Information Overload?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeborahK, Aug 10, 2001.

  1. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Don't know if this has ever been discussed here before, but do any of you feel there is such a thing as too many extras on a DVD? I love DVD partly because of all the extras, but lately I have been suffering a bit from battle fatique, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things to watch (in addition to the movie) on the DVDs I rent or buy. It's really a problem with rental disks, as there never seems to be enough time to watch the movie and all the extras (especially if there is a commentary or two) on some of these disks before they need to be returned.
    Today it was announced that the Shrek DVD will include 11 hours of extras. That is a lot of extras, folks, and somehow, if I know the extras are there, I want to see all of them. If I have to work, do ordinary things such as laundry , shopping, cleaning, etc. , read the newspaper once in a while, and sleep a little, I am not sure that there is enough time left in my lifetime to watch all this stuff. In the last year I have rented several disks that I later bought just to be able to see all the extras on them and I still haven't gotten the chance to do this. After all I have to use my viewing time to watch new release movies and of course many of these include lots of extras as well ...
    Any thoughts, opinions?
    Deborah
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  2. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    If you don't think something will be worth watching, don't. You're not under any obligation.
    I basically treat extras on a disc like I treat my movie collection as a whole - their presence doesn't create any sort of obligation in me, but they're there should I, at some random point, want to see them.
    As to can you have too many... Sure, when they start taking up enough of a disc's finite space to cut into quality of the feature. But not before then.
     
  3. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    What I tend to do with most commentaries is listen to them while reading the newspaper or doing something else. That way I don't feel like I'm wasting time. If something interesting comes up I can always look at the screen but for the most part it is still informative as audio-only.
    [Edited last by Brian Perry on August 10, 2001 at 03:28 PM]
     
  4. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Hi, Jason,
    I guess my problem is that so much does seem worth watching. Maybe I just need to curb that impulse to always want to know more about something I find compelling. Or, maybe I really am more than a bit compulsive. On the other hand, I did rent a film over the weekend that turned out to be pretty blah and I did not have any problem foregoing its commentary track and other extras. But that is the exception rather than the rule, I fear.
    Deborah
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  5. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    One word:
    Prioritize
     
  6. LARUE

    LARUE Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken is that the first thing she should do? ;^>
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I hardly get time to watch the movies these days, let alone go through all the extras.
     
  8. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    Solution : quit job, get divorced, send kids off to boarding school, don't clean, don't wash clothes ...
     
  9. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I feel there's no such thing as too many extras. As noted, it's not like anyone HAS to watch the things. Well, I do because I review the discs, but even when I don't care for an extra, I still regard its addition as a positive: someone else might like it, and it's better to have something rather than nothing...
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    Colin Jacobson
    DVD Movie Guide
    www.dvdmg.com
     
  10. Kenneth Cummings

    Kenneth Cummings Supporting Actor

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    Well I just do what Brian does and watch a commentary while I'm the computer or reading a magazine. It easier on my part and doesn't really require me to watch the screen, unless it a video commentary. And for the others, I just do that later on at night or when I'm bored.
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    "Muk it up"
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Yes, Deborah, every couple weeks a troll comes here and asks this question, and every couple weeks another troll comes here and asks whether pan & scan is really that bad.
    Please check this Joe Sixpack mindset at the door.
     
  12. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    So, Mark, now this is a pro-OAR and pro-bonus materials forum with no anti-type discussion allowed?
    Maybe we should ask Ron and Parker to delete all those posts about super-bits DVDs that are woefully lacking in extras....
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    http://www.mindspring.com/~atombrain/risenintro.html
    Jan Strnad
    author of Risen and
    "The AtomBrain Guide to Letterboxing"
     
  13. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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  14. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful replies.
    For the record, Mark, shouldn't that be Jill Sixpack, in my case? Just because you guys out number us females on the forum 1000 to 1 doesn't mean you can flame us with hegemonic, sexist language and get away with it! [​IMG]
    Seriously, though, I should make it clear that I love OAR and am *not* anti-bonus material -- I actually thought that was fairly obvious from my original post. Hell, if I were anti bonus material, why would I be having a problem trying to find time to watch it all? [​IMG] If there have been a lot of discussions here on this topic, I have totally missed them, and I apologize for posting about this yet again. On the bright side, at least I am not trying to read every post on HTF -- afterall, that would take up the valuable time I need to feel overwhelmed by all that unwatched bonus material on my DVDs!
    I am coming to the conclusion that I am maybe more than just a tad compulsive. If something is there I just feel I have to watch it. Or perhaps more accurately, I am afraid I will miss something really good if I don't watch it all. Unless I don't care at all for the movie, of course, but that rarely happens since I pick what I choose to rent and buy very carefully.
    I think the the best bonus material that I ever watched was the material on the Erin Brokovitch disk. Not that E.B. is my favorite movie or anything like that, but it was certainly a very good film and the deleted scenes with commentary really taught me a lot about the way narrative is constructed and supported in a film. If any of you have this disk and have not watched those scenes with the commentary on, I highy recommend that you do. Another favorite of mine is the bonus material on the Criterion disk of The Blob.
    Cheers,
    Deborah
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  15. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    The only information overload on DVD's are the ones you can not by pass. Every DVD has a copyright notice - if you've read one, you've read them all. DVD's are also copy protected so you can't copy them - so why don't put the warning at the end (Like Warner - one of their positive moves) or at least let you by pass it. The same for forced or numerous commercials preceding the actual screen menu (Fox has done this, but at least you can by pass these on repeated viewngs! And FOX does a great job with their DVD's)
    Also in regard to FOX "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is an excellent DVD, but the menus become tiring. Every time you hit a menu you must watch a 30 second or so tap dance. This was fun the 1st time, but it grows tiring very quickly - at least for me.
     
  16. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Sorry Deborah, I guess I read your initial post too hastily and missed that fact. I agree that the volume of extras can get to be a little much. But dispensable things like sleep can go first. [​IMG]
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    "This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
     
  17. Doug_R

    Doug_R Auditioning

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    I think some DVDs have gone overboard on extras like Abyss and Terminator 2. I don't view this as negative though. It's great that the info is there so those who want it can have it. I personally got into DVD because of extra features. I don't have much of a home theater set up, so I focus on what comes in a disk.
    The only detractor to overflowing DVDs is the navigation. If there is going to be a lot of extras, make the prominate ones easy to find (i.e. documentaries and deleted scenes). I seem to pass on the really nested features. I thought that DVDs like Ghostbusters and Aliens had the best weight of features.
     
  18. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    Hi, Mark,
    Not to worry. If you have read a lot of posts that were anti-extras, I can see how at first glance you might assume a post like mine was of the same kind. I probably should have named it, So Many Extras, So Little Time. BTW, I gave up both sleep and house cleaning long ago. [​IMG]
    I agree with Greg about the trailers, warnings, animated menus, etc. and especially about the navigation and nesting issues. A lot of time can be wasted just trying to find all these things on a DVD when they are buried whole menus away from the top level. And I pretty much don't even look for Easter eggs -- who needs to do that when it takes 20 minutes to find some of the listed features these disks offer!
    For the record, I *will* be buying that Shrek DVD (loved the film!) with all it's 11 hours of extras. But I am already worrying about finding time to watch them all. [​IMG]
    I forgot to mention earlier that my other favorite disk for extra's is The Mummy Collectors Edition. Come to think of it, I am not sure I have even seen all of the extras on this disk yet. Dark City is also a really good extras disk. I especially enjoyed Ebert's commentary on the film. In the future, I am going to try doing as several of you suggest, i.e. listening to some of these commentaries while I am doing something else.
    Deborah
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  19. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Well, since the extras got me into DVD in the first place, I'll have to say that there's no such thing as too many. I have gotten a little sick of low quality extras however, and standard features being listed as special. It's all about marketing though, and being able to advertise 11 hours of special features will, I'm sure, sell more discs.
    I think the Ep1 commercial said it best though-6 hours of special features that you'll actually want to watch. I guess my point is that quality sometimes seems to be sacrificed for quantity, and that more features just means that you have to dig to find the good stuff...
     
  20. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Sorry - Double post
    [Edited last by Greg_M on August 13, 2001 at 07:39 PM]
     

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