Extra scenes in the text credits – are they tasty Easter eggs or just annoying?
This is the first frequently asked question to be posted at the IMDb page of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Please observe that the question is put in plural. You can’t be too careful these days.
Without any proof of it, I have the feeling that extra scenes have become more common over the years. And there are more of them in every movie. You can’t be certain there’s just one extra scene and that you’ve seen all when you’re through it. There might very well be another one around the corner that you don’t want to miss out.
Not missing out is crucial. If you once or twice have experienced the humiliation of discussing the movie with your friends only to found out that you left the theat5re too early, you don’t want to do that again.
Theatre visits nowadays requires careful research in advance. Is there one extra scene? Two? Maybe as many as three?
There’s nothing that can surprise me anymore. For all I know they could very well let the screen go all black, turning on the lights for a few minutes to wait for the clueless people to leave. And then, when they would be absolutely certain that only the geekiest of the geeky still were around in the theatre, would they turn on the film again, treating them with yet another shot. The ultimate post-post-post extra, the special nod that only True Fans deserve.
The alternative to do your homework is to wait it out. Better safe than sorry. Hang around in the theatre, pick your teeth, rub your nose until every single person involved in the film production down to the boy who refills the coffee machine has had the pleasure to see their name on a big screen. Then, and only then, can you rise up and leave at your own risk.
The problem with this is that not all theatres are keen on having you hanging around. They’re in a hurry to clean up the worst mess and people in for the next screening.
In some theatres they’ll turn up the light as soon as the first name rolls over the screen. This will make leave their seats even quicker, and you can bet that those early leavers will end up standing right in front of your seat, taking up half of the screen while they frenetically check their cell phones to see what they’ve missed during their two hour absence from social media.
Even if you try hard to stay calm and sit through all the names to see what’s hidden in the very end, it might be a so-and-so experience due to all that is going on around you.
I’m not an advocator of piracy on the web, but if there’s any circumstance where I think it’s justified to put out films on the web for others to see, it’s in situations like this. I don’t encourage anyone to upload the entire movie, because I think it’s wrong. But if you share the extras, I won’t argue against it. After all it means that you save the day for a whole bunch of unhappy theatre visitors who paid to see the entire movie but who left the cinema too early since they had no idea that they should have waited it out.
Easter egg or annoyance?
So what’s my personal view on extras? Is it a nay or a yay?
Well, there’s no doubt that extras causes a bit of annoyance, most recently in The Avengers. All of a sudden people on the net were discussing something about “shawarma” in connection to the text credits and I had no idea of what that was referring to. For a moment I speculated on if that was some extra terrestrial life form, since I had seen something relating to this, but finally I found out the truth: it had to do with food. However, since I live inEurope, I hadn’t seen it. Only the North American audience got to see this extra-extra scene. Bummer.
On the other hand, believe it or not after all this whining, I’m also sucker for extras during the text credits. I freaking love it, as much as I love to get a little surprise “on the house” in restaurants (as long as it’s more creative than a fortune cookie or a piece of mint candy).
It often feels as if the filmmakers finally are allowed to relax when they come to the extras, getting sillier and more creative at the same time. Even such a simple thing as photos of what “happened next” is enough to amuse me. I still remember how much I enjoyed the images in the end of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Duckface marrying someone you might not have expected, accompanied by some real up-beat music. I loved the bloopers that Pixar included in some movies such as A Bug’s Life. I would even go as far as to say that there are cases where the extra scene during the text credits is one of the best things about the entire film, such as in Super 8.
We’re talking about Easter eggs here. And what it boils down to is that they’re wonderful as long as you get one. The moment you’re not included, you’ll think of them as annoying.
What I wish for
I wouldn’t want the extra scenes to go away. But if I could ask for something, I wish that the film distributors could make sure to inform the theatres about their existence. Just tell them to keep the lights off at least until the extra scenes are over. It would work as a gentle signal to the theatre audience that they shouldn’t hurry so much to leave their seats, that there might be more to come.
And to all of you film fans who are active on the webs, be it forums, blogs, Twitter or IMDb: keep spreading the word when there are extras worth waiting for!
Don’t reveal the content. We don’t need it to be spoiled to us. But just let as know when we need to stay. Sharing the eggs with others won’t make them less delicious.