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I've got a few questions about how commentaries are made?

I've got a few questions about how commentaries are made?

Old 08-02-03, 08:28 PM
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I've got a few questions about how commentaries are made?

Do the people involved have some kind of script of some sort or notes or is it just all improve on what they say? since mainly Ebert's commentaries and the Black hawk down military commentary sound too good.
Also why is it sometimes there are appologies everytime someone swears? example "doing all of that S***, oh sorry, are we allowed to say s*** here, oh alright then"
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Old 08-02-03, 08:30 PM
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The couple commentaries I've listned to sound like they all just sat around and watched the movie, as the movie went on they commented on the movie.
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Old 08-02-03, 08:32 PM
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Commentaries are made in more than one way. One being the obvious "everyone together watching it and commenting on it" while another being the "pieces from interviews and whatnot recorded here and there about te film" and then the "everyone who talks is watching the film but they are not together and each part was recorded at a different time".

There are more though, these are just the three that came into my head.
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Old 08-02-03, 08:34 PM
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So, there are very rarely times when they have a script or notes.
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Old 08-02-03, 08:49 PM
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I think it depends on the person doing the commentary. I remember reading about someone (I think he was an Ernst Lubitsch expert and he was doing a commentary for Criterion) and how much he prepared in advance.

I don't think they script out the whole thing, some probably just write down certain things they want to cover to make sure they remember it.

On the other hand, I'll bet there are many who just wing it. In high school, one of my best friends wrote and filmed a movie for a school event. I edited it for him. Later on, I made a DVD of the movie and I wanted to have a commentary on it. He said fine - so he and the main actor sat down in front of a TV with lapel microphones both hooked into my MiniDisc recorder, and they just talked, completely off-the-cuff. After we were done, he said, "Hey, let''s do another one. We'll pretend to be these obnoxious and pretentious socialites." That one was really improvised, and it was hilarious.
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Old 08-02-03, 09:01 PM
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I'd say a lot of them are off-the-cuff remarks, without preparation. It seems common to hear the comment "It's been years since I've watched this" indicating that they don't even have a prepartory viewing. On the director's commentary for Airplane!, when the passengers assume "crash positions" and a topless girl goes bouncing by, one of them seemed a bit surprised and wanted to rewind it, like he had forgotten that was in there.

However, unless "Weird Al" Yankovic has a phenomenal memory for Tulsa street addresses, I'd say he had a few notes ready.

Everybody's got their own approach, I suppose.
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Old 08-02-03, 10:22 PM
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Two types of commentary are shown on one DVD: The Rules of Attraction.

Spliced together commentary by various actors in the flick, including Ron Jeremy, who has all of a 30 second appearance in the flick. I don't mind the spliced commentaries, as long as they let me know that is what's going on. Watching commentary for Shanghai Noon, the commentary was done by director, Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan, and right at the start, the director points out that Jackie is not there, but through the miracle of modern technology, we still have his commentary (or words to that effect).

Off the cuff commentary by Carrot Top. He's all by himself, and judging by his commentary, it seems that he did it while watching the movie for the very first time. He often comments on chicks he think is hot, constantly asks his "bro" (fellow red head?) Eric Stoltz for a job, and often hums to music, and will start to sing along or improv if the lyrics are redundant. Very funny stuff.

What about the commentary on This Is Spinal Tap (done in character)? I've yet to hear this one, I'm curious if it too is an improv or somewhat scripted......
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Old 08-02-03, 10:27 PM
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while we are at it, when's lions gate releasing the unrated cut? And since even though i am not a fan, I kind of want to hear that carrot top commentary, this will only be on the r rated dvd?
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Old 08-02-03, 10:45 PM
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Just to chime in...listen to Steven Soderbergh commentaries. I could listen to him talk about his movies all day.
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Old 08-02-03, 10:58 PM
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Some people doing commentaries are lazy, though. On most of Troma's early DVDs, Lloyd Kaufman sometimes recited entire passages about a particular movie from his first book.
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Old 08-02-03, 11:46 PM
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Robert Rodriguez often uses notes for his commentaries.
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Old 08-03-03, 05:05 AM
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If you listen to the LOTR commentarries on the EE (especially the actors one) it comes accros as they just sat around a table watching the movie and chatting.
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Old 08-03-03, 09:56 AM
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Check out this thread about how a Criterion track was done: http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=274425
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Old 08-03-03, 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by harpo787

What about the commentary on This Is Spinal Tap (done in character)? I've yet to hear this one, I'm curious if it too is an improv or somewhat scripted......
You've got to check it sometime! I was rolling in laughter.
Considering that the movie wasn't really scripted much, I'd have to think the commentary was pretty much done the same way (ad lib)...in character of course. However it was done, it's definitely worth a listen. Hillarious stuff.

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Old 08-03-03, 05:54 PM
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This varies wildly from recording session to recording session. Some commentator bring notes with them after having done a lot of preparation (Robert Rodriguez on anything). Other times the commentators walk into the studio with no preparation at all and just sit there watching the movie, often with long gaps of silence between speaking (the Matrix commentary).

There is no set rule that says you have to do a certain amount of work before recording a commentary. Although, frankly, there ought to be.
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Old 08-05-03, 04:43 PM
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A lot of the more talkative and informative ones (as opposed to "i haven't seen this in years.... [silence].... [silence]") are not done in one shot. They may stop for breaks, go back to redo a part to cover something they forgot or delete something they decided they shouldn't have said, etc. Ebert alluded to this on his show once when they talked about his DARK CITY commentary, commending the commentary recording engineers for their clever editing that makes it sound like he sat down with the movie and did his commentary straight through.
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