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Deep Impact (1998)

NOTE: This commentary track is only available on the "Collector's Edition" Deep Impact DVD. The original DVD release did not have a commentary track.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Mimi Leder and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar Rating:9.0/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Bakersfield on February 11th, 2016:Find all reviews by Bakersfield
Ah, Mimi Leder and Scott Farrar - two extremely talented people who unfortunately don't do more commentaries.

The "Deep Impact" track was recorded five years after the film's theatrical release, which makes the whole listening experience even better. Leder and Farrar start the chat by explaining how much they learned about comets and NASA, and how many people have said to them through the years that they really love the movie.

Both of them are very well-spoken and they deliver interesting behind-the-scenes info about pretty much every scene we see in the movie. They also explain how much of the movie was shot by Don Burgess and how much by the great Dietrich Lohmann (the film's original DP, who unfortunately died during production).

During the commentary Leder praises pretty much every key member of the cast and crew, while Farrar (as expected) is a fountain of information as far as the visual effects are concerned. And they're clearly proud of the end results ("It looks damn good!, says Leder).

Farrar mentions that they spent 8 months working on the water effects alone, and makes it clear that this was one of the most challenging projects he has ever worked on.

Leder, on the other hand, is well known for her dynamic, fluid camera work and long, complicated steadicam shots, and thankfully for us, cinematography fans, she talks about the visual side of the picture.

They also talk about the test screenings, how the actors approached their roles, the criticisms Leder received from Roger Ebert, and the overall vibe of the picture.

And yes, they do talk about the Twin Towers scene in the movie (Leder mentions how shocked she was when she realized that they shot the buildings from pretty much same angle Jules Naudet shot the footage of Flight 11 hitting the North Tower).

Overall this is a perfect example of a successful DVD audio commentary: smart people, both personal and professional stories, interesting tidbits from the set (including budget issues, deleted scenes, tight schedule, script changes) and no dead air. Give it a listen if you can.