'Ender's Game' Director: Early Digital Here to Stay, but Disc Still Rules28 Jan, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey
LOS ANGELES — Lionsgate released Ender’s Game on Digital HD Jan. 28, two weeks before disc. And director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) loves the concept of early digital … mostly.
“The fact of the matter is, we have the need for instant gratification now, and whether we like it or not as filmmakers, digital download is the way it’s going to go,” Hood said the day Ender’s Game hit digital. “Personally I think it’s amazing that you can be on a device, wherever you want, and say I would like to watch that, and I would like to watch that now, and own it, or rent it, and put it on whatever device is convenient for you.
“You get the content, without the box. But the stuff released digitally today is principally the movie.”
Despite gains by studios and outlets in offering bonus features across digital channels, it’s still disc where consumers get everything and “not just a little piece” of the extras, Hood said.
“The Blu-ray has everything,” he said. Out Feb. 11, the Blu-ray Disc combo pack has an eight-part making-of (“Ender’s World: The Making of Ender’s Game”) and a special effects featurette (“Inside the Mind Game”), both exclusive to the disc. Both it and the DVD have deleted and extended scenes, along with two feature-length audio commentaries.
“I’m very fond of the deleted scenes, and quite sad they aren’t in the film,” Hood said. Two scenes feature conversations between the main character Ender (Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame) speaking with fellow students about how and why Ender was drafted to Battle School. “It’s a lovely little subplot I would have liked to keep,” Hood said. “I love that people get to see it. How do you respond when you’re called to war?”
But it’s the making-of featurettes (running longer than 45 minutes) that Hood is pointing viewers to first. “These movies are incredibly complicated to make, and sometimes I don’t think people appreciate the combination of talents needed in the room, from concept artists to mathematicians to computer scientists,” he said. “You’ll get that sense of just how large of a community you need. It’s more than a village, it’s a town. And there are rock stars in every field.”
One of those rock stars is Ben Procter, co-production designer for the film (who served as art director for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Tron: Legacy), who relayed that many of the people working on the film are fans of Orson Scott Card’s original novel. And that made it all the more challenging.
“We were pressed for time, we were doing it on a budget, and we didn’t want to let ourselves down, being fans of the book as well,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I think we got a lot more done than we first thought we would.”