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Old 11-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #21
cjamescook cjamescook is offline
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Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
Generally it's the special features producer who drives the boat on what gets produced. ... While I'll certainly use pre-existing interviews, every major title I've worked on has been primarily comprised of new interviews created for and tailored to the DVD/Blu-ray ...

When that gets ramped up is when you have filmmakers who are involved and excited by the process and allow the producers access to the filmmaking process outside of the norm. ...
Another take is the amount of effort devoted in the release of older titles that are long in the can, in release, and now in the vault. To paraphrase something you previously stated, it is sometimes a miracle to find anything.

One recent title that impressed me was the Blu-ray release of Star Trek: The Original Series Season 1.

The number of people they dug up in 2009 just to appear in pop-ups for commentary tracks of a show from 1966 really impressed me. Writers, actors, supporting cast, hair dressers, home movies, ... wow. That also takes dedication.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:49 PM   #22
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
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Just wanted to chime in and say welcome! Glad to have another amazing resource here at the site!
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #23
kefrank kefrank is offline
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Hi Cliff. Welcome and thanks for your contribution to the forum!

My question is this: how do special features producers such as yourself view the PiP and BD-Live capabilities that Blu-ray offers? Do you find them to be compelling tools to offer unique special features or are they relatively uninspiring for those in your profession?

(My take as a consumer: I believe they offer a lot of potential for some interesting and innovative extras, but creative use of them seems to be few and far between up to this point).
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:15 PM   #24
DMC86X DMC86X is offline
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Hey Cliff, I was wondering if you could give me some info. on Iron Man 2. Do you know if any scenes were filmed with Imax cameras that would lead to shifting aspect ratios on the Blu Ray like Dark Knight and Transformers 2?? I think it would be awesome to have the screen open up in full Imax glory in an Iron Man movie. Thanks man.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:30 PM   #25
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
Hi Cliff. Welcome and thanks for your contribution to the forum!

My question is this: how do special features producers such as yourself view the PiP and BD-Live capabilities that Blu-ray offers? Do you find them to be compelling tools to offer unique special features or are they relatively uninspiring for those in your profession?

(My take as a consumer: I believe they offer a lot of potential for some interesting and innovative extras, but creative use of them seems to be few and far between up to this point).
I sort of feel about them the way I do about all special features... If you can make them good and interesting, they are absolutely worthwhile. But I had/have a major problem with PIP features and when it came time to do Crank 2, I created the PIP differently. I've never been able to understand why someone would want to watch the film full screen while viewing the interviews and behind-the-scenes in a small window. To me, it seems like you'd want it to be the opposite. So that's what we did with Crank 2. The interviews and all the interesting b-roll was large with the feature film in a small window just as reference. Seemed to make more sense to me that way.

I'm torn on BD-Live because the technology just isn't there yet. When it takes you 10 or so minutes just to be able to view a random standard def trailer, I'd rather it just be on the disc. BUT, it does offer the opportunity to include special features long after the disc has been completed and that's a good thing.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:39 PM   #26
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by DMC86X View Post
Hey Cliff, I was wondering if you could give me some info. on Iron Man 2. Do you know if any scenes were filmed with Imax cameras that would lead to shifting aspect ratios on the Blu Ray like Dark Knight and Transformers 2?? I think it would be awesome to have the screen open up in full Imax glory in an Iron Man movie. Thanks man.
Sorry, I don't know where things with IM2 are at this point. My guess would be that if any of the scenes were shot in IMAX, you'll get a shifting aspect ratio release (maybe even a retailer exclusive, like Transformers 2).
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:22 PM   #27
DMC86X DMC86X is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
Sorry, I don't know where things with IM2 are at this point. My guess would be that if any of the scenes were shot in IMAX, you'll get a shifting aspect ratio release (maybe even a retailer exclusive, like Transformers 2).
Cool man. thanks for the reply
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #28
PeterTHX PeterTHX is offline
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Hey Cliff! Welcome to the forum.

Ever work on something so godawful that it made you sick to your stomach? I'm sure it's easier (mentally) working on "good" films vs. the terrible ones. Of course like any professional you have to give full effort to the bad ones too.

And thanks for getting the trailers back.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:27 PM   #29
Alan Gordon Alan Gordon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
I sort of feel about them the way I do about all special features... If you can make them good and interesting, they are absolutely worthwhile. But I had/have a major problem with PIP features and when it came time to do Crank 2, I created the PIP differently. I've never been able to understand why someone would want to watch the film full screen while viewing the interviews and behind-the-scenes in a small window. To me, it seems like you'd want it to be the opposite. So that's what we did with Crank 2. The interviews and all the interesting b-roll was large with the feature film in a small window just as reference. Seemed to make more sense to me that way.
That's the way I've always felt about it as well. I'll have "Crank 2" eventually, and I'll be sure to check that out.

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Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post
And thanks for getting the trailers back.
Seconded! Bless you! Now go talk to other home video department heads!

Welcome Cliff!

~Alan
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:04 AM   #30
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX View Post
Hey Cliff! Welcome to the forum.

Ever work on something so godawful that it made you sick to your stomach? I'm sure it's easier (mentally) working on "good" films vs. the terrible ones. Of course like any professional you have to give full effort to the bad ones too.
I can't say I've ever done something that I just HATED. I've certainly done titles that I'm indifferent to. I did quick edit jobs for movies like Bait Shop (with Billy Ray Cyrus) and this horror movie Catacombs (with Pink) and I had absolutely zero feelings towards those. But truthfully, those are usually the titles I make the best money on because I spend the least amount of time and effort on them. Contrast that with something like Rambo, which was a dream project for me to be involved with and I have a lot of time and effort invested in that. We worked heavily on the Blu-ray features for Rambo for three solid months. Bait Shop was a weekend.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:25 AM   #31
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by Alan Gordon View Post
Seconded! Bless you! Now go talk to other home video department heads!

Welcome Cliff!

~Alan
Trailers, TRAILERS, TRAILERS

I've got a new source for you guys that are really into trailers. I just discovered this last week. (And I don't know how many of you all know this already)

For those of you that really love trailers, get an Apple TV. If you search through the movie titles that are available to rent or buy, almost all of them have trailers that can be streamed and viewed on your HD television for free. And when I talk about trailers, I'm also talking about ones that have never even been included on DVD. I've been going through them like a madman recently and can spend HOURS just watching old trailers.

Here are some of the trailers I've found...
Top Gun
Mission Impossible 2
King Kong (2005)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Ferris Bueller
Sixteen Candles
The Bad News Bears (76)
The Paper
Popeye
Dragonslayer
Saturday Night Fever
Staying Alive (awesomely cheesy with lots of footage of Stallone directing)
The Shadow (which btw, has an 720p HD DD5.1 version for rent for those who can't wait for a BD)
Tootsie
Backdraft

and tons more. It's like someone giving you an on demand service with just tons of trailers available. They're all available via your iTunes as well, but the ability to call them up on your HD set (many of them in anamorphic widescreen) is a trailer lover's nirvana. Keep in mind that some of these trailers will never see a release on their respective DVDs/Blu-rays (Ferris Bueller contains Twist and Shout), so this is the only option to access some of these clips.

Just wanted to give people a heads up for anyone unaware this is out there now (I'm actually pretty late to the party).
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:36 AM   #32
4K2K 4K2K is offline
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Why are many special features, eg. making of documentaries now encoded at 24p when 60i would be much better?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #33
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by 4K2K View Post
Why are many special features, eg. making of documentaries now encoded at 24p when 60i would be much better?
Why would 60i be much better? I don't think I'll ever shoot anything @ 60i ever again. The on set footage and interviews for Crank 2 was the last time I shot 60i and I had wished long after the fact that I had shot it 24p instead. First of all, 24p usually matches the frame rate of the feature, which usually makes things easier in post, but also makes things easier on the end user. If the feature is 24p and the menus are 24p and the trailers are 24p, why not also make the other features 24p?

Secondly, I happen to think (and this is purely subjective) that 24p just has a much nicer look to it. 60i looks like you shot it with a home camcorder. It gives you more of a 'you are there' vibe, which I guess could be beneficial, but it also (at least to me) feels cheap and reeks of low production value. I actually just last week purchased a new Sony CineAlta 1920x1080 24p camera, and the thing creates an amazing 24p image. I won't be going back to 60i unless there's a very specific reason to do so.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #34
4K2K 4K2K is offline
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It gives you more of a 'you are there' vibe, which I guess could be beneficial
That's why. Because when viewing a behind the scenes making of documentary, you don't want the film look then, you want the 'you are there, live look' that's why it's beneficial. Better, more live motion. Better motion resolution - a special feature making of probably won't be shot in the same way as the film so the 60i rate will cope better with the more hand-held style used in making-of docs than 24p.

Same with concerts and Sony using 24p for a live concert. 24p doesn't look live, and has lower motion resolution than 60i or 30p.

24p is obviously best for a film that has been shot that way, but I don't think it is the best for the real/live look that I think is best for special features and live concerts (that Sony lately wants to make 24p).

24p=Better for fiction
60i/p=Better for more real/live/you are there.

If behind the scenes features were supposed to be works of fiction, I think 24p would likely be better, but they're not supposed to be fictional.

Last edited by 4K2K; 12-14-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:41 PM   #35
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Originally Posted by 4K2K View Post
That's why. Because when viewing a behind the scenes making of documentary, you don't want the film look then, you want the 'you are there, live look' that's why it's beneficial. Better, more live motion. Better motion resolution - a special feature making of probably won't be shot in the same way as the film so the 60i rate will cope better with the more hand-held style used in making-of docs than 24p.

Same with concerts and Sony using 24p for a live concert. 24p doesn't look live, and has lower motion resolution than 60i or 30p.

24p is obviously best for a film that has been shot that way, but I don't think it is the best for the real/live look that I think is best for special features and live concerts (that Sony lately wants to make 24p).

24p=Better for fiction
60i/p=Better for more real/live/you are there.

If behind the scenes features were supposed to be works of fiction, I think 24p would likely be better, but they're not supposed to be fictional.
But I'm still trying to tell a story. It may be based on real events, but the documentaries and featurettes I generally create tell a story. They're not fly on the wall production diaries. They have beginnings, middles, and ends. The behind the scenes footage isn't the main attraction. It's the visual accents to the stories being told. How do you reconcile the fact that most major documentaries (anything from Planet Earth to Hoop Dreams to Man on Wire) are shot and presented @ 24p? Do you feel the impact of viewing those programs is lessened because you're only provided 24 frames per second instead of 30? I'm not saying you're wrong. 60i is your preference. 24p is mine. But as the creator the work, my preference for a 24p look is as important as the edits I make, the graphics I help to create, and the titles I give to each documentary. Most behind the scenes producers feel the same way, which is why you're seeing more and more produced @ 24p.

Again, I'm not saying your opinion is wrong. I'm just telling you what motivates my decisions.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:42 PM   #36
rosejallie rosejallie is offline
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Really very nice info, and thanks for sharing this info,
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:59 PM   #37
Q? Q? is offline
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Hello Cliff, I have a simple question and forgive me if you've already answered, what work are you most proud of?
You mentioned Rambo earlier?
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #38
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Hello Cliff, I have a simple question and forgive me if you've already answered, what work are you most proud of?
You mentioned Rambo earlier?
It's kind of hard for me to narrow it down that succinctly and cleanly so I'll break that answer down in a few categories.

I'm absolutely proud of what I was able to do on Rambo, but more than proud, I was just really honored. I lobbied to get that title for nearly a year because I just wanted to be a part of that history in any way I could. Unfortunately, most of the films that I loved growing up... my favorites, have already been done by other producers. But when Rambo came along, it was a chance to do some work within the world of a film series I loved growing up. The opportunity to meet and work with Sylvester Stallone and be involved in Rambo in any way I could was a dream for me and while I'm proud of the work and certainly strived (as I always do) to make the disc great on its own merits, to be part of Rambo's history was the payoff. I even got to have nearly an hour-long phone conversation with First Blood author David Morrell about how he wrote the original book, his various involvement in all the films and his thoughts on the latest movie.

On the other other end of the spectrum, there's a title like Gamer. Now I got involved in Gamer because I've done every one of Neveldine/Taylor's titles beginning with the original Crank. It's no secret that Gamer was not well received or reviewed. It was actually pretty hated in certain circles (I think a bit much, actually), but it's pretty obvious that it wasn't a well reviewed movie even on DVD/BD. When I created the features for the Blu-ray, it had pretty much already tanked at the box office, so it was a credit to Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor that they remained as involved in the bonus material as they did, but there was no hiding the fact that it had lost its momentum. Now... I'll be totally honest with you. I didn't think the features I created for Gamer (other than the obvious 'cool gimmicks' like the iCon Mode) were all that good. I thought the 80 minute documentary was too long and was going to be too technical and dry for people to really enjoy. The whole disc wasn't designed for the average DVD/Blu-ray buyer, it was actually designed for the old LaserDisc shopper. It was really technical in a lot of places and I just thought it was going to be savaged as boring and too techie when it came out (especially following what I assumed would be lukewarm to negative reactions to Gamer). Color me surprised when I started to read reviews that almost unanimously stated that, while they didn't much care for the film, they loved the features and, in many cases, the documentary and iCon Mode gave people a deeper appreciation for what N/T were trying to accomplish. Even this site's review of the film claimed:
Quote:
Regardless of one's thoughts on the film itself, there's no denying the hard work that went into it and the fascinating world of filmmaking as so strongly realized in this excellent piece.
So, for me, that's about as complimentary as it can get. For someone to say, "I disliked the movie, but I love the disc" is not something you hear all that often. So just in terms of what I was able to accomplish and overcome, Gamer is a title that I'm extremely proud of.

Of course, that could all change next year.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:58 AM   #39
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Thanks, sounds like a great job you have.
I did see Gamer on BD, but unfortunately never got around to see the special features, I will next time when it borrow it again.

Anyways, this is awesome, provides great insight to an aspect of the movie industry, thanks again!
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:25 PM   #40
Mark Malmstrøm Mark Malmstrøm is offline
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hi cliff - a question about encoding format for special features

special features in 480p ON VERY OLD FILMS or just older film where the original dvd features are included - does it always have to be like that or will film that does not have so much special fettures not be better suited with 720p features.

?????????


I like the fact even if it's not much then it's still a bit HD allthough low HD - but it's certainly better than standard defineition and the player don't have to change back and forth between SD and HD
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