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'Blade Runner,' 'Twin Peaks' Sets a Boon for Fans

26 Jul, 2007 By: Billy Gil

DVD producer Robert Meyer Burnett and director Michael Davis discuss the upcoming film Shoot 'Em Up.

SAN DIEGO — A panel of DVD producers at San Diego Comic-Con International 2007 previewed a cache of riches to be included on sought-after upcoming releases, such as Blade Runner: The Final Cut and Twin Peaks: The Complete Series, emphasizing the need for innovative special features.

DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika previewed material from Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which will be released Dec. 18 on two-disc, three-disc and five-disc DVD sets, as well as on HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The cut features “hours of new content [and] vintage content,” according to de Lauzirika, including 47 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes.

De Lauzirika said he combed through nearly 1,000 boxes of original negatives, prints, 8mm films, dailies and other material for the set. The resulting five-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition, the most comprehensive of the upcoming Blade Runner releases, will include the theatrical, international, director's, final and “work print” editions of the film. The work print edition, which was a rough cut and includes the films temp track (music from other films) and other drastic, has gained near-mythical status among fans.

“We've made it look as great as we possibly could,” de Lauzirika said of the work print.

De Lauzirika screened at the panel part of an included three-and-a-half hour making-of documentary, “Dangerous Days,” including a sequence on how he and the other filmmakers reshot a scene for the final cut with Joanna Cassidy (Zorah) to replace her face on that of a stunt double, which previously had been one of the film's choppier scenes. Another reshot sequence for the final cut replaced a badly synced voiceover from Harrison Ford with Ford's son Benjamin Ford mouthing the same lines — Harrison was busy, and Benjamin's mouth was even given a false scar to match his father's trademark one.

Another notable inclusion previewed was a hybridized sequence that uses rediscovered voiceover (different from the voiceover that appeared in the theatrical cut) from Harrison Ford and combines it with alternate and deleted scenes. The sequence shown follows Ford's Deckard as he meets Cassidy's Zorah, hunts her down, and meets up with Sean Young's Rachael.

Bill Hunt of TheDigitalBits.com, who moderated the panel, said of the new voiceover sequences, “it's almost like you're getting an additional version of the film.”

De Lauzirika also previewed material from the upcoming “Twin Peaks” complete series set. To quote his pun, de Lauzirika said there's so much on the set that the producers “got away with murder.”

The set includes both seasons one and two, both versions of the pilot — one domestic, one international — deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and a 30-minute conversation with show creator David Lynch. A snippet of “Secrets From Another Place – The Making of Twin Peaks” was shown, which revealed that no actor on the show, in fact, knew “who killed Laura Palmer.”

“I was just praying that it wasn't me,” said cast member Ray Wise (who played laura's father, Leland Palmer, who was revealed as the killer) in the featurette's interviews.

Also at the panel was DVD producer Javier Soto, who has worked with director Guillermo del Toro on such titles as Pan's Labyrinth. He said the DVD of Hellboy 2 likely would include an originally produced short or sequence.

Soto also is working on a new del Toro film, The Orphanage, as well as the DVD of an early del Toro film he wouldn't name (it is likely either Mimic or Cronos).

Additionally, Soto is producing the season four set of the show “The 4400,” for which he said director Scott Petersen added sequences for a director's cut of the season finale.

“I think this is the first time that's been done,” Soto said.

Of DVD special features, he said, “[DVD] is in a strange place right now. We have to rethink it.”

Soto said he thought the high-definition formats would help improve special features, and that more original material should be produced.

Robert Meyer Burnett, DVD producer for the upcoming Clive Owen-starrer Shoot ‘Em Up, from New Line, earlier voiced a similar sentiment, saying, “I think DVD special material is dead.”

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