Bad News for Ed Fans

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Michael Martin, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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  2. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I am not a fan of the show. But, with such a recent show. Steps should have been taken when the music was originally secured to allow for a dvd release. [​IMG]
     
  3. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    It has become obvious that many producers don't think this way. They are "live for the moment" people who don't always care what happens to the property in a non-broadcast situation. Hence, music replacement on DVD sets is all-too-common.

    [Flogging a dead horse]: Producers have seen fit to dispense with hiring quality composers to write original underscore. Grab some canned pop song and stick it in the show. The fast and lazy way. Since the major studios now have financial interests in music companies, they think this pop-song-of-the-week is great cross promotion and encourage the practice. Down the road, these same studios whine about the cost of music clearances for DVD sets and offload modified DVD sets on the market...and many people can't wait to buy'em up.
     
  4. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    JeffWld, you claim to know a lot. But you are incorrect.

    "Grabbing pop songs" is neither fast nor lazy. It is much, much more difficult and time consuming than working with a composer. Negotiating for broadcast rights, sync rights, grand rights, domestic rights, rights in perpetuity... these things are endlessly time-consuming and infuriating. Frequently, they're done at the insistence of the network, which feels that hot songs will "juice" the ratings. Sometimes, the types of songs they demand simply cannot be licensed for non-broadcast in perpetuity. If you're a producer who wants the network to actually support and promote your show, you have little choice. If it doesn't get on the schedule and promoted, you were awfully silly to be worrying about future DVDs.

    Every producer I know -- every single one, bar none -- cares very, very deeply about his work, and wants it to be presented in the best way possible. You are very much mistaken to assume them to be cynical, lazy people who just shrug at these things.
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    As a huge fan of ED, I have to ask, was music THAT important to the show? I can hardly remember any songs in the show. So, even if they had to have music replacement, I don't see it as a problem.

    The only song I remember was in the Lucid Dreaming episode (best......episode.......ever) where they are at a dance, in the 80's, and a song is playing. Someone makes a comment about how the scene was supposed to be set in 1985 yet the song didn't come out in 1987. Great line, but that is the only song I can remember.

    As for the Foo Fighters theme song, that isn't a big loss if it has to be done.
     
  6. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike*SC:

    I never claimed to be an expert, but I did point out a trend that is very real and is present all over the industry.

    1. I can't buy your claims about the hard work involved in obtaining rights. It may result in more work for the legal and clerical staff, but it certainly isn't nearly as productive, creative or time-consuming as the production of original scores mapped out for a season of shows. I've written and arranged underscore for projects and will never agree with you that contract negotiations for canned music is equally hard work.

    2. The main point of my post was to point out that the industry (not just producers) have moved to pushing other agendas apart from the integrity of the product. In the case of music, cross-promotion agendas that satisfy both corporate and network requests ultimately lead to other consequences down the line. It is this limited agenda that is the "live-for-the moment" and ultimately lazy/easy way to market the product in the short term [emphasis added].

    It makes little difference how passionate a producer may be about their work if interference from networks or studios ultimately prevail. If you re-read my post you will notice that I put the highest volume of blame on the studios and characterized it as a systemic industry practice, and not solely a producer's doing. In the end, DVD consumers get the fallout.
     
  7. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Second Unit

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    Much of it, sure. Sure, there were plenty of songs used as background music in the bowling alley and other places that may not be deemed as "important", but I alwasy felt captured the spirit of the scene perfectly.

    I can't imagine watching Mike's "Dr. Handsome" commercial without hearing Blur. That was one of the funniest moments of the series for me.

    Ed lip syncs to Peter Cetera ("You're the Inspiration") in a video he makes for Carol early in season 1.

    There's an episode where members of the cast sing "We Built This City" twice.

    There's a list of alot of the music (it doesn't look like all of it) at http://www.stuckeyville.com/show/lists.asp?action=songs

    I could live with them doing something similar to Roswell where they deem which songs are critical and make an effort to keep those. I just think that list may be larger for Ed than it was for Roswell.
     
  8. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Damn shame that the show seems to be held up. It's one of the few shows my wife can't wait for. She's going to be disappointed.
     
  9. MaraKM

    MaraKM Stunt Coordinator

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    They lost a lot of critical songs from Roswell, as far as I'm concerned, so be careful what you wish for. The only 'critical' songs they managed to hang onto seem to be the same ones they used on the soundtrack album or the ones that were cheap enough. Heck, they replaced Beth Orton's "She Cries Your Name" from the episode "Cry Your Name".
     
  10. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    JeffWld:

    Certainly, for a composer (such as yourself), writing underscore is more time consuming than needle-drops. But not from a producer's point of view (or, at least, from one who trusts his composer). A producer will instruct a composer on what sort of thing he wants, or ask for a few options, and then he'll hear it at the final playback and pick what he likes. Sure, lawyers or music clearance people (and not producers) spend the time seeking rights and negotiating such things. But generally the situation winds up being making a list of potentially usable songs, seeing what clears, sometimes (okay, not that often) recutting a sequence to better fit a song that did clear vs. one that didn't, etc. I would never claim that every song clearance instance is harder work than any original scoring. But it sure as hell often is.

    And for the record (there is a record, right?), I generally prefer original scoring to the use of songs. Too often, the latter is obvious and hackneyed. But that's an aesthetic issue, not a production one.

    One more thing: it is not uncommon for a network to demand a song be pasted atop a scene (either as "score" or source music) where the producers/director/writers had preferred original scoring or even (my god!) silence. If that song is deleted for a DVD release, is it somehow less true to creators' original vision than what happened to air first?
     
  11. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Reading Mike*SC's posts helps illuminate this situation, but I agree. It's a bit mind-boggling to think that a show that BEGAN in 2000 didn't think to negotiate the rights to use the songs if the show is released to a home video format.

    And even if the argument is made that TV shows on DVD didn't take off or become obvious releases until that year (when X-Files proved that there was a lucrative market for TV shows on DVD), you'd think they would have negotiated the right to use the songs from season 2 onward.

    There are only a few songs I would call "critical" to keep for the series Ed, though. The Foo Fighters song, used for the credits during seasons 1, 3, and 4 is a must; I'd even argue to use it for the season 2 DVDs and junk that awful song they used that year. Other than that, there might be a couple of songs that were great matches, but I have to say that otherwise, go ahead and replace them with something else. Frankly, I was never crazy about the choices the producers/directors/whomever made about songs to be used during the episode. With few exceptions, none stuck with me or brought something more to a scene.
     
  12. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    Too much boggling can damage your mind, so I'll take a stab. I'm sure that somebody did think to do it. But when you're negotiating with a difficult label/musician/whomever and there's an air date bearing down on you, you do what you can.

    In this specific case (which I have no inside knowledge of, mind you), nobody at "Ed" was as concerned with potential (and, then, unlikely) DVD releases years away as they were with getting the episodes on the air.
     
  13. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    What a shame. There's a good chance I would blind buy Ed on DVD. Sure, they play reruns on TBS, but I can't really be bothered with syndication these days...
     
  14. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    But up until at least 2002 (when Friends and other general audience pleasers began their releases), TV-DVD was still considered more of an area for niche viewers, such as the large and loyal fanbase for the X-Files.
     
  15. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Was it just 2002 when Friends started coming out on DVD? Thought it was a year or two before that...

    You and Mike*SC make valid points. It's just frustrating that the realities of the business as well as the show being in production on the cusp of the TV-shows-on-DVD explosion are preventing a release. It's especially frustrating given the releases of other shows that use a lot of music - West Wing, ER, Moonlighting, and more.
     
  16. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    I've just moved ahead and transferred my set of S-VHS Paramount feed masters to DVD. If "Ed" ever did come out, it almost certainly would have certain changes.
     
  17. Eric_Bee

    Eric_Bee Stunt Coordinator

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    But the irony is that if scenes on the Ed DVDs have music replacement, those scenes might actually be more enjoyable on the syndicated TV run, which presumably will not have music replacements. And if the scene on the syndication version happens to run uncut in content, that portion of the episode will certainly be more enjoyable than a DVD scene with replaced music.
     
  18. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I agree. While I don't have masters from the Paramount feed, I just transferred all of my S-VHS masters from the NBC broadcasts and they look great. Why there should be all of this hubub about a show this recent I really don't understand. It's not like it ran 30 or 40 years ago when there were no home recording options. Home recording has been available for over 25 years now and its been affordable for at least half that time.

    And by the way, I could do without either of the theme songs, which I thought were abominable. That may have been the only thing I didn't like about the show, the poor choices of all of that alt-rock "music".
     
  19. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I think the musical choices on Ed were very important to the scenes and substituting songs would take the emotional impact out them.

    "Yellow" from Last Chance
    "Forgiveness" from Exceptions
    "Chinese Apple" from The Decision
    "Amateur" from the wedding shower scene
    Friendly Ghost from Therapy
    "My Little Corner of the World" from the final show
    "At Last" from Prom Night
    Question" from The Proposal

    Gosh, I could go on and on. [​IMG] Of course I am on my fourth viewing of the entire series, so I tend to notice these things!
     
  20. Jim_Chamberlin

    Jim_Chamberlin Auditioning

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    I enjoyed a lot of the music that the producers chose. Ed is on my very short list of "must-haves,", so it's disappointing to see that this is still being held up by music rights.


    It was also disappointing that the show is no longer in syndication in the U.S. TBS replaced it with Becker, which is a show I also love, but I'd like to see Ed come back for a few more runs.
     

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