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Feature: E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial
E.T. Comes Home…
Ultimate DVD phones the home of E.T. DVD producer Laurent Bouzereau…
Laurent Bouzereau has always been a film enthusiast: as a child in the ‘70s, before VHS became commercially widespread, he would collect Super-8 film of his favourite movies, like Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. These days he’s rather closer to Hollywood, and one of the most respected producers of DVD supplementary materials. He’s worked with Spielberg on A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jurassic Park and the forthcoming Minority Report, and this month sees the release of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, for which Bouzereau has compiled some unique extras.
The documentaries on the DVD are superb, particularly 'A Look Back', with its wealth of film from the set.
The funny thing with E.T. is that when they made the movie Steven must have thought that one day he would need material for a DVD because he had a documentary crew on the set. John Toll filmed all that: he has won an Oscar for cinema-tography on Legends of the Fall and Braveheart. It was the first time I had documentary footage by an Academy Award winner.
DVD documentaries are often ruined by a ‘soundbite’ presentation, but you appear to take a more in-depth approach.
I don’t come from a school that is marketing oriented, so I see myself as a film buff rather than a person with gimmicky ideas. I’m in no way looking down on people who do marketing, but I feel that it’s important when you are sitting across from Steven Spielberg and he’s giving you all those stories, you almost need no visual coverage because he so enthusiastic. He’s always very specific, he does not want it to be flashy or cut like a TV commercial – he wants it to be deep and definitive.
None of your discs with Spielberg feature Audio Commentary: why is that?
I don’t want to speak for Steven, but to be honest I am partly responsible. I do not encourage film-makers I work with to do one for one very special reason – they give me such access to them for Documentaries that I think an Audio Commentary is redundant. It’s not like Steven says to me, ‘You have 10 minutes to ask me questions’. I have carte blanche to ask what I need to ask, and I think the idea is for the viewer to watch the supplemental material and then to go back to watching the movie the way it was intended to be watched: images, sound effects, music and dialogue and no additional track. In the case of John Milius when I did Conan, he said, ‘Let’s do an Audio Commentary with Arnold’, but frankly if you listen to the Commentary it’s pretty much what’s in the Documentary.
by David Richardson
Find out more about the DVD, Dee Wallace Stone looks back, and we the cast and crew today in:
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