Why the move to streaming movies scares me – Where have all the stories gone?

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.

Turtles Interview: Behind the Scenes - 18Although 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?

Podcast Recommendation: KCRW’s “Martini Shot”

Martini Shot is hosted by Rob Long, a guy who seems to have a lot of Hollywood Insider knowledge for someone whose IMDB profile consists mainly of being involved with Cheers.

Each week, he provides a cleverly-titled 3-minute anecdote on how things really work in Hollyweird, from business lunches ending in fistfights to the networking upside of the writer’s strike to…well, you name it, really. Consider it a window into the life of one of the supporting cast, if real life were The Player.

It’s truly fascinating, and well worth spending part of your commute on (For the curious, Wikipedia explains that the “martini shot” is LA code for “the final shot of the day”.
Link: Martini Shot on KCRW.org

Seriously? Ben Stiller Career Achievement? SERIOUSLY?

Ben Stiller will be honoured for his contribution to Hollywood at a lavish film ceremony, reports IMDB.

The Tropic Thunder star has been selected as this year’s honouree for the Museum of the Moving Image’s 24th annual black-tie salute.

Stiller’s colleagues are expected to pay tribute to the star and present clips from his film career.

The event, which benefits education programmes, will take place on 12 November in New York.

Momi director Rochelle Slovin says, “Ben Stiller is one of the great talents of American entertainment: a memorable actor, an accomplished director and writer, an Emmy Award winner and an innovative producer.”

Last year’s recipient of the honour was Tom Cruise. Previous recipients have included Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman.