One of my favorite parts of the DVD experience are the bonus features. Learning about the process behind how the movie got made, the people behind-the-scenes and their motivations, inspirations and skills, and (especially when it comes to older movies) reminiscences about the time spent woking together and the kind of family that forms when a group of people are working on a project together.
Although I know we all love the convenience of the ‘select a movie and press play’ that things like Netflix and Hulu provide, as a nerd curious person (and as someone who is working on getting a job capturing these kind of stories), I’m scared that the shift away from physical media will also signal a shift away from things like creator commentaries.
This kind of story-behind-the-thing experiences have been so meaningful to me, from both a consumption standpoint and as a content creator. In fact, often times these stories just as enjoyable as the movie itself (Would Lord of the Rings be nearly as impressive without the multi-hour-long documentaries about just how much work went into its creation? And if you haven’t listened to the commentary track on This Is Spinal Tap, where the main actors tear apart the movie in character, you’ve missed out on what is essentially an improvised sequel)
I just think that hearing people talk about their experiences creating a thing (be it on DVDs, in panels, on podcasts like the ones I made for things like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, or even amongst friends and loved ones) are such a core part of the human experience, and to phase that out for the sake of convenience seems a sad state of affairs.
I really really hope it doesn’t happen. I want the stories to stay important, not just the finished product. Let’s not have ‘bonus features’ become synonymous with ‘unnecessary content’
Would you miss them if they went away?