I don’t usually watch the extras on the DVDs. If I loved the movie, then I am content with what I saw. If I didn’t like the movie, then nothing the director or cast or gaffer can say in their commentary will convince me otherwise.
This weekend, I rented Cloverfield, a monster eats New York movie. It was entertaining enough, though not great, and I almost blew my popcorn at the hand-held motion. But it was swift and short and since I wasn’t ready for bed I watched the special effects short.
The director and creature creator had an interesting thing to say: In their development of the movie, they wanted to get away from “angry creature ravages setting” model and give their monster, Clover, a little more personality. They said they envisioned Clover as a baby monster, newly hatched, say, even calling for its mother, scared and overwhelmed by the world where it found itself. Not unlike our young protagonists. (Okay, I added that last, but I’m sure that was the intent.) They were especially proud of Clover’s flat shark-like black eye.
None of that made it on the screen.
Nope, they had a monster ravaging New York. And Clover rampaged so violently and with so much CG’d smoke that I never had a long enough glimpse of its eye, much less its personality.
Which made me wonder, what is in my head, in my synopsis, that isn’t on the page? A novelist doesn’t have the luxury of special features to explain what she meant. If it isn’t on the page, it doesn’t exist.
Much like monsters.