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The Crime of Bi-Lingual DVD Cover Art?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Michael Osadciw
    Ok,

    As a Canadian, I do understand that French was made the country's official second language back in the 1980s to protect the 'language and culture' of Quebec society. Fair enough, I love provincial diversity and if the current federal government even respected a fraction of provincial juristiction we'd have a lot more of it. From then on road signs, cereal boxes, and almost everything else I touched had French all over it. That is fine and dandy because they are disposable items I don't care about, but...


    DON'T TOUCH MY DVDs!


    It seems that every new DVD release in Canada has the cover art with a French title along with the English. This is a major problem to me because I feel as an English-speaking person owning a English-released film, bi-lingual covers ruin the movie (poster) artwork because the French title is taking up more space over that artwork. It even bothers me seeing it on the spine because the font size for both languages are now very small. I don't mind it on the back though, but please leave the front art alone!

    I can see that this probably prevents dual inventory for Canada and Quebec, but is anyone else annoyed by this dual-text like I am?

    Like many, I buy DVDs because I like to collect films I love and I'm proud to own the 'whole package' (remember laserdisc?). Many times the DVD cover art is the same as the theatrical poster that I've always known. But I feel saddened when I look at the Bi-Lingual cover and think of the poster art being 'ruined' with the newly added text.

    If I'm not mistaken, I believe in the U.S.A. there have been instances of bilingualism on DVD with English and Spanish. Is this true?

    LET ME BE VERY CLEAR: this is not a French & Quebec-bashing post, nor do I want it to be. I love Quebec as I do every other province and territory, so please keep your comments clean. I just voicing my opinion of this change in Canadian marketing and want to know if I'm alone in feeling this way about Bi-Lingual cover art.

    Mike
     
  2. PhilipG

    PhilipG Screenwriter

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    I don't know of anyone who likes it. The obvious solution is to print on both sides (either English and French, or English+French and English). What we have now is English+French on one side, and on the other (if anything), French+English, which pleases nobody.

    Thank God for Warner, Fox, CTS etc who produce separate releases. I couldn't begin to guess how much money Paramount, Universal, Miramax etc have lost in potential sales from me (especially on "blind buy" titles).
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Do they have French+English on the other side (inside) of the insert? That seems a waste, to say the least.

    I agree, they could simply print two inserts (e.g. giving the seller a choice at the counter) or double sided inserts (English on one side, French on the other) and thus keep the artwork as clean (original) as possible.

    Cees
     
  4. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I've spent the past 3 weeks trying to find The Lion King Platinum and Sleeping Beauty SE w/out the awful double language packaging and to no avail! I refuse to pick up the bilingual versions or place an order online because Im too picky about quality and dont want to recieve a slipcase with bent corners or dents and I'll probably miss out now given that these are limites issues...

    [​IMG]

    Down with bilingual covers!!!
     
  5. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Is this really ALL of Canada though, or simply Quebec?

    Also, some companies offer seperate releases like the Fargo SE which had both French and English copies to chose from.
     
  6. Chris Parham

    Chris Parham Stunt Coordinator

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    As a Canadian, proud of our multicultural and bilingual leanings, I see no reason why studios can't print on both sides of the insert to ensure that a collector can have the same coverart on their shelf as the theatrical poster appeared in their part of the country.
     
  7. Tom Tsai

    Tom Tsai Supporting Actor

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    I actually don't mind it that much. But of course, it would be best to have them on separate sides...or they could do what they do for videogames, just slap a bilingual piece of paper over the original US packaging

    But really though, as long as they do it like Paramount or Alliance, then I don't really mind since the French text is quite small. The Universal ones though are really big.



    So I guess if you buy a foreign film, then it shouldn't have English titles then? Cuz it'll ruin the overall design of the poster... [​IMG] j/k
     
  8. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    I live in Southwestern Ontario, right on the U.S. border, about 45 minutes from Detroit, Michigan, and if bilingual art exists for a Canadian DVD release of a film, then my local stores carry it, bar none. Thankfully, I'm a five-minute bridge ride away from the U.S., but I feel bad for those who don't have the option. I have a friend out in B.C. and I emailed him a few minutes ago about this and he says bilingual packaging is available there as well.

    According to the 2001 Canadian Census
    http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/demo28a.htm
    about 4.7 million people list themselves as French in ethnic origin, 2.7 million as German, 1.3 million as Italian and 1.1 million as Chinese. Of everyone surveyed, some 11 million listed themselves as being of Canadian origin. These 11 million could be from any number of ethnic groups, but I'll bet the breakdown compares to the percentages above.

    Makes me wonder if after a few more years of immigration Canadian lawmakers would be moved to enforce multi-language DVD sleeves, with either 3 paper inserts with a language on each side, or a one-sided insert with at least five titles and no artwork whatsoever. [​IMG]

    Still, I love this country![​IMG] Only 30 million people and wide open spaces!!!
     
  9. Tom Tsai

    Tom Tsai Supporting Actor

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  10. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    You beat me to it Tom. BULLETPROOF MONK popped into my head a few minutes after posting! They actually carried both the Chinese and English/French reversible versions here in my local Wal-Mart and, as a huge Chinese film fan, I thought that was a clever touch. But you're right, I wouldn't touch that movie with a ten-foot pole. Further stereotyping Chinese actors in the west and all that...
     
  11. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

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    Dreamworks "Sinbad" has a reversable cover.[​IMG]
     
  12. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Hey MarcoBiscotti/Oliver!

    I have actually seen a few all English covers of Sleeping Beauty at Wal Mart. Picked one up myself a few months ago. There was only one left at the time BUT I specifically remember seeing that AND Lion King (which I want to pick up myself) in the last 3 weeks again.

    Now you will forgive me but I can't remember which one right now. I often visit 3 so I know it's one of these. On Langelier corner of Jean-Talon, on Decarie also corner of Jean-Talon and near my church just off the 40W I believe St Charles exit in West Island.

    I am sure I will remember soon and I will let you know. Of course I know for a fact Metro Video has them but a few bucks more than Wally Mart.

    Oh and PS. I am all ranted out on these Bullsh*t bilingual f*cking covers. I just don't buy them here period. I think I own just the Back to the future trilogy which I figured I should get here to fascilitate the exchange of the last 2 discs.
     
  13. Greg Madsen

    Greg Madsen Second Unit

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    The Disney titles do not bother me as much. They just have a small yellow circle saying that there is a french language track. I wish it were a sticker on the outside of the shrinkwrap though.

    I also refuse to buy titles with bilingual coverart. Luckily I live 2 minutes from the US border and have a post office box there so I can take advantage of free shipping from Best Buy and Deepdiscount. The stronger Canadian dollar helps too.
     
  14. Patrick Soucy

    Patrick Soucy Second Unit

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    I'm french, from Quebec, and we have DVD forums too, and I have to say that we hate the bilingal covers too!

    The majority, like me, prefer have their DVD Covers in the original language.

    By Exemple: I want the DVD with the title Le Pacte des Loups because it's the real title (Not Brotherhood of the Wolf) but I want the DVD called Back to the Future, not Retour vers le future... But it's very popular now the bilingual covers... it's very ugly!

    All that is the Quebec Governement fault... We have a law and it said that the studios have to put the french titles on the cover if a French track is available... Very bad idea... Result: Some studio remove the french track (very usefull here for those who don't understand a word of english) and some studio make a bilingual covers for save buck$ and don't make two covers...

    The worst: Some covers are reversible (Cool idea) but still bilingual !!!!!

    Hey sorry if my english is weird, I'm french!!! [​IMG]
     
  15. SebastienLX

    SebastienLX Agent

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    I actually don't mind the bilingual cover too much but yeah, if I do have a choice, I'll go the original language cover.

    What bothers me the most, is those "Brilliant!" "Best movie ever!" "Three thumbs up!" crap quotes that they keep slaping on top of the coverart. I just can't stand it anymore! So more and more of my DVD are getting the custom cover treatment.
     
  16. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Hate this bi-lingual stuff. REALLY hate the "reversible" covers that have BOTH languages on BOTH sides. What's the point?

    That being said, if it's a snapper or a simple keepcase, I simply buy the movie, and head over to dvdcoverart. If it's more complex packaging (like Pulp Fiction), or the DVDs have been significantly altered (like removing a DTS track and replacing it with a French track) then I'll order from the US.
     
  17. Tom Tsai

    Tom Tsai Supporting Actor

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    If only the Liberals had been in power at that time...maybe this wouldn't have happend [​IMG] kidding kidding.
     
  18. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Good one. [​IMG]

    But if they couldn't have stopped it, they probably would have insisted that their own hand-picked marketing & graphics companies handle all the artwork at grossly inflated, taxpayer-funded prices and it would be one more thing over which people like Alfonso Gagliano could plead ignorance. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    As well all know if Canada, Quebec is like the whiny little sister that gets babied at the expense of all the other children in the family.

    I;m not bashing Quebec outright, I actually love the place, I think it's beautiful and I would not want to lose that fine part of our country. But frankly I am getting sick and tired of all of the "Special" pirvledges that provinces gets. They are no more a distinct society than any other porvince. (And, in fact, I would argue that places like PEI and New Brunswick are considerably more distinct.)
     
  20. ChadMcCallum

    ChadMcCallum Second Unit

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    I hate them too. I've only picked up a few bi-lingual titles because I couldn't go without owning them. I remain firm on some titles though. Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies but I'm not going anywhere near the AA disc. I'm glad the Lord of the Rings EE's aren't bi-lingual. It saved me a trip to the States.
     

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