Joy was recently brought unto my household with the purchase of my DVD player. Now, I can enjoy the crystal-clear picture quality and digital sound quality previously only available to the wealthy, or those just willing to go into debt for it. But, this has brought about some changes in the way things are done in my house. Whenever I fire up a DVD to watch something like the cut scenes or the “making of” featurettes, my Dad says, with annoyance in his voice, “Are you watching that movie AGAIN?” Just last night, for the first time, I went to the corner video store to rent some DVDs. My Dad found his customary movie-rental role cut off. With no previews to fast forward through, and no lag time while you wait for the last movie to finish rewinding, he found himself with no opportunity to make popcorn. Not just a tragedy for him, but a tragedy for all.
But seeing how my DVD player has affected my Dad’s life, it got me to thinking. How could our lives change if they were on DVD? If directors can give running commentaries for their films, what would you say on the running commentary for your life? How would you edit your life into an eye-catching, drool-inducing 2 minute trailer? Would you really want to stick some of your daydreams and fantasies into that cut scenes section? And, most frightening of all, how many people would really want to see The Making Of YOU!, starring your parents? Still, though, it got me to thinking, and now I’d like to present to you the special features you’d see on the DVD for my life, enhanced for 16×9 TVs, of course.
Mark Cappis, angst ridden university graduate. Artist. Scientist. But, he harbors a dark secret. As the sun rises over the sleepy city of Drayton Valley, and the gates to the Derrek Mall are opened, Extra Foods cries out for, a hero! [Cut to scenes of me donning black apron, black tie, and name tag stating simply “BAG BOY.”] Yes, Mark is, in fact BAG BOY!!
THRILL as Bag Boy performs his heroic exploits!
Cashier: Bag Boy! I need a price check!
[Bag Boy springs into action, sprinting through the aisles. He leaps over a crouching customer, and at the top of his jump, things slow down and get all bullet-time like in The Matrix.]
AMAZE at his phenomenal strength!
[Bag Boy heaves 6, 20-kg bags of dog food over his shoulders]
Bag Boy: Let me help you out with these, ma’am.
WATCH as he battles with the corrupt management!
Regional Manager: Damn it, Bag Boy, this company doesn’t need someone running through the aisles doing price checks! If people were made aware of the actual low price, we’d lose millions!
Bag Boy: I’m not going to cheat the innocent out of their hard-earned dollars just so your company can have a bigger bottom line.
Regional Manager: Watch that tone, Bag Boy. Especially when people are fully capable of shoving things into bags on their own.
Bag Boy: I am not going to stand idly by and watch people SQUISH THEIR BREAD! YOU’VE BEEN BEHIND THAT DESK TOO LONG, YOU <deleted to insure PG-13 rating> MBA!
FEEL as his duties conflict with his most romantic desires!
[Scene of incredibly hot cashier and Bag Boy, their eyes locked together over the till]
Cashier: I just have to know, are we going to try to love each other?
Bag Boy: I’d like to, [lifts frozen turkey into camera view] but someone has to bag this turkey.
Yes, a new hero for a new time! Standing up for your rights! Protecting the innocent! Making sure your eggs get to your car in once piece! Bag Boy! Coming to theaters this summer!
The Running Commentary
Director/Writer/Star Mark Cappis: “Ahh, yes. This is the fourth grade Christmas concert scene. This was one of the most difficult scenes to film, as you are about to see. Our producer [teacher] had decided that a re-telling of The Shoemaker and the Elves was the most appropriate piece for my troupe, and she selected me to be the narrator. So there I am, spotlight on me, with the action playing out to my immediate right. Now, this was truly an off night for me. I had just recently gotten my glasses, and as you can see, they are clearly too big for my face. This was the origins of my whole “nerd” look that was to plague me for years to come. Now, I would be amiss if I didn’t point out the prowess and skill of Rob Burton, playing the lead elf there. This is a young man whose skill at comedy would be an influence on me for the rest of my life. Oh, and now we’re coming to one of the biggest bloopers of this whole production. I can’t believe we left it in this film. See, the sound FX guy is about to sound ‘the chimes of midnight.’ Like directed to, I turn my back to the audience so I can count of the chimes. And, there it is. Yes, with my back to turned to a school gym filled with my parents, grandparents, and hundreds of others, I’m scratching my ass.”
“Now, I’m sure you’ve seen this scene in the final film. See, there she is, standing at that payphone. It’s a beautiful night, with all the stars out and a full Moon. Boy, the FX guys were on a roll that night. Anyway, in the final film, I recognize her, walk up to her, and mumble a hello. She says hello back, we exchange some small talk, and I go on my way. But, what you are about to see is how I originally intended the scene to play. I walk up to her, say my hello, and in the course of my conversation, I confess my undying love to her. Stunned by this, she hangs up the phone, we walk into the night, and continue our conversation. I don’t know. Sometimes I regret making this cut, other times I don’t. I guess you’ll be able to judge for yourself.”
Needless to say, watching your life on DVD would be a unique experience. I guess it all boils down to one thing. When you are on your deathbed, and your life flashes before your eyes, do you want to see things as they actually happened, or the Director’s Cut? Perhaps there are some questions that technology is just not meant to answer. So, then, until next time, I’m going to hit rewind and go make some popcorn.