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Spielberg Goes Digital: War of the Worlds

Wired 13.06: Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about DVD’s being expensive because of special features. Some people just want to watch the movie and not the 4+ hours of special effects on that extra disc.

I, for one, am firmly in the other camp. I’ve always been fascinated by the technology that goes into making movies. My wife and I have made a point to watch every commentary on every DVD we own because we both find the background info very interesting.

A quick note about commentaries: Be warned, a Paul Verhoeven commentary can make any movie feel twice as long. Instead of explaining the “making-of” factoids that permeate most commentary tracks, Paul feels he must explain what’s happening in the movie’s plot. Several times. Over and over. Honestly, it reminds me of some of my college classes when the prof would explain the same basic concept a dozen different ways to ensure every student understood it. For the best in Paul V commentaries make sure you pick up the special edition of Total Recall.

Anyway, the Wired article above is a nice five page piece detailing how Spielberg made War Of The Worlds in just 10 months, half the time it usually takes to make a summer blockbuster. Tom Cruise and Spielberg both found holes in their working schedules and decided to make this movie, requiring Spielberg to entrust more of the process to the latest digital techniques.

Aside from information about a movie I can’t wait to see, it’s an excellent overview of where the movie industry is going in terms of high-tech production.

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