每日英語跟讀 Ep.868: Blooper Reels From Films Raise Bar for Originality
When directors first began attaching blooper reels to their films’ end credits in the late 1970s and early ’80s, there wasn’t much to them. Actors flubbed a line, or laughed when they shouldn’t have.
In the 1979 comedy-drama “Being There,” one of the pioneers of the tradition, Peter Sellers struggles for three minutes to get through three lines. Back then, watching actors botch their parts was such a novelty that the reels didn’t have to do much to make audiences laugh.
Today, tongue twisters have taken a back seat to physical goofs and alternate takes – those extra bits of footage in which actors and directors try to improve what’s on the printed page. In “Hot Pursuit,” some of the blooper reel’s funniest bits are alternate takes of Sofia Vergara making cracks about her co-star Reese Witherspoon’s looks, as well as shots of Ms. Vergara experiencing a panties-baring wardrobe malfunction and getting hit in the face by a deer hoof.
In the high school comedy “The DUFF,” the film’s few true bloopers are mixed in with cast selfies and scenes of Ken Jeong and Chris Wylde ad-libbing insults.
Why would a director choose to end a film with mistakes? Certainly no one notices when a blooper reel is omitted, and critics will pounce on a bad one.
Appending bloopers to the end of “Hot Pursuit,” the director Anne Fletcher said, was never intentional. Initially created as a treat for the cast and crew at the wrap party, the reel got so many laughs that Ms. Fletcher figured she’d try it out on test audiences.
For her, the blooper reel was more about trying to give audiences one final taste of the fun. “It’s like, look, we have more for you.”
Blooper reels are also a handy forum for all those alternate takes that would otherwise end up on the cutting-room floor. Mr. Jeong “would be riffing in the library, and it was hilarious – the crew was just cracking up,” said Ari Sandel, director of “The DUFF.” “But it was Ken, and you knew it was Ken, it wasn’t his character, Mr. Arthur. So as funny as it was, we just couldn’t use it.”
Now actors routinely take measures to protect themselves from the worst of the mistake.
“For mid- to high-level actors, there’s usually a provision that says the artist shall have the right to preapprove in writing any bloopers or outtakes or DVD extras,” Richard Genow, an entertainment lawyer.
Over the years, certain gag reels have elevated the craft. Jackie Chan’s versions have been more about burnishing his legend as an action star than in exposing his on-set mistakes. And the gaffes created for Pixar hits like “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2” weren’t mistakes at all, but their originality and wit raised the bar for outtakes.
“I think the bar is just as high for blooper reels now as it is for the rest of the movie,” said Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s film division and a producer of Mr. Chan’s “Rush Hour” trilogy. “But sometimes you’ll see outtake reels where they’ll throw in every single thing. Sometimes things that aren’t even funny.”
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/279790/web/#2L-5983240L