December 21, 2003

Homemade DVD vs. Official Release


This story of a budding new form of fan commentary (by Emily Nussbaum/NYTimes) hints at something people would love to see: what other's care about, what it means to them, and why it affects them so deeply. Firefly, a Fox show that had a loyal following, but was often shown out of order (apparently Fox confused the audience by showing episodes 2-3, 6; 7-8, 4-5, 9; 10, 14, 1; with 11-13 still unaired) and then axed it, has been traded around on the fansites. Though it has also just been released officially as a collectible DVD (12/9/03) with three episodes never shown, extra footage, interviews, all the stuff people buy DVDs for besides the content.

But a fan, Philip Gaines, a grad student at UW in digital media, made his own fan-documentary, a two DVD-set (catch this sample) with excerpts of the show (small, fair use length), and his commentary, but offered not for sale, just feedback. It's not the slickest most sophisticated commentary, though the media clips are well done, but it's pretty interesting to see what he likes, what matters to him, "...the exquisite part about Firefly is in the bits of hope that trickle down in these character's lives."

(From the /. discussion here): (7548922)

Roger Ebert is quoted from his old Yahoo column that he'd like to see a track on a DVD where someone who hates the movie rips it apart. But the creator of Firefly, Joss Whedon thinks if he did his own negative commentary for another project where he didn't like the final results, it might spark a lawsuit by the owners of that work, and I think it would take creators with a lot of confidence to release something critical on their own DVD.

Oh, and one more thing, the NYTimes has started linking outside its own site to all sorts of idiosyncratic spots, and this article is full of them! Very cool.

Posted by Mary Hodder at December 21, 2003 09:05 AM | TrackBack