Peek-a-Boo: Behind the Scenes Part 1

Peek-A-Boo! by Antonis Lamnatos Ancient Egyptian statue in the peek-a-boo pose

Peek-A-Boo! by Antonis Lamnatos CC 3.0

I love getting a peek behind the scenes. For me, a movie or TV show’s bonus content, whether it’s commentary or deleted scenes, is a lot like reading an author’s blog. And I can’t get enough.

My husband complains that I’m ruining both the magic and the surprise of what happens next.

But I’m not looking for spoilers; I’m looking for insight. What is someone else’s creation process like? What is the thought behind their choices? Listening to the actors talk about their favorite scenes is interesting since they’re breathing life into a character, but I really love it when the behind-the-scene commentary lets the writers, the prop guys, the producers, the directors and the make-up artists talk.

In prose, the author is the god his creation, until the readers get their hands on the book, of course, and bring that creation to life with their imaginations. But until then, it’s up to the writer and writer alone what the character will look like, dress like and talk like. It’s up to the writer alone what the surrounds are and what props the characters will wield. The writer can go into detail or use the most basic nouns. It’s all up to the writer. It’s exciting to have all that power and a little daunting. No matter how much a writer researches, there is something that he won’t be master of.

With a script, however, the writer writes and then lets go. Everyone else working on the project thinks it into life, giving the viewer a very concrete perception of the story. But that means that there are dozens of experts focusing on minute details that an author might ordinarily gloss over. The author can say that a character is blonde or that she drives a beat-up car, but the hair-stylist and prop guy can’t just leave it at that. So how do they make their decisions? That’s what I want to know.

I may not dress or describe my characters often, but if I do, how is the best way to go about it?

All of this is the same reason I read writers’ blogs. Sometimes they talk about the mechanics, such as writing a query or finding an agent, but sometimes they’ll talk about the elusive how. These are never step-by-step guides, although sometimes I wish they were, but they are always interesting.

And what about those deleted scenes? I’ll save that for next time. Until then, what do you think about the behind-the-scene commentaries? Inspiring or too revealing?

11 thoughts on “Peek-a-Boo: Behind the Scenes Part 1

    • Hi Star,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Hmm, I seem to have given the wrong impression. My husband doesn’t complain a lot; I use him as a foil a lot.

      He’s very supportive of my writing and, apparently, being used as said foil. And the good thing about being a writer, is that I get to be the protagonist!

      Every couple has their differences. Some have “you take out the garbage” vs. “no, you take out the garbage.” We have watch bonus footage vs. don’t watch bonus footage. I think I have it easy.

  1. Joy

    Yup, I love behind-the-scenes commentary too. I will generally watch the whole movie/tv show first, and then watch it again with commentary. I often have a specific choice the creators make that I’m interested in learning more about… which means I love when they talk about it, and am always a little disappointed if they don’t. 😀

    I’m not as big a fan of deleted scenes. They’re OK, but it’s hard for me to watch the deleted scenes and then imagine how they would have fit into the overall move. Often, I watch a deleted scene and think “Ah! THAT’S why they deleted it… it’s really not too good”. 😀 I’d be more interested to watch a move, and then watch it again with deleted scenes included where they would have been inserted in the movie, so I can see exactly where and why those cuts took place… but, no DVD makers want to take the time to do that, and I don’t blame them.

    Why does your husband (are we allowed to speak his name on your blog?) think you’re going to spoil the movie by watching the bonus footage? Do you watch it before you see the movie?

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