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Cohen Plans Raw Truth for <i>XXX</i> DVD

12 Sep, 2002 By: Fred Topel

XXX director Rob Cohen hopes to make a DVD that will be unlike the standard special edition for a Hollywood blockbuster: With an in-depth behind-the-scenes documentary, Cohen hopes to convey all the difficulties that go into making an action epic.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has yet to announce an official home video release date for the Vin Diesel starrer, but the groundwork has been laid for the DVD, Cohen said.

“I had a videographer on the set the entire time, and one of the things [on the DVD] is going to be at least an hour, possibly more, documentary of making the film but not from the glossy approach,” Cohen said. “[It will be] from the pain, the failure, the frustration, the arguments, the moments of total chaos, so that when you look at it, you go, ‘That's the truth.' Not the ‘Hey, we're gonna yell action and everybody's riding on cranes and dollies, looking important.' It's those moments when it didn't go right. That's one of the differences.”

Cohen is a longtime supporter of DVD, believing that the special edition is his ultimate statement of immortality. He began making such statements with his The Fast and the Furious DVD and plans to continue with XXX.

“The DVD is where I can defend myself against the critics. I can scream back. I can explain what it took to make it. I can show you the places I think succeeded, the places I failed. In The Fast and the Furious DVD, we did the different multi-angle interactive shots. We did the storyboards, compared shot by shot to the film. We had the traditional stuff also, the commentary. Now I'm going to do my commentary and have subcommentaries done by Dean Semler, the cameraman; by Chris Lebenzon, the editor; by John Frazier who does the special effects; and by Joel Hynek, the visual effects supervisor.”

By subcommentaries, Cohen means a separate set of shorter, scene-specific commentaries in addition to his feature-length contribution. “Normally you have the director's commentary, and that's the commentary. Now, it'll be the running commentary, and there'll be another set of commentaries. If you're interested in visual effects, you're not just hearing me say, ‘Oh yeah, the avalanche is particle animation,' as the two minutes are going by. You're going to really be able to dial in intensively to that area.”

There is only one deleted scene Cohen plans to include. “The only real outtake scene is one with a 15-year-old kid on the airplane to Prague. It was just a gentle scene.”

Screenwriter Rich Wilkes elaborated on the cut scene. “That was on the way to Prague, [Diesel] sits down and he's got his mission on a DVD player and this kid sits down next to him and thinks it's a video game, like video games have sophisticated intros with characters that tell you what your mission is. He's explaining to the kid what he has to do in terms of a video game. It had some cute dialogue in it but didn't do anything we hadn't already done with [Diesel's character].”

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