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Warner Chat Thoughts


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#21 of 103 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:21 AM

I'd like to see if HTF can go back to Warner & get an answer on this exchange:
quote:
Q (Chad Ferguson): I was just wondering if there any chance of a release for Wyatt Earp? Perphaps the Directors cut? I would just like to say great job on your first release of DTS titles, keep them coming, and awesome, awesome job on the Oliver Stone set! It's great to know that you guys are willing to support such a great director! Thanks.

A (Warner): Appreciate the kind words.
[/quote]
I don't think they deliberately ducked the question - it just got lost in all the words following.

I was very pleased to see this:
quote:
...but believe us when we say that the DVD debut of Looney Tunes is an ongoing concern of WHV and indeed a passion among a few staffers. Be patient.[/quote]

To me, the most interesting statement of the whole chat was:
quote:
Sadly, VHS is still considered a bellwether among Marketers. But things will change over time, he said wistfully.[/quote]
Reading between the lines, it sounds like the DVD folks are still a little hamstrung by "non-believers" in the WHV hierarchy.

The only title I would have liked to seen addressed that wasn't is Chariots Of Fire. I don't think this one has ever been released in its OAR.

------------------
Too many DVDs, too little time...
AFI 100 Challenge - 36 to go!

[Edited last by Craig S on October 17, 2001 at 11:23 AM]

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#22 of 103 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:26 AM


It's no wonder why we have such a difficult time
booking live chats with studios.

You guys rip 'em apart the next day.

Look....

First of all, I rarely saw one post here that
thanked the studio for participating in this chat.
They didn't have to do it, and quite frankly, I
never thought in my wildest dreams that Warner
WOULD -- especially due to personal problems we
had with them in the past (but have been resolved).

Then you guys complain about the questions that
were asked. Don't you think that the questions
asked were important to the people that asked them?
Not everyone has obscure tastes in film.

The fact is, we took the number of questions that
could have been asked in the 1:45 time we had with
Warner, and what was asked was important to the
people that asked them.

...and I think that South Park is a very important
issue. There are many fans here who are upset as
I am as to how the studio has been releasing the
series domestically.

Was Warner Brothers a bit short and blunt in
answers? Yes, they were. So what? To be honest,
I am sure there is a lot the studio cannot tell you.
Some studios like Fox and Anchor Bay will tell us
everything in these live chats. Others, like
Paramount and Warner will be more cautious
in what they say because they want to talk about
this stuff when the time is right.

Let's be thankful the studio talked to us. Some
of you expect far too much and then make life
difficult for us by posting so much negativity
that studios are afraid to do these things again.

Lastly....

As Moderator of these chats it is not my job to
force information out of a studio or to try to nab
them when I think they are skirting issues. My
job is to Moderate and keep this chat professional.
If something they answer is vague, I will often
ask them to elaborate. If I see there is something
they would rather not talk about, I leave it alone.



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#23 of 103 OFFLINE   Duncan Harvey

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:30 AM

re the Wyatt Earp question - I found myself adopting a Jim Garrison pose when reading the Warren commision transcripts - answer the question!!

I'm sorry but far too many of these chats are done in a manner in which the studio reps are treated as gods who have condescended to talk to us the unwashed masses, and hence we get grovelling thankyou's for non answers.

If only every studio had a Peter Staddon!

#24 of 103 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:34 AM

I came away with mixed feelings. I'm happy that they are planning to release catalog titles such as Klute, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Adventures of Robin Hood, The Women, Bringing Up Baby, The Bad & The Beautiful & others. I hope this increase in releasing their catalog titles is a permanent change in policy.

I'm also happy to hear about the director's cut of Nightbreed, & the possible DVD release of Once Upon a Time in America & the Scorcese SE's.

I'm disappointed in their answers regarding OAR. In fact their answers make me very nervous. I was particularly upset by their comments on re-releasing their full frame DVD titles. "Is there a demand"?

I was also a little disappointed in their response to the RKO library titles, especially the Val Lewton films. I have the laser box set of these films & they look very nice. I guess I should be happy that I have that. From their answers, we won't be seeing many of these RKO titles on DVD for a long time.

Seeing how Warner was on top of my s--t list, I do have a better outlook on them overall, at least when it comes to their approach on catalog titles. Thank you for coming Warner. You made a better impression of your company on my DVD obsessed mind.


[Edited last by Jay E on October 17, 2001 at 11:46 AM]

[Edited last by Jay E on October 17, 2001 at 12:10 PM]

#25 of 103 OFFLINE   Dan M~

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:51 AM


May I make a suggestion on how these chats are conducted. The big problem seems to be "time". Maybe future chats can be set up so the Studios get a list of questions/topics ahead of time. This list could be a simple thread started a few days ahead of time titled "*** OFFICIAL THREAD *** Questions for the Warner Chat". The studio could be directed to the thread and have time to prepare answers to the more common questions. The Chat could possibly start with a prepared text that would answer these questions. Then the members could ask for more info or clearify any missunderstandings during the live portion.

Just a thought...


-Dan M.

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#26 of 103 OFFLINE   Greg_M

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:53 AM

I'm glad to see Warners is release "50" catalog titles next year - That's a lot of titles.

I'm in the minority - I buy classics/catalog titles (they've held up over the years) but, with few exceptions, rent recent films (many are only worth viewing once or become dated quickly)


#27 of 103 OFFLINE   Dan M~

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:53 AM


Sorry... Double Post.

[Edited last by Dan M~ on October 17, 2001 at 02:54 PM]
-Dan M~

 

 


#28 of 103 OFFLINE   Greg_M

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:59 AM

I'm glad to see Warners is release "50" catalog titles next year - That's a lot of titles.

I'm in the minority - I buy classics/catalog titles (they've held up over the years) but, with few exceptions, rent recent films (many are only worth viewing once or become dated quickly)


#29 of 103 OFFLINE   Brian-W

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Posted October 17 2001 - 07:38 AM

I couldn't be there (last minute meeting), but I was rather surprised that no one here (am I the only one???) asked about FIREFOX !

I will extend a kudos to Ron Epstein for pulling a last minute question on a series that was also numbers 2 and 3 on my list of wants (Any/Every Which way series). At least there's some good news.

And Thanks to the crew at Warner for taking the time to do these Q&A sessions, very much appreciated

-Brian

* No longer looking for Hi-Vision Laserdiscs *
(I buried that format)

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#30 of 103 OFFLINE   soop.spoon

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:02 AM

Quote:
Then you guys complain about the questions that
were asked. Don't you think that the questions
asked were important to the people that asked them?
Not everyone has obscure tastes in film.

nice jab.
Obviously, people should ask about the titles that interest them. However, wasting precious time and bandwidth with the same question over and over doesn't seem very productive. Warner's first answer was clear enough.

#31 of 103 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:13 AM

Quote:
May I make a suggestion on how these chats are conducted. The big problem seems to be "time". Maybe future chats can be set up so the Studios get a list of questions/topics ahead of time. This list could be a simple thread started a few days ahead of time titled "*** OFFICIAL THREAD *** Questions for the Warner Chat". The studio could be directed to the thread and have time to prepare answers to the more common questions. The Chat could possibly start with a prepared text that would answer these questions. Then the members could ask for more info or clearify any missunderstandings during the live portion.

Dan,

Brilliant. Agree 100%

Ron, could you consider this? I know that I don't have access to a computer at night and can never participate. Also, by having a comprehensive list, this would cut down on question redundancy as questions could be merged if they're asking the same thing. Then the Chat could be a period for the studio providing the answers, and gathering feedback to those answers or requests for clarification.

It would also save time as the questions and initial answers wouldn't have to be hand typed...they'd basically be instantly printed one by one and the time could then be spent allowing more questions to make it into the time-frame as well as for more detailed responses prepared ahead of time.

-dave
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#32 of 103 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:21 AM

There seemed to be a lot of repetition in the transcript and the occasional dingbat question (what was with that guy's rant about South Park and what was he smoking?). Surprised The Omega Man didn't show up at all.

Couldn't make the chat, alas, because of work.

#33 of 103 OFFLINE   BarryR

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:36 AM

I'm very pleased that WB is considering a couple of Astaire/Rogers musicals for remastering, plus giving a cautious interest in THE HAUNTING (1963) in 2002. Also, committing to a major upgrade of ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) for 2003 is nothing to ignore either. The vault isn't quite as locked up as I thought. Posted Image

[Edited last by BarryR on October 17, 2001 at 03:38 PM]

#34 of 103 OFFLINE   Nigel McN

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:47 AM

I was very impressed with this chat, with the speed of the questions answered and the speed that the warner bunch replied with.

since the question was quoted with a reference to Warner not answering the question, here is the question with their answer.

[Chad_Ferguson] I was just wondering if there any chance of a release for Wyatt Earp? Perphaps the Directors cut? I would just like to say great job on your first release of DTS titles, keep them coming, and awesome, awesome job on the Oliver Stone set! It's great to know that you guys are willing to support such a great director! Thanks. Done
[Warner] Appreciate the kind words. DONE
[Warner] WYATT EARP is being considered (needs new transfer, too). DONE


by my count I get ~60 question & answers in the 105 minutes of the chat, thats a question and answer every 1.75 minutes (including the time taken to do the YO's).

That is a great rate and knocks the socks off of many chats I have been to.

well done Warner.



#35 of 103 OFFLINE   PhilipG

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:52 AM

I'm a little surprised at all the negative comments in this thread. From the transcript, I thought the chat went great. Warner seemed much less machine-like this time 'round. Some of you may be new and not remember the plethora of "that is a good suggestion and we will consider it" stock phrases of chats past. I thought Warner's replies showed definite signs of encouragement.

In particular I was pleased with:

The Hammer Horror news;
The Looney Tunes news;
50 Catalogue Titles a'comin';
...including The Adventures of Robin Hood and Top Hat, and of course Clash of the Titans;
That B5 DVD will be judged on the initial release (good news because "In the Beginning" is one of the best)
V:The Final Battle next summer;
Finally, some rereleases of really old DVDs, particularly Robin Hood POT SE & Amadeus.

I was disappointed with:

Warner's take on open-matte for comedies (hello?! We want theatrical OAR, anamorphic enhancement on widescreen for all film genres!)
Warner's attitude to audio differences on lower-bit rate (somebody there needs to buy themselves a decent amp Posted Image ).

But overall, a good chat. Seems to me that we have at least a few people over at Warner on our side. Posted Image

#36 of 103 OFFLINE   Mark McLeod

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:53 AM

I'm glad they took the time to chat with us but I too was a bit disapointed with the answer I received to my question. I asked about the underrated but critcially well reviewed movie "8 Days A Week". Basically i just asked if there were any plans to release it and their answer was along the lines of "Not at this time".

As for them taking VHS sales into effect as to what to release. I haven't bought a VHS tape since I got into DVD with the exception of TPM which I tried to watch but stopped 2 minutes in after I couldn't take the lack of video quality. It doesn't matter what title it is, I won't buy or rent a VHS tape period.


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#37 of 103 OFFLINE   Kenneth English

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:54 AM

I was also hoping for some word on INNERSPACE, but I won't complain since the # 1 most wanted film on my list of unreleased titles got a mention -- Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING! I almost peed my pants when I read that it was being looked into for 2002 release! Posted Image I know that means it's a big maybe but that's better than the abysmal silence that has greeted requests for it in the past.

Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease release THE HAUNTING!

(oh, and thanks for doing the chat... Posted Image )

#38 of 103 OFFLINE   Stu Rosen

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:29 AM

I'm at a loss to understand the negative responses I've read to last night's chat.

Warner's reps were forthcoming, gave you plenty to look forward to, and didn't sugar-coat their responses.

The resentment seems to come from an unrealistic expectation that a studio's mission is to educate its consumers as to the best way to see a film (be it OAR, higher bit-rates, DTS, longer cuts for Superman II, etc.).

As I believe Warner made quite clear in its candid responses, its decisions are driven by its marketing research and sales data. That's the way it is -- and are you really surprised?

You may think they're making the wrong choices --- that's understandable (and, to a large extent, I agree with the complaints). But Warners isn't AFI -- it's a profit-making entity that'll make its choices based on what all of its consumers -- not just the really cool ones -- want.

You can say that if Warners were more long-term minded, they'd actually be making more $$$ with the positions this Forum advocates. Maybe so. Frankly, I don't know enough to say that that's right.

Warner may be (I'm sure it is) filled with people with the same enthusiasm and passion for film that you have. That just may not play into the business decisions they make on a day-to-day basis. I know that my own personal view don't always coincide with the obligations of my job, and I bet you can say the same thing about your own situation.

Look -- what I want from a chat like this is (a) info on upcoming releases, and (b) insight into the company's decision making. We got both of those, in abundance, last night.

Thanks to Ron for putting this chat (and all others) together.

[Edited last by Stu Rosen on October 17, 2001 at 04:31 PM]
 

#39 of 103 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:38 AM

The news about the vault doors opening a little was certainly welcome. I'm still not at all satisfied with the answer to my licensing question (they essentially said, we think the movies will make money, we're just waiting for the right time to release them....which is when??? When DVD is about to be replaced by another format???).

But I have to say I was utterly appalled by the sentiment that, well of course comedies will be P&S you dunderheads, that's how god intended them. Where the hell does that come from??? The family oriented survey marketers, I guess.

Anyway, thanks to Warner for facing the angry masses (who turned out not to be all that angry after all, except the fellow who said "Bad Warner!" Posted Image And thanks to Ron for actually letting me ask a question even though my vitriol for WB is legendary. Posted Image

------------------
"This movie has warped my fragile little mind."

#40 of 103 OFFLINE   Mark Evans

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:40 AM

I too will throw my two cents in and thank the folks at WB for stopping by to chat. I certainly don't agree with them on everything, but for them to even grant a chat with a bunch of netizens is cool and thank-worthy.

So thanks Warners, now go iron out that OAR problem Posted Image. Mind you, since Osmosis Jones is coming out in OAR and they said they'll be releasing the uncut verion of the Batman Beyond movie next year, I've already got pretty much everything I wanted from them Posted Image.

------------------
Mark Evans
Low Rent Movie Critic, Low Rent Home Theater Owner, Low Rent Everything
Mark Evans

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