Would You Download and Listen to In-Theater Director Commentary Tracks?
Audience members heading to the theater this weekend to see Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s controversial film The Comedy will be able to hear the filmmaker’s opinions and insights in real time.
That’s because, as Variety notes, director Rick Alverson and Heidecker recorded a podcast that serves as a commentary track for the film. It’s available via iTunes, and it lworks like an audio track audiences normally only got on DVD releases.
"It creates a unique viewing opportunity that isn't normally available in the first release window," said Neil Marks, Tribeca Films director of marketing.
It also encourages repeat viewings of an independent film that isn’t going to draw Twilight-level audiences, but certainly has built up a passionate fanbase for its opinionated view of our entitled society.
"It's a simple thing to do," Heidecker said. "The technology exists now where it's so easy. It's a really fun enhancement to the experience. When the movie is really small and needs all the help it can get, this can be a natural fit."
The Comedy isn’t the first film to try this. Kevin Smith once did it for his sequel, Clerks II, and Rian Johnson recently recorded a track for Looper fans to listen to in theaters.
But is this something you’d like to see more filmmakers do? Are you interested in going back to the theater for a second time with a podcast queued up in your audio device?
And is there a movie in theaters right now that you really wish had a director’s commentary available? Because I think I’d like to hear Sam Mendes’ take on Skyfall or Robert Zemeckis’ take on Flight before they left theaters.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.