Personally I love it when filmmakers cram their dvd releases with as many extras as they can. Here are a few of my favourites, in no particular order or preference which focus on film editors and film editing…
There are four commentaries to choose from on Se7en, the best being the two production orientated ones, including editor Richard Francis-Bruce. All are worth a look, as is the ‘mastering for home theatre’ which features an early colour correction walk through by prominent colorist Stephen Nakamura.
Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers
22 minutes of inside info on the editing of the epic trilogy, with the various editors under Peter Jackson’s portly helm. All 12 discs of the entire extended edition are well worth the effort, provided you’ve got a spare 60 hours. And that’s just each extended film once through and then 4 more times for each of the commentaries…not to mention actually sitting down to watch the extra features….
The Social Network
An excellent dvd with a feature length making of the film, plus thoughts from Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter and Ren Klyce on the post process. Great stuff on the emotional intricacies of story, flow and working with Fincher.
Swingers is a great film, not only for it’s br0mance wit and quotable lines (”You always double down on 11″) but also for the fact that the special edition DVD comes with two commentaries and a whole host of making of films. The commentary that made me buy it though was the excellent pairing of director Doug Liman and editor Stephen Mirrione. Mirrione has cut a huge raft of brilliant films including Traffic, 21 Grams, The Ides of March, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and many more. It’s great hearing him describe all of the ways he had to ‘break the rules’ to make a low-budget first feature work.
Cold Mountain’s making of documentary (70 minutes) featuring a good amount of legendary editor Walter Murch. Also worth a look is the book ‘Behind the seen‘ which tracks Murch using Final Cut Pro for the first time on a hollywood feature.
Possibly one of director Steven Soderbergh’s best films the Criterion 2 disc dvd and blu-ray release features 3 feature commentaries, 25 deleted scenes with commentary plus 3 inside looks at creating the Mexico film processing style, dialogue editing and crucially editor Stephen Mirrione talking about cutting the film. You can’t ask for better than that.
35 post production diaries from the making of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, meticulously covering all aspects of the post work. 2 hours and 40 minutes of fun.
When you listen to the commentary from director Christopher Nolan he takes the interesting approach of showing the movie in its production schedule order, which helps give a different angle on the editorial process.
I’m a big fan of Paul Thomas Anderson and this 2 disc edition of the masterful Magnolia contains a feature length making of that provides pretty much unfettered access to PTA and many of the other cast and crew.
There are some great moments with PTA discussing scenes with the actors as well as production insights like how late in the day PTA wrote the content for the TV show within the film. Although not strictly about post-production, it is a great lesson in filmmaking from one of America’s developing master filmmakers.
The English Patient
‘A conversation’ with Walter Murch’ is a sampling of short interview material with Murch, focusing on his relationship with director Anthony Minghella but also the technical process of putting the film together. Plenty of other good stuff on the Special Edition disc too.
Memento is really the film that made Christopher Nolan, and it’s well worth repeat viewings, especially along with his audio commentary (which as a random aside, includes this unmotivated giggle). The special edition dvd also affords the opportunity to watch the film in chronological order, which does help to make it make a lot more sense, but that sort of takes the fun out of it. Still a great lesson in creative film structure.
Deleted scenes commentary (and an odd ‘music only’ audio option) from director Steven Soderbergh, which provides some useful insights into what to chop out when you’ve got to get the movie down to time.