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Is This a Good Thing for Warner Animation DVDs?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Joe Tor1, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    Please read the item below.


    It seems to me (fairly or otherwise) that this fellow's name is somehow attached to every unpopular action or policy decision concerning Warner animaiton DVDs in recent times.


    Will his departure bring some needed change in the unfortunate (for fans) way Warner has conducted itself?


    Is Warner's loss now DC Comics' loss as well?


    Warner was once the BEST studio for animation DVDs. It is now the WORST! Will this now change?


    Your thoughts...


    DC announced the hiring of Amit Desai as Senior Vice President, Franchise Management for DC Entertainment. On Thursday, Mark Chiarello, one of the driving forces behind Wednesday Comics, was promoted to VP Art Direction & Design.

    DC's official press release of the Desai hiring follows:


    Amit Desai Named SVP – Franchise Management, DC Entertainment


    (December 3, 2010) Amit Desai has been named Senior Vice President, Franchise Management for DC Entertainment at Warner Bros. The announcement was made today by John Rood, EVP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Desai will be based in Burbank and report directly to John Rood. “Amit is coming to DC Entertainment with a proven track record in building brands both inside and outside Warner Bros.,” said Rood. “That he’s already well-versed in our characters and brands from his experience working on the DC Universe animation business is an added bonus.” In his new role, Desai will develop and implement the individual franchise plans for Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, MAD Magazine, Vertigo titles, and other DC properties. This will include driving wider cross-promotional support across all Time Warner divisions. Amit Desai joined Warner Bros. in 2004. Most recently, he was responsible for Warner Home Video’s non-theatrical family and animation business. During his tenure with Warner Home Video, Desai helped grow non-theatrical family & animation revenue +45% and secured #1 studio market share position for first time in business history. Among his accomplishments, Desai is credited with the launch of new franchises such as DC Universe – a series of animated original movies inspired by DC Comics graphic novels. Desai came to Warner Bros. from the Walt Disney Company where he was responsible for brand management and marketing/synergy activities on behalf of feature films. Prior to Disney, Desai also served in marketing roles at Nestle and American Express. Desai is a native Californian and was raised in Santa Barbara. He earned a B.A. in Economics and History from UC Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Desai resides in Pasadena with his wife and daughter.
     
  2. derosa

    derosa Supporting Actor

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    In the context of getting the Warner animation catalog released "correcntly" on DVD,

    I think the biggest problem with Warner's DVD prospects is the larger trend that no

    executive in a suit is going to over come is of the death of the DVD format.


    High tides are long since gone away from shore for the DVD method of video distribution.

    It's time for a new model, but I don't know what it would be. I just want to watch what I

    want, when I want, and have my own "copy" that will work for as long as I want it.

    DVD met that criteria in the past, now i'm not sure it does, i'd like more portability, like

    for my iPhone or iPad.
     
  3. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    So, in your view, he's deserting a sinking ship? Could be, but I'd like to believe not.

    DVD has given us a lot! More, actually, than I ever dreamed possible when I began collecting.

    But Warner Animation, in particular, has let us down of late, especially in consideration of their vast catalog -- Looney Tunes, MGM, Hanna-Barbera, DC Comics, licensing of Popeye, and more.

    I can't help but hope their present direction reverses itself - even if slightly - in view of this executive shift.
     
  4. Adel Khan

    Adel Khan Auditioning

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    According to a reliable source, that the Huckleberry Hound's and Quick Draw McGraw's have been remastered, however the only expense is in clearing the underscore.


    I would really enjoy if the aforementioned shows are released a part of the HB Golden Collection, but in this economy, I along with many others would be thrilled in purchasing a single disc release of HUCKLEBERRY HOUND and QUICK DRAW MCGRAW.


    I hope whoever replaces Amit Desai’s position has more confidence in their properties including Looney Tunes and the early HB library.
     
  5. Kevin Martinez

    Kevin Martinez Second Unit

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    Like another member said in another thread, if BBC can spend considerable sums restoring Dr. Who, if Shout Factory can broker all sorts of expensive and nerve-wracking deals regarding Mystery Science Theater 3000 and others, and if Fox can restore every last piece of copyright music found in Ally McBeal, economy good bad or indifferent, then surely Warner can do better with their animation library.
     
  6. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    Ah, but Doctor Who and MST3K are both cult favorite shows with a built in audience that I would assume stays pretty much level through every DVD release, so the Beeb and Shout know roughly what kind of profit they'll make from each release.


    With the Warner Animation titles? Complete crapshoot. They could spend good money on restoring, say, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, or The Dukes, and not make any money back when they release it, because who knows how many (or few) people will buy the set.


    Or, they can put it out there in the cheapest way possible, doing little to no work and spending virtually no money on it, and make money out of the deal.


    Now, granted, I'd also prefer pressed DVDs like the Shout Select program gives us, instead of DVRs, but this is how WB is releasing things.


    Oh, and DC Comics has been driving itself into the ground for years now. If this guy is as bad as all that, he'll just be another nail in the coffin, hastening the demise of the mainstream comic book industry.


    I mean, right now, DC Comics is run by people who know virtually nothing about what makes a good comic book story, and it shows in their product. Instead of trying to create new readers, or write books that are accessible to everyone, they keep pandering to the same 200,000 or less fanboys who still read comic books, trying to sap every last dollar out of their wallets with pointless crossovers that mean nothing, make none of the remaining fans happy, and in the end, everything returns to normal by the next issue. They've been killing themselves slowly with a thousand little cuts over the years, and things aren't going to change by bringing in people to run the company who are just there to pimp out "the brands".
     
  7. younger1968

    younger1968 Screenwriter

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    You look at ways to reduce your cost and bring products to market. The MOD program helps WB with releasing dvds without going through major cost hurdles.

    I think many studios will look at the WB model and consider doing something similar. I also think there is a place for re-mastering, but, i think it is done on a case by case bases, especially on demand. Shows like Hawaii Five-O, Star Trek, etc have huge following so people are willing to pay the price for re-mastering, but other shows may be too expensive to remastered and/or have little market value.


    The only problem with MOD/Shout direct, etc is they doing have total market penetration and that is concern if you are a consumer outside USA. I think there needs to be more options to enable sales to be done elsewhere. This is why it is important to strategic alliance with Amazon to released these dvds the same time that WB puts them on the archive. Currently, this is not the case and there is usually a long time lapse.


    I am big on dvd, because today's tv just does not cut it for me anymore. I only watch maybe 2-3 hrs of tv on any given night. So, i just popped in a dvd a watch it
     
  8. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    I’m with you, Adel… and that’s why I started this thread. Because all it takes to accomplish ANYTHING is the support of the right executive. I’d like to think that’s how we got VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA completed at last! We at HTF got the attention of a sympathetic executive at FOX, whom I’ll thank once again – at the risk of being off topic!


    I also understand the underscore issue… but Warner is even inconsistent on that. Consider that some of the cartoons on the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS: FOGHORN LEGHORN BARNYARD BIGMOUTH collection have some of the same “outsourced underscores” that have been blamed for the lack of Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw releases!


    And, for those who possess STAR TREK VOYAGER SEASON SEVEN, check out the very end of the episode “Workforce: Part II”, and you’ll see a (presumably) public domain cartoon playing with the VERY UNDERSCORE that supposedly denies us Huckleberry Hound! The cartoon appears to be of ‘30s / ‘40s vintage (I can’t identify it), but the score is “fifties Huck”.


    Recall that CBS PARAMOUNT is the studio that is savaged in various other threads for music replacement in a number of shows – most notably THE FUGITIVE! Opinions vary on this, but at least the entire four seasons of THE FUGITIVE will be complete as of this week… and we’ve been waiting since 2005 for more Huckleberry Hound.


    Even if all of the music concerns are valid, there remains a fair number of Huck and Quick Draw shows from the 1961 season with in-house, Hoyt Curtin scores that remain unreleased. Some of the QD shows have made it onto the two SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS 1960s volumes. Given Warner’s penchant for “single disc releases” of late, surely at least THESE could be shaken loose from the vaults. If, as “The Obsolete Man” says, they can release “Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch” and “The Dukes”, why not these – even under the Archives banner?


    Also, why are the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS editions SO inferior to the Golden Collections? Why can’t they simply be “scaled down” versions of the GCs, if retail price is the consideration? Why are there still “missing” episodes of the original incarnation of Scooby-Doo? Can’t these fit onto a single disc release? And, wasn’t Warner under contractual observation to release POPEYE? Even single disc versions of the remaining classics would be preferable to the nothing we’ve had since 2008! How about Non-Tom and Jerry MGM cartoons? Tex Avery in particular! Or the still unreleased Gene Deitch theatricals. There was a flair to them that was somehow enjoyable – even if they never lived up to H and B or even Chuck Jones’ versions.


    Under Amit Desai we’ve had more REPACKAGINGS of existing Scooby, Tom and Jerry, and Batman, than the innovation and care that once made Warner the best. And that is my main reason for noting Desai’s departure.


    And, “Obsolete”, I agree with you on DC Comics as well. I was a regular weekly purchaser from the early eighties on, still love the characters, but can no longer stomach the product of the about the last half-decade or more. Ironically, the best DC Comics material these days, is not in comics books or graphic novels – but on DVD. Perhaps we can thank Amit Desai for THAT, but I’d just as soon thank Bruce Timm!
     
  9. DeWilson

    DeWilson Screenwriter

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    What's still "missing" ?

     
  10. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    There is a Scooby-Doo thread in this forum that details this. http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/297516/scooby-doo-lost-episodes There seems to be EIGHT of them left. I can recall seeing at least one of the episodes in question from early '80s syndication -- and, sure enough, it's not on DVD. Why not just release a single disc of these? More than this, I have no specifics... but it's just another unfortunate thing to hang on WHV. I hope this change leads to better things.
     
  11. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    I know there are some rights issues with some of the New Scooby-Doo Movies, but to be honest, even beyond the classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, there is a lot still missing. Being the Saturday Morning Cartoon fan that I am, as well as the syndicated stuff, I'd love to see EVERYTHING released someday. For example, I'd like to see all the Tom and Jerry theatricals released, but I also want the Tom and Jerry television series on DVD as well. Crazy, someone who wants it both pure and edited, but there you have it.
     
  12. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    No, Matt, It is not The New Scooby-Doo Movies that I'm citing in this thread. I understand that there could be legitimate licensing issues there.


    Read the HTF thread I refer to in my last post, and you'll see there are EIGHT unreleased seventies Scoobys. Can't understand why, since Warner seems hell bent on repackaging every last one of them over and over again. Just another thing Warner has done "wrong" -- and that could possibly change with the departure of Mr. Desai.
     
  13. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    You're right, I should have been clearer on my answer, mentioning there were later releases beyond the movies and Where Are You? that haven't seen release yet. Please do not think my response was meant as a criticism, just thinking aloud.


    Truth is, while I'm sure business decisions by WHV are a factor in the incomplete issues, the ebb and flow of the market also play a roll. I'd like to think that WHV will stick to their word and all of Scooby-Doo will get out, be it on shelves or MOD. But yeah, I wonder why the repeated repackages of SD, WAY myself, given I don't think it has ever gotten too expensive.
     
  14. Towergrove

    Towergrove Screenwriter

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    I believe the Ultraviolet format is coming this summer:

    http://www.uvvu.com/
     
  15. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    Of course! Never thought otherwise. Just wanted to be certain you understood what I was referring to.

    Moreover, if even Scooby-Doo remains incomplete, what chance do the other properties have?
     
  16. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    See: Tunes, Looney. Also: Jerry, Tom and.


    You know, WHV used to be (maybe they still are) the gold standard in DVD and DVD extras to my mind. I'm not quite sure what went wrong with the animation division. They started VERY strong, but now? I keep hoping they'll get it together. We have the promise that all the HB stuff will get out and I hope it will, but I am just a bit worried.
     
  17. Joe Tor1

    Joe Tor1 Second Unit

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    "Used to be"... That's the key phrase! Remember when they actually put MINI-LITHOS in the DVD packages! Wow! Talk about extras! Now, you can't get get a commentary or featurette.

    So, as I continue to say, when a key executive departs -- in an operation that has fallen far (at least in the estimation of most HTF-ers) -- perhaps it's a good thing!
     
  18. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Warner Brothers has already indicated that they intend to release all the remaining Hanna-Barbera catalog through the archives. There is still a huge amount of HB material to release so this is a huge commitment. At their current rate of one title about every 3 weeks it woiuld still take 3-4 years to finish the catalog. But as long as they sell I believe they will continue releasing them. So I'm not worried about animation releases. The key is to support the archive releases if you really want the titles because the higher ups have already comitted to the decission that the archive is the future for non-mainstream titles. So not supporting the archive if you want the title is just voting to have it never released.
     
  19. younger1968

    younger1968 Screenwriter

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    Hopefullly sales/marketing people review these forums as they visit their marketing strategy. I am all for WB archive/online, but they need to fixed the licensing issue, so people outside of USA have access to these releases. Currently, i am shutout from buying these purchases due to licensing issues. I really like them to align their supply change with amazon more directly for the releases and this way i could have access to the sets. There is too much time lag between the release and when i am able to purchase the sets from usa supplier that i used.
     
  20. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I agree Paul they should have an option for sales outside the US. I would think that they are planning to implement this option at some point afterall it would only increase their sales.
     

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