Filmmaker Kevin Smith will provide a commentary track for the forthcoming animated miniseries event Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Smith, who began his career as part of the indie film boom of the early '90s, has over the course of his career provided some of the best arguments for the inclusion of filmmaker commentary tracks on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital home releases. Commentary tracks are feature-length audio tracks that can be laid over videos to give the viewer a real-time series of observations from the person or people most directly responsible for the movie, TV show, or short in question.
Smith announced the commentary tracks on Fatman Beyond with his co-host Marc Bernardin, who recently released the graphic novel Adora and the Distance. Bernardin, a writer on Masters of the Universe: Revelation, will join Smith in providing a commentary track for the episode he wrote.
"Me and Marc got together at my house...and we recorded a commentary track for Marc's episode of Masters of the Universe: Revelation," Smith told fans on the podcast, embedded above.. "It was a good time. Basically we're doing a little series called Masters of the Universe: Revelation Celebration, where we celebrate the writers of the show. Each episode, we do the commentary with a writer of the episode. Since Marc did 3, we sat down yesterday and did that. Tim Sheridan, who did four, came over and did that, and then next week, Diya [Mishra] who did episode two, and Eric [Carrasco] who did episode five will come over, and I sat solo for my episode one. But the rest of the time it was like me sitting there, chit-chatting."
Commentary tracks came to popularity following the release of laserdisc, the first format that was widely commercially available and featured digital transfers that could include multiple audio tracks. This is around the same time mainstream Hollywood movies started to get dubbed translations into non-English languages.
In the heyday of the DVD market, when Blockbuster and other video rental shops were prevalent enough to turn a flop into a hit -- something that Smith knows intimately. His 1995 comedy Mallrats was a box office disaster, but became a cult classic on VHS, and Smith -- along with members of the cast and crew -- recorded a commentary track for the film that some critics joked was funnier than the movie itself, given how well he, Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, and others bounced off one another. He would have a commentary track on the home releases of nearly all of his movies, until Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
In 2020, when everyone was desperate for new content at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith recorded "quarantinaries," commentary tracks for movies that he did not previously release one for.