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‘Hitch' to Sing a Different Tune

13 Apr, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Even a straightforward romantic comedy can take on a whole different perspective with the simplest of changes — like the music, said director Andy Tennant.

His Will Smith-starrer Hitch is still burning up the box office, with nearly $170 million since its release in February, and will hit DVD ($28.95) June 14 (prebook May 12) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

DVD viewers will get a wholly different feel for the upbeat comedy, thanks to the reinclusion of an elaborate score from composer George Fenton not used in the theatrical release. Fenton's credits include Gandhi, Anna and the King, Ever After, Groundhog Day and many more.

In the early stages of production, the studio and filmmakers used a popular-song soundtrack for Hitch. The movie tested so well with the soundtrack the way it was that the idea became “if it's not broken, don't fix it,” Tennant said.

“But [the score] actually gives the whole movie a different feeling, and it's a testament to the power of music,” he said. “It was heartbreaking for me and the composer to cut it.”

But they both understood, and they dissect the decision in commentary on the DVD release.“You know, the way it works is, it's a better film with the score, but it's almost a better movie with the songs,” Tennant said.

Also included are four deleted scenes, a 12-minute segment featuring more antics from Smith and co-star Kevin James, Tennant said.

The Hitch DVD also boasts five behind-the-scenes featurettes, which will also be fun for fans of Smith. “Will off camera is as entertaining as he is on camera,” he said.

It's a little disconcerting sometimes, working on a DVD, the director said. Often you don't know what to use or how many resources you will have until you see how the audience responds to the film, he said. But DVDs must be planned early in the production stage of a film.

“Often it can be disruptive,” he said. “It's scary to think about the marketing when you're still in the process of making the product.“Fortunately if you've got a good team, which [Sony] has, they're thinking a lot for you. By the time the movie comes out, they have a good idea, and the stuff they've collected for the DVD are really enhancements for the viewer.”

One thing DVD does help do is tell fans what a “happy accident” making a movie can be, he said.

“There's a very famous quote,” Tennant said. “‘There's the movie you plan, the movie you shoot, and the movie you find in editing.' That's where the DVD really can illustrate that filmmaking is trial and error.”

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