Honestly, sometimes I don’t look into certain things out of laziness. Not that I don’t want to do it, but it sort of automatically goes into “meh” category. To me, DVD/BluRay extras have been pretty much the same. I have rarely watched a DVD or BluRay and said “yes! that was great! let me see what they have on the extras”.
One reason I haven’t done that is laziness. The other is that I watch movies where the extras may or may not be that interesting. I am not an action movie fan, I would say I watch more indie or art house films. I suppose there are good and interesting extras related to film making or original material or just fun things happening on set, but I never really got that interesting in it.
Well, that changed majorly in the past few weeks. My partner got the BluRay set of the Lord of the Rings Extended Versions. My first and honest reaction was “oh dear lord”, as my brain calculated (3×4 hrs = 12 hrs of movie time going to LotR). A total calculation of the opportunity cost of watching them with him meant that I would miss out on 4-5 movies or several episodes of shows I could catch up on, or a combination of the two. Or reading time. Or writing blog posts. So I sighed.
But then, I learned that apart from the extended additions, there is about 12 hrs of extras on the BluRays. At that point my calculation of the opportunity cost of time went on red alert. So I said I would half watch things, half browse the internet or do something else. Little did I know how much I would enjoy watching the extras.
For one thing, I appreciate the enormity which was shooting the trilogy. I have massive respect to people working on the show who have worked for six years on the conceptual art, on the set, on creating the visuals. I understand and agree with the technical Oscars they got at the time. I totally know who Andy Serkis is and why he is so awesome.
There are things that I still didn’t quite watch fully focused. Some things interest me less than others, and that is natural. But watching these extras made me appreciate all the people who get credited at the end of the movie which nobody looks at as they leave the movie theater, or already stop the DVD and leave their couch. Having done production management during my bachelors, I bow to all production people who have managed to not get insane in that production. It is amazing.
Not only that, but the extras on Tolkien, and on making the story line fit the movie mode, I got interested in the books and now am planning where I can fit them in. I am picky about how I read and when and what I read, and in this case I really want to get pretty editions of the books, so this will take me some time. But I won’t dismiss the extras on the BluRays or DVDs any more. Even if not many movies will have this kind of interesting material.
That said, I am SO looking forward to receiving the BluRay Game Of Thrones Season 1 set. That will have so much awesomeness in it, it is actually exciting.
I am now also hyped about The Hobbit, even if the tone of the book is quite different, the trailer already looks promising. I am still not sure what to make of singing dwarfs, but then again I didn’t make much of Aragorn singing in The Return of the King either. I’ll get over it.
So I recommend looking into your DVD/BluRay extras, and would like to encourage studios to put interesting material in there that would either get people to learn more about different technical parts of making the movie, or story telling or any educationally entertaining aspects of their film. These things will make you buy your DVD or BluRay rather than use torrent versions of it. Hint hint.