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USA Home's 'Series 7' DVD Offers Rare Glimpse Into the Making of a Filmmaker

8 Nov, 2001 By: Jessica Wolf

Fans of the reality-television satire Series 7 will get a rare glimpse into the making of a filmmaker with USA Home Entertainment's DVD release Dec. 18 (prebook Nov. 27).

First-time director Daniel Minahan included footage on the DVD from his Sundance Director's Lab workshop for the film.

“I think it's pretty unusual,” Minahan said of the lab footage. “It's really daring. I was kind of like ‘oh my god, am I airing my dirty laundry?' but they [DVD producers] convinced me that people would be interested in it and I really do think it shows how the film evolved.”

Minahan was invited to bring his script and some actors to participate in the 2000 Sundance Directors' Labs, where they rehearsed and came up with ideas for how to film the movie.

“The Sundance Lab helps first-time directors kind of get a jump on things and, for me, it helped me find the tone of my movie,” he said.

Minahan's movie is a dark, satirical comedy. A self-admitted reality television fan, he got the idea for the movie, which follows the contestants of a reality-TV series as they try to murder one another, from the real thing.

Minahan, who co-wrote and was second assistant director on the film I Shot Andy Warhol, made his directorial debut with this film. He wrote the script for Series 7 in 1997, before "Survivor" and the reality craze really took hold.

“I guess it was in the early '90s that I became really obsessed with reality shows,” he said. “At the time it seemed so rude and exploitative, it made me laugh that they were called ‘reality television,' because it is all so dramatic. I think good satire takes something that really looks like something in our culture and turns up the volume on it and that's what we did with reality television in Series 7.

The DVD also includes a stills gallery, deleted scenes, director's footage and “footage of me outside a movie theater trying to get people to go inside and watch Series 7,” Minahan said.

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