Is it really so much to ask for to have some features that actually, you know, add to the experience of the movie and stuff? If you're like me, you not only love movies, but you're also interested in the whole movie-making process. I want to know how the effects were achieved, I want to know about any fun incidents on set, the casting process, the production process, the editing process... I love that shit. When DVDs first came out (gosh, how old am I going to feel when I tell younger people that I was around when DVDs were invented?), the promise of getting to see all that behind-the-scenes stuff along with the movie was the thing that I was most excited about.
Anyway, this topic got me thinking about all the features on some of my DVDs that I have loved, and not just the usual stuff like commentaries and making-of featurettes, but those things that filmmakers put on the discs that are a little "extra" special. Here's just a handful of them:
Sin City (2005)
The All Green Screen Version
Robert Rodriguez is known to have lots of awesome features on almost all of his DVDs (though he seems to have really neglected The Faculty... hint hint, Robert) - the 15-minute film schools, the cooking segments - and to me this is by far the best one. This feature is the entire movie's raw footage in front of the green screen, and shows the viewer just how much work still had to be done after everything was shot. The footage is sped up so it takes less than 10 minutes to get through the whole movie, and it is very interesting to watch and see just how minimal all the sets are and stuff. Awesome!
Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween Documentary
Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects also has a great making-of documentary that goes through almost day by day what was going on on the set, but this documentary goes way beyond that. Get this: it is freaking 4 and a half hours long. Yes, I have watched it more than once, and I love it. For those who have a fascination with filmmaking and how things are done... this won't really teach you much of anything, but behind-the-scenes stuff are always interesting to me and this feature certainly has plenty of that.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar and Simon's Flip Chart
Okay, this picture is obviously of a different flip chart for a different movie (a possible third film from the duo). The flip chart they did for Shaun of the Dead was a pre-script version of the movie, and in the feature they go through most of the pages, sometimes making non-related jokes, but mostly they do a good job of showing all their initial ideas for the movie and how much thought actually went into the final draft. I think this is a good inspiration for anybody out there making a movie and shows a great way to get it done and put all your thoughts on (really big) paper.
Another great feature on this disc is the animated "Plot Hole Explanations."
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
Feature-Length Commentary by Joe Bob Briggs
To any horror fan that doesn't really know how to feel about the 1978 rape-revenge movie I Spit on Your Grave, I will always recommend that they watch the movie with the commentary recorded by drive-in guru Joe Bob Briggs, found on the Millennium Edition DVD. I can't watch the movie without his commentary on. He uses his trademark wit to make the commentary interesting, but he also has some really insightful things to say about the movie, things that made me look at the movie in a different way.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Found on the 15th Anniversary Edition DVD, this short but amusing feature always makes me smile. I don't know who created it and I wish I did. Using the Reservoir Dogs action figures for Mr. Blonde and the cop Marvin Nash, they act out the ear-cutting torture scene frame by frame, with a little inset of the actual scene playing at the top of the screen. They even made a little set to look like the warehouse. Very cute feature and a nice bonus for fans of the movie.
What say you?! Been disappointed by some of your DVDs? Have any favorite special features that you'd like to share? Tell me!