DVD Review: King Kong: Peter Jackson's Production Diaries
By Frank H. Woodward Dec 8, 2005, 21:10 GMT
This two-disc set about Peter Jackson\'s King Kong remake, gives viewers an insight to the production via a series of diaries packaged in a Limited Edition Gift Set. ...more
Just when you thought LORD OF THE RINGS was the most documented film production ever showcased on DVD, KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES comes along with plenty of "behind the scenes" goodness... before the movie even hits the multiplex.
Actually for those who have bookmarked Kongisking.net, these video diaries have been offering on set glimpses of Peter Jackson's remake for the last year and a half. What started as a fan site's attempt to build even more anticipation for this year's most anticipated film became a way for Jackson to maintain an open door policy for the entire 131 shooting days
(a policy that was quickly adopted by Bryan Singer and Terry Gilliam for their latest productions of SUPERMAN RETURNS and TIDELAND respectively).
These Production Diaries reveal the secret of movie making without removing the magic. In fact, the more you see how they did it, the more fascinated you become. Even the actors (Jack Black and Andy Serkis in particular) got caught up in the spirit and made playful diaries of their own. This communal approach to the diaries also allows certain crew members to
become stars (check out Day 92's entry on Ants Ferrell, the lighting continuity guy).
Despite the focus on key departments and stages of the production, PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES are meant to tantalize more than inform. This two disc set doesn't carry all of the entries that appeared on line. It only covers principal photography which is pretty exhaustive as it is. Besides, they had to leave some bells and whistles for the film's special
DVD producer Michael Pellerin was busy these last couple of years and delivers some of his slickest production work to date. Considering the lackluster look of the documentaries Pellerin produced for the 1933 KONG disc (informative, yes, but bland in their production value -- black backgrounds for the interviews? ), it's clear that his attentions lay with these diaries.
This set comes with a lot of surprises (concept art, clever packaging to make it look like Carl Denham's clipboard), but the extra-special treat is a bonus diary that follows Jackson's recreation of the Kong / T-Rex fight which includes 4 MINUTES OF THE COMPLETED SCENE. Considering this set comes out a full day before KING KONG hits theatres, this extra entry makes KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES a must buy for die hard fans... and you know who you are.