If you're a DVD junkie like me, then you'll end up buying a new Special Platinum Holographic Limited Master Ultra Five Disc Edition of a DVD you already own, just to get some paltry extras, like interviews with the gaffer. I'll admit, it's a sickness, and once Blu-ray and HD-DVD were introduced, it got that much worse for me.
Likewise, if you're a hardcore DVDer, then you probably visit DVD news sites like The Digital Bits and DVD File for the latest news about anything DVD related, no more how trivial, and no matter how much Peter Jackson continues to hammer you over the head with new versions of The Lord of the Rings DVDs.
To that end, our first early morning early morning panel was the DVD Sneak Peeks for 2007. Bill Hunt and Todd Doogan from Bits introduced Charles de Lauzirika, who works on a lot of Ridley Scott's DVD releases ... he has the lucky distinction of working on the Blade Runner: The Final Cut DVD, Javier Soto, who works with Guillermo del Toro, and Robert Meyer Burnett, who directed Free Enterprise and is working on the DVD releases of Shoot 'Em Up and Valkyrie. They also brought in special guest Michael Davis, director of Shoot 'Em Up, and he showed a tiny piece of footage from his laptop, from inside iMovie even, of him getting shot up by animated squibs and firing shots from a 409 bottle. Rough, but funny ... and eventually he got some money behind it and will be appearing as a technique in Shoot 'Em Up.
Javier didn't have any footage to show, but he just got back from Hungary where he's been working on Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy 2. "It's like Hellboy plus Pan's Labyrinth on steroids." The people sitting behind me had a total nerdgasm when he said that, audbily groaning "OOOOOOHHHHHhhhhhhhhh!" So, he's pegged at least a couple of potential buyers! He went on to talk about adding extras to DVDs, and the struggle to make them more interesting. They may be filming additional scenes for the Hellboy 2 DVD, and there's the possibility of a short film appearing on the DVD that will be related to the movie. I'm all for it, as long as they don't make me buy three different versions. The big tidbit he dropped is that, "Guillermo has one catalogue title out there that doesn't have a special edition. Well, we're going to back this year and will be creating that. If you go to IMDB, you can figure it out.
Charles talked about his work on Twin Peaks, to which the people in the room erupted. It's really nice to know that people still love that series so much. In fact, this Twin Peaks boxed set sounds pretty amazing. Both versions of the pilot, European and American, deleted scenes from both seasons, and "loads of extras." He showed off scenes from the feature length documentary included on the DVD called"Secrets from Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks" and also some footage from "A Slice of Lynch", which is conversations with the cast and with guess who. The doc features tons of interviews with cast members saying "I still don't know who killed Laura Palmer", which sort of freaks me out and makes me want to watch the show again.
Now, the real reason I got up early and schlepped to this panel: Blade Runner: The Final Cut. It'll be out December 18th, and it's been eagerly awaited for years. Charlie has three discs worth of stuff to show us, and I'm gauging whether or not I can run up to the stage, grab the discs, and make it to the door before the security goona grab me. Anyhow, there are five versions of the film included in this set : the Final Cut: The Orginal Cut (with voiceover and happy ending): the International Cut; the 1992 Director's Cut, and the Work Print. Over 47 minutes of deleted scenes, things like unused Harrison Ford voiceover tracks, and more. There's also a three hour documentary included, called "Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner" Well, I know where the money in my wallet is going.
Charlie got to wade through boxes and boxes of dailies from the film, unseen scenes, and a wealth of information. They produced the documentary, and got to talk to pretty much every that was ever involved with the film. When they interview Edward James Olmos, he says, "Did you get Harrison?" Well, the answer is yes. They did. They showed an extremely short clip of Harrison from the documentary saying "It was a bitch." Cue giant applause.
He also showed us some new and old footage from the movie, complete with some of the never-used Harrison Ford voiceover. It's totally like seeing a brand new movie. 95% of the scene was alternate takes, different angles, and new shots. Awesome stuff. He also pulled out a clip of the Joanna Cassidy scenes, which were reshot for this special edition. She was greenscreened into the special edition, and looks back in character, but sadly the DVD decided not to cooperate and we only saw a few seconds before it got chewed up. Still, I'm impressed that they shot new scenes for this. If you watch the original, you can see that there is clearly a stuntwoman playing Zhora in those scenes, and this is a great fix.
They also brought in Harrison Ford's son Benjamin Ford to reshoot the scene with Abdul Ben Assan, the snake dealer, which is famously out of sync. Hopefully this won't Star Wars: Special Edition-these up like Lucas did by adding in a CGI Jabba the Hutt, but so far it looks amazing.
There's another panel tomorrow devoted solely to 300 and Blade Runner, and I'll be there with more juicy tidbits, hopefully. Ridley Scott and some of the cast will be there, and so will Cinematical.