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Warner Chat Thoughts


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102 replies to this topic

#1 of 103 Keith Yatsuhashi

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Posted October 17 2001 - 01:34 AM

First off, I was surprised it took so long to get a question about OAR. I thought that would be the first question asked. I wasn't too thrilled with the 'non' answer either. I wish I participated though, I would have liked to ask about Warner's schedule for BBC titles. I'm particularly like to see Yes Minister

#2 of 103 JonZ

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Posted October 17 2001 - 01:56 AM

I just read the transcript.To me it just seemed they didnt have much to say.
Everyone has been complaining about Warners P&S releases, but no one really jumped on them about it asking why they felt the need to release P&S movies.
A disappointing chat.

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#3 of 103 Patrick Larkin

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Posted October 17 2001 - 01:59 AM

WB seemed pretty pompous to me after reading the transcripts. What was with that answer on Twin Peaks? LAME!

BTW, I tried logging in last night using IE 5.1 on MacOS X and it didn't work. Is HTF Chat Windoze only???

#4 of 103 Frank Anderson

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:01 AM

I find it interesting that VHS sales dictate if they will release something on DVD. Most people who have DVD players don't do VHS anymore.

Posted Image Frank

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#5 of 103 Duncan Harvey

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:03 AM

Interesting isnt it that everyone else can include higher rate DD5.1 plus DD2.0 plus commentaries etc on a disc - and some even include DTS!!

Have these Warner reps been following DVD developments in the last 4 years - look at New Line and Fox - tons of soundtracks on Fight Club and Seven.

Sorry Warner - not at all convinced by your responses.

Again - no decent follow up on some of the issues - why let the studios off the hook - what are the HFF hosts afraid of?

Distressing to see that WB releases are dictated by VHS marketing teams - now we know why WB after a good start have been surpassed by practically every major studio - even Buena Vista!

#6 of 103 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:16 AM

Warner was not talking about just VHS sales for the last couple of years. They are trying to prioritize their releases based on demand, and historical VHS sales are one of their reasonable yardsticks for such. I still think their biggest problem is that they have so many resources commited to "new" programming for the various AOL-Time Warner media outlets, that they have comparatively small amounts to spend on releasing and promoting their enormous catalog. Couple that with a no-licensing for home video policy and you have a recipe for frustration. Personally, I was encouraged by the titles they are working on much more so than I was discouraged by the ones they were not.

Regards,

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#7 of 103 Josh L

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:18 AM

No discussion about Innerspace I see. I couldn't make the chat because of other obligations. Is this DVD ever coming out?

-josh

#8 of 103 Chad Parks

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:42 AM

I was pretty disappointed in their answers too, and I was fairly shocked at their answer to the Twin Peaks question.

#9 of 103 David Singleton

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:59 AM

I was suprised that somebody did not beat me to the punch either. While upcoming titles are good topics for the chat, I felt the issue needed to raised.

I do want to point out that my question had a couple of mistakes: (1) It should have said that kids do not care if a title is in widescreen. Kids usually take quickly to OAR and prefer OAR once educated. (2) MAR should have been spelled out as "modified aspect ratio" - apologies to whomever invented that great acronym (apologies again for not remembering who that was Posted Image).

Their answer was clever. They agreed, then threw the ball back into our court. I was obviously hoping for a more proactive approach from probably the largest studio in the business.

I had a followup to their answer that I was hoping to post (or have Ron post at the end of the chat), but there was no time, and I could not get Ron's attention (not suprising as the turnout was excellent).

Since I thought the followup was a good question, I will post that now for further discussion amongst ourselves (Warner Brothers, please feel free to join the discussion on this thread to continue discussing the issue!).

Here was their original response to my original question:

Quote:
Thanks again for participating in a chat with the forum. The
opportunity to speak with studio representatives is highly appreciated. This forum
supports OAR (original aspect ratio) for all titles. Lately the perception is that
the studios are under pressure from retailers to release titles in MAR (marred aspect ratio),
i.e. pan and scan. With the continued growth of 16x9 TV sales, and additional
support for widescreen in television (particularly NBC), why don't the studios
work together to educate the public with regards to the benefits of titles being
released in OAR? As far as family titles being released in a MARred format, I
can guarantee that kids do not care about a title that is in widescreen. Again,
thanks for your participation!

Good comment!

Good idea. However, education is a gradual process and we have
Sales Goals to meet in the meantime. If you rally a consensus among studios,
Warner will participate.

Thanks, Warner


This was to be my followup question:

I appreciate your answer to my question regarding the education of consumers to the advantage of OAR. I would like to ask a followup focusing particularly on your sales goals.

Are your sales goals being pressured due to retailers (or rental stores) threatening to not stock titles in an OAR format? Leaving rental stores out of the equation for the moment (since they cater to the non-buying public), I would speculate that people buying the vast majority of DVDs are collectors and require a film to be in its OAR before a purchase is made. Those new to DVD and collecting films could be educated about the benefits of OAR. Apparently, MARred versions of films are not flying off of the retailers shelves while the OAR versions are always sold out. I would think that having to only produce the OAR version would decrease the costs of producing a title and thereby raise the profits from that title. Please comment about OAR in regards to the sales goals. Thanks again. DONE

Ron, they threw the ball into our court. Now what?

David Singleton

#10 of 103 Wes Ray

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:07 AM

Yes, I too was a tad disappointed that more obscure titles weren't mentioned. I'm glad a couple of people asked about horror films though. I couldn't attend the chat, but was intending on asking about Warner releasing a Memoirs of an Invisible Man SE with Carpenter's help, and Deadly Friend with Wes Craven commentary, if possible.

I know that someone else is releasing Black Christmas on R1 DVD soon, but I'd liked to have asked Warner about the possibility of them remastering the film and releasing a SE at some point.

I was also going to ask about an Uncut Valentine also. I don't think it'd fall under the "NC-17 and unrated material" since Valentine was originally R-Rated and Warner Bros. watered it down further from there (while still saying it was rated R.) I wish they'd consider a Director's Cut.

Oh yeah, I'm also surprised that no one asked about a Police Academy set! Posted Image

Their answer regarding Freddy's Nightmares is ignorant. The VHS sales may have been crap, but a lot of people didn't collect those type videos way back when. Of course the sales will be horrible. Take a look at the sales figures for the Elm Street Box Set and that's what they should go on. Ah well. They at least know we want it now.

[Edited last by Wes Ray on October 17, 2001 at 10:08 AM]

#11 of 103 Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:23 AM

I'm not so sure I agree they are the worst DVD company left, and looking at the chat transcript it seems a lot of great catalog releases are coming. Warner's restorations are some of the absolutely best around, so I look forward to buying a lot of WB catalog releases next year!

I agree it seemed they did avoid some of the questions regarding OAR and season box sets of TV series, which was kind of unfortunate, but you can't expect them to changes policies at the moment during a chat either.

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#12 of 103 John Sullmeyer

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:42 AM

I agree. For those of you who weren't there. Here were two Twin Peaks questions. One by myself:

My question is in regards to the Twin Peaks Pilot. I assume you guys plan on releasing it, as you would not license it to Artisan to include in their upcoming Twin Peaks DVD boxed set. So my question is when do you plan on releasing it on DVD, and if you do, would you consider including both the TV open ended ending as well as the extended European ending using seamless branching as most fans prefer the open ended ending, and previously you released the European ending on VHS. I know it will be a huge seller. Just look on Ebay how much the Region 0 version has sold. Thanks ! DONE

We'll look into it. DONE


Thanks for coming! What I'd like to know is, in regard to your response "we'll look into it," regarding the twin peaks pilot on DVD, what exactly did you mean? How will the fans know what you discovered after looking into it? I, for one, am very interested in the answer to the Twin Peaks Pilot DVD question, when you find out.
done

We will announce a release, that's how. DONE


I think this was totally rude. It seemed that for most of the questions asked, they answered with "We'll look into it" or "We'll take it under consideration".

Oh well. I'm sure when they see Artisan selling their box set like hotcakes, they will figure it out.

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#13 of 103 Patrick Larkin

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:48 AM

I don't understand their response to the Twin PEaks questions. Does that mean they will release something or not? Every other title was a pretty clear answer

1. Yes, its coming on "some date"
2. No, there is no plans to release that.
3. We are currently doing research to see if it would meet some sales goal.

TP was just blown off with no specific answer given.


#14 of 103 Jim Bivins

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:53 AM

Though I wasn't able to participate (due to lack of mac support), I would have liked to find out about Valley of the Gwangi and a few of the other classic monster titles they own (aside from Hammer films, which I do want also)...certainly more than the repetative South Park questions! I'll probably get flamed for that, but it bugs me that the issue came up several times after WB stated clearly the case...especially considering all the other issues such as the great catalog titles WB has and the whole OAR issue!

However, I was pleased to learn about Adventures of Robin Hood, as well as the few classics they are working on.

Ultimately I think they made it clear, it's all about the numbers and VHS! That is unfortunate, and that they don't license titles makes it worse!

Jim
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#15 of 103 soop.spoon

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:56 AM

After reading the transcript, I felt the rep's tone was certainly less-than-polite. But then again, some of the questions weren't exaclty tactful either. It was a shame to see the chat degenerate into a South Park debate. They've got hundreds (if not thousands) of great titles in their vaults, yet we pester them about South Park? Ugh.

That being said... I'm totally psyched for Clash Of The Titans and Strange Brew next summer!

It's too bad nobody asked about Valley Of The Gwangi, Time After Time or O Lucky Man.

[Edited last by Jack Harasta on October 17, 2001 at 11:01 AM]

#16 of 103 Patrick Larkin

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:56 AM

As to the previous post, are you onfirming my suspicion that the chats are not Mac friendly?

LAME, HTF, Lame.

#17 of 103 Dick

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:00 AM

I have been as critical as anyone on this forum when it comes to Warner products and the lack of catalog titles, yet I have a quite different take about the chat session. I am VERY encouraged that the studio has fifty...FIFTY... catalog titles in the works for the coming year, including BRINGING UP BABY, CLASH OF THE TITANS, McCABE AND MRS MILLER, etc. They are supposedly considering release of more Hammer titles (long in coming, especially since during their first chat about 18 months ago they said these titles would probably arrive within a year) and I think the more of us who purchase THE MUMMY (1959), the faster that will happen. Warner seems at least willing to consider OAR on family titles on a case-by-case basis (and any they decide to release FS only we can raise a big stink about). The re-evaluation of complete seasons of t.v. shows is a good thing, too. From my perspective, these guys are at least trying to appease us. They can't do it all at once. I appreciate their efforts and will now watch eagerly to see how much of what they said would happen actually happens. The "benefit of the doubt" might be appropriate here.

#18 of 103 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:02 AM

Quote:
TP was just blown off with no specific answer given.
How would you expect them to respond? "Thank you for your question. Because of your inquiry, we will release it no later than February 5th, 2002. Would you like the list of special features that willl be on it?" Realistically, all they could say is what they said. It obviously was not on the schedule when the chat started, and now they are looking into it. To expect more would be unrealistic. If they come back in a year without a definitive yes or no, then we can all complain. Other than being a little less open about following up via the forum or at least its moderators, this is no different than any other disc producer.

I can see people being upset about the Babylon 5 DVD announcement contradiction (although drawing parallels to Soviet media manipulation is hyperbole to say the least), but I don't get why WB looking into a Twin Peaks release is such a bad thing.

Regards,


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[Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on October 17, 2001 at 11:04 AM]
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#19 of 103 Jeff Kleist

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:08 AM

Patrick, of course it's Mac friendly. Java is not an exact science, and you should just download a seperate IRC program for the HTC chats. That's more efficent anyway

Jeff Kleist

#20 of 103 Mark Pfeiffer

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:19 AM

Reading the transcript, the thing that really shocked me was WB's asking if people really cared if comedies in the 1.85:1 ratio were presented in widescreen. Um, yes! I think the repetition of the OAR mantra in many of the questions is important because it seems that some don't understand that the content (children, comedy) shouldn't determine whether a film is presented in OAR. OAR for everything!

Sure, some of the responses seemed a little curt, but it's difficult to interpret if that was really intended. I'm always surprised at what studios will reveal (eg., upcoming 2002 titles) and think they were as candid as I expected, if not more. (Check out previous chats.)
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