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Syndicated Alf in better condition - Lion's Gate is FOS

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38 replies to this topic

#1 of 39 OFFLINE   Mark To

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Posted March 10 2005 - 05:21 AM

I work in the industry and this story that they are using the pre-cut tapes because the originals are in poor shape is BS. The show is less than 20 years old and unless they took the 1-inch masters and stored them in some damp basement (highly unlikely), they will be fine. The Judy Garland Show was shot on 2-inch in 1963 and the transfers are pristine. LG is trying to claim that a show recorded 25 years later has deteriorated. Come on. They are too cheap and or too lazy to go through the trouble and expense of remastering the show from the original videotapes.

#2 of 39 OFFLINE   Juan Books

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Posted March 10 2005 - 05:33 AM

I just wonder how will certain studio apologists on this forum try to justify Lions Gate decision. People need to understand that certain studios (Sony, Universal, Lions Gate) are our enemies, and that the fight is on to wrestle the control of our TV favorites from them. They don't care an ounce about our beloved shows and movies, the intentions and wishes of the people who made them, or the desires of the consumers who pay their inflated salaries, so why should their "ownership" over those shows and movies be recognized by society? Copyright reform is an imperative.

#3 of 39 OFFLINE   Christian Preischl

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Posted March 10 2005 - 05:58 AM

The Canadian ALF Files looks great, and is uncut!
But in the end it doesn't even matter to me whether they used syndicated cuts or not. They still made additional (sometimes drastic) cuts due to music rights, so in the end we still would have gotten a cut product. Not as badly cut, but still pretty bad.

And it appears that, even though there was quite a bit of outrage when season 1 was released, Lions Gate doesn't give a sh*t, as they will release season 2 in the same fashion, according to this.
No way I'm gonna buy that one.


#4 of 39 OFFLINE   Andrew Radke

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Posted March 10 2005 - 07:00 AM

Well although I didn't purchase season one due to the cuts, I heeded some of the members' advice and decided to give Lion's Gate the benefit of the doubt in the hopes that they'll do right by the second season. What a mistake that was!! If season 2 were to contain the broadcast episodes, I would've probably given in and purchased the first set. But now, forget it. They couldn't care less about the consumer. The outcry following the season one set was huge. It's obvious those cries have fallen on deaf ears. Shame. I would've loved to own this show, but it's not going to happen. Not while they insist on releasing the syndicated episodes. I don't understand their logic. Releasing the syndicated eps because they look better. I'd frankly prefer inferior quality as opposed to lopped episodes. I think someone over there needs to wake up and smell the toast. No sale.
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#5 of 39 OFFLINE   Gord Lacey

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Posted March 10 2005 - 08:23 AM

I'm dealing with a new person at Lions Gate, and when she told me this news I said, "You realize the fans are going to be sooooo pissed at this news, right?" and she said she heard about the problems with season 1. I'd be interested in seeing how their sales of season 2 are compared to season 1. I can't explain syndicated episodes on season 2.

On the other hand, and this means nothing to ALF fans, the studio is remastering "Moonlighting" and including all the original music. I guess they feel there's a much larger market for "Moonlighting," and they're willing to spend the money.

I called VSC to ask if they could get Canadian rights to the series, but Lions Gate has it locked up for North America. Sorry guys...I really hoped to report some good ALF news Posted Image

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#6 of 39 OFFLINE   James L White

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Posted March 10 2005 - 08:31 AM

NO SALE!!!!!!!!!! Posted Image
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#7 of 39 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted March 10 2005 - 08:55 AM

Well, I had been suckered in and bought season 1 on streetdate and watched it right away so I was S.O.L. Well, I had said that I'd not buy season 2 on release and wait and find out if the episodes were cut or not. At least I know I won't have to wait to find out the answer...and I won't be buying this release. I can't and won't defend the studio this time because to me this doesn't make any good business sense. I'll defend a studio's decision even if as a fan I don't agree with or like it, if I think its a sound business decision but in this case I don't so I can't and won't defend them. No sale

#8 of 39 OFFLINE   RandyAW



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Posted March 10 2005 - 09:20 AM

Well they can count me out again. I had held out hope they would do better for season 2 but that was obviously a pipe dream.

#9 of 39 OFFLINE   Eugene Esterly

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Posted March 10 2005 - 09:21 AM

Same for me. It looks like Lion's Gate refuses to get the message. As Juan Books mentioned, we will have to add Lion's Gate to the list of companies who are our enemies. No ALF sales for me.

#10 of 39 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted March 10 2005 - 01:06 PM

Apparently they figure the lost sales are not significant enough to offset the cost of mastering from the original broacasts.

I too would buy the originals in an instant, regardless of video quality, if they were intact and uncut.

As it is, I won't touch Season 2 with a 10-foot pole and plastic gloves.

LG can shove that steaming pile, along with S1, back where it came from. Posted Image
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#11 of 39 OFFLINE   SeanC



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Posted March 10 2005 - 01:54 PM

I love ALF, and was so excited when I heard Season One was coming, but I held off because of the cut episodes. I can't believe Lions Gate is doing this again! They haven't learned at all, or they just don't care. I wish Paul Fusco would pull the license, but I get the feeling he doesn't really care either. Lions Gate is a great company for movies, but terrible for DVDs.

#12 of 39 OFFLINE   Tory


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Posted March 10 2005 - 06:05 PM

Hopefully someone decent and honest will get European rights to this series so everyone here can import correct versions, or at least closer to correct versions of the series.
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#13 of 39 OFFLINE   Justin_S



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Posted March 10 2005 - 08:29 PM

Doesn't surprise me at all. Lions Gate has a habit of being liars.

#14 of 39 OFFLINE   Jano Rohleder

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Posted March 10 2005 - 10:35 PM

Does anyone know an address for the rights owner "Alien Productions" or for Paul Fusco?
I know of a German indie label that is interested in ALF but doesn't have the contact information. Posted Image

#15 of 39 OFFLINE   Doug Wallen

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Posted March 11 2005 - 12:47 AM

Here is anotherNO SALE.

I did buy the first set and had hopes with the outcry that Season 2 would be correct. Seems I was wrong. Well I guess I can save that money for more worthy product.
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#16 of 39 OFFLINE   Tony S

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Posted March 11 2005 - 03:00 AM

I wonder how long Lion's Gate's contract is. Maybe after it expires someone else will do it right.

#17 of 39 OFFLINE   Mark To

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Posted March 11 2005 - 03:10 AM

Let's not just blame LG as I'm sure Fu$co has a hand in this as well. Honestly, he owns the show and if he wanted it released in its complete and proper form it would not be a big deal for him to insist on doing it that way. Instead, Fu$co figures it's more profitable to use the already existing transfers than to spend a dime to go back to the network versions.

#18 of 39 OFFLINE   David*P


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Posted March 11 2005 - 08:21 AM

I had received s.1 for Christmas but took it back knowing that they were cut episodes. It's ridiculous that after all the outcry they would have the nerve to put out s.2 with cut episodes. I really would like ALF on DVD but not a shoddy version.

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#19 of 39 OFFLINE   Mark To

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Posted March 11 2005 - 06:21 PM

I was talking to a friend tonight and he pointed out how preposterous that statement is, that 3rd generation syndication dubs are better quality than the 1-inch masters. Here I was all these years thinking that my masters were the best quality when I could have dubbed my tapes down 2 generations and they would have been better preserved. Hey, Lions Gate, tell the truth. You don't have a one-inch machine and you're too cheap and too lazy to locate one. You have the syndication masters on nice, convenient Beta SP tapes and you don't have to put in any effort to use those so that's what you use.

#20 of 39 OFFLINE   James Landau

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Posted March 11 2005 - 08:00 PM

I've been wondering the same thing myself, Mark. They seem to want us to believe that tape is exactly like film and that the picture degrades just sitting there. As long as they weren't stored under abysmal conditions, the master tapes should play nearly as well today as when they were first produced.

In truth though, I don't believe it matters whether Lion's Gate has a 1-inch machine or not as Paul Fusco would have to be insane to send them the actual master tapes. Fusco needs to have the masters dubbed onto a high quality tape format (such as D1) and send those to Lion's Gate. This would also give him a high quality backup copy.

So really, I think Fusco is just as much to blame for this ongoing fiasco as Lion's Gate. He doesn't want to go to the trouble/expense of getting the masters properly dubbed and Lion's Gate doesn't want to rock the boat and demand he give them what they paid for by supplying them with suitable source material.

There's a bit of a parallel between this situation and when A&E/New Video first started to release the ITC catalog they licensed from Carlton Int'l. A&E actually hired a consultant to assist them in the release of the catalog. Carlton sent them some not so great looking copies of Space: 1999 on D1. While the copies were complete, their consultant told them they should demand better quality copies. But A&E went ahead and released the first season as Carlton had supplied it. As a result, they got numerous complaints from fans about the inferior quality.

When it came to the release of season 2, A&E actually listened to their consultant and told Carlton to give them what they paid for. Carlton took a look, decided A&E was right, and remastered season 2 for them. Long term result was that a whole lot of ITC shows got released through A&E in better shape than they otherwise would have been. A&E learned they didn't need to use whatever crap Carlton decided to send them and demanded better. Carlton either went through their vaults and found better copies or remastered new copies from source materials. Unfortunately, A&E/New Video now has a new management team who doesn't have much interest in "cult TV" shows and wants to concentrate on more mainstream shows such as Ellen and Benny Hill. They've pretty much abandoned the ITC catalog and from what I gather from said consultant, their rights to said catalog will soon expire and not be renewed. But the point is, if A&E can stick up for themselves and demand what they paid for, so can Lion's Gate.

Is Lion's Gate really using BetaSP tapes for their ALF source material? I know that the Dark Shadows DVDs are being sourced from BetaSP because I've seen a few of the telltale dropouts that occur when they don't keep the decks meticulously clean. But other than that, I had hoped that the majority of TV on DVD was being sourced from better component sources such as D1. It should also be pointed out that for the DVD release, Dark Shadows had fresh transfers made from the original master tapes. What tape format they were using in the late '60s is beyond me, but I believe videotape was in its infancy. If they can still get usable copies from these tapes (which were not stored under favorable conditions for a number of years), there's no reason they can't do the same with the ALF master tapes which are 20 years younger.

In any event, I didn't buy the first season of ALF and I won't be buying anything from Lion's Gate until they get off their rocker and do the right thing. They've had plenty of opportunity to rectify this situation and failed miserably. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll go bankrupt, leaving the rights open for someone else to purchase--someone who will demand Fusco supply them with uncut copies.

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