be done with 1980s special effect technology.
Ghostbusters was originally set to star Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, John Belushi and Eddie Murphy. Due to the untimely death of Belushi, Bill Murray was asked to fill his role.
The rest, as they say, is history and this documentary covers it in superb detail without ever becoming too dry or technical.
It’s a delight to see the whole Ghostbusting team here with the exception of Bill Murray, who understandably, declines to take part in most Ghostbusters related material these days.
Interviews were filmed with Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, who sadly passed in 2014, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and director Ivan Reitman. But that’s just the tip of a very large iceberg. There are many, many more interviews with actors, producers and other behind the scene technicians who all worked on this classic film.
Many of them have shared items from their personal archive which means a lot of the photos and video clips in this documentary are being shared for the very first time. As a die-hard Ghostbusters fan, there is certainly material I had not seen before. Don’t expect to see any newly unearthed deleted scenes though, this is behind the scenes in nature but that doesn’t make it any less exciting!
Sigourney Weaver doesn’t seem impressed with an early look at Slimer.
In particular, one of my favourite interviews was with Steve Johnson, who sculpted Slimer or Onionhead as he was called during production. Steve has worked on many classic including The Abyss, Predator and the un-produced Nicholas Cage Superman film. He has such an animated interesting way of telling stories, I could listen to him all day!
As a film nerd and a die-hard Ghostbusters fan, this documentary is everything I could’ve wanted and I’m so glad I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign.
Remember, these are just my thoughts on a preview copy! I can’t wait until the end of January when Cleanin’ Up The Town will be available to stream and purchase on disc with its full two-hour runtime.
I’m crossing my fingers that they will release the teased three-hour supercut and they’ve told me they’re hard at work on post-production of their next documentary, Too Hot To Handle, the making of Ghostbusters II.
Anthony and Claire Bueno have created a superb piece of work that every Ghostbusters fan should see.