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Coming Soon From Olive Films

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MisterLime, May 26, 2011.

  1. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    Not letting them rot, and what elements exist to work with are two different things as well.

    I heard for years that the studio held few original camera negatives for the pre-1948 Paramounts, if any, not sure if that was 100% correct or not.
     
  2. Camps

    Camps Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for replying, Mike. I'm grateful to have drawn the attention of someone who has a direct pipeline to Universal (even if not the Home Entertainment Div.). I use "rot" figuratively of course; I understand Universal has preservationists serving as stewards of the library.

    But to what end? There are countless titles in their library -- especially classic Paramounts (I'm thinking for example of 1940's "The Mad Doctor" and 1944's "The Man in Half Moon Street") -- that never have seen the light of day on any home vid format nor (in recent memory) even TV. Are we to believe the prints on these titles are so mediocre that the 16mm bootlegs are as good as classic film fans should expect?

    What's the point of not exploiting these titles if they are in at least "acceptable" condition?

    Or are a great many of these titles tied up in "rights hell"? Would be nice to know one way or the other...
     
  3. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    What's the point of not exploiting them? Demand and interest is too low to warrant the effort and expense of preparing them for release.Universal doesn't have a vault/MOD/streaming program that would be useful for these titles like WB and Sony do.
     
  4. williampl7@aol.com

    williampl7@aol.com Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm really rooting for the Universal Vault Series, that maybe someday we can see those rarities from both the Universal and Paramount libraries. Been quite pleased with the titles I purchased so far.
     
  5. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    There has to be a list someplace of which Paramount films were in in the original MCA-TV Syndication packages in the 1950's and 1960's when they were released to tv,and which were not for whatever reason
     
  6. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    You just answered your own question.

    If you notice, the Vault Series titles they have put out,and the titles through TCM, are all the high-profile ones that would have more demand than the average B-Paramount or B-Universal.
     
  7. Seanhtf

    Seanhtf Extra

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    I have lists of the 1929-1949 Paramount titles that were sold to MCA, based on Copyright Office Assignment Documents. Is there a specific title you were wondering about? I can tell you that MCA didn't get the Hopalong Cassidy pictures, the Pine-Thomas productions, the Bulldog Drummonds, and a number of westerns based on Zane Grey books. There are other Paramount titles that were withheld from the MCA sale for one reason or another.
     
  8. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Actually it does: The Universal Vault MOD line. Trouble is it is woefully underused and sometimes Universal resorts to VHS-era transfers. Yet something they could easily remedy if they put any effort in emulating Sony and WB's successes.

    There is also another ripe venue for there films on home video: sub-licensing. Outfits like Olive Films and Twilight Time do wonders in releasing niche material, as does existing partners like TCM. If Universal Home Video has zero interest in releasing them, why not loan them out?
     
  9. Camps

    Camps Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes. Thanks, Joe. And that's all I'm saying. For some four years now, Universal Home Entertainment's apologists have been claiming Uni simply has been exercising good business judgment in not exploiting its library more aggressively. But has WB, under the aggressive (and I think it's fair to say, highly appreciated) leadership of George Feltenstein, been exercising poor or reckless business acumen? I think not. And WB exploits its library on every platform: DVD, MOD-DVD, streaming and TV (TCM). You barely see Uni catalog titles on any of these platforms.

    Sitting back and saying, "Well, there's not enough demand" doesn't cut it. Others seem to have figured it out. Common sense would dictate you make zero dollars from the titles you don't exploit.
     
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  10. Robin9

    Robin9 Screenwriter

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    I hope you realise there are several regular posters in this forum who disagree very strongly, particularly regarding Blu-ray.
     
  11. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    And if you spend $ on a release that doesn't sell, you make negative dollars - so in that case "zero" is the preferable option.There doesn't seem to the the philosophy in place at current Universal management to license out large groups of titles, but rather they do things on a film by film basis. They aren't like WB who never license (even Badlands I believe was independently owned), but they don't have any particular inclination to license it seems.Until that changes I would expect to see more of these titles.
     
  12. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Badlands is indeed licensed by Warner to Criterion, but my perception is that it took considerable pull from Malick for that to occur.
     
  13. rdimucci

    rdimucci Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe so. But would these posters prefer the current Universal model or the current Warner model?
     
  14. Camps

    Camps Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand that completely. The trend for pressed DVDs seems to be blu-ray re-releases of proven standard-bearers. But what about licensing these more obscure titles to TCM? Or to streaming? Even the most die-hard purists wouldn't argue with that. And the whole point about MOD DVDs is that they're made on demand. Apart from general start-up costs, the studio largely incurs the cost only when an order comes in, right?

    I don't know anyone who's suggesting Uni issue obscure catalog titles on blu-ray in hopes they'll find a market (though, amazingly, Olive Films seems to be doing just that in concert with its studio partners -- Hello, "Fire Maidens of Outer Space"?!). I'm just suggesting they attempt to think out-of-the-box a little. Partner with Feltenstein's operation at WB Home Vid maybe? Or license to Olive or some other indie willing to give it a shot? Or license titles to Amazon for streaming? It seems to me doing virtually nothing isn't a very sensible option.

    Now, like some here have noted, Uni may have very substantial reasons for this inactivity. Maybe many titles assumed to be in their library are not. Maybe the fire was a culprit. The average fan like me wouldn't know. That's because Uni Home Ent. doesn't communicate about this stuff. No Facebook or Twitter presence as far as I've been able to find.

    They seem to have given up on this. One Vault title every month or so...?
     
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  15. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    I was more interested in how they groups, packaged and sold the films for television.One film that seems to fall through the cracks in the 1938 LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE Film
     
  16. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    I sure wish Universal had something like Warner archives
     
  17. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    That goes for most of us who visit this site. They do have an on - demand program , but haven't done too much with it. Maybe in the future.
     
  18. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    With Badlands, I'd also imagine there's some sort of co-ownership situation with Pressman, because I think if it was all Warners owned it wouldn't have been pried loose.
     
  19. Camps

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    I know there's some discontent with Warner's decisions to issue some catalog titles on MOD rather than blu-ray. But if the choice comes down to the Warner Archive (even the Fox MOD) model of issuing multiple titles, many in disappointing quality, or the Universal Vault model -- namely, barely releasing anything at all, out of one of the biggest film libraries in the business.... that's not too hard a choice for me. Just give fans the option of seeing these titles, even if the quality is less than ideal.
     
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  20. Seanhtf

    Seanhtf Extra

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    MCA didn't get Paramount's 1938 LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE.
     

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