A Q & A with Surrogates director Jonathan Mostow

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Much like the Terminator films, the sci-fi thriller Surrogates imagines a futuristic world taken over by machines. In fact, humans have become addicted to letting their surrogates do everything for them, whether it’s having sex or going to work. But when things begin to go haywire (as they always do in these kinds of flicks), a lone detective (Bruce Willis) has to take matters into his own hands and find out who is trying to take control of the surrogate technology. The film, which comes out tomorrow on DVD and Blu-ray, isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. The Blu-ray edition, for example, features “A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates,” a short documentary that suggests Surrogates has more in common with reality than you might think. Director Jonathan Mostow recently participated in a virtual roundtable discussion with reporters to discuss the film and answered questions submitted via a chat session. Here’s what he had to say.

I really enjoyed listening to your audio commentary on the DVD. Talk about your approach to it. You even kept talking even as the credits were rolling.
Thanks for the compliment. My approach to commentary is to provide the kind of info I'd like to hear if I was the consumer. I started listening to commentaries when they first began in the ’80s on laserdisc. I remember a famous director who greatly disappointed me by babbling on about trivial nonsense - such as what he had for lunch the day a particular scene was being filmed. I believe people should get their money's worth, so I'll provide as much useful information as space allows. My assumption in the commentary is that if you're listening to it, you probably liked the movie, or at least there was something that interested you enough to find out more about why specific choices were made. So I try to tailor my comments for that audience. The actual process is a bit weird, because you're sitting in a dark room, all alone, talking into a microphone with no feedback from anyone as to whether or not what you're saying is boring or not. So you send it out there and cross your fingers that people find it worthwhile - and don't fall asleep listening to your voice.