As filmmakers and creatives, we sometimes consume films in a different way to our audiences. Being a film production company in the process of completing a feature film sometimes makes the viewing experience completely different.  We can sit for hours deconstructing a film and wondering what it was like for the crew on set; Did the scene turn out as intended? How was this directed? What tools did they use, did they make them? What was the idea behind this shot/lighting/blocking? It goes on. This is why the Blueprint crew love DVD commentaries. It’s a sneak peek into the lives of the filmmakers, how they feel about how the film turned out, what tricks they used, which scenes were fun to film and which took hours of torturous, endless takes. But watching DVD commentaries, and finding the interesting ones takes time (so much time), and patience. This is why we have lovingly compiled a list of the Top Ten DVD commentaries for filmmakers. Enjoy!


Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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Who’s commentating?
Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl and Gunnar Hansen

Why should you watch?
This is packed with interesting behind the scenes information and anecdotes.  Low budget indies often have really interesting commentaries because they frequently have to cobble together to make something out of nothing. This is one of the best.


Evil Dead II

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Who’s commentating?
Sam Raimi, Robert Tapell, Bruce Campbell and Greg Nicotero

Why should you watch?
All of the Evil Dead commentaries are definitely worth a listen, but I remember this one standing out.  It’s a low budget movie so again, it’s fascinating to hear how things were scrambled together. Plus, the cast and crew have a really great rapport so it’s an enjoyable listen.


The Thing (1982) & Big Trouble in Little China

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Who’s Commentating?
John Carpenter, Kurt Russell

Why should you watch?
I love listening to these guys.  Again they have a great rapport, so their commentaries are loads of fun and a joy to listen to. Alongside this, they still find time to fill you in on the production process, and give you a feel of what making the film was like. I imagine their other commentaries together are great too, but these are the only two I’ve listened to.


Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

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Who’s Commentating?
George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Murren

Why should you watch?
I’m ashamed to say it, but this (from the 2004 DVD set) is the only Star Wars saga commentary I’ve listened to.  There might be better ones out there now, but as a big fan of the original trilogy I loved listening to this.  The contributors were recorded separately, so it’s a bit dry, but all of them are interesting to listen to.  I look forward to checking out some of the other commentaries on the various films and versions.


Aguirre, Wrath of God

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Who’s Commentating?
Norman Hill, Werner Herzog

Why should you watch?
The occasionally bonkers Herzog is always worth listening to and here he lets us peek into the difficulties of the shoot and how they often had to just go with the flow (almost literally when it came to the river causing them problems). The best part, is when he describes how he ‘borrowed’ the camera from a German university to shoot the film.


Touch of Evil

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Who’s Commentating?
James Naremore, Jonathan Rosenbaum

Why should you watch?
This was voted ‘commentary of the year’ by DVD Beaver back in 2008 and it’s easy to see why. The two scholars obviously both have an extensive knowledge and passion for the film which comes across well, but they also have an energy and friendly interplay that keeps their chatter engaging throughout, setting it apart from most critic/expert commentaries.


James Bond Ultimate Editions

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Who’s commentating?
Roger Moore

Why should you watch?
I haven’t listened to all of these, but they all come highly recommended and the ones I’ve listened to were truly great.  Rather than giving a dry breakdown of the film’s production, Moore waxes lyrical about his life and career, providing endless amusing anecdotes and worldly advice about living the showbiz lifestyle. He’s a great speaker and never takes things too seriously.  The discs also offer straighter chat tracks from the cast and crew if you prefer something a bit more technical.


Double Indemnity

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Who’s commentating?
Nick Redman, Lem Dobbs

Why should you watch?
Both contributors are clearly very knowledgable about the film and one has slight personal connections with Wilder so on top of insightful looks at the production and influence of the film you get plenty of anecdotes to keep things enjoyable. It’s a must-listen for anyone with even so much as a passing interest in the film.


Repo Man

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Who’s Commentating?
Alex Cox, Michael Nesmith, Victoria Thomas, Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss and Del Zamora

Why should you watch?
This is a fantastic commentary. The group clearly get on very well and there’s a friendly, honest vibe to it all that is fun to listen to. They crack themselves up half the time as they reminisce, but the track remains informative too.


Down Terrace

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Who’s commentating?
Robin Hill, Ben Wheatley

Why should you watch?
I was meaning to just listen to a sample of this when I was reviewing the DVD, but ended up getting hooked and listening to the whole thing. The two filmmakers have a great chemistry together, due to years of making films & TV as a pair and it’s a pleasure to listen to their banter. It’s also fascinating to hear just how low budget and ‘kept in the family’ the film actually is. Pretty much everyone in the film is either related to the two guys or is a friend from a previous project. It’s a great listen.

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