This may seem a bit self-indulgent, but that's what blogs are all about, aren't they? And I'm not going to pretend this wasn't a huge moment for me. I've been writing screenplays since I was seventeen - so about twelve years now. Getting my first film release is a big deal, and as I am fully aware it could be my only film release. I will try not to go on at such great length when the UK release comes out, but I can't promise anything.
So to put things in chronological order, Son of Moviebar was Tuesday, Wednesday was Amanda Palmer, and when I got back to the flat after the gig I found this:
Here's what was inside:
Here's me studying the back cover, mainly checking they got my name right and therefore not noticing the obvious spelling mistake (I'll get to that later):
Inside the box was one of these:
I had a quick look at the film that night and was impressed by how good it looks. It's still shot on digital, it doesn't look like film, I'm not saying it's the best looking film ever made...but for what it is it looks pretty good and hasn't lost any quality on the transfer to DVD.
I was a bit shocked when the film opened with the producer and director introducing the film to camera and me giggling out of shot. It's footage we filmed to introduce the DVD extras, not the film itself, but it works just as well. It's an odd move, but in some ways I can see why MTI have done it - it's clear from the start that as well as being a film without a budget it's one with an unconventional approach to narrative that you have to watch with a bit of an open mind. Having the filmmakers introduce it is a nice way to get the audience on board with that from the start.
So director Ross came round today and we sat through the DVD extras. Unlike the film the extras have some funny glitches and may not have been de-interlaced (I have no idea what that means but Ross kept saying it and he knows of such things). It could also be some kind of NTSC/PAL thing, but other than being a bit distracting it doesn't really affect the footage that much.
The outtakes are on the disc in full, as well as the music videos. There is also an extra called 'Funny Vids' which is essentially a couple more outtakes that they must've taken off YouTube or something - they weren't included in the stuff we put together. This does pose the question, what happened to the extras that are missing? Primarily, the hour long documentary and the deleted scenes? They obviously wanted to include as many extras as they could and there is certainly more on there than I expected, so why not all of it? I know, there are probably lots of answers to that - not enough space on the disc maybe? Or perhaps they weren't given all the extras? Still, back to what is on there.
The 'Behind the Scenes' extra is essentially all the mini web videos that were put together by Brother Pete. Although not as comprehensive as the hour-long documentary these are nice little videos and give a good impression of what making the film was like. Mostly, I'm glad that all the hard work Pete put into editing together the hours of random behind the scenes footage made it onto the DVD. He gets his name up on screen after each video too, which is cool.
Finally, there are two commentaries - one with Ross, lead actor Brendan and producer Phil, the other with Ross again, SFX supervisor Steve Hayes and me. The sound levels are a bit off in places but generally these are okay (the first one anyway, I haven't listened to mine). The main problem is that the image, the soundtrack on the film and the commentary track are all slightly out of sync. So there'll be the sound of something exploding, 5 seconds later someone will mention the thing exploding, then we see it explode. This can be a bit distracting, but doesn't really affect the content that much.
I'm really happy the commentaries made it on there and have decided I'm not going to record my own writer only commentary anytime soon. At the time I mentioned possibly doing it I had no reason to believe the US DVD would have extras and honestly didn't think we'd ever get a UK release. Now I know the commentary is on there and will probably be on the UK one too it doesn't really seem so necessary. There are some things I still want to say about the film, and I do think it would be nice to record one now I've had a bit of distance from the film rather than when we were still finishing it, but that can wait.
Overall I'm pretty impressed with the US DVD. It's not perfect, if they'd scrapped all the extras they have got but made sure the hour-long doco was on there I'd be much happier, but as it is there is much more on here than I expected. It's obviously been put together well and with a lot of care and attention by people who care about the films they are promoting, and that means a lot. Shame about this though:
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