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.
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?