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Directors Have DVD Plans for Oscar Hits

24 Mar, 2002 By: Fred Topel

There's nothing like Oscar nominations to boost interest in the DVD release of a high-profile movie, and the filmmakers behind some of this year's top nominees already have plans for special edition DVD content.

Peter Jackson has announced plans for an extended cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and producer Barrie Osborne explained what some of those scenes might include. "They're more character development [scenes] that I think people will find really interesting," Osborne said. The DVD will also include specific behind-the-scenes material from on-set to scoring and mixing sessions in post-production.

For Black Hawk Down, director Ridley Scott hopes to include interviews from the real military men involved in the Mogadishu conflict portrayed in the film. "They've all got a pretty good point of view," Scott said. "I think it's interesting hearing them out, and also the [Bosnian] militia. There were a lot of interviews I saw before [making] this [film], because this is a pretty well covered event with press."

On the A Beautiful Mind DVD, director Ron Howard hopes to feature deleted scenes, including one in which his own father acted. Howard also wants to explore the effects used to visualize John Nash's mental epiphanies. "A few of the visual effects, while not dazzling and stunty, are interesting in the way that they are constructed with detail and a lot of thought," Howard said. "Some of the epiphanies did entail visual effects and took a fair amount of planning, not only on the visual effects side, but conceptually. I wanted them to be subtle on the one hand but have a relationship with each other as well."

I Am Sam director Jessie Nelson wants to use her DVD to reveal the process that led Sean Penn to his best actor nomination for portraying the mentally challenged Sam. "I'm going to put in some different takes Sean does on scenes," Nelson said. "You can see the kind of range of emotions that he'll give you, the interpretations of a particular moment. He would kind of carry the emotion of the scene, so if it was a joyous scene, then Sean would be in a very playful mood all day. If it was a darker, brooding scene or the scene where he loses Lucy on the stand, he would be in a quieter, darker place that day." New Line's I Am Sam Platinum Series DVD streets June 18 (prebook May 21) and includes the documentary "Becoming Sam," which looks at the inspiration, casting and creation of the characters. The DVD also has deleted scenes, which Nelson said include Sam and friends singing a karaoke rendition of "Lucy in the Sky" and a scene in which Penn and co-star Michelle Pfeiffer dance in his apartment.

Monster's Ball director Marc Forster wants to show his actors preparing for their scenes, which would lend insight into Halle Berry's Oscar-nominated performance as the widow of a death row convict.

"How Billy Bob [Thornton] and Halle were working is interesting," Forster said. "[With] Billy Bob -- even though it's a drama and it's often very intense -- the scene on the set was very light and funny. Often, he cracks jokes and entertains the entire crew and everybody's laughing. When you say action, his face changes and he becomes something totally different. It's fascinating to watch." Forster also plans to include some deleted scenes and hopes to record two commentary tracks, one from his technical perspective and another with the two lead actors. Lions Gate plans to release both the ‘R'-rated theatrical cut and an unrated cut of Monster's Ball in separate editions.

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