Extras In the Works for <i>Red Dragon</I> DVD14 Jan, 2002 By: Fred Topel
Director Brett Ratner is already planning the DVD for his upcoming film, Red Dragon, the prequel to Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. "That's going to be a great DVD," Ratner said. "I literally have them documenting all of my meetings in pre-production and casting through the entire process."
As Ratner scouted locations for Dragon, he reflected on his latest DVD, Rush Hour 2. Part of New Line's Infinifilm series, the disc is loaded with behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes and outtakes which can be accessed either during the film or separately as extra documentaries.
"DVDs have allowed me to make really tight, fast-paced films because I'm not so attached anymore to scenes that I'm in love with but possibly don't work within the body of the film, because I know they're going to be seen on the DVD," Ratner said. "I'm thinking about the DVD as I'm shooting the movie, even. When you're making a movie, you have a script supervisor who takes notes on the select takes for the film. They'll say print that or don't print that. I'll do my selects for the DVD of outtakes or interesting stuff that happened on the set that I think could be good."
Ratner hired a friend to capture the documentary footage, as opposed to a studio-hired electronic press kit crew. "Usually what they do is they send these EPK crews out and whenever they're on the set, I find that all the actors and everybody are kind of performing for the cameras because they know it's the day that the behind-the-scenes [crew] are there," Ratner said. "What I did was just have this kid standing there 24 hours a day running a camera, just capturing those moments, even arguments, whatever. He became invisible, so there's a lot of great stuff that he was able to get that normally would not be gotten."
Ratner hopes the honesty of his DVD extras will inspire future filmmakers, as old laserdiscs inspired him. "I learned how to make movies not only from going to film school but from watching the Criterion collections of laserdiscs," Ratner said. "Hearing a director speak about how he made a movie was really helpful for me because it kind of humanized the process. Watching movies that were very complex or brilliant sometimes was hard for me to comprehend how it was done. Then once you hear a director talk, just like when I watch Hearts of Darkness and I saw Coppola saying, ‘Oh my God, this is contrived, this is pretentious. I'm gonna kill myself. I don't know what I'm doing.' It kind of humanizes the whole process and makes it attainable. So, I chose to be very giving and very open and honest. I have control over it. I could say don't show the parts where I'm trying to figure stuff out, but when I looked back at it, when I saw me, Jackie and Chris in that scene with Zhang ZiYi with the bomb at the end, how we came up with the whole idea and how the process worked, someone who doesn't know us watches it and goes, ‘Wow, I could do this. Look, even Jackie Chan, Brett Ratner and Chris Tucker don't know what they're doing.'"