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your favorite 5 dvd/blu rays that you have produced. (1 Viewer)

TheBat

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Jacob
Robert.

what is your favorite doc from other dvd producers and why?

what is the favorite of your own work?

thank you.

Jacob
 

RMBurnett

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Jacob,

Hmmm. That's a very good question.

When it comes to documentaries made for the home entertainment market...and by that I mean...actually made for home video use as opposed to being financed by a television network...my absolute favorite, bar none, is Ed Marsh's "UNDER PRESSURE - Making the ABYSS," for that film's laserdisc release. It's on the DVD as well (C'mon James...release that HD Transfer which has been collecting dust for the past three years...) and I think it's the closest thing we're ever gonna' get to duplicating HEARTS OF DARKNESS, at least for big-budget sci fi films. That documentary would NEVER be cleared through a studio's legal department today. They'd never let you show the material about Ed Harris' diving mishap. The image of James Cameron watching the tarp covering his set split down the middle is just one of the best things I've ever seen.

My other absolute favorite doc of all time is David Gregory's THE JOE SPINELL STORY which originally appeared on the Anchor Bay release of MANIAC. It's the GREY GARDENS of DVD special features. Funny story...on the set of SUPERMAN RETURNS, Bryan Singer always had the clip ready from that doc of the announcement of 1976 Academy Award Nominations. Somehow, Joe Spinell was hanging out with Steven Spielberg as they're being read., with Joe giving his support to Spielberg for not receiving a best directing nomination for JAWS. Amazing stuff.

Now, my criteria for judging DVD special features is simple...they have to best illuminate the art of filmmaking and all the efforts put forward by the entire production team of a motion picture. It can't just be just funny stories about the actual making of the film...but I want to know about the time in which the film was made, where the principals were in their careers, what is their philosophy behind making the film, how did the project come together, how did the finished product turn out, etc.

Very few films have been afforded the time, budget and most importantly, the care a small handful of DVD producers bring to the art form, which I why I follow DVD producers the way I follow directors themselves. There's only a very few people and their continuing body of work I consider essential viewing and would never miss.

For a current film, I think the best DVDs ever done are the Michael Pellerin produced LORD OF THE RINGS extended edition discs. Now, yeah, I worked on two of them...but I wasn't the producer. A huge team of folks worked on those titles and the sheer volume of material available will never be duplicated, ever thanks to the foresight of Peter Jackson (well...probably on KING KONG, but it was mostly the SAME PEOPLE). My only problem with the discs is a stylistic one...it's all sit-down interviews covered by b-roll, which is a shame because there was so much on-set, fly on the wall material I would love to have seen just play out that way (anyone who's seen my REQUIEM FOR KRYPTON doc knows what I'm talking about).

Charlie de Lauzerika's five-disc BLADE RUNNER set is, bar none, the best catalogue title ever released. It will never be surpassed. His love of the film, and his experience producing supplemental features, comes through in every frame of that discs many documentaries. There's nothing better. It's a monolithic achievement (and yes...I mean that in a 2001 kinda' way).

Charlie's ALIEN QUAD set is also right up there for the same reasons. I hope he can get David Fincher to talk about ALIEN 3 for the Blu Ray release. Other noteable work from Charlie can be seen on KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, SPIDER-MAN 2, GLADIATOR, MATCHSTICK MEN and the TWIN PEAKS gold box. Essential viewing all.

I'm also a big fan of David Prior's work with David Fincher. FIGHT CLUB, PANIC ROOM, BENJAMIN BUTTON and ZODIAC all have great work on them and I really liked the work he did on the TRANSFORMERS dvd and the extensive use of behind the scenes footage.

Laurent Bouzereau, who, like Michael Pellerin, goes all the way back to the Laserdisc days, also does some great work. I absolutely love his JAWS documentary from the original Laserdisc special edition. I'm also a fan of some of his books, including The Complete Making of Indiana Jones and The Art of Bond. Lately though, he's really been cranking the stuff out.

I'm a big fan of the work done by EMP, specifically Josh Oreck and Eric Matthies. I really loved their BURLYMAN CHRONICLES from the MATRIX set...and I'm looking forward to checking out what they did with WATCHMEN.

Finally, Kevin Burns' work on CLEOPATRA, BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES, EMPIRE OF DREAMS, LOOK UP IN THE SKY and VALKYRIE deserve special mention, but those were all produced with TV money and rely heavily on narration.

Regarding my own work...I haven't really done nearly as much as the other people I admire...but I think in addition to my work on SUPERMAN RETURNS, I'm really proud of THE USUAL SUSPECTS special edition, The making of TRON, THE LION, THE WITCH and THE WARDROBE (on which I produced ALL of the on-location behind the scenes material) and, believe it or not, the 20th Anniversary of VALLEY GIRL!

What say the rest of you?
 

Scott D S

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Zak Knutson and Joey Figueroa of Chop Shop Entertainment have been doing some great work with Kevin Smith, doing the documentaries for Clerks 2, Zack and Miri, and Clerks X, plus all the online content.

I thought Constantine Nasr of NWE did a very good job with the documentaries on the Batman Anthology set. They're not Blade Runner but I found them surprisingly thorough, short of Michael Keaton's non-participation (Jon Peters, too). I'm sure there's plenty of dirt they could've delved into but, as someone who was all of six during the summer of '89, I was smiling ear-to-ear. It's always nice to see Burton, Elfman, and the gang. I think my favorite bit is the production design segment on the first Batman film. I could listen to those British technicians discuss their craft for hours. (I noticed no one mentioned the sad fate of Anton Furst. What a shame...)

I agree with everything you said re: Laurent Bouzereau, David Prior, and Charlie de Lauzirika. I'm secretly hoping Charlie's gonna get to include the unedited Alien 3 documentary on the Alien Blu-Ray set. (I doubt it but one can dream.) And I don't think he'll ever get Fincher to talk about it but he could interview James Swallow, who wrote a book titled Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher. (Swallow's a Star Trek novelist now, of all things).

And speaking of Bouzereau's The Making of Indy book, I wonder if J.W. Rinzler will be doing making-of books for Empire and Jedi.

I hope the Under Pressure documentary makes it onto the (eventual) Abyss Blu-Ray intact. After reading your thoughts on the subject, I'm surprised it made it onto the existing DVD. What I'd really like to see is the full-length Titanic documentary that was supposedly omitted at the last minute.
 

RMBurnett

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Scott,

I agree with you about the Chop Shop documentaries...however, I'd consider Kevin Smith's films, while amusing, to be minor efforts at least in terms of pushing the boundries of either cinematic form or technologies, so I'm not as inclined to watch that behind the scenes material with the same critical eye.
Constantine's work is also good...and I liked the stuff he did with Frank Darabont.
 

Ockeghem

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My favorite is my Star Trek: The Original Series (Sampler) tape. I have two or three cuts from several of the episodes, and at least one cut from each of the seventy-nine original series episodes in production order. I created it on VHS tape several years ago, and am only now converting it to DVD, complete with disc titles and other labelings. The running time is 1:36. When I realized how much time I had left when I first created the sampler, I included the original pilot (The Cage) at the conclusion of the tape.
 

Ockeghem

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Sunjayb,

I mailed a couple of copies off to friends. It's a lot of fun, seeing clips from each and every episode, carefully edited to blend from episode-to-episode.
 

joshEH

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Originally Posted by RMBurnett

Regarding my own work...I haven't really done nearly as much as the other people I admire...but I think in addition to my work on SUPERMAN RETURNS, I'm really proud of THE USUAL SUSPECTS special edition, The making of TRON, THE LION, THE WITCH and THE WARDROBE (on which I produced ALL of the on-location behind the scenes material) and, believe it or not, the 20th Anniversary of VALLEY GIRL!
Rob, speaking of The Usual Suspects Special Edition, any chance we'll see all those supplements ported over to BD eventually? I mean, sure -- I loves me my current Blu disc, but it sucks that none of the documentaries and commentaries were carried over. Studio future-double-dippage calculation, probably, but still.
 

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Steve Spin

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Mr. Burnett, I have to agree that Kevin Smith doesn't push the boundaries of cinema form or technologies. I do give him credit for have a dream of being a filmmaker and doing it. I wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I know I could have picked a better movie but it’s true. I would make little movies in my head with my models and action figures. Using my eye as a camera lens and panning Klingon Battle Cruisers past my field of view. Wanting a VHS video camera for Christmas and being told they were something like 1,500 dollars. I wish there were more filmmakers in Hollywood like him. He makes his movies for a couple of million dollars and makes ten times as much. Any time he strays from the independent films to the Hollywood blockbusters he falls short. Ask anybody in Hollywood what you want a film to do and it is to make a profit. No successful studio executive says, “I love the way Kubrick moves the camera in 2001.” They say how good the movie Transformers was and how good Michael Bay is as a director because the picture made money. As far as the dick and fart jokes, I’m not a fan. But if you’re a BIG Hollywood production apparently it’s OK to have that type of humor. Anybody seen the movies Phantom Menace or The Ugly Truth? I’m not saying this to stroke your ego but Free Enterprise is a more satisfying movie than any of those or even the new Star Trek movie. The new Star Trek cost 150 million to make. How many Free Enterprise movies could you make for that? And you lucky bastard you got to work with a hero…Shatner! (ha-ha)
 

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