Do you like films? Do you like documentaries? Do you like film documentaries? Then listen up. The odds are that you will love If you haven’t already heard about them you need to check them out.

Filmumentaries are the brainchild of Jamie Benning. Not only has he invented a new word, but he has also developed a fantastic viewing experience for fans of classic movies. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie in his home recently. You can hear more about that later in this post. But he’s cool. I mean, in his house he has two old cinema seats, rescued from his childhood cinema before it shut down, that he uses to watch movies on a large pull down projector screen. The man is legit.

Filmumentaries are his way of improving the experience that you currently experience on DVDs when you get the director’s commentary whilst watching the film. Jamie has multiple interviews interspersed throughout a film, normally with smaller members of the cast or crew, or even extras, who often tell you more interesting stories than the big stars would divulge. He also cuts in storyboard art and animatics at relevant points in the movie, and in some cases outtakes or multiple takes of particular scenes. And on top of that there are lots of little facts that pop up on the screen at various points too. It all happens whilst the movie timeline is playing. You can still watch the film but you watch it being made at the same time. It’s a very clever and remarkably effective way of arranging a ‘making of’ documentary. You’re seeing all the clips in context and it really gives you a sense of the journey of what it was like making the film.

It must be a mammoth task and a labour of love to make these. It shows a real appreciation for the art of movie making and a respect for the movies that many of us hold so dear. So far Jamie has tackled the following movies with his filmumentaries:

Star Wars Begins

Building Empire

Returning to Jedi

Raiding the Lost Ark

Inside Jaws

Although it should obviously take about the same time to watch the film as it does the filmumentary, I still found myself stopping and rewinding regularly just to rewatch some of the things that were pointed out. There are some fascinating nuggets in these movies.

One particularly impressive achievement in his movies is the piecing together of the ‘furry Jabba’ scene. The one where Northern Irish actor Declan Mulholland plays a human Jabba in a big fur coat, and was later horribly replaced with a CGI Jabba. Many people had seen the main part of this clip but the original full clip had never been seen in its entirety. Different documentaries had been given different segments but some pieces had been missing for years. Jamie managed to get hold of all of these and piece them all together. The final scene is made up from about 12 different sources and Jamie’s film is the only piece that they can be seen altogether.

Personally my favourite bits are when we see Steven Spielberg at work, interacting with the actors and just looking incredibly relaxed whilst being in his absolute element, even when you learn about all the stresses he was under, during the filming of Jaws for example.

Jamie has also made a few ‘minumentaries’ which are short 15-20 documentaries about things like Jabba the Hutt and Biggs Darklighter. These are more traditional style documentaries but they have all the same fascinating tidbits of info. Jamie has a great way of piecing things together and contacting fascinating people who worked on these movies.

So, check them out at and if you can, follow Jamie on Twitter at @jamieswb and support Jamie at Patreon so he can keep making these fascinating movies.

If you check out the Retromash podcast you can hear an interview I recorded with Jamie recently. And also watch my Twitter feed today too as I will be running a competition to win a signed poster from Jamie.