In the world of DVD/Blu-Ray production, Santa Sangre is an impossible act to follow. But shutting down the company seemed like a bit of an overreaction. So…on we press.
But in putting together the Devolved disc, we at Severin had a altogether new and unusual advantage; access to every single material concerning the film’s production.
Because Devolved was a Severin co-production, edited mostly on the futon in my living room, any time we needed unused footage, all I had to do was go into my garage, where I still have about 10 terabytes of RED raw files, backed up across a sea of hard drives underneath located beneath my foosball table.
Deleted scenes were not a problem. Due to the fact that Severin ended up releasing the Unrated, spicier version of Devolved, we had almost an hour’s worth of scenes from what would have been a more toned-down cut of the movie.
Actually, we easily could have ladled on even more deleted scenes, but I wanted to save some space for a couple of special curios from my halcyon youth. Since most of the shorts I had made at USC and beyond had concerned teen-on-teen crime, putting two of the classier ones on the disc seemed like a good fit.
After a couple of years of matriculating at Mr. Lucas’ lovely but expensive school, I didn’t have the leftover student loan loot to make a traditional thesis film (“film” being the operative term). Instead I turned the story into an informercial (Live Tomorrow Today!), which enabled me to shoot it on video. The format enabled us to cast a genuine star as the host of the infomercial, the legendary Ted Lange (“Isaac” from “The Love Boat”.)
(USC has an online deal with MiniMovie, so you can see it here)
A couple years later, with money made from editing the sound on The Manson Family, I finally was able to shoot a short on actual film. Restive Planet was shot in anamorphic on 35mm and stars the iconically incandescent Alex Rocco, known to gazillions as Moe Greene from The Godfather (not to mention his memorable turn in The Stunt Man).
Along with the deleted scenes and shorts, a making-of featurette is included, in which you can track my weight loss from production to post production (my hair alone can weigh up to 10 pounds). The official trailer is also included, along with some of the original auditions of Devolved’s large and unruly teenage cast, and several music videos related to songs in the movie.
The money video is Nik Freitas’ “Center of the World.” Nik Freitas (Broken Bells, Conor Oberst) is simply the most underrated indie popmeister alive in music today. I mean it. There’s really no disagreement on the subject. A couple of his songs are in the movie, including this snappy synth-driven number that graces the closing credits. There’s also the video for latin superstar T. Rey’s “Del Coche Que Tengo,” a song our studies show weaves a hypnotic, soporific effect upon all who listen to it.
Oh, and there’s also a couple of commentary tracks, one with the stars of the movie (that we left in stereo to give more of a live feel), and one with the demonstrably scarred Writer/Director.
But my favorite aspect of the Blu-Ray for Devolved is the bitrate of the encode on the feature. Thanks to the Herculean labors of our authorer, we were able to encode the film at the highest bitrate in the history of Severin. I mean, the film looks good on DVD, but on Blu-Ray, it’s practically 4D, a Thomas’ English Muffin of an image, with every nook and cranny filled with buttery digital goodness.
If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.