Jensen Ackles: A Director's Journey
This little featurette is a great little record of Jensen's directorial debut.
You can find it on youtube, so I won't describe it too much. It's really neat to see all the behind the scenes stuff, and everything the director has to deal with. You can also see what an honest and genuinely humble guy Jensen is - he doesn't pretend to know everything, nor is he afaird to admit when he doesn't know something. You can also see how much the cast and crew love him, which I think speaks a lot to what sort of person Jensen is. They describe him as generous and gracious, and thankfully for a show like this, also efficient.
A couple of quotes I liked:
1. Bob Singer greeting the crew on the first day of shooting: "We've got a brand new director for episode 1 this year, and when I say brand new, I mean brand new."
2. Jim Beaver: "I've been working with Jensen for 5 seasons now, and I don't think I've ever seen him happier."
3. Mark Sheppard: "It's really nice to be asked at the end of something good, "I've got it, but do you want another one? Let me know." It feels really good. You feel protected."
4. Jensen: "We are now- It's the last shot of this show - this day, this show - I'm mumbling because I'm trying to read next episode's script, and it's a lot of Dean - which I haven't had to play so much in this script, because I've been able to uh, focus on directing - so it's a bit of a daunting script for me. And the realization of that as I try to finish up directing is...confusing me. *laughs* *facepalms*"
Supernatural and the Quest for the Soul
Ooo, documentary! With a documentary voice!
This feature is exploring the mythology of the soul - talking with the writers, actors, religious people, theologians, and science. It explores the philosophy of souls throughout history, the way souls fit into the mythology of Supernatural, and an urban myth about Hell.
Some quotes I like:
1. Ben Edlund: "You're talking about a body that is infused with a variety of different electrical frequencies. The brain generates it's own very singular frequency, and there's a bunch of - like we're full of clocks!"
2. Ben Edlund: "The series has educated us - and even, we've educated ourselves as writers and planners as to what this series may be - as to what the human soul is and what its potential is. It's gone from being a victim to being potentially the only real power in town."
And after the whole feature, I think Jared sums it up best:
3. Jared: "The bottom line is that nobody here knows what a soul is. It's like asking what love is."
Gag Reel - is always fun! There's not much I can say about it, besides - awesome, and I love how absolutely dorky Jared and Jensen are.
Supernatural: The Anime Series - All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1 and 2
So, it's cheesy, and you really have to be an anime-lover to appreciate it...but the Supernatural anime is pretty well done. I like how they are able to make the scenery grander, the world more gritty and fantastical.
The hilarious thing is that Jake actually PUNCHES THROUGH Sam's torso...and Dean STILL gives him the line about how Bobby fixed him up, and Sam is like "Really!? Uh, okay."
But the really cool thing is that they can make Sam's powers SUPER BADASS! MOAR PLEASE!!
BLURAY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:
Pop-up Trivia on the French Mistake - I didn't actually watch this to see the effect, but you can find a transcript of the trivia at the SuperWiki.
The Hunter's Guide To S6
It's a shame this isn't on the DVD version. It really annoys me when the new more expensive format get all the cool features. Anyway...
This is a book that you flip through, and each double page has four little features (2 per episode). Sometimes they are little interviews with people, and sometimes they are just episode stills. They are grouped by episode, but sometimes the feature is just about an overall theme of the series/season rather than about the episode itself.
I watched this back at the beginning of October while I was house-sitting for my friend (who had both a bluray player AND the S6 on bluray.) I took HAND WRITTEN notes...which I am only now trying to decipher...so bare with me and my apologies....
6x01 - Breaking the Season - this is a little video that talks about deciding to go Noir and the idea of Sam returning without a soul.
6x02 - Jerry Wanek, the production designer, talks about the sets and locations used in the season, including the Campbell compound, the vamp cage, and the sewers of 6x11. The second feature is writer Adam Glass talking about the actual episode.
6x03 - Chris Cooper talks about the props used in the season - the staff of Moses, the journal in 6x11 (made of pig skin, not actual human skin). Ben Edlund marvels about how with TV shows and movies, the writers actually make things real just by writing them down, because it means that those props have to be made and have to actually exist. The second feature is episode stills.
6x04 - They talk about creating Bobby's world. The episode came solely out of a desire for Jensen to direct, and it meant that Jim Beaver had to be the leading man. The second feature is an audio recording of Jensen talking about directing, and how he basically ended up directing just because he likes to know how things work.
6x05 - They talk about new writers and the architecture of a script. Adam Glass talks about how he was already a fan of the series. It's a neat video with cuts between the script and the resulting visuals. The second feature is Brett Matthews on writing the episode and making fun of Twilight - mainly playing on the vast differences between Twilight and Supernatural.
6x06 - They talk about spells. Sera says that if she wanted to damn someone, she'd probably curse them with the truth curse. Eric tells us that he took latin for 6 years, and Ben Edlund talks about the "physics of magic." The second feature is episode stills.
6x07 - The first feature is about the aspect of family in the show. How family is something you earn, and the core family on the show is family because they choose to be so. Sam and Dean chose Bobby. Also, we find out that Jared absolutely loves Mitch and was an X-files fan. In the second feature, we find out that it was Mitch who suggested he call Bobby "kid" in ...And Then There Were None. Originally, he was supposed to call him "old man."
6x08 - The first feature is Serge Ladouceur! He talks about lighting, obviously. Other people talk about how great Serge is - how he lit the scene of Dean exporing the construction sight in 6x01 with only bare lightbulbs. The second feature is also about Serge, and mentions how Serge worked closely with Jensen on 6x04, and was a "giant safety net" for him.
6x09 - Ivan Hayden talks about Visual FX - doing a full body burn, vamp teeth, and snow. The second feature is about props.
6x10 - They talk about Castiel. Edlund states that "he's another brother." They had told Misha at the beginning of the season that he was going to end up in opposition to the Winchesters. Edlund describes Castiel as someone with aspects of Autism. It's very clear from this featurette that Ben Edlund really likes Misha. The second feature is Misha talking about Jared's texting prank on him. "I'm usually the butt of the shenanigans."
6x11 - In this one, quite predictably, they talk about Sam without a soul. They sat down with Jared before the season started and talked to him about it. It was difficult for Jensen because Sam was gone. It really came down to reason&logic vs. 100%emotion (which is how Jared describes Sam, if I remember correctly). The second feature is episode stills.
6x12 - They talk about editing the show. Phil Sgriccia checks everything that's cut. They apparently ended up with way too much extra footage in The French Mistake. The second feature is about how Ben Edlund had been trying to pitch dragons for years.
6x13 - They talk about Dean and Sam's bond, and how they are two people who actually DO go to hell and back for each other. Edlund says that they are basically like Sisyphus or Job, in that it is "about the stuggle." He says it's great for TV, and he hopes "when the time comes, they go out with the honour they deserve." The second feature is Jared talking about Unforgiven.
6x14 - They talk about Lisa and Ben, about how Lisa had to be super cool, and a little more honest than Dean is with himself. Jensen states that Lisa and Ben are something that Dean wants, but at the same time, Dean can't let go of what's out there. (I'm not sure what the second feature is on this one, because my notes just say "the episode" and I don't know what I meant by that.)
6x15 - This, is of course, about The French Mistake. It was originally Kripke's idea, and Ben Edlund ran with it. Edlund talks about depicting real people and making fun, and of course, about the scene where they basically had Jared and Jensen,playing Sam and Dean playing Jared and Jensen playing Sam and Dean. The second feature is pictures from the episode.
6x16 - The main feature is all about music and music effects. The second feature is writer Brett Matthew talking about the episode.
6x17 - This episode was basically the Supernatural version of Final Destination, and was Sera's idea. They talk a lot about Fate. The second feature is behind the scenes shots and pictures.
6x18 - Here we get to talk about locations with Russ Hamilton. He takes us to Bordertown, and Jared's fake house. Meta!Jared's study and Meta!Jared's living room were actually the same room redressed and shot differently. The second feature is about how they did the hanging of Elias Finch.
6x19 - The main feature is all about Costume Design, and about how on Frontierland, Bob Singer has "never seen Jensen so interested in his costume for 6 years." Dean needed to be as dramatic as Elias Finch. Dean's boots were custom made. They also talk about how they have to fit padding and special-effects things underneath the costumes. (Once again, I can't understand my notes for the second feature. It seems to say "Cas has no powers, cut scene. Rened on Cas - "I love Cas." - I have no idea what any of that means anymore. Sigh...)
6x20 - The main feature is about how Ben Edlund directed. You get to see cool shot clips of behind the scenes and see him directing Jared...which is adorable, because as I recall, you can't hear what Edlund says to Jared, but then Jared says "Yeah, he did hurt my feelings!" or something along those lines, and it's hilarious and adorable, as I said. The second feature is pictures and behind the scenes shots.
6x21 - The main feature is about Sera becoming show-runner, I believe (if I'm reading my notes correctly, again, hard to read). The second feature is pictures from the episode.
6x22 - The main feature, is of course, about the end of the season and what they planned. Ben Edlund basically lays it out like so: S4=Devil, S5=Apocalupse, S6=God ("a deranged God, needing love and devotion"). The themes, of course, stated as "The ends don't justify the means" and the question of "what is moral and what's not?" The second feature is pictures from the episode.
Extra - there's a skull you can click on and it takes you to a three pronged feature.
Creating Supernatural Souls
- Edlund described the world in Supernatural as a "terrarium for the human soul" in which a soul inside "could choose whether or not it loved its creator." All the Supernatural creatures want into the terrarium. He talks about the human soul as a currency, and how the "underpinnings of the universe seems to be the human soul and it is a very fertile metaphor."
-They talk about how they twisted existing lore, so that purgatory in Supernatural is for monsters, and an untapped supply of souls. It all came from a discussion on HP Lovecraft. Basically, they wanted to do Chinatown with souls as the water supply.
-Edlund talks about how the line between life and death is non-existent. Death is no release for their characters. Edlund states "in a way [Sam and Dean] are demi-gods [...] they are not just human and they are going to ascend into a position of control and much greater things."
And to me, that last quote, sounds AWESOME.
I hope you all enjoyed my S6 rewatch! In the next couple of days, I'll start slowly updating If Clothes Could Talk in my spare time. I will, of course, post a heads-up when it's completely updated and ready for all your clothing-inquiry needs.
I have made my Nov. 1st deadline! Yay!