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DVD extras - What features do you want?

dvd.gifThe story about the lack of extras on the new Munich DVD showed that there are huge differences of opinion about what should be amongst DVD Extras, and what you actually want to watch.

DVD's come with all sorts of additional extras, from the lowest animated menus, all the way through to the audio commentary. On the way they'll have featurettes, promotional videos, trailers for itself and other films, photo galleries, storyboards, scripts, maybe spin off material such as a game demo or a comic, alternative endings, deleted scenes, goofs or mistakes on set, etc.

The list is positively huge, but what do you actually want to see on a DVD? Lets take your favourite film and imagine they were about to release the Perfect, Ultimate, Collectors\Directors Edition Uncut with never before seen footage, what would you want to be on that list and what would you rather see left off?

For me, I love the audio commentaries. The ones I particularly enjoy are those that feature the Director, Writer and some of the key actors talking about the behind the scenes of the film itself, how shots were conceived, issues during filming, changes from the script and how they were brought forward, how the actors felt about their scenes, etc. Hearing an audio commentary over additional content can also be very engaging. I'm not interested in more exposition because as Peter said Films talk themselves, or rather the film should speak for itself.

I also find interesting deleted scenes, but hold on a moment, not all the deleted scenes. As the Director of Crimson Rivers said during his Audio Commentary over the top of the deleted scenes on his DVD, they were deleted for a reason, either he didn't like them or he didn't think they fit in the film, so why show them here? They were bad, a mistake or wrong for the film, no need to bring out those mistakes and highlight them to all. So the deleted scenes I like are those that the creative team wanted in there but couldn't, usually those are the scenes removed down to budgetary or time constraints, or maybe the Studio just wanted them out.

For me the featurettes tend to be lifeless, uninspiring and shallow advertising that I don't really care about. Trailers, teasers, and animated menus are just as weak, they're on every other DVD and are just standard additions as far as I can see.

Unusual interactive content is always a good thing, for instance game demo's or the menu systems for Harry Potter DVD's or those on the National Treasure DVD, and then there's the goofs\mistakes section is always a great thing to see and add an instant human aspect to the stars involved, never mind a damn good laugh no matter what the film is.

So those would be mine. I'd have a few audio commentaries (one for stars and one for the creative team of Director, Screenwriters, Editor), deleted scenes that the creative team wanted to keep along with audio commentaries, goofs reel, and hopefully some unique interactive content.

What do you want on your favourite DVD then? What features do you want to see more of, and which just really annoy you and you don't want to see again?



How often I watch/use DVD extras.
Bloopers 95%
Deleted scenes 80%
Trailers for other films 60%
trailer for featured film 30%
Audio commentaries 30%
Games/puzzles 20%
Featurettes 15%
This is heavily biased on the fact I like Simpsons audio commentary and Anime trailers.

Bloopers - 100%
Deleted scenes - 100%
Trailers for other films - 0%
trailer for featured film - 0%
Audio commentaries - 0%
Games/puzzles - 0%
Featurettes - 100%

I don’t mind featurettes when they are well made, they are a waste of time when they consists of interviewing actors about the role they just played or how much fun they had working with their co-actors.

The best featurettes I have seen were for the Alien movies box set where people actually talked about the problems of making movies and how everyone did not have a great time and love each other. Big productions like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings come with good featurettes as do classic movies where someone has spent a lot of time making a documentary about the movie.

The point is that a good featurettes costs money and time to make and most studio’s figure that they can get away with providing cheap crap ones. Not many websites/magazines review the extras with much detail, normally the review consists of a couple of paragraphs that do little more then list them and give them a simple good/bad score.

I love the commentaries, bloopers, deleted scenes, most featurettes and I even like to look at storyboards when they're available. My daughter likes the games, but I rarely will play with them.

The stuff I don't care about and don't watch are the trailers for the movie itself and for other movies. I go the theater or online to watch movie trailers, I don't need them on the dvd.

This is very conditional. It´s always related on the quality of the movie.

The best extras I have seen so far are the ones coming with the Alien Quadrilogy DVD Box Set.

The quantity and quality of the extras is simply astounding and breathtaking. Even better than the (impressive) LOTR extended editions.

My favourite extras are deleted scenes, commentaries, trailers, and documentaries.

I dislike promos (even disguised), trailers for other films (who cares?) games, and text features (Terminator 2). A DVD is not to read!!!

I like NO extras if we could have a reduction in the costs of DVDs. Or even 2 tier - £15 for extra featured disc, £8 for movie-only.

Personally I think what matters is not quantity but quality of extras. I'd be happy if extras on a given disc were limited to a commentary if that commentary was truly excellent. I want DVD extras to add something to the experience of the film; the form the extras take is of less concern to me. (I must say I do like trailers for completeness' sake, although I don't see the need for trailers for other films.)

The only thing I'd specifically note, I think, has to do with deleted scenes. If the main feature is 16x9 enhanced, so should any deleted scenes included on the DVD be, unless there's a REALLY compelling technical reason for them not to be so. (It was galling, on the Big Red One disc I saw recently, to have the deleted scenes featured at open-matte full frame.) Same goes for trailers, which far too often seem to be presented in letterboxed 4x3 form. Now that I have a widescreen TV, I find this sort of thing increasingly unacceptable. (I am 16x9 nazi, hear me roar...)

I tend to get the shits a bit with DVD-ROM extras. They're nice, I'm sure, but not if you don't have a DVD-ROM drive to access them. I'm not bothered by their presence, but when they're the only extra on the disc (as they are on some of my discs) then I get irritated.

Mr Morrow's point about cost is an excellent one. I don't know about the rest of the world, but Columbia Tristar are terrible here in Australia for charging well above the average price for their product (average price is about $30; Columbia have no shame about wanting $35-40) and not including extras to give you a sense of value for money. I don't mind about lack of extras as long as the disc is mid-priced to compensate.

DVD MUST have trailers of the movie. theatrical etc. because if its a movie i really wanted to see in the cinema then the trailer was what i watched over and over again before actually seeing the film

deleted scenes can be really bad. like really bad and detract from the film. the extra features should add to the disk not just FILL it.

Couple here that stand out for me - James' with the quality not quantity, and Pablo's trailers.

I'd rather have a solitary good extra, of whatever, than lots of crud.

If it's a film I haven't seen in a while it's nice to look back at the trailer before I start. And then there's a heap that the wifey hasn't seen, so teh trailer's good to get a nod or a "I'm going in the bath".

Oh, and Peter's last paragraph - spot on, especially when the other trailers -=have=- to be watched before your menu comes up.

I love the extras on all Seinfeld DVDs especially the Notes About Nothing feature. Maybe its done differently for tv series as it is in film but here is a good precedent.

I guess the features, extras, documentaries would depend on the types of film that it is. I would like to see audition tapes of some actors if I was particularly impressed by a performance. In "The Godfather III", this was so beautifully incorporated in their extras where you see auditions showing a much younger Pacino, Keaton, De Niro, Duvall, Caan and Brando. I just loved watching that feature alongside the film!

It will show too much about my geekiness if I'd say all the SW prequels gave really good extras, my favorite being the ones with John Williams, and McCallum and Lucas waxing poetic about their journey.

Couldn't agree more with the bit about trailers on DVDs before the film. A heinous practice. I never liked them on video and I like them even less on disc.

Deleted scenes are almost always deleted for a reason: they are boring, they suck, they don't add to the story or all of the above.

Commentaries can be really good (Apollo 13, Royal Tenenbaums, Seven Samurai) or they can really suck ass. Depends on the movie and who's doing the commentary.

I liked the all greeen-screen version of "Sin City." Anything new and interesting for an extra is cool. All the usual stuff generally pisses me off.

This would be a good time for me to rant about DVD interactive menus...I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION!! This message has been brought to you by the letter "Q" the number "6" and by

- Drewbacca

Stop spamming digg.com you [Removed swear words and recored IP - Richard Brunton].

What a poor excuse for a human being this person is, and like I have no idea who it is for they have posted a comment on each of my digg posts.

For the record I have made 8 diggs out of over 240 posts I have on the site, now is that spamming?

I was under the impression that digg was for the posting of interesting stories for others to read, and if they like them they can digg them, if not they don't have to and the story dies.

So far my best digg has received 8 votes. The top ones are receiving over a 1000. I still don't see the spam aspect.

I signed up with the Filmstalker name, and post under that name. I make no comments otherwise.

I'm quite happy to completely remove my digg posts and also remove all digg options from my feeds. I don't get traffic from digg, and so it wouldn't hurt me any.

Please, if you would like a decent conversation on this, rather than spamming my site with swear words, my email address is in the about section and selectable from all my comments.

The only time I really watch the extras is if it's a documentary and I want to see more of the clips from the film....

if it's a dramatic movie...i want it to be kept pure w/ no interference of deleted scenes or bloopers...it hurts the purity of the film to me.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

I like it when you get alternative endings or deleted scenes. But I wish you didn't have to watch them in isolation. It would be great if there were a way of putting them into the film and being able to watch them as part of it. Then be able to go back to the other versions and watch it all the way through. Okay - it means you to watch the film twice but there's something about continuity that makes it fit better.

Love bloopers. Wonder what the first film was to include bloopers at the end? Other article about Burt Reynolds has reminded me that they used to show the bloopers at the end of Smokey and Bandit films. Was it a 70s thing?

Extras are a waste of my money. They had to pay someone to film and edit all that crap and they pass the cost to me. The biggest slap in the face is previews that you must watch before you get to the DVD menu. I didn't pay $20 to watch advertisements! In fact, get rid of the menu as well. When I stick in the disc it should go straight to the movie.


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