Production Diary: Halloween

The Beginning



I know many of you have been eagerly anticipating our new update in this Production Diary and I am very sorry it took so long. Unfortunately I was unable to obtain really new information or details on the release and with the VSDA show coming up, everyone at Anchor Bay was pretty much working overtime. Now that it’s over things will probably settle back down.

As I had mentioned in our coverage of the show, we have been able to take a first look at the special edition of “Halloween” during VSDA and right now and right here I want to let you all know that the new “Halloween” will blow you all away! It was great hearing Anchor Bay and Bill Lustig talk about it all the time but seeing it with my very own eyes was mind boggling. Believe me when I say Halloween looks like a brand-new movie. You will not be able to distinguish it from any film shot today. That’s how good it looks!

Anchor Bay had a preliminary version of the DVD at the show and although it still had its quirks and problems it looked amazing. One of the problems for example was that by accident the pan & scan version and the menu screens had been encoded anamorphically, which can look quite interesting.

Today I want to give all of you a chance to take a look at some of the pictures you will find in the photo galleries of the final disc. As you know the “Halloween Special Edition” will have a huge photo gallery with production stills, promotional stills and lots of behind-the-scenes pictures. The best thing about it is that many of these pictures are practically new and had not been released on previous versions of the film. Anchor Bay even goes so far as to distinguish between the VHS Special Edition and the DVD version. That means that the DVD version contains different still photographs than the ones that will be part of the VHS release.

Debra_JohnHere for example we have a shot from the gallery that shows Debra Hill stabbing at John Carpenter on the set of “Halloween”. I had never seen this picture before and think it is a really great image of the two.

Jamie_JohnThe same is true down here with Jamie Lee Curtis giving John a big hug.

The gallery contains some really rare pictures that had not been published before. They are mixed in with some of the better known pictures in the disc’s “behind-the-scenes” photo gallery. In total this photo gallery consists of 100 pictures that are well sorted and gorgeously reproduced. Expect some hilarious pictures of DonaldPleasanceDonald Pleasance, Nick Castle, and just in general some very amusing and enlightening pictures taken on the set of “Halloween”. Please click on any of these still photographs for enlarged versions that will give you a much better look. All these pictures come to you courtesy of Anchor Bay.

PJ_JohnThere’s also an entire separate photo gallery reserved for the film’s promotional pictures and posters on the disc from around the world, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy a lot. Ranging from cover artwork of the video from different countries, theatrical posters of the film in various territories and a plethora of languages, all the way to whole sets of publicity pictures of the film, this separate gallery contains of some 60 images. Especially the extensive gallery of French publicity photos is really nice and contains some interesting still photographs form the film.

JamieBookThe highlight of this entire gallery is clearly an image showing two buddying Michael Myers, embracing each other—once again a shot I had not seen anywhere before. We decided not to reveal this particular picture here in our diary because we do not want to spoil your fun once you get around to seeing it on the actual disc. The same is true with some of the other phantastic photos in the gallery. Revealing some them here would feel out of place and unfair to Anchor Bay who went to great lengths to obtain these images and make them part of the still galleries on the disc. You will love them! Most of the black and white pictures in the behind-the-scenes gallery on the disc were supplied by Mickey Yablans, the son of the film’s producer Irwin Yablans. Most of the material from the promotional gallery was supplied by Tim Mankowski, an avid collector who also runs a dedicated Halloween website called “Returning To Haddonfield”.

TriviaErrorAnd if you think creating DVDs is a simple and straight forward task, we have another surprise for you. 
Not only was there a problem with the anamorphic encoding of the first test discs, as I told you earlier, here’s also an image you will not find anywhere else, and at the same time a picture you will never see again. 
Take a look at it for a second and you will notice the typo in this screen from the disc’s “Trivia” section with facts about the film and the people.

There is a blank missing between the word “spray-painted” and the word “the”—see it? As I said, you won’t see this screen again anywhere because as you read this, the problem has already been fixed on the disc. I just thought you might want to take a look at this to get a feel for the little things that can turn the creation of a DVD into an adventure. The people creating these discs are real people and they make real mistakes like everyone else. With Bill Lustig’s and Anchor Bay’s dedication however you can be sure these problems get caught before the disc ever makes it to the market.

That’s it for this time. Next week we will hopefully be able to show you the menu screens of the disc and maybe even present some of the extensive animation of the menus. We’ll also try to get pictures from the new documentary “Halloween Unmasked 2000” for you, so stay tuned and check back often.

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