Previously I have spoken about deleted and alternate scenes ( http://www.batteredspleenproductions.com/knowbase/deleted_scenes.php ) for movies, and working up their literary equivalents to expand and alter the reading experience of a novel. There is another similar topic that I wanted to cover today. It has the same effect as the deleted and alternate scenes but works from the other direction–or at least it can. I’m talking about ancillary materials. Some of them work as teasers and precursors to a movie. They can provide background that deepens the experience–they cause their tension by creating anticipation and hype for the movie ahead of time. One of the prime examples is the plethora of extra material that appeared online and off in advance of the release of The Blair Witch Project. It included interviews and faux documentary pieces. They were not necessary to understanding the movie, but they did fill out the background, the history.
Sometimes the connection between these ancillary materials and the movie are less tenuous. The mini-episodes of Gotham Tonight on The Dark Knight DVD are a good example. They introduced some characters, carefully skimmed subplots, and ran slightly into events in the movie. They were entirely superfluous, but a nice addition. They might have stood up better watching them afterward. As for using these same methods for writing the ideas are the same. Add to the main attraction. Make sure understanding the book does not require these materials–just that they enhance the experience. Do not create spoilers, but create hype for the book. Consider some that will be consumed after the book, maybe even on a continuing basis. They do not need to be in the same format. They could be audio, they could be art, they could be documentary or news clips.
Music: Time, What is Time by Blind Guardian.