I understand why some directors want the DVD to be a "pure" copy of what the feature film is. It is what it is and that is where the effort went.
Yet from another perspective, why not make the DVD a true extension of the film altogether? Or several extensions that is. By extension, it could be anything that heightens our appreciation of the film and its narrative.
If one of the roles of a DVD is to maintain awareness of the film throughout time, shouldn't we construct the DVDs precisely to do this? We should think deeper as to how this can be done. Maintaining awareness, extending the narrative, and increasing the appreciation of the film are all linked. The power of the DVD is still locked, even as others are anticipating its death. Perhaps more life can be found in the DVD if we think in a truly free manner.
What are all the ways we can make a DVD more than the experience of the theatrical film? Some of these solutions are being used by the mainstream distributors today:
- A Different Cut: usually this is the "Director's Cut" but in TFF this would always be the same version. Sometimes this is an "Unrated" cut when changes are made for ratings purposes. Can more be done with though.
- Commentary: This is often just the director and other crew collaborators. There has been an increased openness to having other directors make commentary too. Sometimes they have been using opposing critics which can get kind of fun.
- Additional Scenes: This is usually limited to scenes that were shot to include in the movie and later removed in the edit process.
- "Added Value" Content: Generally this is elements used in the filmmaking process: script, storyboards, preliminary visual effect mock-ups.
- Publicity & Marketing Elements: Trailers, Posters, Stills, Electronic Press Kits (interviews).
- Behind The Scenes/Making Of Documentary: so-called B-roll of filmmaking process.
One of the benefits of being free of corporate restraints is the freedom to experiment. Truly Free Filmmakers can go far beyond the current limits of what a DVD can do. I got a hefty dose of inspiration from reading Adrian Martin's Moving Image Source article of DVD chaptering and all that might be able to do if we truly embraced all it can do.
Give it a read and share your thoughts. I will share my additional ideas for what can be done more with DVDs on a future post, but it would be great to include yours with it. Maybe I should wait until you get me some of your thoughts...