King Kong Production Diaries (2004-2005)
Not Rated Universal | 180 min.

Review By: Christopher Bligh | January 28th, 2012

Plot: What’s it about?

In conjunction with the release of the big screen version of King Kong, director Peter Jackson did something that he did with his other film project, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He developed a website that could keep the fans in tune with current news during the making of the film. This idea spawned to even bigger heights when Jackson did a brief intro on day one of shooting rethinking that a bigger idea could be made of this which resulted in updates from some days and a variety of reports from the set via online video. This resulted in Peter Jackson’s King Kong Production Diaries.

From 2004 to the early part of 2005, production is active on the set and people going to the Kongisking.net website got a look each day that was 6-8 minutes each of what was being shot and what other activities were going on around the set of King Kong. Not all of these production diaries were geared towards what was going on in more cases it was different takes on what to cover. Some diaries took a comedic turn where some of the participants took a humorous chapter on a minor issue or in their case a major blow to their production day.

With all their variety, this viewer wishes he was on the bandwagon with the other webusers in observing the different diaries (I even was on the net when the first announcement of the LOTR trilogy trailer was debuted so this viewer should’ve been devoted better). Another great thing was that the crew and Jackson opened up possibilities with the webusers to e-mail ideas for future diaries and they were covered in the different areas of filmmaking making these diaries valuable for anyone to know the general area of filmmaking whether it’s editing or sound design or even revenge on the DVD crew. These also provided a good precursor for all to see before and even after viewing the updating of King Kong. Altogether, Jackson and the New Zealand bunch have cleverly transferred all their online activities into a set and their results are amazing and a great time capsule into the making of a great film.

Video: How does it look?

The Production Diaries are presented in the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and compared to being on the computer, there are no room for glitches or holdups on the connection for the result visually is very clear in digital video form and each one can be viewed in order, or divided in sections of the making of the film itself. Things are seen clearer with no evidence of video noise or distortion but overall for a transfer, the video look is exceptional on DVD.

Audio: How does it sound?

The stereo track is good throughout. There are no special audible effects or anything special. Just a regular stereo soundtrack with dialogue, activities going on during the making along with the occasional spill of music. The one great addition with the audio track are the inclusion of English subtitles which are most welcomed in certain spots when some stuff can’t be understood or the volume of the track lowers unexpectedly. Overall a decent track.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Aside from the fancy menus and the introduction by Peter Jackson on Disc 1, there isn’t much in terms of extras unless you count the case that it came in with a color pad and certificate of authenticity along with a case to store the pad 2 disc holder in. One wishes for a trailer either teaser or theatrical but given the recent history of Universal on DVD, this is a quality that no studio should lack in terms of releasing a DVD. Hopefully, when the feature comes out on DVD, this can be corrected.

In conclusion, hard work and fun come into play during the production of King Kong and the Production Diaries released on DVD are a real treat for anyone curious about the making of a picture and the different aspects to doing so along with the playfulness of all along the way showing even in the tightest of schedules, there’s always room for some fun.

Disc Features
  • (1.78:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • 2 Disc Set
King Kong Production Diaries

3.5
Video
Audio
Extras