Commentaries...A wake up call to the studios...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by todd s, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I was just reading the posts for the condolences for Buddy Hackett. And people were talking about his commentary he did for the recently released Love Bug SE. And it made me wonder if Disney would have held off another 6 months, we would have lost his perspective and stories of that movie forever. And with the recent big name deaths of other celebraties in front of AND behind the camera. It should be a wake up call to really move and get these peoples commentaries on the movies they were in before we lose them forever.
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I couldn't agree with you more strongly. A good commentary track is by far the best extra that I can imagine.

    Some stars and directors refuse to do them which is a shame, but all effort should be put into getting principals involved in commentary tracks on classic films.
     
  3. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the above, but I was hoping this thread was about getting the studios to actually spend some time prepping the commentators before the actual recording. The DVD producer should fully research the movie, identify the major scenes and collect background information (such as cut scenes, obscure plot points, etc) about those scenes, and then prepare the commentators to talk in detail about the filming of those scenes at the appropriate time during the movie. This would go a long way towards getting rid of the rambling and play-by-play commentaries that are the norm nowadays. Oh, R.I.P. Buddy Hackett. I'll be watching Love Bug tonight.
     
  4. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Indeed - Anchor Bay and Blue Underground have got it right for a long time by having a fully-researched moderator on hand to prompt and question the commentators if things ever start to slow down.

    I'm not entirely convinced commentaries are the best way for filmmakers to share their experiences and memories. Looking at David Lynch's amazing 85-minute interview on Eraserhead, that's ten times better than any commentary, because he isn't constricted by having to talk about what happens onscreen. It's also much nicer to actually see the people who are talking.

    Commentaries are much more suited as a critical or analytical medium (or an all-out Kevin Smith/Evil Dead style joke-a-thon) than as a platform for our great filmmakers and stars to reminiscence. Of course, there are some breathtaking commentary tracks, but I can't help but feel straight video interviews are best, because the interviewees can go off on tangents, much like David Lynch's wide and varied anecdotes in the Eraserhead documentary, that you can't when you have to keep talking about exactly what's on screen (aside from anything else, the nature of the talk often becomes somewhat repetitive - "This day was cold, this day was not...we have to do five takes of that scene" - you know what I mean).

    Still, we should definitely record the memories of those still around to remember it as quickly as we can. This is a chapter of Hollywood that is all-too-swiftly coming to a close, and in another decade or so there'll be practically no-one left to tell us all about it.
     
  5. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    Disney's gotten insight from several talented people for the Vault Disney DVDs' documentaries just before they leave us - director David Swift, animator Ward Kimball, and now Hackett.
     
  6. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
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  7. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. ChrisJefferys

    ChrisJefferys Stunt Coordinator

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