In part two of our two-part English in Blockbuster Movies: The Avengers series, we will look at the story behind two of the most successful films of all time. So, let’s get ready to learn about the making of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame!
- Learn how to speak about movie production
- Learn new general English and movie-related vocabulary
- Learn how to use acronyms
- Discover interesting facts about the making of The Avengers movies
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Time: Approximately 15 minutes
Since moviegoers were first introduced to The Avengers in 2012, the series has earned an incredible $7.7 billion dollars, more than any other movie series. The most recent installments in The Avengers series were Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. During the development and pre-production phase, they were treated as one movie broken into two parts. In fact, the working titles of the films were Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1) and Avengers: Infinity War (Part 2). Later, the names were changed to Infinity War and Endgame.
The Beginning of the End
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely began writing the screenplay in 2014 while Marvel Studios was still working on Avengers: Age of Ultron. Around the same time, many of the actors from previous Marvel films agreed to reprise their roles and the Russo Brothers joined the project as co-directors. Over the following three years, the story was finalized, funding was secured, and the cast and crew were assembled to begin the production phase.
Shooting the Movie
Principal photography for Avengers: Infinity War began in early 2017. Much of the film was shot in and around Atlanta, Georgia, though additional shooting took place all around the world — from Scotland to the Philippines. Since Endgame was a continuation of Infinity War’s story, the two movies were shot back-to-back. While filming, the actors would often perform in front of green screens and wear special suits to record their movements.
Putting It All Together
Post-production for both films began in July of 2017 and continued into 2018. During this time, the footage was edited and CGI, or “computer-generated images,” were added. Since the stories relied heavily on visual effects, the post-production phase required a great deal of work from hundreds of crew. This allowed them to create spectacular worlds, fantastic superpowers, and exciting fight scenes.
On April 27th, 2018, audiences finally got to see Avengers: Infinity War in theaters. One year later, Avengers: Endgame was released, providing a satisfying conclusion to the story. Both films were met with critical acclaim and widely considered the two best films in The Avengers series. By the time both films finished their theatrical runs, they had accumulated nearly $5 billion in box office revenue.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the words in bold from the passage:
- Installment – (noun) – One of several parts in a series.
The latest installment in The Avengers series is generally regarded as the best.
- Pre-production – (noun) – The planning period of a film or play; the weeks or months leading up to a film’s production (shooting) phase.
The last two Avenger films were stuck in pre-production for years.
- Working title – (noun) – The temporary name of a project during its development.
A working title helps filmmakers keep their set hidden from the general public while they shoot a blockbuster movie.
- Screenplay – (noun) – A script; the story, actions, and dialogue of a movie or play in written form.
While a screenplay usually has one or two lead writers, dozens of people contribute to the story.
- Reprise – (verb) – Repeat; return to an earlier position or role.
Josh Brolin reprised his role as Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.
- Production – (noun) – The process of creating something; the period during which a film is shot.
The filmmakers had cast all of the actors by the time production started.
- Principal photography – (noun) – The shooting phase of the filmmaking process in which all or most of a movie is filmed.
Principal photography begins when the cameras start rolling.
- Back-to-back – (adjective) – Consecutive; two things that occur one after the other.
It can be difficult for the cast and crew to shoot two films back-to-back.
- Green screen – (noun) – A physical, green background used during filming to allow filmmakers to digitally add new backgrounds during post-production.
Nowadays, actors must learn to stay in character in front of a green screen.
- Post-production – (noun) – All stages of film production after shooting has finished, typically involving editing and the completion of the film.
Post-production is often the most time-consuming part of making superhero movies.
- Footage – (noun) – A part of a video or film recording.
The footage is edited together during post-production.
- CGI – (acronym) – Short for “Computer Generated Imagery;” Computer images used in film or other media.
The Avengers feature some of the most impressive CGI that audiences have ever seen.
- Visual effects – (noun) – The combination of filmed video and generated images.
Visual effects help filmmakers create images that don’t exist in the real world.
- Crew – (noun) – The people who work to create a movie, television series, or stage play.
The crew members had to work long days to finish the production phase on time.
- Critical acclaim – (noun) – Praise from critics; positive reception from professional reviewers.
Every movie in The Avengers series has received varying degrees of critical acclaim.
- Box office – (noun) – The financial success of a movie; the place at a movie theater where people can buy movie tickets.
Box office revenue is one of the primary ways that people judge the success of a film.
Take a look at the following sentence from the passage:
During this time, the footage was edited and CGI, or “computer-generated images,” were added.
This sentence includes the term CGI, which is an example of an acronym. An acronym is a shortened version of a phrase that uses the first letter of each word. Here are a few common examples:
- LOL – “laugh out loud”
- USA – “United States of America”
- CSI – “Crime Scene Investigation”
- DOB – “Date of Birth”
- UFO – “Unidentified Flying Object”
- BTW – “By The Way”
- NFL – “National Football League”
- FAQ – “Frequently Asked Questions”
- DIY – “Do It Yourself”
- WHO – “World Health Organization
While these acronyms are pretty common and used throughout the English-speaking world, there are plenty of acronyms that are not as recognizable. Here are a few less-recognizable acronyms:
- OT – “Overtime”
- DND – “Do Not Disturb”
- LMK – “Let Me Know”
- AFK – “Away From Keyboard”
- AFAIK – “As Far As I Know”
As you can see, acronyms serve a wide range of uses in English. They can stand for countries, international organizational teams, sports teams, and even casual phrases. In most cases, acronyms are used to save time when exchanging written messages.
The type of acronym you use will depend on the format of your writing. For example, if you’re texting a friend, you might use LOL or BTW. These are casual ways to write phrases more quickly. However, they are not appropriate for formal writing (like a news article or academic essay). However, acronyms for countries or large organizations (like NFL or USA) are perfectly acceptable.
Finally, if you’re writing and need to use an acronym, you may need to consider if your reader will know what it means. If not, you will need to follow the acronym with an explanation of its meaning the first time you use it. After you’ve explained it the first time, you can use the acronym by itself throughout the rest of the text. Here are four examples showing how you can explain an acronym in a sentence:
- The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) gives movies different ratings that allow parents to choose films that are appropriate for children.
- The MPAA — Motion Picture Association of American — gives movies different ratings that allow parents to choose films that are appropriate for children.
- The MPAA, or Motion Picture Association of America, gives movies different ratings that allow parents to choose films that are appropriate for children.
- The MPAA, or “Motion Picture Association of America,” gives movies different ratings that allow parents to choose films that are appropriate for children.
Now, let’s look at a few questions to review the passage, vocabulary, and grammar:
1. Which of the following statements most accurately captures the central idea of the passage?
A. The Avengers series includes four popular films, though the two last films — Infinity War and Endgame — made the most money.
B. It took several years and hundreds of people working tirelessly to take Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame from pre-production to theaters, where they earned nearly $5 billion.
C. Infinity War and Endgame are wildly popular movies about superheroes trying to save the universe.
D. The Russo Brothers were just two of many crew members that helped make The Avengers movies.
2. How is the story of Avengers: Endgame related to Infinity War?
A. Endgame is a prequel
B. The two stories are unrelated
C. Endgame is a continuation of the same story
D. Infinity War is a sequel
3. Which of the following is most closely associated with post-production?
4. Which phase is most closely associated with principal photography?
D. None of the above
5. Which of the following could be an acronym for “be right back?”
6. Fill in the blank: The WHO, or “_______,” helps countries stay updated on the spread of diseases.
A. Worth Healing Others
B. World Healing Organization
C. World Disease Control
D. World Health Organization