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Robert Harris on The Bits-Interview with Warner's George Feltenstein Official Thread


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#1 of 140 Bill Hunt

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Posted October 25 2004 - 09:54 AM

The Digital Bits is very pleased to bring you an in-depth interview Robert Harris has conducted with George Feltenstein, Warner Home Video's Sr. VP of Marketing for Classic Catalog. If you're a fan of classic films, you definitely don't want to miss this. It's a great read, and you'll learn quite a lot about the process Warner engages to restore and release its great classic titles on DVD. Robert and George talk in depth about Warner's new That's Entertainment Collection, as well as the Looney Tunes shorts and numerous other films. You'll also get a sneak peek at many of the classic titles you can expect to see from Warner in 2005 and beyond. We hope you enjoy it! Here's the link:

A Robert Harris Interview - Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein

Click on the link to read the full interview and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss, give feedback, ask questions of Robert and sound off as you will. Best wishes to all of you!
Bill Hunt, Editor
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#2 of 140 John Hodson

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Posted October 25 2004 - 10:09 AM

Flynn, Cagney, Crawford, Davis, more noir, Public Enemy, Little Caesar, Val Lewton & Fred 'n Ginger - my head's spinning!

Warners - God love 'em, and God bless George Feltenstein...

My only disappointment from WB recently was Lassie Come Home; Robert, any opinions on the transfer, supposing that you've seen it?
So many films, so little time...
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#3 of 140 Brian Kidd

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Posted October 25 2004 - 10:43 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Both to Mr. Harris and Mr. Feltenstein for taking the time to sit down and conduct such a wonderful, informative interview. This is the kind of film journalism that is so valuable to the film fan. Thank you as well to the Bits for continuing to offer a smart source of news and commentary on the Net.

As for the upcoming WB releases: I CAN'T WAIT!!!
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#4 of 140 Derek Estes

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Posted October 25 2004 - 10:46 AM

What a great interview! I am always so impressed with the amount of care that can be found in WB releases. I am really looking forward to this next years releases. I am so glad that the boxed sets have proved to be lucrative. More, Film Noir, Flynn, Cagney, Silents. Great news for classic film buffs.
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#5 of 140 Craig S

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Posted October 25 2004 - 10:54 AM

Wow. WOW! Great interview!! The passion of both men for film really comes through.

There's so much good information in there, about the history of home video, the difficulties & realities of film preservation, Warners' archival interview program... required reading for anyone even remotely interested in classic films on DVD. It gave me a renewed appreciation for the dedication of the film fans who work so hard to bring these gems to DVD.

Thanks to Mr. Harris, Mr. Feltenstein and the Bits for bringing us this piece.

Oh, and I loved this quote:
Quote:
And there's also another aspect in that I knew there would be some people out there… you know some people aren't happy unless they're unhappy about a DVD. They look for what can they find wrong with it. What can they complain about…
Posted Image No doubt about it, George Feltenstein definitely reads HTF!! Posted Image

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.


#6 of 140 John Hodson

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Posted October 25 2004 - 11:06 AM

Yup; I felt churlish about my earlier comment, but I'd really like to know why LCH looks so poor. Warners are my favourite studio without a shadow of a doubt; it does come as a shock when one sees something below par - just curious if the original elements were is a very poor state!
So many films, so little time...
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Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#7 of 140 Haggai

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Posted October 25 2004 - 01:45 PM

George F. is the man. His great work on home video is supplemented by some excellent work on classic CD soundtracks as well.

#8 of 140 Craig S

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Posted October 25 2004 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
Yup; I felt churlish about my earlier comment...

John, I honestly wasn't aiming my quote from the interview at you (or anybody else in particular) - it was just meant to be a general observation that things sometimes get out of hand...

I didn't read your first post as churlish at all, you just expressed disappointment in a particular title and asked for another opinion. A very reasonable thing to do, and I wouldn't think it was the kind of post Mr. Feltenstein was referring to.

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.


#9 of 140 Doug Bull

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Posted October 25 2004 - 02:32 PM

Great interview by Robert Harris.

George Feltenstein has long been my Hero.
I own and still cherish all of those wonderful Laserdisc Box Sets.( My Wife also loves them)

We, as Golden Age Movie Buffs are in his debt, because without him, we would have nothing.( or at best, very little)
Without him I would never have discovered such wonderful obscure performers like The Duncan Sisters and so many others.

The Films, the To Die For Extras on Laser and DVDs and those fabulous book inserts on his CDs, are worth their weight in Gold.


I pray that "Strawberry Blonde" makes the Cagney set.

(Believe it or not, by sheer coincidence I just this very minute had to stop typing to go to the door and take delivery from the Fedex guy of the "That's Entertainment" Box Set. Talk about timing!
I'm off now to lap it up)

#10 of 140 BarryR

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Posted October 25 2004 - 02:36 PM

I can't say enough how pleased and grateful I've been by the efforts of George Feltenstein--I was among those who snapped up the Vitaphone and Dawn of Sound laser sets as manna from celluoid heaven. If these rarely seen shorts can continue to be seen on DVD, incorporated as extras among classic titles, then I'll be happier still. The Vitaphone legacy, and alot of early sound movies, deserve more attention, since there's alot of memorable stuff to be found.

Thanks again, George Feltenstein!

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#11 of 140 Robert Harris

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Posted October 25 2004 - 03:16 PM

To John Hodson...

We might be able to help you, if you'd be kind enough to share what LCH is...

RAH

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#12 of 140 MichaelSloan

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Posted October 25 2004 - 03:38 PM

Good interview, but I wish someone had asked about the rest of the Tarzan films and wether they'll be on DVD
Do you wanna know what the most annoying sound in the world is? The voice of the person who first asked that question.

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#13 of 140 GlennH

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Posted October 25 2004 - 04:01 PM

LCH = Lassie Come Home

from John's first post above:
Quote:
My only disappointment from WB recently was Lassie Come Home; Robert, any opinions on the transfer, supposing that you've seen it?

I just got LCH in the mail today, but haven't had a chance to watch yet. Knowing Warners recent stellar output, I assume that any shortcomings are simply because that's the best that could be done with it, perhaps short of something cost prohibitive.

Thanks to RAH and thanks to Mr. F for his great care for the classic titles.

Can somebody point me towards some of the classic soundtrack CDs being talked about?

#14 of 140 Tim_P_76

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Posted October 25 2004 - 04:13 PM

Can somebody point me towards some of the classic soundtrack CDs being talked about?


I believe the ones that are talked about can be found here all in one bunch. These are from Rhino/TCM/Warners. Of course you could shop around for the best price.

TCM
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#15 of 140 MatthewLouwrens

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Posted October 25 2004 - 05:59 PM

Great interview, RAH. Thanks for bringing it to us, and thanks to George Feltenstein for his passion and hard work in bringing us such wonderful movies. It is appreciated.
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#16 of 140 Keith Paynter

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Posted October 25 2004 - 06:38 PM

A stunning & revealing interview, RAH. George Feltenstein is truly the father of (if not the Godfather of) the special edition concept, and the some laserdisc sets he helped pioneer are a still a part of my (somewhat reduced) LD collection.
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#17 of 140 ReggieW

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Posted October 25 2004 - 06:39 PM

Great interview, It has been my long held belief for some time that Warner is very on top of things. However, is there any Harlow coming? people are spending outrageous amounts of money for her films on VHS on ebay which are now out of print. I mean, WHV should have left her VHS titles in print if they knew the DVD's would not be coming soon. Frankly, I'm a little perplexed it's taken so long, because she appears to be pretty popular with young people since she was one of the great sex symbols. At the IMDB she has a few pages of postings in the message section (many people asking for DVD's), more than most classic stars from the 30's, and lastly, Gwen Stefani is playing her in "The Aviator" and young people are starting to ask questions about her. I know an attorney who has one of the largest Harlow collections in the world and he has asked me how he can contact WHV to offer them rare photos, audio recordings, etc; If anyone knows who I can contact at WHV regarding this, please PM me.

Thanks!
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#18 of 140 John Hodson

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Posted October 25 2004 - 06:49 PM

To John Hodson...

We might be able to help you, if you'd be kind enough to share what LCH is...


Sorry Robert; I mentioned it in my first post, Lassie Come Home - the amount of dirt and damage on the print is unprecedented in recent Warners releases, I just wondered why?
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#19 of 140 John Leaning

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Posted October 25 2004 - 07:16 PM

Thanks RAH and Mr. Feltenstein for the illuminating interview.

Warners have certainly replaced the role Columbia had years ago, of producing DVDs that you would have little hesitation with making blind purchases. The number of Warner titles in my collection has markedly increased over recent times, while I can't remember the last Columbia title I purchased.

It's bizarre isn't it, that expectations are a double edged sword for a company like Warners. They nicely get us to the point of expecting everything they produce to be near stellar quality and then they produce something like "Night and Day" from the Cary Grant Signature Collection.

For some other companies with a less impressive record, it may just be dismissed, but when Warners do it, it just hurts more, because of the trust we have in them based on that record of quality.

As long as Warners keep producing the quality goods at their current hit rate, I'll just have to keep buying.

John

#20 of 140 Mark Cappelletty

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Posted October 25 2004 - 08:25 PM

That was a great interview-- and detailed some of the restoration process in layman's terms which explains a lot. Thanks much!





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