HTF PREVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean ***Special Features Demonstration DVD***

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Feb 24, 1999
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    Hello everyone,

    Please forgive me for taking this long to get this "reviewette" out to you. A while back BV sent me a DVD in a cardboard sleeve titled "Pirates of the Caribbean: Demonstration DVD" and I finally managed to remove the shrink-wrap this morning and give it a spin. This disc is one of the promotional discs that is circulated to advertise the upcoming production DVD which I should be receiving and reviewing shortly. To make the point abundantly clear that this is a make-no-mistake "demonstration disc", there was a large banner pasted over the lower quarter of the screen ( never went away) that announced the DVD title and release date...presumably so that if any consumers saw this disc playing on a TV at some A/V store they'd get the subtle advertising angle. Because this demonstration DVD contains some of the special feature content that will be available on the production DVD, I thought it would be of interest (ie. a teaser [​IMG] ) to those of you waiting on pins and needles for the real thing.

    Six of these special features represent various "featurettes" or mini-documentaries that will be present on the actual DVD SE. I've already received the promotional material for the production DVD and indeed all six of these featurettes are listed among the special feature content. In addition, one of the features on this demo disc is a trailer for the film (not certain if this will be on the final DVD as I didn't see it listed in the promotional material) and a suite of DVD-ROM features which are listed on the promotional material for the production DVD though I wasn't able to preview this material for this review ( Anyone want to get me a new PC with a DVD-ROM drive? [​IMG] ).

    I should add that all non-ROM features are 4x3 encoded and have 5.1 audio. Nice touch with the 5.1 sound...but I really long for the day that we start to see 16x9 special feature content with high-profile 16x9 OAR DVD titles... All together, not counting the DVD-ROM material that I didn't check out, the 7 DVD-video features totaled about 20 minutes in length. Note: this seemingly short total run time does not reflect the total run-time you should expect when you find these special features on the final production DVD; when I review the descriptions and specs of these same features on the production DVD literature it seems that many of the features on the demo disc are only partial clips of the full-length production-DVD features.

    Let's talk about the features:

    This trailer is presented in 4x3 lbx (2.35:1) with 5.1 DD sound. Actually a rather impressive trailer in terms of content, this would have been nice to have had in 16x9! The 5.1 audio was impressive. I normally don't "get into" trailers too much but this trailer was genuinely enjoyable. I'm dubious as to whether this feature will find its way onto the production DVD as it wasn't listed in the press release material that came yesterday in the mail.
    [*]"An Epic At Sea" The Making Of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:

    An interesting if brief (on the demo disc) featurette detailing the choreography of some of the sword-fighting so you get a "before and after" effect of what goes into making one of these action scenes come together. Jonny Depp and the sword trainer/choreographer (among others) share their insights. Looking at the description of this special feature on the production DVD lit, my guess is that the demo DVD only contains a small portion of total documentary on the production DVD (which encompasses other topics like Locations, the Ships, Visual Effects etc.). Keep this in mind when reading about all of the special features on this demo disc...they are likely only "snippets" of the full-length special features from the actual disc.
    [*]"Fly On The Set" featurette:

    Similar to the previous documentary, rather than grouped by "topic" the content of this documentary is grouped by scene. Some sample scenes are worked through from start to finish showing how the action is staged, multiple takes, rehearsals etc. I found this to be as interesting and as valuable as the previous special feature. And while the demonstration clip on the promotional disc only referenced one scene, the special features of the DVD should contain several scenes (Town Attack, Tortuga, Blacksmith Shop, The Cave, Jack's Hanging).
    [*]"Diary of a Pirate:"

    Follow the behind-the-scenes action (yes I'm writing this myself...starting to sound like a Disney Marketeer! [​IMG] ) with actor Lee Arenberg (the pirate "Pintel") as he narrates his own video journal. We get to see him and other actors on and off set. Personally, what I found most interesting was seeing the sometimes *astonishing* transformation that these actors (especially the Pirates) underwent from their on set to off set lives. The makeup and costuming crew of this film are to be would *not* be able to recognize many of the actors off-set had you only seen them in costume in the context of the film.

    When I look this special feature up among the SE promotional material of the production DVD I find it located along with two other similar video diaries: One by Producer Jerry bruckheimer and one specified to life on the ship Lady Washington (the real-life ship that becomes the "H.M.S. Interceptor" in the movie).
    [*]"Moonlight Serenade" Scene Progression:

    We get to see details about how this scene was produced, centering around the special effects created when the pirates transform from human actors into skeletons. Very cool. I can't wait to see if this featurette is more developed on the final DVD!
    [*]"Below Deck" an interactive History of Pirates:

    Interesting but brief discussion about the history of "the pirate" and how pirate myths and stories have evolved over time. I hope the final DVD showcases this with a bit more seemed very short (but worth the while) on this demo disc.
    [*]Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color:

    I know you're thinking "hugh?". This feature is titled "Pirates in the Parks" on the production DVD. It's some vintage footage from the TV episode "Disneyland From The Caribbean To The World of Tomorrow". We see Walt showing off sketches and models of the Disneyland attraction "Pirates of the Caribbean" (did you figure that out on your own? [​IMG]). I really enjoyed this feature...perhaps most of all out of everything else contained on this demo disc. My only sorrow was that it seemed to be just a part of the TV episode and it ended before we ever got to see the finished ride. I hope that the final DVD shows more of the episode...ideally the entire episode would nice, but I'm dubious as the spec. sheet for the production DVD says "This nostalgic footage is from the episode..." (emphasis mine) which makes me think that even if it includes a bit more run-time it's still a partial excerpt.
    [*]DVD-ROM Material:

    Sorry PC with a DVD! However from the spec. sheet it looks like it should actually be of interest (ie. more than just some lameo password-protected web address to look up stuff on the internet like (I have to say it) E.T.). If I get a chance I'll write up the details of the DVD-ROM stuff here later from the literature.


    It looks like the P.O.T.C. DVD will be loaded with extras...and judging by the sample I have here they won't be a waste of disc-space. One thing that I think folks will really enjoy are the nineteen deleted scenes that are listed to be included on the production DVD (none of which were on the demonstration DVD reviewed here). WOW.

    I'll keep you posted folks! Be on the look out for my review of the actual DVD as soon as I get it!

    dave [​IMG]
  2. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

    Sep 29, 2000
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  3. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Cinematographer

    Apr 25, 2003
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    Nice little preview David! It will make a nice companion dvd, when i pick up Alien boxset on the sameday.Cant wait for your full length review.[​IMG]
  4. Kajs

    Kajs Second Unit

    Jun 22, 2001
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    "Disneyland From The Caribbean To The World of Tomorrow" is an awesome show that has the entire ride on it! Also the re-dedication of the "New" 1967 Tomorrowland with a glimpse of every attraction there. When the movie was released I was hoping this whole episode would be part of the DVD, but hopefully it will come down the line with the Treasures series.

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