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Screener FAQ...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sean_J, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Sean_J

    Sean_J Well-Known Member

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    Hello;
    I was wondering is there a SCREENER FAQ.... of like how to contact companies to tell them you want screeners, etc...?

    I really wanna get a nice dvd site goin' but without screeners (previews of dvds) a dvd site is nothing.
     
  2. Travis_W

    Travis_W Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to know as well. I review R1 discs for a UK site that I freelance for and it would be great if I could get screeners.
     
  3. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    uh oh.
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    Travis, they will not send R1 screeners to non-R1(geographic) sites.

    Honestly, it's nearly impossible to get on screener lists now. Basically they will contact YOU. What can you do to get noticed? Make a greats site that gets high traffic (20k+ hits a week is probably a bare minimum)
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with Jeff. Also, STAND OUT. Don't just do what everyone else does...be noticably different. Just how many general DVD sites will continue to get much traffic, anyway? End-users find that they can hit about 3-4 long-established sites and get all the "Coming soon" and "inside the industry" info they need.

    Specializing in a subject (like TVShowsOnDVD, or DVDToons, or in discussion like the HTF) is a great way to be different. Of course, it limits the screeners you can get. If I asked for a screener of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the first thing Warner would ask me is, "What does that have to do with television?" [​IMG]

    A good way to start is to invest in buying your own copies and reviewing them. Demonstrating that you have good review skills among the staff who run your site is a good way to convince studios to part with the dollars that go into screener copies (and that's not just discs and cases; it's shipping costs, people who pick and ship, packaging, etc.).

    If you really think you have a site that "qualifies" already, and noone is beating down your door, then...DO THE LEGWORK! Dig up phone #'s and cold-call studios and track down the right person and convince them you deserve screeners. Honestly, if you aren't resourceful enough to do that, the studio people might not be convinced your resourceful enough to keep your website up for very long. And then why should they "waste" screeners on you?

    Be aware too that you must keep re-earning your place on that list by keeping traffic up and actually using the screeners within the guidelines and on a timely basis. If you don't, the next time they trim the list down to save on the screener budget, you'll be crossed off.


    Finally, be careful what you wish for. I no longer do reviews because of the enormous amount of time it takes to do them right. At TVShowsOnDVD, Gord now does the vast majority of reviewing, with help from a couple of other people. Not to say I'd never do it again, but it would probably have to be something special.

    Good luck.
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and I'll add one more thing: A DVD site can indeed be great without reviews. Unless the reviews are your site's specialty (and there are a couple of those around already), then reviews should be nothing more than icing on the cake.
     
  7. TheBat

    TheBat Well-Known Member

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    I have a site on actress Sarah Douglas.. i contact the studios that are releasing her movies.. and then I review them for my site.. I got free screeners of V: The Final Battle, Return of Swamp Thing, Heavy gear vol 1 & 2.
    www.angelfire.com/ca4/sarahdouglas

    JACOB
     
  8. Travis_W

    Travis_W Well-Known Member

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    Figured it'd be impossible for me to get screeners since I review for a UK site, had to try though[​IMG] .
     
  9. Declan

    Declan Well-Known Member

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    Of course it could just be that wanting screeners means you want to see the DVD/Film in your own home months before anyone else.


    Theres the cool factor........ but nobody would admit it. [​IMG]
     
  10. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    OK that wasn't bad.
    i expected a lot of begging for screeners to follow in this thread.

    if you work part time at a video store you could get free video rentals and then use that to review.

    i dont have a web site for reviews but i could because the store i work at part time allows for us to "rent" the movies before they go on the shelf. up to 5 a week.

    so i get to see all the new releases every week. and i suppose i could write reviews for them and post them somewere, but i just want to watch them without it becoming a chore.
     
  11. Declan

    Declan Well-Known Member

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  12. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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  13. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Well-Known Member

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    I write reviews for my Web site and The Canadian DVD Users Group Web site. Or should I say, I USED TO write reviews for both sites! [​IMG] The CDUG is shutting down because the Webmaster can no longer dedicate the time required to maintain and update his Web site. I'm falling pretty much in the same boat with my own Web site, not having written a DVD review in over four months and updating my site only on a monthly basis.

    Getting back to the subject at hand, I started writing DVD reviews for my own Web site a few years ago when the CDUG's Webmaster asked if I was willing to submit my reviews to his Web site. I certainly didn't mind the extra exposure. Later on, he started to receive screeners from the major studios which he would distribute among his team of writers. He would e-mail his screener bank to us and we would choose the discs we wanted to review. We received the screeners because the CDUG site attracted enough of an audience to interest the studios in sending out sample discs. The Webmaster also had contacts with distributors coming from his employment at a popular DVD/VHS retail store, making it even easier for him to obtain screeners. In the end, it's all about the people you know.

    All in all, it was a very good relationship. Financially there were no conflicts because NO ONE was being paid for any of this stuff, not even the Webmaster! And in terms of picking out discs, each of the reviewers had their particular tastes, making it reasonably easy to pick the discs you actually wanted to review. I specialized in reviewing the lesser-known titles because I was finding much of the mainstream stuff boring as h-e-double-hockey-sticks. [​IMG]

    It was fun while it lasted, but time finally caught up with all of us. Just keep this in mind if you do eventually get screener discs. Writing disc reviews is a bit more work than you would first expect.
     
  14. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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    There is an interesting post here that just nails the point home of the subject at hand:

     
  16. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    OK look here to see what Ron said.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ouncementid=54

    i would venture into that but i don't know if i have the attention span to be able to do reviews, that many in the time frame they are needed.

    it's i highly intriguing idea though.
     

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