Ryan writes:

Hey. I typed up the interview with the producers of Lord of the Rings (Barrie M. Osborne and Mark Ordesky). It’s from the August edition of DVD Now, an Aussie DVD magazine. They talk alot about the DVD and talk abit about TTT and ROTK.

Producer (Barrie M. Osborne) and Executive Producer (Mark Ordesky) in DVD
Now, August 2002 Issue

DVD now: What was it in Peter Jackson’s filmography that convinced you guys he could take on a production of this magnitude?

Ordesky: There was nothing in his filmography. But we didn’t do it on the basis of his filmography. I’d known Peter personally since 1987. Its conventional Hollywood thinking to say ‘oh, if they haven’t done this before they’ll never be able to do it now.’ And that’s the kind of conventional Hollywood thinking that leads to bland vanilla films. There were some studios, who shall go unnamed, who didn’t even bother to take the meeting when Peter came to Los Angeles. Can you imagine?

D.N: What’s your favorite film of his?

Ordesky: Excluding LOTR?

D.N: Excluding LOTR.

Osborne: For me, Heavenly Creatures

Ordesky: I think for sheer quality of filmmaking that’s probably true. I have a passion for Bad Taste just because it’s the first one, it’s the first thing I ever saw. I tried to buy it, you know, for a hundred thousand dollars when I was in another company and I was told I was insane.

D.N: How difficult was it to convince New Line, considering they put just about everything they had on the line?

Ordesky: Surprisingly, relative to the investment, it was not difficult. Even thought it was water-cooler fodder in Hollywood for many, many months and years that this was a fool-hardy endeavour, once the first film was seen as a great success it became retroactively the most visionary business decision in modern filmmaking history because we had two sequels in the can at an unbelievably economical price.

Osborne: But I think I would encourage anyone who reads this article to go out and make only one movie at once

Ordesky: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! I used to be six feet tall, I’m gonna be hobbit size by the time it’s done.

D.N: So there’s a rough-cut of the second LOTR film?

Ordesky: Oh there’s more than a rough-cut, there’s a fine cut. There’s been a fine cut for some time. There’s fine cuts of all three.

D.N: Which of the three do you like best?

Ordesky: Oh it’s not fair to say. Al you can say with certainty is that they get better and they get bigger. The thing is people think of film one as this gigantic epic, and they have no idea. Film one is like an indie movie compared to film two. And film three is even more humongous than film two.

D.N: Why are you waiting a year between releases of the films?

Ordesky: With these films it’s a simple thing because the nature of the post-production schedules was such that we couldn’t release them any earlier than a year apart anyway. And also things happen in terms of the video window and the DVD window and the pay TV window. Things to start to cannibalise each other because you suddnely are theatrically releasing a movie at the same time that film one is in the video store.

Osborne: I was an advocate of trying to do six months.

Ordesky: We were going to do summer-Christmas-summer (US), there was a thought, and then we looked at the post schedule and we were like ARE YOU INSANE?

Osborne: I’m glad I lost that argument. We would have been dead.

Ordesky: But it works. I kinda like the idea of every Christmas you’re going to be with LOTR and every summer you’re going to have the video, DVD, pay TV, etc.

D.N: Given the Rings success are there any plans for The Hobbit?

Ordesky: The Hobbit rights are actually frozen in a complicated legal situation between New Line and United Artists, so for the time being there is no ability to make a Hobbit movie.

D.N: So can you describe the difference between the first DVD version and the second DVD version?

Osborne: The first version, the August release, is the theatrical experience. You’ll see the movie that you saw in the theatre and you’ll be able to own it or rent it, have it in your home. I must also say that the DVD quality, the quality of the images is impeccable. We scanned in our negatives so that most of the negative is digital negative. On film two we’re going to do the entire film as a direct transfer from actual digital information. The November DVD is an extended cut of the movie. Both cuts are Peter’s cuts and Peter stands behind both of them, he doesn’t have a preference for one or the other. The extended cut is something that you probably wouldn’t sit through in a theatre. It’s long and the pacing might be slow. But it’s really great because it rounds out the characters so you get to see all of this background and understand the back-story of alot of the characters.

Ordesky: Peter feels strongly that the way a theatrical audience watches a movie and the way a home audience watches a movie are just entirely different experiences. And therefore I think if you watched the three and a half hour November release at home you would not be conscious of it being “too long or too much detail”. But that same exact film in the theatre would be a different experience.

D.N: Do you think there’s any possibility in years to come of this second version making it into cinemas?

Ordesky: It is possible that down the road one could create the feature film versions of the extended cut. Actually our fantasy is that after film three is released you could take the extended cut of film one, film two, film three and put them onto film and watch them in a theatre, which would be very cool.

D.N: Do you guys have a preference?

Osborne: No. I mean this sincerely, I actually like both of them because they’re full realised pieces of art. What we did that’s unusual is half an hour of material and it’s not like outtakes. These scenes are fully integrated in.

Ordesky: Yeah, you won’t have a consciousness when you watch it. Unless you have a real deep knowledge of the theatrical version, you can’t tell ‘oh, there’s one of the new scenes’, it just flows. Howard Shore’s score flows.