Learning by Osmosis
I’m a glass is half full kind of guy so, when I watch films I tend to comment on the good rather than the bad. Of course, we learn from our mistakes, so don’t completely ignore what you think is wrong with a film. The bottom line is that every film has a potential to teach you something. This is not a new sentiment. In fact, I’m sure I read it somewhere when I first started thinking of writing screenplays.
What are new are the Special Features that come with your movie purchases. Where once scene searches, photo galleries and trailers were considered special features, now these extras are loaded with goodies for every filmmaker to watch and learn.
The Blu-ray transfer for Jaws was brilliant; it’s the best transfer I’ve seen. Along with a classic film that changed cinema forever, you also get a host of extras. Be sure to watch them all but pay close attention to The Making Of Jaws; it’s a look inside an early indie film. If nothing else, it will definitely inspire you.
Monsters was a good movie until I watched the extra, Behind the Scenes of Monsters; then it became an amazing film. It is a blueprint for guerrilla filmmaking. Director/Writer Gareth Edwards did an incredible job. He would see one thing with his naked eye and create another with his creative eye – all on the fly. Watch the featurette and be awed. Highly recommended.
I recently viewed Safe House and enjoyed the film. There were jaw dropping moments at seeing some extraordinary shots and sequences. I couldn’t wait to delve into the extras. There were quite a few but those that stuck out were on the fight scenes. I loved the step-by-step approach they took on creating these action-packed yet intimate scenes. They were a real eye-opener on filming hand-to-hand combat. Be sure to check them out.
J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 instantly jumped into my top ten; kids, making a zombie film, on Super 8, aliens, the military – how could it not be one of my favourites? Plus, the Blu-ray came with great extras including, The Dream Behind Super 8 and The 8mm Revolution. Though I didn’t walk away after watching these filled with new information on filmmaking, I did come away inspired. I highly recommend this film and its extras.
What other films had extras worth a watch: District 9, Kick Ass, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Amazing Spider-man, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and many more. Though extras are slimming down on many Blu-rays, I still see them as a great opportunity to get behind the scenes on a film and learn from those who’ve gone before me.
I’d love to hear about any other extras worth watching. If you’ve got a favourite, please share it here.