How to Create a "DVD Commentary" Podcast


One of the perks of DVDs is that viewers are given a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes creation of movies. With the director commentary track, as well as multiple features documenting the "Making Of" a film, we, the viewer, are taken into the moviemaking world and given more insight than viewers from the pre-DVD days had access to. Perhaps you feel that you have a unique opinion or perspective when it comes to watching certain films. Here's how you could create a podcast consisting of your own commentary about films or TV shows that you love, hate, hate to love, or love to hate.

Things You'll Need

  • a film or TV show to comment on
  • a computer
  • headphones
  • a microphone or other recording device
  • a software program to capture the audio
  • interesting things to say
  • Think about what you can bring to this podcast, and why your perspective is different. A DVD commentary is usually done by the directors or actors, who automatically have an privileged perspective, because they were involved in the creation of the product.

    What is your expertise? What can you add? Perhaps you're a cinematographer, and you can explain why certain shots work and do not work. Perhaps you are representing the reaction of a particular community to something you see onscreen. Or perhaps you are hilarious. But if you're solely relying on humor, you better be really, really funny. Anyone can comment. Why would people want to listen to you?

  • Pick out a film or television show that you know very well. For the DVD commentaries, often they just do it on the spot, but again, they were involved in making the film. They spent months analyzing it; they can be spontaneous. You, on the other hand, might find it beneficial to prepare. The challenge of recording your own DVD commentary is that it has to be done in real time. Have some topics in mind before you go in.

  • Set up the film that you are about to comment on. Because you don't want to actually record the audio of the film you're commenting on -- copyright reasons -- it might be helpful to play it off of a computer or something where you can listen to it with headphones. That way the microphone won't pick up any background noise.

  • Play the DVD and comment as you are watching. Remember, the point of this is that your listener should sync up your podcast to the film or TV show, so that they are listening to you comment as they are watching. Keep this in mind when you are talking.

    When nothing is really going on, you can discuss certain topics that are general about the movie. Then, when a crucial moment pops up, you can point out particular things that happening are on-screen.

  • After you record, edit, and create mp3 files and RSS feed URLS, you might want to add a description with instructions for your viewer. Explain what this is and what you want them to do. Make sure you are clear about the exact time that your listener needs to cue the film to and when to start the podcast, so that it matches. There's nothing more confusing than listening to someone react to something that's "happening on-screen" when it actually happens 2 seconds later.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you mess up, you can always go back and re-do stuff, but it's more natural if you keep a constant flow of chatter. If you need to stop, keep track of the exact time that you stopped, so that when you edit it later, you can have it pick up where you left off.
  • Experiment and have fun. This is the best way to develop your own natural voice.

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