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Koepp Opens Up on <I>&lsquo;Secret Window&#39;</I>

9 Jun, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Secret Window director/screenwriter David Koepp reveals plenty of filmmaking secrets on Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's June 22 DVD release of the thriller.

The most exciting feature on the DVD, Koepp said, is the included Animatics featurette.

Animatics are animated video storyboards. More and more directors are using them to set up shots for their movies, Koepp said, including himself.

“I would find those the most interesting [DVD extra],” he said.

The disc also includes a three-part making-of featurette filmed by DVD documentary guru Laurent Bouzereau that's split into three parts: “From Book to Film,” “A Look Through It” and “Secrets Revealed.”

The “From Book to Film” segment dives into the challenges of adapting Stephen King's novella Secret Window, Secret Garden into the film, which grossed $47.8 million in theaters.

The biggest challenge, Koepp said, was finding ways to externalizing the character and the plot.

“[The book] is basically about a guy alone in a cabin, and that's easier to write about than it is to film,” he said.

“A Look Through It” focuses on the filmmaking process, while in the “Secrets Revealed” segment, Koepp discusses who the film's lead character, played by Johhny Depp, really is.

Also included are four deleted scenes and audio commentary from Koepp.

“The deleted scenes I put on the DVD because, why not? We shot them,” he said. “Whenever I look at deleted scenes on a DVD, the only thing I really think is, ‘Yep, good cut.’

Planning for the DVD starts early in the filmmaking process, Koepp said. That's great for getting plenty of extra features together, but can be a drawback when recording commentaries.

“The windows are so short on these things,” he said. “Sometimes you don't have any perspective on the movie. You're doing your audio commentary before the movie has even come out.”

Koepp, however, said he learned a lot about filmmaking from listening to laserdisc commentaries.

“I was a big laserdisc collector,” he said. “Ultimately, you learn by doing, but you can find out more nuts-and-bolts stuff from commentaries.”

Koepp also directed and wrote the screenplay for 1999's Stir of Echoes and was the screenwriter for 2002's Panic Room and Spider-Man as well as Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Carlito's Way.

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