Death Stranding was first revealed to the world at E3 2016, back when no one had a clue what was going on with Kojima Productions' game. In the months prior to the reveal in July of that year, Kojima had been shooting rough test footage for the game, which he's now revealed on Twitter.
In the debut trailer for Death Stranding, Norman Reedus' Sam is shown waking up on a beach, with ghostly handprints forming around him on the sand. In the tweet below from Kojima, you can see the very rough test footage that was used as a reference for Reedus' upcoming motion capture sessions on the game.
The precious video from March 2016. I've been digging from archives as we'll be celebrating the 4th anniversary on 12/16. While having few machines/staffs, we made this rough pre-visualizations to prep for upcoming Norman's performance capture.Glove as shooting guerilla style. pic.twitter.com/nRlSJANnIG— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) November 27, 2019
Next, there's test footage for Mads Mikkelsen's role as Cliff. Although the test footage was first shot in August 2016, it wouldn't end up being shown off to the world until the launch trailer for Death Stranding shortly before its release in November 2019.
The precious video from Aug 2016. When we finally found the office to rent with more staff. As there's no hallway, kitchen or conference room we were able to shoot this image. Making this rough pre-visualization to prep for Mads' performance capture. This was used for Mads' ref. pic.twitter.com/joDxCBipHK— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) November 27, 2019
Just earlier today, Kojima revealed a look at the cave meeting between Sam and Fragile. The meeting between the two takes place in the opening 10 minutes of the game, and here you can see how Kojima uses the handheld camera as a reference point for the actual in-game cinematic camera.
1/2- HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) November 27, 2019
Here's how we made the cave scene at the beginning. Making the rough initial pre-visualization for performance cap preps where we fix the movement, camera works, direction and the sound. The handy camera becomes the reference for the actual scene. (Continue) pic.twitter.com/P73zEfHovP
Seeing this footage from Kojima Productions is a nice look behind the scenes. It shows you what the actors like Reedus and Mikkelsen would have to work with, when Death Stranding likely wouldn't have even been out of pre-production. Capcom used similar footage as pre-visualizations with Devil May Cry 5, which you can actually use to replace the in-game cutscenes if you purchased the Deluxe Edition of the game.