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Lost in Space (1998)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Stephen Hopkins and writer Akiva Goldsman Rating:7.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by badge on February 23rd, 2010:Find all reviews by badge
Hopkins and Goldsman are recorded separately but edit together well without repeating any information provided by the other, and also ensuring that the commentary pretty much runs from beginning to end (a couple of gaps inevitably leak in). Hopkins talks about the physicality of directing the film and Goldsman talks about the mechanics of writing - where they both intersect is the performances of the actors. It's a functional enough commentary but not so entertaining that you'd want to listen to it more than once. I really would have liked more correlation between the film and the television series (homages, references, inspiration, etc) because that's what will largely be the attraction to fans who are interested enough to listen to this commentary, but largely the film is treated as its own entity. There are some interesting reveals though: former designer Hopkins explains that he avoided straight lines and right angles in the film; Goldsman says that although the film's ending was open to a sequel it was more an imitation of the way each TV show would finish.
Commentary 2: Visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton, visual effects producer Lauren Ritchie, director of photography Peter Levy, editor Ray Lovejoy, and producer Carla Fry Rating:6.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on October 14th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
All are recorded separately with the director Hopkins sometimes identifying the speaker. Bickerton dominates the track and his insights into the special effects are the most interesting. He describes the use of miniatures in combination with cgi and green screen. He admits to a tendency to shoot a lot of extra shots with miniatures so there would be more options for elaboration with CGI in post-production. He offers some candor about certain shots that did not achieve aspirations, or others that even disappointed him, in particular the Blorp character. He notes the use of CGI for the Gary Oldman character involved one of probably the earliest instances of motion capture. He and Ritchie document the complication of various scenes, the many elements and layers involved, revealing that shots were often passed between multiple effects houses with each adding their specialty. The effects houses were collocated in Soho (London) and they were thankfully collaborative more than competitive. They even screened early cuts of the film for all of the effect houses. Other test screenings revealed complexities and confusion of the time portal elements that they ultimately simplified. They also cut out a storyline involving a large Blorp. The opening scene was first started and last to be completed, to availability of Matt Leblanc who had to return to the states each week for Friends. Ritchie shares some cautionary thoughts on using too many effects.

The DoP Levy oP talks extensively about the amount and type of lighting used, and touches upon the camera stock.

The first job for the editor Lovejoy was on a little effects driven outer space film entitled 2001.

They note that the sets and production design were somewhat inspired by the classic tv show, but also 50s - 60s era comic books - it was a future as envisioned from the 1960s.

All mention the working relationships with Stephen Hopkins, as well as his vision and process.