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DVD Film School - DVDs that REALLY delve into the film making process

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DVD Film School - DVDs that REALLY delve into the film making process

Old 12-31-03, 01:08 AM
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DVD Film School - DVDs that REALLY delve into the film making process

This might be a difficult question to answer, but regardless of movie genre or quality, which DVDs do you think best explain or showcase all of the elements in making that specific movie?

Features to consider might be detailed behind-the-scenes that include all facets of pre- and post-production, complete storyboards, or separate commentaries for screenwriters, producers, fx specialists, cinematographer, etc.

If this topic has already been covered, would some kind soul post the thread? Many thanks.
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Old 12-31-03, 01:10 AM
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Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition has very good coverage over the entire filmmaking process.

Alien Quadrilogy ain't too shabby either.
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Old 12-31-03, 01:47 AM
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A Personal Journey through Cinema with Martin Scorsese. Film school in one dvd.

Just check out the Criterion Collection and you will also find a lot of help there.
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Old 12-31-03, 01:54 AM
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Matthew Libatique's commentary on Requiem for a Dream presents an excellent overview of film lighting as well as cinematography in general (line of action, staging, various camera rigs, etc.).

Also, the commentaries on Se7en are all very informative and (at least the technical ones) present some interesting lessons in visual design, sound design, cinematography, etc.
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Old 12-31-03, 06:40 AM
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Most of Pixar's films provide pretty deep coverage.
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Old 12-31-03, 06:50 AM
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Alien Quadrilogy
Fight Club
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Old 12-31-03, 07:46 AM
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Visions of Light is a great documentary on cinematography. deepdiscountdvd has it for $18.28 http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=IMA009175
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Old 12-31-03, 10:39 AM
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All Criterion Collection dvds. Use your film school tuition for one semester to buy the whole collection. You won't need to go back to school.
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Old 12-31-03, 11:12 AM
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Both of the Lord of the Rings extended editions are great in this regard.
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Old 12-31-03, 11:28 AM
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the Roger Ebert commentary on citizen kane is excellent.
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Old 12-31-03, 12:04 PM
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Well, one thing film school is good for - at least at the cheap, public universities, compared to the expensive private ones - is the amount of film equipment for the course. Take one class (once you've taken all pre-req's, of course), and you can take out all the equipment you want. So, that's pretty good....

But to answer the question, I thought Pixar did a good job on the Toy Story Box Set. T2: UE. Lost in La Mancha, to an extent, as did American Movie, because they're inspirations about the trials and tribulations.... Basically, any extrememly loaded dvd, but almost all Critierions with a commentary, too.

I think you can learn from the best directors divulging the most info, ie: Kurosawa on the Ikiru CC 2nd disc, Terry Gilliam on 12 Monkeys, Jane Campion on The Piano (overseas version, currently), etc....

Also, the fact that they're on dvd, so that you can pause and play back over and over a shot or sequence is huge help over vhs. Watch the best, most influential masterpieces, and break them down. That's about all..... GL!
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Old 12-31-03, 01:27 PM
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Traffic Criterion
Three Colors Trilogy
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Old 12-31-03, 05:48 PM
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I've found that the "Finders Fee" commentary with Jeff Probst and others was very informative and enlightening, with regards to making a movie that doesn't have a Multi million dollar budget.

And LOTR was very insightful imo. And very entertaining.

I've Found the Rush Hour DVD's to be quite good, The commentary with Brett Ratner was intriguing, as well as the extras.

Pi And Reqiuem for a Dream, I've learn lots from.

And Starwars I found to be quite good as far as explaining the movie making process.
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Old 12-31-03, 06:51 PM
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The Abyss
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Old 12-31-03, 06:52 PM
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The limited edition of Bad Taste has a great documentary with Peter Jackson. He really did everything himself too.
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Old 12-31-03, 08:11 PM
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Class worthy documentaries of film:
Visions of Light
Scorsese: Personal Journey through American Cinema

Narrative stories that are great looks in and at movie making from Hollywood to indie:

Day for Night
The Bad and the Beautiful
Living in Oblivion

And for dessert:
The Kid Stays in the Picture

I'll post more later, but start with those. And I'd also chronologically order both the AFI 100 of the 20th century and every film listed in the Sight and Sound Polls since 1952 and watch them IN ORDER. This will give you great perspective toward how each film built on the one before it.
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Old 12-31-03, 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by jayson1017
All Criterion Collection dvds. Use your film school tuition for one semester to buy the whole collection. You won't need to go back to school.
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Old 12-31-03, 08:17 PM
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A lot of Criterion stuff...the best being:

Straw Dogs

Some of Robert Rodriguez's commentaries on his early films are useful too.
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Old 12-31-03, 08:44 PM
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There's a great and unique documentary on the Canadian 3-disk version of BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. It's just raw footage from one day while the cast/crew try to film a short scene and some of the many problems they run into. I've been on my share of film sets and that 20 min or so docco really captures what a filmmaker goes through just to get some footage in the can.
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Old 12-31-03, 08:57 PM
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At the time "Se7en" was released there were lots of references to it as a "film school on a disc", and I think it did a pretty decent job. I also thought "O Brother Where Art Thou" did a decent job of education as well as "Three Kings" wherein they explained the 3 basic coloring schemes used in the film and why and how. Very cool!
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Old 12-31-03, 09:16 PM
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Interestingly, Spy Kids 2 has an excellent commentary on the filmmaking process, specifically the independent filmmaking process.

I also thought Episode I's "The Beginning" documentary was an excellent look inside making a film.
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Old 01-01-04, 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by lesterlong
Traffic Criterion
Great demonstrations on sound and video editing. Soderbergh's pretty anal about sound stuff, so hearing how the ADR guys fooled him with loops of one or two lines is pretty interesting.

EDIT: Oh yeah, "Man of La Mancha" is a great Gilliam disc too. It shows how a movie shoot can go horribly wrong, even if great talent is being put to use. (And I think Gilliam's adaptation - with the exception of Depp's character being from the future - would have been wonderful to watch on screen.)
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Old 01-01-04, 02:36 AM
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All the recommendations sound pretty good....but there is one crucial element that no DVD can give you.

Actual hands on filmmaking experience. Everything else is just theory until you're actually making a film.

Of course, if you're only interested in being an armchair director, producer, soundman, special effects wiz or whatever, then I guess DVDs supplements are enough.
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Old 01-01-04, 02:32 PM
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I've read that Black Hawk Down (Deluxe Edition) is quite exhaustive in regards to its commentaries and documentaries.

Please, more suggestions if you have them.

And here's a recap of some of DVDs mentioned so far:

12 Monkeys
Alien Quadrilogy
Bad Taste: Limited Editiion
Brotherhood Of The Wolf: Canadian 3-Disk
Citizen Kane
Contempt- Criterion
Day For Night
Fight Club
Finders Fee
Ikiru Criterion
Living In Oblivion
Lotr Ee's
Lost in La Mancha
Requiem For A Dream
Rush Hour I & Ii
Scorsese: Personal Journey Through American Cinema
Spy Kids 2
Starwars Phantom Menace
Straw Dogs-Criterion
Terminator 2 UE
The Bad And The Beautiful
The Kid Stays In The Picture
Three Colors Trilogy
Traffic Criterion
Visions Of Light
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Old 01-01-04, 02:43 PM
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The Project Greenlight series set covers just about every aspect of filmmaking. Although it is edited for entertainment rather than educational value, it nonetheless covers the difficulties of filmmaking that many amateur filmmakers don't consider.

An excellent behind-the-scenes featurette I've seen recently is on the Willard DVD. It's called "The Year of the Rat". It's 70+ minutes long, and it covers the entire life of the movie, from conception to casting to filming to test screenings to post-release reactions to the movie's box office failure. It's probably the most complete documentary I've seen, short of the multi-hour stuff on discs like LotR.
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