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Old July 19th, 2004, 07:20 AM   #1
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The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan

Anybody else catch this on the Sci-Fi channel last night? I think it runs again tonight and again in a few days. It had me going for awhile, until it started getting too preposterous with the mysterious crow, enlarging the image in the mirror, and the final voicemail message where Night says "nobody will believe you.... have a nice life." And of course all the hype about how this was the film "they didn't want you to see".... sponsored by M. Night Shyamalan's The Village.

Anyway, it was entertaining and I thought it was pretty well made. Sort of a "mockumentary" along the lines of the "making of the blair witch" program they ran on Sci-Fi before that movie was released. I wanted to catch it since The Village was made around here and I know several of the crew members. The part with Johnny Depp was clever.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #2
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I read a CNN article that talked about it being a "lie" and M bailed out. What's the deal with that? Can you explain that better than they did??

I'm definately going to see the film, so I can't let myself watch the doc yet...hope they replay next month.

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Old July 19th, 2004, 07:56 AM   #3
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Christopher

Is this the CNN article you mean?

http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/TV/0...raphy.hoax.ap/

Note the 9th paragraph down:

"We created a fictional special that was part-fact and part-fiction, and Night was part of the creation from the beginning," the network chief said.

Just plain ol' marketing. And at 3 hours, it was a bit of overkill.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 08:50 AM   #4
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So, M was in on it and is still in on it? It looked like they had to reveal the lie because M bailed on them and it couldn't be completed.

You know, it's almost like a pain in the butt trying to deal with these guys now. What ever happened to entertainment minus the brain cramps!!

I know they're trying to be creative, but it's almost annoying!

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Old July 19th, 2004, 09:26 AM   #5
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Oh I thought it really was very entertaining, and all that hype had me sucked in for awhile which was part of the fun. It became pretty obvious that it was a scam because the things their "investigations" were turning up got more and more outrageous. It all shows Night in a very flattering light, as a nice guy, but there's this phoney PR person who gets mad at them for asking "forbidden questions" and throws them out.

It's good marketing, and plays into the whole image he wants to create with his films. I thought it was very creative and would much rather see this than some of the more annoying marketing that accompanies other big summer movies.

Like I said, it's very much in the spirit of the phoney "documentary" about the making of the Blair Witch movie, where they went around and interviewed local people and showed local scenes. The Sci-Fi channel ran that just before Blair Witch was released.

Yeah, 3 hours was a bit long. I probably would have bailed earlier, but like I said, there's a Philadelphia connection so it was kinda fun for me...
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Old July 19th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #6
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Actually, I thought that the Blair Witch "mockumentary" that Sci-Fi did was better than this M. Night one -- in fact, I thought that Blair Witch moc/doc was better than the actual Blair Witch movie! (I wasn't much of a fan of the Blair Witch...)

I had a feeling before last night that the "documentary" was going to be in the style of the BW moc/doc, and before the end of the first hour it was pretty obvious. By 9 pm I was watching 6 Feet Under (probably one of the worst episodes, by the way), then Entourage. Caught some of the last 30 minutes of the Sci-Fi "doc" but just kept wondering, "Why did they make this so long?!"

The mock doc concept worked better w/ Blair Witch, in my opinion, simply because that movie was being marketed as "the real tapes" from the trip -- and in fact, the Sci-Fi "doc" helped flesh out the story and mythology behind BW.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #7
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I had forgotten that it was on, until it was almost half over. I sorta knew what was coming, just because of the way it felt like Blair Witch... A "Mocumentary".

However staged it was, it still imparted facts about M. Night's life. It was meant to boost interest in his new movie, by making his life mysterious, so he was definately in on it.
It seems that Documentary style fiction is as hot today, as Orsen Welles' radio broadcast of the Martian invasion.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #8
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Gee, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this thread would call THAT to mind! But anyway, it is the Science Fiction Channel after all. Do you really expect to see shocking new evidence of UFO coverups, ghosts or alien abductions on these over-hyped programs? Personally, I watch them all though just because I get a lot of amusement from the genre itself. A friend of mine was a PA on a SciFi Channel special last season where they interviewed self-proclaimed alien abductees. She had a lot of fun on that project.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #9
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Sci Fi does it to have fun, and to tweak peoples imagination. And they can profit from it as well! Welles did it for entertainment... unfortunately, many people took it as truth, and many tragedies came from it.

The Buried Secrets was again, mostly fiction, but still held a few nuggets of truth. I don't think M. Night sees dead people, or was visited by aliens, but we know where he grew up. I did enjoy the whole spin, exactly for what it was- Entertainment aimed in raising interest in a talented Director... and make money!
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Old July 19th, 2004, 12:26 PM   #10
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kind of funny that I first saw the blair witch on a ragged screener tape before I heard anything about it. It was pretty freaky albeit pretty obviously a movie... it's funny about how the press kind of ruins almost any surprises re: any movies. But then again with crap like I Robot in the theatres who cares any more.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:39 PM   #11
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I didn't see this thing, but I don't understand how they could drag it out to three hours. Was there lots of footage from the movie built in? An hour and a half of commercials? What wonder structure did they come up with that allowed them to think they could hold an audience's attention for that long?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:00 PM   #12
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Well of course there were the requisite number of commercials. There was no footage at all from the movie itself (it's all a big secret!). There was minimal behind the scenes footage on the set, and really very little interview time with Shyamalan himself. It primarily centered on the documentarians themselves, their travels around the Philadelphia area, and lots of interviews with people who (supposedly) knew Shyamalan. There was an entertaining segment where Shyamalan takes the doc crew out for cheesesteaks, drinks, and pool in South Philly as sort of a "bonding" excercise.

It was a little long, but managed to hold my interest. As I said however, I have a local connection so that probably slanted my view. And anyway, it was a rainy Sunday night and I was resolved to waste the whole evening in front of the TV ;-) Check it out for yourself, I think it's running again tonight at 11:00 PM and again on the 23rd as I recall.

It was (purportedly) shot on film, not video, and I thought it looked pretty good for the most part. In one hotel room shot you could see a small DV camera on a cheap tripod, looked like a TRV-900 or something similar. Nice scene also in a fancy edit suite towards the end. From that you could tell that they shot in a widescreen format, however the actual program is cropped to 4:3. That actually surprised me since SciFi is usually pretty good about letterbox presentation. But in that same scene they have the ultimate cliche where the documentarian asks the editor to "zoom in" on a tiny little detail in the corner of a mirror. They guy says, "I'll see what I can do." The result is (of course) some sort of ghost or spirit, and while it's grainy there's no way you could see that much detail in such a tiny part of the frame. How many times have we seen that gimmick before?...
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:08 PM   #13
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"I'll see what I can do"--LOL!

Not as bad as in Enemy of the State when they actually rotate around the security camera-captured object of interest in three dimensions.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 07:35 PM   #14
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I lasted about 2 commerical breaks into the MK (That's M. Knight by the way) and I was really dissapointed. What a waste of :45 minutes. I understand them trying to hype THE VILLAGE but I dont think THE VILLAGE needs any hype (It's M. Knight; we know it's going to be pretty cool).

Hard to believe this even was greenlighted. Bad T.V. I ended up watching the 'Making of Raiders' on DVD (Like I havent seen this a hundred times).

So, what? We cant even say MM's (That's Micheal Moore NOT Eminem) name now? Chris, you know I have to be difficult at times but seriously now the name nor the film cant be mentioned? What about Bowling for Columbine? Can we talk about that?

As always just trying to be clear. Its your house.
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