"Get the outta there!" and other DVD bonus material inanitites

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brian Thibodeau, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Don't know if this will catch on the way my DVD Audio Commentary Inanities thread did, but I though it would be a perfect companion piece.

    The thread title (which I've just noticed was respectfuly edited from "Get the f**k out of there!") refers to something I watched last night. In one of the making-of featurettes on the BAD BOYS II disc. During the set-up of the big shantytown stunt that rehashes what Jackie Chan did 20 years ago - far better - in POLICE STORY, director Michael Bay spots some people way up at the top of the hill who shouldn't be in the shot and proceeds to yell at them like a crazed war veteran yelling at some idiot kids traipsing across his front lawn. "Get the f**k out of there! Get the F**K out of there!" Now, I know, you'll probably tell me that we'd all probably do the same thing if WE were blowing over a hundred million bucks on a summer blockbuster movie, and the stunt was so close to being set in motion that they couldn't have afforded to have it ruined, and they couldn't afford to digitally paint the guys out later on, etc. etc., but the fact is Bay acts like such a monster geek in nearly every one of these vignettes that you just come away thinking about what an asshole he is, especially in light of this particular finished product. In case anyone thinks I shouldn't be surprised at this kind of behaviour, rest assured I'm not. In fact, I want to know where there's more of it caught on tape, so to speak.

    During a featurette on the big freeway chase nearly 30 minutes into the film), some stunt goes a wrong and he starts berating everybody again, saying "Cheap fuckin' movie, guys, cheap fuckin'movie!" While I like the style of these featurettes, which actually make the moviemaking process out to be the tremendous headache and bore it really must be by its very nature, I suspect the makers felt they would show just how stressful it is for a genius like Bay to craft his vision, when in actuality, they all serve to make him look like nothing more than a scrawny little megalomaniacal man-child.

    But heres the rub. I'm sure Bay's not alone (although he's probably in a comparitively small top percentile). There are many arrogant, egotistical people at the top of the Hollywood food chain. If there wan't, we wouldn't get half the movies we do, good or bad. DVD features like these are a Godsend to film buffs as they don't sugarcoat the process, but let you see what an endless technological nightmare it really is sometimes, particularly for the sycophants and yes men that are frequently seen kowtowing to the Summer Blockbuster creators.

    I'm reminded of another candid moment that psychologists would have a field day with. It's a behind-the-scenes video of a pre-production meeting with Steven Spielberg and a bunch of FX guys on one of the Jurassic Park DVDs. Spielberg virtually ignores everyone else's ideas, stopping every so often to let someone speak their mind, then continuing right along with his original train of thought as if their comments were just not worthy. You could SEE how stung alot of these people were that the whole meeting was ultimately pointless and that the collaboration process didn't extend far beyond this one man. Granted, the movies were fantastic, so his vision paid off, but it still fun to see how much worse the sensitive people in the lower ranks of Hollywood have it compared to the crap some of us working stiffs have to put up with.

    And then there's George Lucas' pets at Industrial Light & Magic. The documentaries one the STAR WARS EPISODE I and II DVDs reveal a psychiatrist's wet dream of needy, emotionally fragile creative types who clearly have difficulty processing their feelings when their master poo-poo's their work. I can't remember the exact disc, but one of them has quite a few uncomfortable moments as the camera captures various peons looking like their about to cry after a meeting with George. They say things like "That's how it goes sometimes" or "I did the best I could, but...", but you can practically SEE them swallowing to hold back the tears, their eyes darting about uncomfortably in the hopes the camera switches off real, real soon.

    I love moments like this on DVD extras. There's a brutal honesty too them that's fascinating and hilarious at the same time, particularly funny when you have the hindsight of watching bad movies like BAD BOYS II and the two STAR WARS films.

    As I mentioned, I know it's not easy to be in charge of so much money and so many people while keeping the studio chiefs safely ensconced in their towers. But since the occasional disc is so kind as to include such raw, unpleasant material for consumption at face value, without all the flashy editing, actor mugging and useless studio-approved "sit-down" interviews that pass for bonus features these days. If some of the people in the docs above really understood how sad they looked, they might think twice about letting themselves be held up for spectacle.

    On the opposite end of this argument, I suppose, would be the featurettes that were often made in conjuction with Richard Donner movies, which took pains to ONLY depict the touchy-feely moments he wanted us to believe were the rule, rather than the exception, on his movie sets. I don't know if these turn up on any of his DVDs as I don't have many of them, but I used to see them on TV and they always smelled fishy to me, particularly the sugar-coated dross for RADIO FLYER, which seemed to have the most hugs-per-minute of any behind the scenes feature I've ever seen. The featurettes I've listed above proved that my suspicion was probably right, at least some of the time.

    Anybody else find anything interesting among their collection?
     
  2. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Maybe not exactly what you mean, but I always have to laugh watching Making The Shining. Shelly Duvall is 'complaining' about a lack of attention (Jack Nicholson. is getting all of it) and then it immediately cuts to Duvall fainting on the set, somehow implying that she's just doing it for the attention. Great 'Kubrickian' work by Vivian! [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, that's exactly the kind of silly stuff I'm talking about. A friend of mine has that disc. Perhaps I'll borrow it and watch the making-of doc. Hollywood definitely has its fair share of childish people.
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Stunt Coordinator

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    I seem to remember reading about a commentary track by Abel Ferrara, possibly on Driller Killer, that ends with him screaming "What the fuck happened to the end of my movie!?!" and storming out of the recording session. Apparently the company only had the edited version of the film.

    I've yet to track this disc down but I'd love to hear it.
     
  5. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    James Brooks disgustedly walks out on the commentary of the early alternate first episode of the Simpsons, the one that looked like crap, which the other commentarians find rather amusing. Can't say I blame him in this case, so it's hardly an inanity, but still kind of interesting.

    Note to moderator: thanks for fixing the thread header. Thought of doing that myself, but assumed I couldn't. Not sure if there's any truly polite way to transcribe most of Michael Bay's comments from those shorts.
     
  6. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Come to think of it, Making The Shining also has a confrontational scene between Kubrick and Duvalll. During a snow scene (with the crew in the freezing cold and a huge snow machine on), Duvall doesn't hear the "action Shelly" cue, and she doesn't get out the door on time:

    Duvall: "Nobody even said 'roll video'!
    Kubrick: "What do you mean 'roll video'? We're fucking killing ourselves here! Be ready!
    [Duvall draws huge knife from behind door] [​IMG]

    It does have the "sit down" interviews though. Watch the Scatman Crothers one however, it will give you some hope.... [​IMG]
     
  7. David Prior

    David Prior Insider
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    Don't be so sure.



    To give the devil whatever due he has coming though, the guys Michael was yelling at in the shantytown were in danger of being blown up themselves, not ruining the shot.

    Cheers,

    David Prior
     
  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    The Pearl Harbor Vista Series DVD has a production video shot in the harbor, and one time, Bay goes something like this: "Boat 57, what are you doing?! I told you not to go beyond a certain point! You know what happens if you stayed there?! You'd be BLOWN THE FUCK UP!!!"

    Then, to someone next to him...

    "Well, it's my responsibility, okay?!"
     
  9. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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    How about Paul Verhoven's scream in the Starship Trooper's commentary? Remember he did it to convey how he wanted someone else to scream or something (been a few years since I listened). He did something similar in Robocop showing the extras how he wanted to dance in a scence, and a shot of him going wild actually ended up in the movie.[​IMG]
     
  10. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Second Unit

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    There is an extra on the Criterion version of The Rock which shows Ed Harris' acting intensity. He gets so into the scene that when he repeatedly blows the line he gets increasingly agitated.
     
  11. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    I can't think of any examples myself but this is an interesting thread. I will definitely be looking up these extras and commentaries.
     
  12. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    On the "Matchstick Men" Documentary (which I just watched), there is a section where they talk about how Ridley Scott is not really the live wire that he is reputed to be, then they cut to a expletive filled mini rant when the camera jams up on a paticularly good take. Of course, I probably would have reacted the same way. There is another moment where one of guys on set who is intrusted with saftey goes into visible frustration when he finds out the sound guy wants to hide the trunk of a car to get audio during a car chase scene before the driving stunts have been fully rehearsed. Once again, understandable.

    As for crew members fearing directors I saw a subtile example recently in one of the X-Men documentaries (Can't remember off hand if it was 1 or 2) Bryan Singer is giving a tour of the set. He runs into one of the writers on the set and introduces him to the camera, then he says "Shouldn't you be writing" and you think he could be busting his balls for the benefit of the camera, but then the writer starts to reply then abrubtly cuts himself off and says "I'm going" or something to that effect. Almost as if he shut himself up for fear of talking back to Singer.

    But I would be sure that all directors go through visible frustations at some point or another. Whether or not we get to see it is another story. I have heard that Spielberg has been prone to fits on the set, but you would never know it from what we see in the documentaries.
     
  13. Alex K.

    Alex K. Agent

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    Thats the X-Men 2 preview on the X-Men 1.5 DVD.
     
  14. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    This reminds me of a funny moment in the Alien Quadrilogy where James Cameron is directing a scene where the facehugger jumps at the camera.

    "Guys, guys - I want you to pull it so that it looks like it's leaping. It doesn't look like it's leaping. Don't you have gloves?! Get some gloves. You can't pull hard without gloves! Get some gloves and call me when you're ready for this." [​IMG]
     
  15. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I was going to bring up the Alien:Quadrilogy disc myself. In particular, there are some brief choice moments of David Fincher on the set of Alien3 who is confiding with some of the actors and crew and he lays it all pretty bare.
     
  16. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    What about where he yells "I Hope Somebody Watches This Movie!" on set.

    Too bad we'll never see some of the stuff that really went down
     
  17. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    That's kind of what I was thinking when I started this thread. There's so much nasty stuff you just know has to happen on these movie sets. You could attribute such behaviour to any artistic endeavour really, but since Hollywood is really the coming together of so many arguably "creative" types (and egos), and goes to such lengths to only depict the "fun" side of things, it makes those moments when you can see how psycho things really get all the more special.

    And of course, the stupid moments that pop up on these extra features are sometimes worth and eye-roll or two. Hopefully, I can think of some of those too.
     
  18. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "I'm reminded of another candid moment that psychologists would have a field day with. It's a behind-the-scenes video of a pre-production meeting with Steven Spielberg and a bunch of FX guys on one of the Jurassic Park DVDs. Spielberg virtually ignores everyone else's ideas, stopping every so often to let someone speak their mind, then continuing right along with his original train of thought as if their comments were just not worthy."

    I know exactly the video of which you speak. It's a brainstorming session, and Spielberg is thinking of cinema moments, while another person chimes in with behaviour moments. The artist contributes thoughts about dinsoaur breathing. Spielberg hears it, but he's thinking about shots, how behaviour relates to the drama. T-Rex breathing in and out? Spielberg is looking for how T-Rex HUNTS, not BREATHES...and yet in the final version of the film, VOILA! The breath of the T-Rex winds up in two major practical f/x moments. Just because you don't see Spielberg immediately react in that making of video doesn't mean he's not LISTENING. The breath of the T-Rex became an indelible part of his staging.

    You want psychologists to have a field day deconstructing artists with the making of video moments seen on DVDs? Far better for anonymous fans to have a clue as to what they are criticizing before they open their uniformed mouths on internet message boards.

    "You could SEE how stung alot of these people were that the whole meeting was ultimately pointless and that the collaboration process didn't extend far beyond this one man. Granted, the movies were fantastic, so his vision paid off, but it still fun to see how much worse the sensitive people in the lower ranks of Hollywood have it compared to the crap some of us working stiffs have to put up with."

    Case. I rest.
     
  19. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    And IIRC, the moment was meant to be tongue in cheek. Singer might indeed be a terror on the set, but I remember that piece as being intentionally comedic...
     
  20. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    That's what I thought at first, it did sound like he was just showing off for the camera, but it seem like the writer stated to say something then had second thoughts. I know the feeling. I've been caught goofing off on the internet or on a personal call at work every once and awhile. You want to try to explain yourself but your better judgement just tells you to say "Sorry, I'll get back to work now" I could be wrong, but it kind of seemed similar. Of course, Singer is the boss.
     

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