If you haven't gotten a chance to watch Timothy Reckart's Oscar-nominated short film Head Over Heels, make some room for it in your day. It's a strange and sweet stop-motion story about two married people who have drifted apart so thoroughly, each thinks the other one lives upside down.
We featured Head Over Heels when it first appeared online, but after it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, it was placed behind a paywall. Now Reckart has re-released his short online so we get to enjoy it for free. And this time, it comes with bonus features.
On the one hand, the death of DVD is great, because the physical production of DVDs has been a barrier to entry for short filmmakers like me. On the other hand, what happened to special features? DVD special features are a big reason I got interested in working behind the scenes on films, and I consider it a big loss that streaming has replaced DVD without bringing along the expectation of additional material. So the idea is that this Head Over Heels website takes the best of both worlds, DVD and streaming, to make something like an "online DVD." And I'm kind of hoping more filmmakers, and someday Netflix, will do something like this!
Below, you can see one of those special features, the directors commentary. Over at the short's website, you can also listen to commentary on the musical score and learn about Reckart's storyboarding process — and how he decided which character would be right-side-up when.