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Who Listens To Us Anymore?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    I seem to recall a time a few years back when studios actually paid attention to the comments and questions in forums such as those at HTF, and even encouraged us to provide them with feedback, which often led to dialog with studio luminaries and even the release of films we had been lobbying for (just last year, 20th Fox gave us this opportunity, but no sign of that this year).

    Now, there is silence from the studios. Worse, we are getting sub-standard crap like SWORD IN THE STONE, and it feels like a big f**k-you! from studios that used to hold us in rather high regard. Although Disney reps never directly addressed us (that I know of), we did used to have dialog with Warner Bros, Paramount and others. That has shut down. We now get to talk only with the smaller companies that are rescuing the Blu-ray catalog title releases such as Twilight Time and Shout and Kino.
    So, who is listening to us anymore?

    You know, studios, we're the ones who made all that profit for you in years past. We're the ones who spent $40.00 apiece for laser discs and nearly that for early DVD's. We're the ones who made Blu-ray take off and make millions of dollars more for you because we wanted to upgrade to that format, double- and triple-dipping along the way.

    What do we get for our support? No support on the other end. None.

    We're like kittens that gave you pleasure for a few months that you simply tossed into a dumpster somewhere when the cuteness wore off and the furniture got scratched up.

    We're trying to tell you that we are still out here, many of us, ready to spend money on good catalog titles. Twilight Time has sold out of almost two dozen titles (albeit most of them over a long period), and that should tell you that we collectors are still a viable part of your "business model," or whatever the hell you call us as you chuckle around the table in the board room.

    I feel you are treating us with distain. I resent that. I have been one of your best (and, more importantly to you, one of your most lucrative) customers ever since the 80's and through every video format. I love Blu-ray. It's the best video has yet come up with, and most of your releases are stellar. BUT YOU ARE ABANDONING US. You are giving us the middle finger. That's you, Disney. You, Paramount. You...fill in the blank.

    Let's get dialog going again. Don't just read the posts in this forum (and I don't think Disney does, anyway), respond once in a while. You might be facing a hornet's nest of criticism, but you can learn from that! There's money out here waiting to be spent on your product. Stop treating us like yesterday's news. We have money. We love movies.

    HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS!
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    A different time and different era with Facebook and Twitter. They can reach people without having to go through the grief associated with direct contact. Many of those studio executives that did interact here have moved on from those studios or have different responsibilities. Frankly, you call for respect for their consumers. However, I can say without a doubt, that some studio executives feel the customers that post on forums such as this one, do not get any respect from us. Respect is a two way street, to get it, you have to show it return. Some nasty personal comments have been said about specific studio executives on this forum and others forums like it. We can try to justify those comments by saying we're passionate about film, but is that really an excuse for making some hateful comments? Not to me!

    That old adage about the customer is always right has become dated in today's world of niceties. Sure, businesses should try to make their customer base as happy as possible, but the majority of the studios customer base don't care about classic films on BD. If they care at all, they rather watch it digitally download from the comfort of their home just once without having to store a disc or shop for it online or in a store. Some of us don't want to face that reality, but it's part of how this time and current era has changed since 2000. The effects of the 2007/2008 deep recession didn't help either.
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they did listen to us at one time but I think the constant bitching and harping (nothing was ever good enough) finally made them throw their hands in the air and walk away! If they gave us the moon, we wanted the stars too!

    As for them "listening" now, why bother? Physical media is dying a slow death, it's the past. They have the future (streaming, downloading) to look to now.
     
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  4. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    What was the paradigm shift exactly?
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Disposable income...or lack of.

    People retreated to rental. Even then "sales" stalled...rentals took off.

    I remember you could rent a BD player to play your BD on for the weekend for an additional $10.
     
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  6. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    I only started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011. So I had never known of a time when any of the movie companies actually "listened" to me.

    With most of my bluray purchases being $5 bargain bin type stuff, I strongly suspect the movie company executives have very little to no interest in what I have to say.
     
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  7. trajan

    trajan Well-Known Member

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    Thank God Twilight Time listens.
     
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  8. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Well-Known Member

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    And even quoting forums on slip covers! (POTC Trilogy)
     
  9. andySu

    andySu Well-Known Member

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    Well easy thing here is We stop buying from them and it needs to be millions of us then lets see how they manage without your $30.00 dollars or my £20.00 pounds.

    I'm quiet content to stop buying the crappy new films being released and there are at least 50 or so reviewed recently that I wouldn't touch with barge pole or even see the film at the cinema as I have now stopped going to cinema as of May 9th 2013. I don't care to go to see STAR WARS in December 2015.As I know it won't have real true crowds queuing, around the block down town for 4 months. That '77 history can't be repeated. Besides it will be a load of rubbish like, Into Darkness was. Over loud Atmos, that was painfully too loud and lots of junk pile 3d lens flares, that I most certainty won't pay to go and see if it even has one lens flare, on episode VIII.

    I recently bought HUBBLE on bluray 2d/3d, 2D I watched. What a load of boring imax rubbish it was. I'd sooner watch/listen to GRAVITY for the 50th time, than play HUBBLE for second time.

    I'll still carry on buying lasrediscs Dolby AC-3 and dts. bluray has slowly dropped to low for buying/collection for me. The few HD-DVD out there I only want BLADE RUNNER and that's it.

    When a new format comes out will just get f@@ke@d over by the studios some more. Its funny. bluray format I doubt has millions of individual film titles, I don't mean TV shows. I said FILMS. Laserdisc was starting to look respectful years ago, until DVD phased it out.

    Anyway that's my 1 pence rant. :P
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Maybe the studios have gotten tired of all-knowing, all-seeing-into-the-future comments like this. You already know the new Star Wars is crap. You know any new format will be crap. You must be making a killing in the stock market with the ability you have to predict the future.

    Seriously, this is a good reason for the studios to ignore us, because there's a lot of "I know it's gonna be crap when it comes out next year."

    However, I do agree with what a lot of the OP wrote. One of the things that illustrate to me that the studios don't respect their audience is all the crap they put on the blu rays. Discs that take 3 minutes plus before you can even get to the main menu with the forced previews and the top menu bottom is disabled. Universal which always loads a preview from the internet (which is my nickel) before you can get to the main menu. I really hate how so many blu rays are authored so that my oppo can't resume playing where it left off. Would it really kill them to allow that?

    I sincerely believe that when the execs sit down for a product planning session, their first objective is not "how can we satisfy the customer?" Their first thought is now "How can we charge the absolute max for the absolute minimum product?" You want to give us bare bones? Fine, make the price commensurate with that.

    It really bothers me that I can find discs that aren't available in the USA, overseas at a reasonable price. So you've got the transfer, you're willing to let other regions have it at a good price, but what about us? We were the original audience for the movie, but you don't release it to us.

    I'm on a budget and I have to really evaluate each blu-ray I'd like to buy and I've really cut back in the past couple of years. I've got to really want it and the price has to be right. I really want Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, but at $28, I can't justify it. I want Lake Placid, but it too, is over priced (IMHO). I know there are plenty of folks here who can and will buy no matter the price, but I'm not in that group.

    Aw crap!
     
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  11. atfree

    atfree Premium
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    Concisely, no one listens to us. Think about this fact....Twilight Time releases many films that I would think would be very popular. But in a country of over 300 MILLION and a world of over 6 BILLION, they sell out their initial release of 3000 on about 25% of their total releases. Sad but true.
     
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  12. dana martin

    dana martin Well-Known Member

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    yes some times, heated exchanges do happen, I know I have stated displeasure with WB for the fiasco with Tom & Jerry Golden Collection II, but I bet if I were to take a cursory look, there is probably more praise for what they have done, than the occasional bitch, we all do it, you are never going to get a 100% of everyone to be happy with every single release.


    and while physical media may be dying this slow death as keeps being stated, I don't think its going to happen as quickly as some may think, outside of major areas most of this country is still rural, which of course means oh I don't know that internets is via satellite, I should know, its what I have, my monthly allowance of data is never going to get to the point that I am going to use streaming or be fast enough, could it be, yes but then I would have to deal with a cable company that I would rather not so that I my only option, but for those without that option it will be more difficult,

    I have been on here for a few of the chats, and actually got to as a question or two, I was and am thankful for the interaction that were as a collective group had with the studios then, and would gladly welcome them back, and I am thrilled at the studio insiders that still talk and do the vote. we have a voice as well as their social media outlets, because not everyone is on Facebook (amity avoid it like the plague).

    being a member of this board is sort of like

    Sir Alexander Dane: [Guy is grinning at Alex] What?
    Guy Fleegman: I'm just jazzed about being on the show, man.
     
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  13. Cine_Capsulas

    Cine_Capsulas Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me you dislike just about everything, even future releases. If all of us customers were like that, studios would have bankrupt a long time ago. No wonder they "don't listen".
     
  14. andySu

    andySu Well-Known Member

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    :lol: Yeah I can see your madness and understand your slight bitterness with titles that get released in another county first before the other county. Hey, your or I, its only at most 4 week release difference.

    If it wasn't for us the paying cinema*going public the studios would go bust dry without our money. But I'm done with going to the cinema and I never thought I'd hear myself say it?

    My dad doesn't go to the cinema any more. The last time he went to the cinema was when he and my late, step mother, was at San Francisco, USA, December 1997, TITANIC.

    So I've kinder given up going to cinema now maybe 20 years early before my dad.

    I guess you'll have pool going now. "Yeah, he'll give in and go and see STAR WARS in 2015". Well I'm going to disappoint a lot of you. I will not go and see it. I'm going to sleep for two months. :P

    Well its like this mate. The local shop down the road the co-op has this, Tropic orange juice that is a bit sweet for my taste and I dislike it. But I like to have some, vitamin-c.Expect its given my inner lip an ulcer. I have mouth wash to clear it up.

    I can't wait till they get their own brand in the fridge again (each to their own) I like the other brand its not as sharp.

    Same with bluray. We get it in the home and all excited at showing it to your mates and then someone yells out, "Its got DNR"!

    My bluray player as NR on/off switch which is switched to off.

    Also new films look too darkly filmed. I bought that Unknown (2011) and looked dreadful. I bought DIE HARD 5 (2013) dreadful it was terrible. It had this horrible tinted colour.

    I remember when video library did a simple VHS mono player for an extra £.
     
  15. Towergrove

    Towergrove Well-Known Member

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    While many people rent sell thru is still bringing In multi billions each year even in 2014 as both Electronic Sell thru and physical sell thru coexist side by side with rental.
     
  16. trajan

    trajan Well-Known Member

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    Warner should just announce that they are going to stop releasing catalog titles. That way they don't keep getting questions from us on future releases and we don"t get disappointed about announcments that never happen... .If you're going to be in the business of releasing catalog titles, deliver or just get out and do us a favor.
     
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  17. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    From the studio's point of view, the activity on forums like this one probably appears to fall into two basic categories: constant requests for catalog title releases on Blu, and constant criticism of what they see as niggling issues on titles that have been released. So I can well understand why they wouldn't bother seriously engaging us, or anyone else, on these matters.

    In the first category, we seem to have thread after thread of long lists of requests for often-times obscure movies, or movies with extremely limited demand. "Why haven't you released X on Blu??". The answer is quite obviously that the title(s) in question are not going to get a sufficient return to justify the investment into restoring/transferring them onto Blu-ray. I'm not sure what more a studio could say. The best we can hope for is that studio insiders drop by and announce upcoming titles, but there again I can see how each announcement would lead to dozens of "but when will you release X, Y and Z??!?". I'm guessing it would be simpler if we just opened a single thread with the title "Dear studios, please release every movie you've ever made on Blu as soon as possible", sticky it, and leave it at that!

    In the second category, I can again sympathize with studios in regards to the fact that very few releases ever receive the unqualified fan tick of approval. In most cases, something is going to be nit-picked, and we've all been guilty of doing that from time to time. Everything from "wrong colors" to "not enough extras" to "too much DNR" and so forth. So once again, what exactly could a studio rep say in response to these criticisms, especially once a release has already been made? We'd have recalls on virtually every release if they listened to us.

    Ultimately, studios will listen, but not to a small group of enthusiasts. They'll listen to the majority of their paying customers, and those currently seem to be (a) not particularly interested in catalog titles; and (b) not overly interested in Blu-ray. So for all our demands and protestations, as enthusiasts in a small niche, we don't have much power to influence anyone, or be feted by the studios seeking our opinions. Majority rules; that's life.
     
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  18. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    That attitude is precisely why studios have given up in engaging conversation with "fans". What you mean, of course, is do you a favor. I think most of us are grateful for the product, however slowly they appear.
     
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  19. andySu

    andySu Well-Known Member

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    Good grief man. You know how many films there are worldwide? There has to be close around 20 million. I don't think they'll be able to meet this demand? Although I think they should least give a shot.
     
  20. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Been skimming through these comments. Some very intelligent responses
    and I think most of your own questions have been answered.

    I can sincerely tell you that the studios do read this forum. I say that because
    when we have conversations with our contacts from various studios, they mention
    particular threads to us. Sometimes, they even mention particular members who
    have been outspoken on various issues.

    Within the last year, one studio wasn't too pleased with inaccurate comments that
    had been posted on this forum and contacted us to assist in getting the information
    correctly reported.

    So, yes, your comments are read. Think about it -- where else can the studios go
    to get direct feedback on the things they are doing.

    That being said, I believe everything has been pretty much covered in your responses
    above as to why the studios don't participate here anymore. It's impossible for us to
    secure chats because of the negativity that ensues. Everyone expects the studios to
    talk about everything they are working on. I think we all know by now that kind of
    information cannot be freely discussed. And, when it is, and chat announced release
    time frames are not met, the membership often rebels (such as with The Bowery Boys).

    Do the studios listen to us anymore? Maybe to a very small extent. However, it seems
    to me that all of them are marching to the beat of their own drum these days. The entire
    industry has changed in the last decade. Classic titles don't sell like they used to and
    streaming has become a thread to both formats. The studios would rather reissue the same
    catalog releases over and over again (Young Frankenstein just came to mind) rather than
    invest in restoring something from their classic library that may or may not sell.

    There's one very prominent title that HTF members have been asking over and over again
    to be released. When I talked to a studio exec about getting it out, he/she told me that their
    studio is very well aware of the member requests, but based on the condition of the print,
    it would cost an astronomical amount of money to prepare it for Blu-ray release. The studio
    did not feel that the investment would pay off.

    Of course, when I tell you these things, I am prohibited from mentioning the studio or title.
    I simply want to give you an example of where things stand at the moment.

    On the other hand, there have been several instances where the studios have actually either
    read the forum or asked the ownership about which titles members are requesting the most
    and put them into production. I believe Paramount's release of Scrooge and Once Upon A
    Time In The West were direct results of posts on this forum. But of course, Paramount now
    has a new licensing agreement with Warner so that changes the relationship considerably.

    And then there's Fox, who did (I believe) two separate campaigns exclusively with this forum
    to find out which classic titles you would like to see released to Blu-ray. We are hoping the
    studio considers doing another one of these campaigns.

    So, long story short, the studios haven't given up on us. However, with everything being
    licensed out to other companies or being released through archive collections (often with
    little restoration done), it's apparent that the studios have their own agenda in getting their
    product out as cheaply as possible.
     

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