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October 22 2004

Gellar Defends Buffy DVDs. Sarah Michelle Gellar told SCI FI Wire that time constraints prevented her from providing commentaries for the DVDs.

I think that SMG is always being wrongly criticized. She is very busy, as she said, and it isn't as if she is doing (or not doing) things just to be a bitch or anything. I don't believe that. She is always doing something and it seems that the star of the show is the busiest, as they are the star. David Boreanaz hasn't done any commentaries either, he has appeared in some interviews and stuff on the DVDs, but he has been nowhere as busy as SMG (he is now though).
SMG has always put her all into BtVS and has been very protective of it when people criticize it.
SMG is always so happy in all or her interviews and whatnot, it isn't fair that she is always bad-mouthed because the other side says something first and she gets screwed for it.
Although, I think it would be great if she had been involved more for the DVD sets, that's not what was important to me anyways. I would've bought these sets even if they hadn't had the special features and the fact that they do is just a bonus for me.
None of the special edition Bond films have commentaries by the Bond actors.
Don't really care at this point why she didn't do it. Just wished she (and DB and AH and ASH and, you get the point) had done it. On at least a couple of choice episodes each. Cast members don't always give the best commentary, but . . . (see Seth Green on "Wild At Heart"). And, while I don't know about DB, I think Sarah and Aly and Tony have good energy, and their commentary tracks would be crackly crunchy. (And, shameful to admit, I thought Sarah's co-commentary on Scooby-Doo was fun - alright, I'm getting me coat . . . )
I don't care whether or not she does commentaries. It would be nice if she did, but her job's to act.
It's not really a matter of being busy. I mean, we're all busy. It's a matter of priorities. She states very clearly that doing commentary for the DVDs was not a priority for her. I appreciate her candor.
And this is why she has a commentary for the Scooby Doo movies. Or why Eliza Dushku did several for Tru Calling, or Jennifer Garner(and she does most of her own stunts and is in most of the scenes on the show, just like Gellar, and even like Gellar she has commented on having to work too much on the show) on all of the Alias sets. I'm naming these since they were still in production when their sets came out, rather than canceled series like Dark Angel or Firefly where the show is out of production and the stars do a commentary.

[ edited by eddy on 2004-10-22 19:52 ]
I think Sarah is absolutely correct. How many articles have we read where the commentator would inject their own thoughts or opinions on why Sarah did this or that, all without any facts to back them up. And we all know what happens when these rumors get turned loose on the internet. It must be a frustrating experience for stars, such as SMG, to hear these rumors. Sarah is a hard working actress and she strikes me as being the type when she finds free time, she takes it to relax. Sure, it would've been nice to listen to Sarah's thoughts on a DVD commentary, but I would never hold a grudge (no pun intended) if she's too busy. Which makes the people of Whedonesque special because we tend to seek facts before we rush to judgement:)
Agree with you, Dhoffryn.

Maybe, Sarah did more job in Buffy as a star (in terms of screen time), than Eliza or Jennifer in their series.
The same with Scooby Doo.
If the producers had really wanted her to do commentaries for the DVDs, or if SMG had really wanted to, time would've been found to get them done.

It obviously wasn't a priority or something whoever decides these things put an enormous amount of thought into. She wasn't desparate to be a part of the DVDs, I mean, she could've begged someone to let her do it, the producers could've tweeked a schedule here and there if it were important to them.

Not saying any of this is a bad thing. Just, y'know, more of a *shrug*. Ho hum.
No offense guys but you cannot honestly think she had no time. SMG had plenty of clout. I mean if she said to the producers I want time to do a commentary and participate....do you really think they would say no? No way.

Not to mention the fact that adding commentary has the potential to increase sales of the DVD. So would they really say no? Again...NO WAY.

This smacks of lack of interest on her part. Period. Having said that it wouldn't not stop me from buying the DVD's.

[ edited by DarenG on 2004-10-22 22:49 ]
The comment about having time to do a Scooby Doo commentary but not a Buffy on may have come down to it being in her contract for the movie, something that was not thought of in '97 when she signed up for BtVS.
"Not to mention the fact that adding commentary has the potential to increase sales of the DVD. So would they really say no? Again...NO WAY"

Which begs the question did FOX push for a commentary and if they did how hard did they push
I'm generally not a big fan of actor commentaries, for the most part I don't think a lot of actors have much interesting to say.....there are of course exceptions.....still, that said, it just reads to me that SMG is protesting a little too much. I'm a big believer that people make the time for the things they want to do. She clearly had other priorities and recording commentaries wasn't one of them. That we don't get to hear her on an alternate audio track doesn't affect my purchase one way or the other.
Having said that it wouldn't not stop me from buying the DVD's.

Yeah it doesn't hurt my purchasing the sets. After all the first season of Angel is practically a bare-bones set. I would buy any of the Buffy or Angel seasons with no special features, cause they are nothing more than "extras". I'm buying this stuff for the episodes and their rewatchability(I won't buy any DVD of a movie or tv show that I don't think I want to rewatch in the future.)
"Time Constraints" and desperately wanting to seperate herself from the Buffy character. And by many accounts, being pretty apathetic about spending any time off-set with any of her castmates in any setting. Cons... wrap parties... cast commentaries... All of those things would have would have meant she would have to spend time associating with the very people who helped create that show which was holding her back from making Harvard Man 2 or more schlock movies with her hubbie!
Well if this is true I can certainly understand her. It makes sense she was busy, being the main character at all. Although I find it odd that directors who were directing episodes did manage to do commentary. Wouldn't they be just as busy as her?

Come to think of it, quite a few commentaries were not taped on the days of shooting themselves at all because I always hear the commentaries of actors/writers/etc. talk about the episode like it's pretty much a while in the past. Clearly taped far later than the days of shooting. Hey I'm sure she has a busy schedule, DB never did commentaries either. It's really not a big thing to me, but what she says here doesn't really rhyme with things. And if taped later, I doubt she's busier than Joss, who's done plenty of commentaries.

And her line of: "Most of the time in this business you really only get one side. You get he who speaks loudest." isn't really fair either, is it? It's not the fault of the others that they did have time to do commentary. That's not 'those who speak the loudest' that's just 'those who speak. At all.'.

"I think Sarah is absolutely correct. How many articles have we read where the commentator would inject their own thoughts or opinions on why Sarah did this or that, all without any facts to back them up."

That's an interesting comment in this context, considering everyone is always prasing her to high heaven in the commentaries.
When she says those who speak the loudest who is she talking about anyways? The only people who complain about her not doing the commentaries are fans of the show.
Hmm. I guess something to consider is what SMG meant when she said 'commentary'. Because to a degree, there's two things she might be referring to. On the one hand, there's the traditional form of 'commentary' -- the type that's recorded as an audio-track for an individual episode.

But on the other hand, there's another type of 'commentary' she might have been referring to -- i.e., the cast/crew commentary that's traditionally included in the Season Overview DVD featurettes. You guys probably know what I'm talking about -- the DVDs often have a long featurette that recaps the season, and includes comments from the cast and crew and writers. As we all know, SMG was notoriously absent from those featurettes.

Anyway -- if that's the type of commentary she's referring to, her statements in the interview might make more sense. Because in theory, when the cast would be busy filming S6 of Buffy, a guy would probably come around and ask who can spare a moment to tape material for the S5 DVD Overview.

And in that instance, there probably would be a line director saying -- "Sorry, we can't spare Sarah for two hours". Where as the subsidiary actors wouldn't be in as many scenes as the lead actress, and would be able to spare time to be in the featurette.

Just thought I'd throw that in, to add a potential context to the interview. Though with that being said, I agree that DVD featurettes probably weren't a big priority to SMG. As others have pointed out, if she really wanted to be included, something probably could have been arranged. But I think she probably was rather busy, and didn't see that as a major priority. Which is too bad, as I would have liked to have heard her viewpoint on the show.

Oh well -- still loves me my DVDs :)
Augh! I lost my post. She probably isn't talking about the featurettes since they aren't referred to as commentaries. Commentaries are either 2 things, a audio selection played over the feature or a PIP(picture in picture) which is a box inside the picture so you see the commentators face while they're watching and commenting on the action.

And ya know, even though I do comment on her lack of partcipation, she has done a feature for the DVDs. On Buffy Season 6, she appears on the Buffy with a Bite featurette on disc 6. I suppsose people choose to ignore that because it aired on TV first.

[ edited by eddy on 2004-10-23 11:32 ]
Whatever - somecommentaries are great (any by Joss) and some are awful (there are a couple I won't waste my time listening to again - Hell's Bells comes to mind)it would have been nice if she did one for the last season at least but again - it won't stop me from buying the sets. Now DB han't done any for Angel - I would love it if he did one for the season 5 Soul Purpose episode since he directed it, Yes I am more interested to see that.
eddy, the Buffy With a Bite featurette on disc 6 was something made by the A&E Biography Channel for airing on its own channel, which is sort of a biggish deal. It gets aired nationally and lots of people probably saw it. It had nothing (originally) to do with the DVD's but was later put on as a nice addition.

I'm not saying this to put SMG down. Whether SMG really had time or not for the DVD's is just speculation on all of our parts. My only regret about the DVD's? That they don't have a commentary for each episode. I know, I'm being greedy. Passion, I'd also love it if DB did a commentary for Soul Purpose.
Personally i'm a much bigger fan of the writers or directors opinions than those of the actors when it comes to commentaries on the DVD's. I just think that they have a more in depth understanding of the episodes and so can give a lot more information on what happened in a particular scene or why a decision was made to do something in a particular way.

As for why Sarah didn't do any commentaries all i can say is who cares??? This will no doubt turn into yet another reason for a Good Sarah/Evil Sarah debate throughout the Buffy online community and the simple fact is unless you have a direct link to Sarah's thoughts you will never know the truth for certain.

Sarah is saying she didn't have time to do the commentaries. Fair enough! Let it go! ;)
Since FOX is making money on the DVD's and they are the boss, director or no director there would have been time found, all it would have took was a FOX exec to call the director and say "make time for the interview".

I always figured that she didn't do them because.

1.Doing them was not in her contract, so I bet that FOX offered the cast and writers a sum of money to do them, how much? Who knows, but if it was percentage of DVD sales I think SMG would have probably have done it,that would have been probably some major money.

2.If it was season 6, then as she has said in many interviews she wasn't happy with the shows direction, which could have played a part in her saying no or FOX not wanting a unhappy person doing commentary.
"But on the other hand, there's another type of 'commentary' she might have been referring to -- i.e., the cast/crew commentary that's traditionally included in the Season Overview DVD featurettes."

You're right, that's probably what she was talking about. Those are little interviews to me. The commentaries are the audio tracks. And yes I'm still sorry she never did one. And no, I don't believe she never had time to sit down for 40 minutes and say a few things into a microphone.

But as I said, it's not that big a deal. As someone said, sometimes the commentaries are great, sometimes boring. Depends oon who it is. Joss' are always the best. I remember one director who bored the crap out of me. Not everyone is interesting when they just talk.

"If it was season 6, then as she has said in many interviews she wasn't happy with the shows direction, which could have played a part in her saying no or FOX not wanting a unhappy person doing commentary."

That hardly covers the other six seasons, but I thought of that too. Don't think I particularly want to listen to her S6 commentary. But then, of course I don't really know what she would be like if she did commentary since she never did it.
Seasons 1-3 DVDs were done during Buffy season 4(buffy season 1 was supposed to be released in the U.S. in 2000, not 2002. It was delayed, probably because of syndication.) Buffy Season 4 DVDs were done during Buffy season 6.(look at the Spike featurette, some bozo decided to put season 5 footage in it, even though its the SEASON FOUR dvd! Plus JM has the curly hair from early buffy season 6 and he's all skinny like he was in sreason 6. And doug petrie makes a reference to the halloween episode of buffy season 6 in one of his commentaries on that set.) Buffy Season 5 DVDs were done during Buffy season 6. Buffy Season 6 DVDs were done during Buffy season 7(I think in one of the featurettes some of hte actors are in their costumes.) And Buffy Season 7 DVDs were done after the show ended.
One of the best SMG interviews I have seen is one made for British TV by Richard Blackwell, as sort of poor mans (English) Chris Rock, where she came over as a genuine, funny, warm, person. However, the entire show consisted of our man, and the camera, following SMG in the bus from the studio to location and hanging around at the graveyard between takes. It was very clear that SMG's time was a premium and not to be wasted sitting still for an hour or so so some guy from England can chat to her.

Remember Buffy is a single camera show, which means every single scene has to be shot several times, and that's if everyone gets it spot on first take! With Buffy being in most scenes in every episode I can believe that the task of sorting out a time for her to sit in a studio for (at least) an hour would have come very low on the list of priorities for the producers.
Oh yeah, zz9, that is a great interview. She and Blackwell have a great flirty-vibe going on, and the interview was relaxed and intimate enough to feel like I was actually in the car driving along with them. Lots of great extemporaneous comments by Sarah, such as when she's reviewing the script for, I think "As You Were", and (jokingly) says, "My part. . . Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit . . . my part." Then she looks up in mock-horror and says "oh, this is how you read scripts in Hollywood."
This is a question out of pure ignorance although it sounds harsh:
What is she so busy doing? BtVS was her bread & butter for half a decade, perhaps she will be less busy after doing Scooby Doo 4 and the Grudge 2? Some actors/actresses are in two movies being filmed at once and still find time for the "little stuff" like fan-service. This is why they pay the stars the "big bucks", she's not riding the bus for an hour to work for $20k a year folks.

I saw her on letterman last night for a few minutes and she really seemed like a sub-star compared to his other guests. She really isn't keeping her celebrity momentum at all IMHO (as that is important in her chosen work).

[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2004-10-24 01:55 ]
TaraLivesOn, I agree that SMG's appearnace on Letterman wasn't the greatest. She was much more relaxed and funny on Conan last night, but 'What is she so busy doing?' For the last month, she's been working her butt off promoting The Grudge. I don't think anyone with the slightest interest in the movie business can have missed her lately, so I think she actually is keeping her 'celebrity momentum' going quite well.
"What is she so busy doing? BtVS was her bread & butter for half a decade, perhaps she will be less busy after doing Scooby Doo 4 and the Grudge 2?"

"For the last month, she's been working her butt off promoting The Grudge."

Well that is the point a little, I think. I feel that for those movies she goes out of her way, in ways she never did for Buffy. (first time ever appearance at the comicon for example) No not a big deal, but I can't help but notice.

Can't help but wonder if there *will* be a DVD commentary for the Grudge....

"TaraLivesOn, I agree that SMG's appearnace on Letterman wasn't the greatest. "

Personally I think (from interviews, commentaries from coworkers and dailies and the like)Sarah is someone who is funny when she can be witty on the spot without inhibitions. When doing the talk show circuit on american TV you have to have the 'nice anecdotes' prepared and watch that you're not too snarky, or your jokes too risque, which gives everything the same generic, safe, pappy feel. And with Sarah I often think it feels a little forced when she has to do that.

I wish she could just cut loose with the funny how she'd really like and how she really is. Bet it'd be more interesting. That british interview already sounds more like it.

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