DVD & Blu-ray Interesting

Side-by-Side Comparison Shots of Changes Made to The Empire Strikes Back

In case you weren’t aware, the original versions of the Star Wars trilogy are being released on DVD for the first time. The revamped versions that were released theatrically in 1997 and on DVD a couple of years ago so I have mixed feelings about it.

Are fans that keen to see the original versions? If they were that good, then why did Lucasfilm redo them in the first place? That said I’m sure they will sell by the bucket load when they get released next Monday. Anyway, if you are curious this image gallery compares the 1980 version of The Empire Strikes Back to the 2004 DVD release. (Link via Digg)

> Official Star Wars site explaining the new DVD releases
> Wikipedia on the changes in the different releases of the Star Wars films


Stephen Soderbergh interview in The Believer

I just stumbled across an interesting interview The Believer magazine conducted with Steven Soderbergh whilst browsing around Jason Kottke’s blog. He talks about a few different things ranging from Brokeback Mountain to films of his that failed like Kafka. But the bit that stuck out for me was how cheaply films he thinks films can be made for and the problems they face getting distributed:

BLVR: When you shot Bubble, how much did the camera cost?

SS: It’s like four thousand dollars. You could do the whole thing for ten thousand dollars.

BLVR: How much did Bubble cost altogether?

SS: One point six million. Because I paid people. There’s a tipping point. If you’re going to make a movie for ten thousand you can talk everybody into doing it for free. You could make a really good-looking movie right now for ten grand, if you have an idea. That’s the trick. I was watching Alphaville this weekend, and I’d love to do like a ten-minute version of Alphaville here in Manhattan. It’s so easy now. I don’t know what the ultimate result of that will be—whether you’ll see a sort of a film version of iTunes, where you can access things that have been made independently by people.

BLVR: Books, as well—you can self-publish your book easily, have them ship boxes of the book to you, but there’s no vetting process.

SS: You’re right. But then the question is—whose vetting process is this, and who are these people? A buddy of mine, I went and saw his art at DUMBO, and I asked him why his shit wasn’t showing in the big New York galleries. And he said he can’t get in there, he doesn’t know anybody. It’s just the way it works. Your response to that can be “Fuck them, I don’t need the imprimatur of a bunch of Manhattan gallery owners to know that I’m good,” and you’d be right. But if you’re a painter and you want people to know who you are and recognize your work, you’ve got to build some long-term value, you’re beholden to this cabal. I don’t know where the middle point is—“I can’t find anyone to vouch for the legitimacy of this thing that somebody’s asking me to download”—and access that’s being controlled by a bunch of people who, it’s possible, if you met, you’d actually hate.

I wonder if he is making an oblique analogy between New York gallery owners and Hollywood studios?

> IMDb entry for Steven Soderbergh
> Wikipedia entry for Bubble

Interesting Interviews

Samuel L Jackson talks about “Snakes on a Plane” to TalkSPORT

I interviewed Samuel L Jackson for TalkSPORT recently and we talked about his latest film Snakes on a Plane. We discussed the proposed title change (“Pacific Flight 121” just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?), the enormous buzz about the film on the Internet and how marketing a film like this has changed in recent years. We also chatted his love of golf, the atmosphere of a Merseyside derby and whether or not “Snakes…” will be an inflight movie.

Coincidentally, the interview took place in the same TV studios where, 10 years ago, Samuel first expressed an interest in being in the Star Wars prequel which was in pre-production in the UK at the time. In late 1996 whilst promoting The Long Kiss Goodnight on the Channel 4 chatshow TFI Friday he told host Chris Evans that he’d like to be in the “new Star Wars movie” (which turned out to be The Phantom Menace). Someone saw that and word eventually got back to George Lucas who eventually cast him as Mace Windu.

Anyway, you can download an MP3 of the interview from the link below.

> Download an MP3 of the interview from TalkSPORT
> Samuel L Jackson at the IMDb
> Check out reviews and showtimes for Snakes on a Plane near you
> See the latest entries for Snakes at Technorati


How trailers are made

The LA Times has a short but interesting interview with Devin Hawker from Gas Station Zebra. They are a company that helps copy write and cut trailers and he explains the art behind creating one. He also reveals why footage sometimes appears in the trailer but not in the movie:

“When I talk to people outside the business they think that’s some sort of devious thing going on. But what happens is that [the filmmakers] are cutting the movie the same time we are cutting the trailer. It is a concurrent thing and so they are making their decisions and the studio is making theirs on what the trailer should be so a lot of times the trailer will go out and two months later they will pull something out of the movie.”

> Gas Station Zebra
> Apple Trailers
> Google Video Movie Previews (why didn’t they just call it “Google Trailers”?)


“Me” – A short film by Ahree Lee

Since 2001 artist Ahree Lee has been taking digital photos of her own face every day. In 2004, she compiled all of her daily images into a short film set to music. It is simply called Me and you can check it out here:


> More info on Ahree Lee at her official website
> Ahree Lee’s profile at YouTube