Posted March 24 2009 - 04:52 AM
Warner Bros. Live Chat Transcript
There have been so many times that I or this forum have been
called "studio shills" that it has sort become a badge that we all
proudly wear. I bring this up because I am certain by the end of
what I am about to say, someone somewhere, is going to be calling
us a "shill" for defending a studio like Warner Brothers.
My defense to these accusations is that we have a closer relationship
with all the studios than most people ever will. We know and speak
to most everyone in the Home Entertainment divisions on a semi-regular
basis. Through the years we have learned first-hand the reasons why
things are done the way they are.
Studios have embraced HTF members during our yearly meets because
it is important for them to educate consumers about some of the inner
decision making that goes into releasing product to the market. Those
who have been fortunate enough to be part of our HTF meets will attest
to the fact that politics and other unavoidable factors often result in
release delays and lost opportunities to put out that perfect Special Edition
everyone feels they deserve.
Last night we had one of the best online chats with Warner Brothers
that we ever had. There was a record 160+ attendees in the room
and we raced through approx. 42 questions in a little over two hours.
Unfortunately, we had the cut the chat short. There was a communication
error on the alloted amount of time that we had, and I got a call at
the 2-hour mark asking that we wrap things up.
I spoke with Warner Bros. this morning and they feel bad for having
to wrap up the chat when it was HOT. There is talk about there being
another chat in the near future to make up for the lost time
problem is, the studio has been reading some of the feedback posted
in our forum overnight.
This goes out to the vocal minority. Most all of you were polite in
your comments this morning.
Before the chat even began last night someone openly texted to me
that the studio "lied" to them in a former chat about a certain release
that never came to fruition.
This morning, I'm on the phone with Warner Bros. reading posted
comments like these:
| The evasiveness and vagueness of many of Warner's responses is disconcerting. |
| What's the purpose of the chat if they're just gonna evade questions and |
just say yes and no?
| I'm annoyed Warner still isn't announcing solid plans one way or another |
for THE DEVILS. It's under consideration and they're working on it, which
is pretty much the same answer they gave in a chat 4 or 5 years ago,
whenever it was. Grrrrrrrrr..... Does the question have to be asked again
in the next 2010/2011 HTF chat, with the same response?
I don't think the people that make these kind of comments really understand
the Home Entertainment business.
First, do you realize how impossible it is to get any studio to agree to a live
chat with our membership? Outside of Warner Bros., Fox has been the only
studio that has agreed to do studio chats and that was because of Peter
Staddon. Once he left, the general studio chats with Fox ceased altogether.
I was amazed they approached us for THE ROBE, and am highly appreciative
to Schawn and Kavita for making it worthwhile. I hope we made them proud.
Warner, on the other hand, has done somewhere in the area of 11 chats
with us over the years. They don't do it with any other site. That says
something incredible about their dedication to this forum and its membership.
I know for FACT that they read all your comments on a daily basis and
the reason why many of these rare titles are starting to come out is
largely based on your posted suggestions.
We can't get Fox, Paramount, Universal or Disney to do these general
studio chats. The reason is very clear why. For a studio to put themselves
on a live venue and open themselves up to any question our members
would like to ask is nothing short of suicide for them
....and you know what, some of your negative remarks overnight prove
OF COURSE there are things the studio is going to be vague about.
Do you know how competitive the studio business is? None of these
studios want to readily announce secretive release plans to the public
or each other for that matter until the time is right.
And some of those titles that you feel Warner promised you and could
not deliver upon? They didn't lie to you. Many times, the studio has
product set for release and corporate steps in and pulls it. Sometimes
they run into legal snags. As it was put to me on the phone earlier
today, "things change around here on a daily basis."
Yet, it amazes me that some of you feel the studio owes you something.
Read the transcript of last night's chat
and I think you will be amazed
at the amount of revelations that were announced months early. For
every vague answer, there was a wealth of information announced last
night. And for that the studio has to wake up to a thread filled with
Yeah, it's true that THE BOWERY BOYS, THE DEVILS, and TWILIGHTS
LAST GLEAMING have been promised for years by the studio. Each
year they feel they are are nearing the point they can get these titles
out. I personally was told the reasons why each of these films still
have not seen the light of day, and I am confident enough to tell you
that there are very valid reasons that have nothing to do with playing
games with consumers. As these titles get released we hope to explain
to all of you what the holdup was. However, to blatantly announce
that information would greatly jeopardize the chance of those titles
every seeing the light of day.
The cold hard truth is that the studio cannot just come into a chat
and give you any piece of information you ask of them.
At this point we are trying to negotiate another chat with Warner.
However, I will tell you truthfully that the negative comments that
were posted on this forum is deterring them from doing a follow-up
this year. Can you imagine their perspective on all this? They did
what most other studios would not. They put themselves on the line
and gave all of you some really great announcements and answers to
your questions. Yet, when they had to sidestep some questions in order
to keep their cards close, they were subjected to negativity.
We are working to bring more of these chats from other studios to
this forum. However, it's going to be an impossible sell if the vocal
minority continues to post these hurtful comments.
You guys should be very proud that HTF receives more studio
interaction than any other forum of its kind. We aim to provide
both negative and positive feedback to the Home Entertainment industry.
When negative feedback is called for, we hope that our members will
continue to express it in a polite and constructive manner.