Conversations with Twilight Time's Nick Redman (UPDATED New Interview 9/8/13)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Thought I would share this fascinating new interview with Twilight Time's Nick Redman.

    I say fascinating, because it gives insight into the past and current state of Blu-ray and DVD distribution.

    Click Here For The Interview

    UPDATE 9/8/13

    New Audio Interview with Nick Redman:

    DICK DINMAN SAYS: "NO TROUBLE WITH TWILIGHT TIME!": A recent mean-spirited, spectacularly irresponsible and unjustly negative website article about the practices of much loved boutique Blu-ray classic film label Twilight Time proves conclusively that even such a highly praised home video outfit as this is not immune to the "grumblings and criticisms" of certain ill-informed individuals and Oscar-nominated writer, producer, director and co-founder of Twilight Time Nick Redman rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman to address these bogus "issues" and set the record straight once and for all.
     
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  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Glad you put the link to this interview here, Ron. Someone sent me the link last night, and I read it then. Certainly gives fascinating information on Nick's background and thorough involvement in a particular branch of show business that we can all reap the benefits from.
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Just read it. An excellent interview with one of our most admired people on one of our favorite subjects. Thanks!
     
  4. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I also thank you for the link. A fascinating interview. Nick Redman clearly views blu-ray as a premium product and I am anticipating that more of the titles I want will come from TT. I would like to see a deal with Warners for TT to distribute their musicals, film noir and Paramount VistaVision titles. And if you read this Nick, what about some sets, starting with the Michael Shayne films.
     
  5. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Great interview. Shines some light on the evaporating nature of bonus features as well.
     
  6. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Great interview, and a great sign that even though most of the larger studios are losing interest in releasing catalog titles on home video themselves they are generally taking care of their libraries and are willing to license out them out 3rd party for video distribution as long as there is a viable business plan. Which is good news for those of us who want to own film collections on video, even if the niche status makes it a bit pricier.

    Also, for the record, I had no intention of "chopping anyone off at the knee" when I posted the stats of Warner's (and Fox's) catalog releases. I'm just saying facts are facts, and Warner has released about the same amount of catalog titles for several years running now (they've averaged 64.4 new-to-Blu catalog releases a year since 2009, with their highest output of 73 coming in 2012, which is well after people have criticized them for reducing their output).

    As for which titles count or don't count as "catalog" - I personally don't care to buy Jason X either, but it's a decade old and getting a new Blu-ray release, and therefore is a catalog title. I would rather see Warner release, say, The Sea Hawk on Blu-ray, but I know I am probably in the minority when it comes to general consumer interests on that one vs. a 10-year-old film in a popular horror series. Which is why I will be buying The Big Parade, for example - to support releases I am interested in.
     
  7. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Well one way or another it looks like they'll be lots of catalogue releases next year. The boutique labels & studio releases, lots of interesting titles, hopefully lots of sixties stuff as well.
     
  8. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Not here.
     
  9. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    I'm not so sure about that Cinescott. True, the Studios seem to be pulling back on commissioning expen$ive new features for catalogue titles, but just about all* of the cottage labels (Shout!, Twilight Time, Arrow overseas, etc.) appear to be picking up at least some of that slack. The way I see this unfolding, as more of these micro-targeted cottage labels become strategic funnels for whatever niche market remains for deep catalogue titles on Blu-ray and DVD, I suspect the Studios will continue relaxing their 'No Extras' licensing restrictions.

    Actually I chuckle whenever I read yet another autopilot post referring to TT's Blu-rays as "barebones". Evidently those rather befuddled souls simply haven't been paying attention...their apoplexia over TT's price point apparently now totally clouding their vision and inhibiting basic reading comprehension skills. I mean, these days (especially since the beginning of 2013), TT's releases have included an increasing number of both ported and original features, in addition to the already considerable value-add provided by their unrivalled library of movie ISTs.

    Just look at The Disappearance, for one recent example...we get two complete versions of the film, including the director's original cut...plus a nearly 16 minute excerpt from the original botched studio cut...plus a 10 minute interview with the director (produced by TT)...plus their usual rare IST and sassy/savvy 8-page liner essay. For any dedicated film fan and collector, by what reasonable standard could a thoughtful package like that be considered "barebones"...especially for such an obscure previously MIA title? Heck, among TT's other 2013 Blu-ray releases I count 9 of them (so far) which include Audio Commentaries! So there seems to be this fundamental disconnect between the tribal anti-TT drumline and this label's actual output.

    I see growth in features, not retrenchment. Just not coming from the Studios as much, if at all.

    * except for Olive, which seems to be paring back all features, even trailers.
     
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  10. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Thanks Ron!
     
  11. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Not the minority here with that opinion? Certainly true that this forum leans towards deeper catalog interests. I'm talking about the market as a whole beyond the message boards, though.
     
  12. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    My intended point was to illustrate Mr. Redman's own observations that the "cottage industry" of bonus feature production for home video seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur, except for a few minor exceptions.

    I have some TT titles and those have exceptional transfers, commentaries, and isolated scores. All great features, but none new, except for the scores, which can't be too expensive to produce if given the rights.

    If runs of 3,000 units are the limit for TT (and that appears to be the model), then I can't imagine too much being spent on new bonus features, or there'll be no profit to be had. Are many directors going to be recording new commentary tracks for such short runs? I doubt it.

    I applaud TT's business model, however, and that fact that I'd rather have a short run of some titles than none at all. For what they do, $29.95 is a fair price point and one I am willing to pay for what studios describe as "niche" titles.

    I am pleased that Sony/Columbia at least doesn't appear to have an issue with TT porting previous features.
     
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  13. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    I must have untold hours of those "cottage industry"-produced DVD special features by now, and the vast majority are cookie-cutter assemblages of the same kind of thing: sound-byte snippets of talking heads edited together phrase-by-phrase to express the most obvious, superficial and familiar sentiments, interspersed with numerous clips of the film we've just seen, present-day celebrities gushing about how much they love film X or star Y, descendents of actors and directors who seem to know nothing more about their famous relatives than what you can easily find in standard references as well as all over the Web. If there are actual authoritative film historians on board, again, anything they say is given the snip-cut-paste treatment. No serious insight, nothing delved into with anything approaching depth. Really, most of these features don't rise above what you'd expect from a student essay assembled from Wikipedia and the IMDb. If I've watched them at all, it was with eyes rolling, and I've never been tempted to go back. With very few exceptions, I don't miss made-for-disc special features at all.
     
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  14. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    I completely agree. I'm not mourning this trend at all. If I have a great hi-def transfer and a couple of meaningful features such as a commentary and an isolated score, I'm happy.

    If the commentary is ported from the DVD, that's fine.
     
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  15. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    First of all, a qualification Cinescott; most of my comments were simply springboard thoughts from your post and more generalized than they probably read, given my use of "quotes"...I certainly didn't mean to imply that I was directly disputing what you said, or that I have some special insight into what any of these cottage labels might be planning for future releases. They all have unique challenges which will no doubt affect what they can produce or acquire, or what extent of value-add content they can realistically afford to include...when...or how.

    But when you have folks with the collective production experience and movie history savvy of a Nick Redman, a Brian Jamieson, or a Julie Kirgo, nothing would surprise me. So that recent out-of-nowhere inclusion of exclusive TT-produced content for The Disappearance might be (hopefully is) a harbinger of more to come??? I think if anyone can get the studios to bend on the creation of such features for licensed product, these guys have a decent shot at it (à la Criterion). I mean, geeeez...at this late date, how many audio commentaries have they collectively participated in? More importantly, how many trusted relationships have they forged within the industry to help them if they choose to add exclusive content? They certainly seem to have no problem convincing above the line talent to lend a hand (literally) for all those promo signings. Implicit in that interview was their wealth of industry goodwill, which my gut tells me they'll find some way to leverage...heck, just about everything else about this label has flown in the face of conventional logic...so "Why not?" ;)

    My abiding point was not about anything that TT, Shout! or the others are specifically doing or planning, but rather that Studio retrenchment has created a 'feature gap'...but perhaps also an opportunity. It just remains to be seen how creative all the players will be about filling it as the Blu-ray catalogue market matures...niche though it may remain.
     
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  16. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Good interview! I've yet to buy anything from Twilight Time. I'm one of those guys that find them too pricey at about $35 per title after shipping. As of yet, they haven't released anything that I consider a must buy. This could change with their MGM/UA deal though. Will they be the ones to finally bring The Lion in Winter to Blu-ray?
     
  17. sleroi

    sleroi Stunt Coordinator

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    I enjoyed the interview, and I certainly understand the 3,000 unit philosophy in general. But I don't see the benefit of strict adherence. As was stated, certain titles essentially pay for all of the others. So if a title were to sell out almost immediately, which he seemed excited about, and if the studios have no intent of releasing said titles, then what would be the harm in licensing another 1000 units, over and over until sales stopped? The recent bits rant theorized that then people wouldn't commit to purchasing if they knew eventually it would be re-released, and sales would plummet. i don't buy it. I would think if you are relying on heavy sales of some titles to subsidize others, one would devise a criteria to maximize sales of the most popular titles.
     
  18. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    We've yet to have the 3 year period lapse on any titles. Maybe new runs of sold out titles will occur then.Sent from my VS920 4G using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    That's certainly what I'm hoping for in the case of a couple of titles.
     
  20. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    Not sure why this needs to keep coming up. I agree with the notion that it completely undermines the supposed "collector" nature of a limited edition if it's not really limited. "We'll just keep printing more in 1,000 batches" simply translates into "We're charging you a premium price for something that's not limited, and will never really run out". People will delay purchasing, that I can guarantee. And just the opposite occurs when the word goes out that only a few hundred copies are left: people suddenly rush to snap up the remaining copies.

    The one thing we should take away from the interview is that Nick and his team know what they're doing, they know the market well.
     

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