Wes Anderson is known for meticulously set up and designed shots, often planned out in great detail beforehand. For The Grand Budapest Hotel, it appears he took this proclivity even further: creating a full, animated version before shooting even started. Though described as an animatic, or rough edit of storyboard images, in the New York Times, Jeff Goldblum, talking to the Wrap, called it a “beautifully animated version of the whole movie.” Goldblum added that it included “all the cuts as they pretty much I think wound up to be.” Anderson recorded all the voice-over and gave it to the actors for preparation. Willem Dafoe said that when he first watched the animatic, he thought, “This guy doesn’t even need actors. The film is already made.” According to Goldblum, Dafoe told him that Anderson is considering including it as a DVD extra, which would make sense, as Anderson has always been a fan of now-antiquated technologies.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, IRL.