According to the director, the footage shown in the teaser was essentially shot as a test. He claimed that the possibility of the film even being made came into question due to its found-footage nature.
“This was the case where that very trailer was made of footage that was actually a test to see if we could even do the movie,” Matt Reeves explained, “because it was a handycam VFX movie and the effects people at that time didn’t know they could even track the handheld footage.”
Needless to say, the VFX team was able to track the wild action being played out on screen. On top of that technical hurdle being overcome, the team had even more to celebrate –- their risk of sending in that footage, with its still un-finalized title omitted, was being received positively by the general public.
“To be honest with you, it was thrilling and terrifying,” recalled Reeves. “We always thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if this trailer came out of nowhere and people go, ‘What the heck is that?” That was super cool.”
With several other blockbusters now under his belt, Reeves looks back on the “Cloverfield” teaser with awe. He considers it a wild thing to have done back then, especially with his early resume.
“It was definitely by the seat of our pants,” he said. “It was thrilling and it was really fun, but I look back and I think, ‘Oh my God, that was a crazy thing to go through.'”