VSDA Survey: Deleted Scenes Most Popular Extra - Comments?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy A Salas, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    The VSDA recently conducted a survey on DVD extras to gauge their popularity. The results were reported exclusively in Tuesday's USA Today before being made public later in the day:
    http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/t...d-extras_x.htm
    Basically, the findings were that people most prefer deleted scenes, followed by behind-the-scenes documentaries and cast interviews. Commentaries, which one might expect to be most popular, are further down the list.
    I have some major questions about the validity of the survey--radio listeners were used as the survey base, for example--and my newspaper's survey director raised concerns about how it was conducted. The results seem to reflect casual viewers, and picture and sound quality seemed to be dismissed.
    But what do people here, die-hard fans, think of the survey? Please take a look at the link and post your thoughts here. I might do a short write-up on the survey in Tuesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune and might use your comments. I will need your full name and city of residence if I do, and will be sure to credit the Home Theater Forum.
    Thanks.
    Randy
    P.S. I do also have a copy of the actual survey, in a press release, but am not sure how to post that formatted document here. Please let me know the best way, and I can pass on that information.
     
  2. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I liked how the article opens up with the reference to "fans". It is obvious that consumers were the target but can we find out what the methodology was. How were the survey participants chosen? What was the criteria? Margin of error. Was it scientific by normal accepted survey methods?

    I, for one, am a great fan of commentaries, so long as they are done right. A good documentary comes a close second, and deleted scenes third. I don't address picture and sound quality as I do not consider them extras. I expect the best possible sound and picture as a matter of course. Oh, and I demand OAR amd anamorphic (and I don't even have a 16:9 TV, yet).
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  4. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I like documentaries and commentaries the most. Deleted scenes are alright and may be fun, but I'd much rather have the opinions of the filmmakers or behind the scenes stories.
     
  5. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  6. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I think this reflects the attention span of the audience. Deleted scenes are generally short, easily digestable snippets. Most of the "making of" features on DVDs are of the HBO type: short, not very technical, chock full of standard cast interviews ("What is your character's motivation??"), meant less as an educational piece and more of a promotional piece. I don't think most people out there (J6P's especially) watch movies twice in the first place, so who would want to listen to a full length, in depth commentary track?

    Storyboards and such are not high on the list because they are not video. Since DVD is a video format primarily, people are expecting the special features to be video. Static, and on the other hand, interactive features are not as appealing because they are not in the primary format. They are either too boring or too confusing, for the most part.

    I find the commentary tracks to be of an extremely high value, but that's because I'm more interested in the process than most people out there. I hate those promotional making-ofs. Most people want short features that have the highest "cool" value. And remember, all the people out there who rent often to not have the time to deal with long special features.
     
  7. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    I like deleted scenes and documentaries. But i also like to listen to a commentary once and a while

    capt
     
  8. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    How high did Full-Color Artwork On Disc rank? [​IMG]
     
  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  10. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    I for one love the trailers. They got brushed off as well.
     
  11. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Deleted scenes are sometimes interesting, often not. All the deleted scenes usually do is confirm that it was good idea to delete them in the first place.

    Commentaries are really hit and miss. Half the time it's just the director, who's completely inarticulate in front of a mike, droning on about what a good job the actor did in this scene, etc, etc.

    Rule of thumb: commentary tracks with just one person are usually dull as toast.
     
  12. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I don't think people like the trailers because they think advertisements are the devil. I, for one, love a well-crafted trailer. The one trailer that sticks in my mind is the original Pearl Harbor trailer that had FDR's speech playing on top of all kinds of amazing visuals. That trailer was so much better than the movie. I wish they made a DVD of just the trailer. Forget the movie.
     
  13. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Ohh, this might not be good for fans of commentaries. This in addition to the Arnold/Total Recall debacle may make it easier for someone to ditch the commentary altogether.

    Of course, it could also mean we'll start seeing deleted scenes for deleted scene's sake (Look! Here is the cover shot of them entering the diner, from the other side! Look! Here Jennifer Aniston is eating a carrot while saying the line!)
     
  14. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I'm surprised that there was no mention of outtakes or bloopers. If done well those are usually my favorite extras.

    This survey only consisted of 450 people. Hardly an accurate view. Heck we could easily tip the scales if they took a survey of 450 HTF members.
     
  15. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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    What could possibly be better than having the director explain their film while you watch it? Yeah, some commentaries are boring, with numerous gaps, but that's the fault of the person who recorded it. A great commentary can be just as compelling as the film (Ebert on Dark City or Citizen Kane, PT Anderson on Boogie Nights, Spinal Tap on This is Spinal Tap).
     
  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  17. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Commentary tracks top my list of preferred special features. I like behind-the-scenes documentaries as long as they're substantive and not promotional fluff. Deleted scenes are also great when done properly.

    Ideally deleted scenes should be cleaned up, including colortiming and anamorphic enhancement when applicable. I'm amazed that studios don't think twice about including cut scenes that look like they've been dragged through the streets. It's also important that deleted scenes reveal discarded subplots or additional character information that had to be cut, whether due to time constraints or other considerations. I don't want what amounts to little more than scrap footage.

    When done correctly, deleted scenes can help shape one's understanding of how a film came to be in its final form. They also show the editing process, particularly when a film is based on a novel. For instance, I'd love to see the deleted footage from The Talented Mr. Ripley, a film which had a sizable number of scenes excised from the final cut.
     
  18. Kurt N

    Kurt N Stunt Coordinator

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    Obviously there are good commentaries and bad commentaries. Likewise, there are good and bad deleted scenes.

    Generally, after watching deleted scenes I wonder why the scene was even filmed or feel relief that the scene was cut from the final product. After listening to a commentary, even a dull one, I've gained appreciation for the film or some aspect of it. I'll take a mediocre commentary over good deleted scenes. If I must choose.

    Bloopers, on the other hand, make me wary. Does anyone else remember when there were blooper shows on 2 networks at the same time? It seemed to me like some shows were producing "bloopers" to get the promotion. Also, some actors seemed to make "mistakes" just to show what good sports they were about it. The genuine bloopers seemed to be diluted with "get more screen time" blunders. I don't want to see bloopers that are just an excuse for an actor to make a funny face afterward. Good bloopers, though, are hard to beat.
     
  19. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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  20. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    It doesn't surprise me. Deleted scenes are my favorite. There are some great commentaries and documentaries, and some that suck, but even the great ones are a one time thing for me.

    Deleted scenes might be great, or might suck, but if they're good, I'll watch them every time I see the movie. I also like trailers if they're unique (like the Hitchcock ones).
     

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