Posted August 19 2008 - 08:45 PM
You've asked the million-dollar question, Jeff... why don't we get it right the first time around? That answer to that is somewhat complicated in that no one I've dealt with in the studios system really sets out to double-dip anybody; it's a function of new technology, legal issues, marketing opportunities and ongoing revenue streams.
The initial issue is technology: so the BD format comes out, it's barely functional because it was rushed out to compete with HD-DVD, which was nearly a year farther along, and there has to be someone putting out discs for it. The first titles to go out are ones they think they can sell because it should show off the format in terms of picture and audio quality. In the beginning, that's literally all they had to sell BD with, because virtually no other BD feature worked in Profile 1.0! So those of us trying to work with the format in its infancy had to really simplify what we wanted to do, because no players could handle the promised functionality. Now the format has matured a bit in terms of players working, so we can do more. The alternative was to not release anything at all until the format worked better, and miss out on a marketing opportunity to show that the studios are committing to the format. If that sounds like double-dipping, it certainly isn't meant to be... pretty much every review of the early discs --and especially for T2-- noted that there was obviously going to be a future BD version with all of the good stuff from the DVDs on it. It's kind of like buying encyclopedias (for those of you old enough to remember those actual book things prior to Wikipedia!)... do you buy this year's set and have something you can use right now, or do you wait until next year for the updated and revised version? With the latter mentality, you can end up waiting forever and not getting anything.
As for getting it right, the legal issues involved with putting out a disc are legion, and most studios have a threshold for how much they are willing to pay in licensing costs and troubles for any given thing that can be put on a disc. For example, a crew video might exist, but you have to get signed waivers from every person visible in it in order to cover the studio in case someone does not like being shown in it. The Guns N Roses music video for T2 made it onto the laserdisc in 1993 but NOT on any subsequent DVD because the fees from the band and record label are incredibly steep (over $125,000 nearly ten years ago)... the only reason we got it onto the laserdisc version is that the licensing fee was a lot cheaper because the LD sales were literally only in the tens of thousands at the most. Since DVDs replaced VHS as the format of choice, the market is way bigger (in the tens of millions of discs sold), so they charge higher fees. And the legal rule of thumb is, if there's ANY potential rights issue, they drop it.
I can go into the sordid business/marketing aspect in a future post... but in terms of these two titles, it is a certainty that they WILL be redone on BD at some point, since their initial BD releases were somewhat plain and incomplete (at least in terms of what I did for them on DVD). Personally, I am just trying to get a sense from you folks what you think, because I want to see ALL my previous efforts in creating special features make it to the new format. Nothing has been committed to by either studio yet on these titles... I'm just hoping to get a chance to do them when they do happen.