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What DVD's have good commentary from the DP?


Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Deakins does the commentary on Fargo. It's interesting because it's so minimal, a lot of the times he runs out of stuff to say well before the film is over. Reminds me how simple great cinematography can be.

For "In the Mouth of Madness," John Carpenter does a commentary with DP Gary Kibbe. It is essentially an interview, with Carpenter asking Kibbe about his approach to each scene. I always love Carpenter's commentary, he's so humble and takes such an honest interest in the work of his collaborators.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My Fair Lady had some good commentary about how they did things in the old days. As far as lighting tests, etc. I think it was the 50th Anniversary edition, but saw it a while back. 

They used stand-ins and shot the scenes for lighting and film tests days before the actual shoot. They left very little to chance. Real masters of their craft. Also great restoration before and after examples.

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I do miss DVD's commentaries, shame they aren't replicated on streaming platforms.

I do remember Steven Soderbergh commentaries used to be good (e.g the Limey and Traffic), he served as the DOP on those films and discussed the cinematography in a decent amount of technical detail. He's also just generally interesting articulate.  Soderbergh did a masterclass at the NFTS when I was a student there, it was one of the best classes I ever attended. He's a great film tutor. 

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  • 7 months later...

The second of a two-disk DVD set of "Master and Commander" has a generous and comprehensive set of presentations. The single-disk DVD issued has the topic titles in the disk extras menu but nothing happens if you select any of them. Somebody got it a bit wrong. You need to have the second disk of the two-disk set. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you have an interest in the early film days of Ken Burns get a DVD copy of his 1984 film 'Shakers.'  It has some good behind the scenes specials of Burns working with 16mm.  I got a copy from the library. 

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  • 1 month later...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzcarraldo

Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog has some interesting commentary. Although not that much technical discussion. He talks about one cameraman having a toe bitten off by piranha fish. Another cameraman had his hand ripped open and operated on with no anesthesia except having his head cradled between the boobs of one of the 2 camps prostitutes. He said in this part of the world prostitutes are expected just as food is expected to be supplied. He talks about his distaste for storyboarding and working with hundreds of native Amazon Indians. Werner said one of the Indians offered to murder the main actor over dailey  temper tantrums on the set.

Highly recommended 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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In the specials of  I wanna hold your hand, the principals talked about their AD...Newt Arnold. He sounded like he was quite a character. 

Clip of Newt Arnold 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' 1978 : D.D.Teoli Jr. A.C. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

There were to shoot this barbershop scene and the actor to play the barber did not show up. From what I recall, they said the actor was 5 hours late from a drinking binge. Newt pulled out a SAG card and said he would do it. They said Newt asked them for a butt pad and did the scene in one take.

Spielberg has a fantastic 40min+ talk in the specials going way back to his beginnings and discussing mentorship. They said when Newt would direct, sometimes he would shoot a pistol with blanks in the air to get everyone's attention. Dunno if that would fly now with the recent movie shooting tragedy, but that was how it was back then. 

Newt died in 2000.

They go on to discuss the importance of the DP. Back in the day before video taps, the DP was depended on to say whether they thought they got the shot or not. 

...what about the rest of you?

Anyone see any good commentary? A forum is only as good as the members that participate. You can't have a good forum if everyone are lurkers and only take. Give back a little once in a while!

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • 6 months later...
Posted (edited)

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DDTJRAC - VHS / Betamax Archive

After seeing Top Gun: Maverick, I went back to the original Top Gun to refresh my memory. The DVD has a great commentary about the 1986 film. Art Scholl, aerial cameramen, died shooting it. Cruise is 5' 7" and Mcgillis is 5'10" (They said she was 6 feet tall in the commentary. Maybe that was in heels.) They had to work to shrink her down and extend Cruise up. He had special cowboy boots to give him a raise.

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Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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