Warner Chat Thoughts

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Keith Yatsuhashi, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I'd like to see if HTF can go back to Warner & get an answer on this exchange:
    quote: Q (Chad Ferguson): I was just wondering if there any chance of a release for Wyatt Earp? Perphaps the Directors cut? I would just like to say great job on your first release of DTS titles, keep them coming, and awesome, awesome job on the Oliver Stone set! It's great to know that you guys are willing to support such a great director! Thanks.
    A (Warner): Appreciate the kind words.
    [/quote]
    I don't think they deliberately ducked the question - it just got lost in all the words following.
    I was very pleased to see this:
    quote: ...but believe us when we say that the DVD debut of Looney Tunes is an ongoing concern of WHV and indeed a passion among a few staffers. Be patient.[/quote]
    To me, the most interesting statement of the whole chat was:
    quote: Sadly, VHS is still considered a bellwether among Marketers. But things will change over time, he said wistfully.[/quote]
    Reading between the lines, it sounds like the DVD folks are still a little hamstrung by "non-believers" in the WHV hierarchy.
    The only title I would have liked to seen addressed that wasn't is Chariots Of Fire. I don't think this one has ever been released in its OAR.
    ------------------
    Too many DVDs, too little time...
    AFI 100 Challenge - 36 to go!
    [Edited last by Craig S on October 17, 2001 at 11:23 AM]
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    It's no wonder why we have such a difficult time
    booking live chats with studios.
    You guys rip 'em apart the next day.
    Look....
    First of all, I rarely saw one post here that
    thanked the studio for participating in this chat.
    They didn't have to do it, and quite frankly, I
    never thought in my wildest dreams that Warner
    WOULD -- especially due to personal problems we
    had with them in the past (but have been resolved).
    Then you guys complain about the questions that
    were asked. Don't you think that the questions
    asked were important to the people that asked them?
    Not everyone has obscure tastes in film.
    The fact is, we took the number of questions that
    could have been asked in the 1:45 time we had with
    Warner, and what was asked was important to the
    people that asked them.
    ...and I think that South Park is a very important
    issue. There are many fans here who are upset as
    I am as to how the studio has been releasing the
    series domestically.
    Was Warner Brothers a bit short and blunt in
    answers? Yes, they were. So what? To be honest,
    I am sure there is a lot the studio cannot tell you.
    Some studios like Fox and Anchor Bay will tell us
    everything in these live chats. Others, like
    Paramount and Warner will be more cautious
    in what they say because they want to talk about
    this stuff when the time is right.
    Let's be thankful the studio talked to us. Some
    of you expect far too much and then make life
    difficult for us by posting so much negativity
    that studios are afraid to do these things again.
    Lastly....
    As Moderator of these chats it is not my job to
    force information out of a studio or to try to nab
    them when I think they are skirting issues. My
    job is to Moderate and keep this chat professional.
    If something they answer is vague, I will often
    ask them to elaborate. If I see there is something
    they would rather not talk about, I leave it alone.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
    All forum questions & to get on our private forum mailing list (new members)... Email: hometheaterforum@home.com
    Problems with the webpage or site? Contact WEBMASTER
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  3. Duncan Harvey

    Duncan Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    re the Wyatt Earp question - I found myself adopting a Jim Garrison pose when reading the Warren commision transcripts - answer the question!!
    I'm sorry but far too many of these chats are done in a manner in which the studio reps are treated as gods who have condescended to talk to us the unwashed masses, and hence we get grovelling thankyou's for non answers.
    If only every studio had a Peter Staddon!
     
  4. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I came away with mixed feelings. I'm happy that they are planning to release catalog titles such as Klute, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Adventures of Robin Hood, The Women, Bringing Up Baby, The Bad & The Beautiful & others. I hope this increase in releasing their catalog titles is a permanent change in policy.
    I'm also happy to hear about the director's cut of Nightbreed, & the possible DVD release of Once Upon a Time in America & the Scorcese SE's.
    I'm disappointed in their answers regarding OAR. In fact their answers make me very nervous. I was particularly upset by their comments on re-releasing their full frame DVD titles. "Is there a demand"?
    I was also a little disappointed in their response to the RKO library titles, especially the Val Lewton films. I have the laser box set of these films & they look very nice. I guess I should be happy that I have that. From their answers, we won't be seeing many of these RKO titles on DVD for a long time.
    Seeing how Warner was on top of my s--t list, I do have a better outlook on them overall, at least when it comes to their approach on catalog titles. Thank you for coming Warner. You made a better impression of your company on my DVD obsessed mind.
    [Edited last by Jay E on October 17, 2001 at 11:46 AM]
    [Edited last by Jay E on October 17, 2001 at 12:10 PM]
     
  5. Dan M~

    Dan M~ Second Unit

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    May I make a suggestion on how these chats are conducted. The big problem seems to be "time". Maybe future chats can be set up so the Studios get a list of questions/topics ahead of time. This list could be a simple thread started a few days ahead of time titled "*** OFFICIAL THREAD *** Questions for the Warner Chat". The studio could be directed to the thread and have time to prepare answers to the more common questions. The Chat could possibly start with a prepared text that would answer these questions. Then the members could ask for more info or clearify any missunderstandings during the live portion.
    Just a thought...
    -Dan M.
    ------------------
    -Dan M~
    My Small Collection
     
  6. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I'm glad to see Warners is release "50" catalog titles next year - That's a lot of titles.
    I'm in the minority - I buy classics/catalog titles (they've held up over the years) but, with few exceptions, rent recent films (many are only worth viewing once or become dated quickly)
     
  7. Dan M~

    Dan M~ Second Unit

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    Sorry... Double Post.
    [Edited last by Dan M~ on October 17, 2001 at 02:54 PM]
     
  8. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I'm glad to see Warners is release "50" catalog titles next year - That's a lot of titles.
    I'm in the minority - I buy classics/catalog titles (they've held up over the years) but, with few exceptions, rent recent films (many are only worth viewing once or become dated quickly)
     
  9. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I couldn't be there (last minute meeting), but I was rather surprised that no one here (am I the only one???) asked about FIREFOX !
    I will extend a kudos to Ron Epstein for pulling a last minute question on a series that was also numbers 2 and 3 on my list of wants (Any/Every Which way series). At least there's some good news.
    And Thanks to the crew at Warner for taking the time to do these Q&A sessions, very much appreciated
    -Brian
     
  10. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  12. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    There seemed to be a lot of repetition in the transcript and the occasional dingbat question (what was with that guy's rant about South Park and what was he smoking?). Surprised The Omega Man didn't show up at all.
    Couldn't make the chat, alas, because of work.
     
  13. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I'm very pleased that WB is considering a couple of Astaire/Rogers musicals for remastering, plus giving a cautious interest in THE HAUNTING (1963) in 2002. Also, committing to a major upgrade of ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) for 2003 is nothing to ignore either. The vault isn't quite as locked up as I thought. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by BarryR on October 17, 2001 at 03:38 PM]
     
  14. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    I was very impressed with this chat, with the speed of the questions answered and the speed that the warner bunch replied with.
    since the question was quoted with a reference to Warner not answering the question, here is the question with their answer.
    [Chad_Ferguson] I was just wondering if there any chance of a release for Wyatt Earp? Perphaps the Directors cut? I would just like to say great job on your first release of DTS titles, keep them coming, and awesome, awesome job on the Oliver Stone set! It's great to know that you guys are willing to support such a great director! Thanks. Done
    [Warner] Appreciate the kind words. DONE
    [Warner] WYATT EARP is being considered (needs new transfer, too). DONE
    by my count I get ~60 question & answers in the 105 minutes of the chat, thats a question and answer every 1.75 minutes (including the time taken to do the YO's).
    That is a great rate and knocks the socks off of many chats I have been to.
    well done Warner.
     
  15. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    I'm a little surprised at all the negative comments in this thread. From the transcript, I thought the chat went great. Warner seemed much less machine-like this time 'round. Some of you may be new and not remember the plethora of "that is a good suggestion and we will consider it" stock phrases of chats past. I thought Warner's replies showed definite signs of encouragement.
    In particular I was pleased with:
    The Hammer Horror news;
    The Looney Tunes news;
    50 Catalogue Titles a'comin';
    ...including The Adventures of Robin Hood and Top Hat, and of course Clash of the Titans;
    That B5 DVD will be judged on the initial release (good news because "In the Beginning" is one of the best)
    V:The Final Battle next summer;
    Finally, some rereleases of really old DVDs, particularly Robin Hood POT SE & Amadeus.
    I was disappointed with:
    Warner's take on open-matte for comedies (hello?! We want theatrical OAR, anamorphic enhancement on widescreen for all film genres!)
    Warner's attitude to audio differences on lower-bit rate (somebody there needs to buy themselves a decent amp [​IMG] ).
    But overall, a good chat. Seems to me that we have at least a few people over at Warner on our side. [​IMG]
     
  16. Mark McLeod

    Mark McLeod Second Unit

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    I'm glad they took the time to chat with us but I too was a bit disapointed with the answer I received to my question. I asked about the underrated but critcially well reviewed movie "8 Days A Week". Basically i just asked if there were any plans to release it and their answer was along the lines of "Not at this time".
    As for them taking VHS sales into effect as to what to release. I haven't bought a VHS tape since I got into DVD with the exception of TPM which I tried to watch but stopped 2 minutes in after I couldn't take the lack of video quality. It doesn't matter what title it is, I won't buy or rent a VHS tape period.
     
  17. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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    I was also hoping for some word on INNERSPACE, but I won't complain since the # 1 most wanted film on my list of unreleased titles got a mention -- Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING! I almost peed my pants when I read that it was being looked into for 2002 release! [​IMG] I know that means it's a big maybe but that's better than the abysmal silence that has greeted requests for it in the past.
    Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease release THE HAUNTING!
    (oh, and thanks for doing the chat... [​IMG] )
     
  18. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    I'm at a loss to understand the negative responses I've read to last night's chat.
    Warner's reps were forthcoming, gave you plenty to look forward to, and didn't sugar-coat their responses.
    The resentment seems to come from an unrealistic expectation that a studio's mission is to educate its consumers as to the best way to see a film (be it OAR, higher bit-rates, DTS, longer cuts for Superman II, etc.).
    As I believe Warner made quite clear in its candid responses, its decisions are driven by its marketing research and sales data. That's the way it is -- and are you really surprised?
    You may think they're making the wrong choices --- that's understandable (and, to a large extent, I agree with the complaints). But Warners isn't AFI -- it's a profit-making entity that'll make its choices based on what all of its consumers -- not just the really cool ones -- want.
    You can say that if Warners were more long-term minded, they'd actually be making more $$$ with the positions this Forum advocates. Maybe so. Frankly, I don't know enough to say that that's right.
    Warner may be (I'm sure it is) filled with people with the same enthusiasm and passion for film that you have. That just may not play into the business decisions they make on a day-to-day basis. I know that my own personal view don't always coincide with the obligations of my job, and I bet you can say the same thing about your own situation.
    Look -- what I want from a chat like this is (a) info on upcoming releases, and (b) insight into the company's decision making. We got both of those, in abundance, last night.
    Thanks to Ron for putting this chat (and all others) together.
    [Edited last by Stu Rosen on October 17, 2001 at 04:31 PM]
     
  19. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The news about the vault doors opening a little was certainly welcome. I'm still not at all satisfied with the answer to my licensing question (they essentially said, we think the movies will make money, we're just waiting for the right time to release them....which is when??? When DVD is about to be replaced by another format???).
    But I have to say I was utterly appalled by the sentiment that, well of course comedies will be P&S you dunderheads, that's how god intended them. Where the hell does that come from??? The family oriented survey marketers, I guess.
    Anyway, thanks to Warner for facing the angry masses (who turned out not to be all that angry after all, except the fellow who said "Bad Warner!" [​IMG] And thanks to Ron for actually letting me ask a question even though my vitriol for WB is legendary. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    "This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
     
  20. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    I too will throw my two cents in and thank the folks at WB for stopping by to chat. I certainly don't agree with them on everything, but for them to even grant a chat with a bunch of netizens is cool and thank-worthy.
    So thanks Warners, now go iron out that OAR problem [​IMG]. Mind you, since Osmosis Jones is coming out in OAR and they said they'll be releasing the uncut verion of the Batman Beyond movie next year, I've already got pretty much everything I wanted from them [​IMG].
    ------------------
    Mark Evans
    Low Rent Movie Critic, Low Rent Home Theater Owner, Low Rent Everything
     

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