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Coming Soon From Olive Films


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#2381 of 2425 OFFLINE   Ken_Martinez

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Posted March 01 2014 - 10:05 AM

I spoke to the folks at Universal's Asset Management about this long ago. They assured me that they've scoured the globe looking for better material, not just on the Marx films but many others, especially those that were hacked up for post-Code reissue, such as LOVE ME TONIGHT. Believe me, if they had superior elements, don't you think they'd have put those versions out by now?

 

Mike S.

 

Well, given that the party line is that catalog films don't sell anymore, no.


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#2382 of 2425 OFFLINE   Camps

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Posted March 02 2014 - 05:10 AM

Talk about the Perfect being the enemy of the Good. 

 

This is typical of Universal Home Entertainment's stance of recent years.  They don't have ideal material on much of the pre-1948 Paramounts (and on much of the '30s and '40s Universal output).  And so, rather than allow fans to see these films in at least decent form on DVD, TV or streaming, they simply leave them to rot... 



#2383 of 2425 OFFLINE   Martin_Teller

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Posted March 03 2014 - 09:54 AM

Am I the only one who saw "Home of the Brave" and hoped it was the Laurie Anderson film?

 

Probably...



#2384 of 2425 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted March 03 2014 - 10:00 AM

Am I the only one who saw "Home of the Brave" and hoped it was the Laurie Anderson film?

 

Probably...

 

The version Olive was planning to release was already leaked months ago, so...yes?

 

Though I agree that the Laurie Anderson film also is long overdue.



#2385 of 2425 OFFLINE   cadavra

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Posted March 03 2014 - 11:02 AM

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Talk about the Perfect being the enemy of the Good. 

 

This is typical of Universal Home Entertainment's stance of recent years.  They don't have ideal material on much of the pre-1948 Paramounts (and on much of the '30s and '40s Universal output).  And so, rather than allow fans to see these films in at least decent form on DVD, TV or streaming, they simply leave them to rot... 

 

As I've said before, they are NOT leaving them to rot. They are preserving everything. Asset Management and Home Entertainment are two completely different divisions, and just because the latter is slacking off (a charge other studios are guilty of as well) does not mean that they are neglecting the safety of their library.

 

Mike S.


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#2386 of 2425 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 03 2014 - 03:02 PM

Not letting them rot, and what elements exist to work with are two different things as well.

 

I heard for years that the studio held few original camera negatives for the pre-1948 Paramounts, if any, not sure if that was 100% correct or not. 



#2387 of 2425 OFFLINE   Camps

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Posted March 03 2014 - 05:40 PM

As I've said before, they are NOT leaving them to rot. They are preserving everything. Asset Management and Home Entertainment are two completely different divisions, and just because the latter is slacking off (a charge other studios are guilty of as well) does not mean that they are neglecting the safety of their library.

 

Mike S.

 

Thanks for replying, Mike.  I'm grateful to have drawn the attention of someone who has a direct pipeline to Universal (even if not the Home Entertainment Div.).  I use "rot" figuratively of course; I understand Universal has preservationists serving as stewards of the library.

 

But to what end?  There are countless titles in their library -- especially classic Paramounts (I'm thinking for example of 1940's "The Mad Doctor" and 1944's "The Man in Half Moon Street") --  that never have seen the light of day on any home vid format nor (in recent memory) even TV.  Are we to believe the prints on these titles are so mediocre that the 16mm bootlegs are as good as classic film fans should expect? 

 

What's the point of not exploiting these titles if they are in at least "acceptable" condition? 

 

Or are a great many of these titles tied up in "rights hell"?  Would be nice to know one way or the other...



#2388 of 2425 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted March 03 2014 - 06:05 PM

What's the point of not exploiting them? Demand and interest is too low to warrant the effort and expense of preparing them for release.

Universal doesn't have a vault/MOD/streaming program that would be useful for these titles like WB and Sony do.
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#2389 of 2425 OFFLINE   williampl7@aol.com

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Posted March 03 2014 - 09:08 PM

I'm really rooting for the Universal Vault Series, that maybe someday we can see those rarities from both the Universal and Paramount libraries. Been quite pleased with the titles I purchased so far.



#2390 of 2425 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 03 2014 - 09:43 PM

There has to be a list someplace of which Paramount films were in in the original MCA-TV Syndication packages in the 1950's and 1960's when they were released to tv,and which were not for whatever reason



#2391 of 2425 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 03 2014 - 09:56 PM

What's the point of not exploiting them? Demand and interest is too low to warrant the effort and expense of preparing them for release.

 

You just answered your own question.

 

If you notice, the Vault Series titles they have put out,and the titles through TCM, are all the high-profile ones that would have more demand than the average B-Paramount or B-Universal. 



#2392 of 2425 OFFLINE   Seanhtf

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Posted March 03 2014 - 10:17 PM

I have lists of the 1929-1949 Paramount titles that were sold to MCA, based on Copyright Office Assignment Documents. Is there a specific title you were wondering about? I can tell you that MCA didn't get the Hopalong Cassidy pictures, the Pine-Thomas productions, the Bulldog Drummonds, and a number of westerns based on Zane Grey books. There are other Paramount titles that were withheld from the MCA sale for one reason or another.



#2393 of 2425 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted March 03 2014 - 10:33 PM

What's the point of not exploiting them? Demand and interest is too low to warrant the effort and expense of preparing them for release.

Universal doesn't have a vault/MOD/streaming program that would be useful for these titles like WB and Sony do.

 

Actually it does:  The Universal Vault MOD line.  Trouble is it is woefully underused and sometimes Universal resorts to VHS-era transfers.  Yet something they could easily remedy if they put any effort in emulating Sony and WB's successes.

 

There is also another ripe venue for there films on home video:  sub-licensing.  Outfits like Olive Films and Twilight Time do wonders in releasing niche material, as does existing partners like TCM.  If Universal Home Video has zero interest in releasing them, why not loan them out?



#2394 of 2425 OFFLINE   Camps

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Posted March 04 2014 - 03:26 AM

Actually it does:  The Universal Vault MOD line.  Trouble is it is woefully underused and sometimes Universal resorts to VHS-era transfers.  Yet something they could easily remedy if they put any effort in emulating Sony and WB's successes.

 

There is also another ripe venue for there films on home video:  sub-licensing.  Outfits like Olive Films and Twilight Time do wonders in releasing niche material, as does existing partners like TCM.  If Universal Home Video has zero interest in releasing them, why not loan them out?

 

Yes.  Thanks, Joe.  And that's all I'm saying.  For some four years now, Universal Home Entertainment's apologists have been claiming Uni simply has been exercising good business judgment in not exploiting its library more aggressively.  But has WB, under the aggressive (and I think it's fair to say, highly appreciated) leadership of George Feltenstein, been exercising poor or reckless business acumen?  I think not.  And WB exploits its library on every platform:  DVD, MOD-DVD, streaming and TV (TCM).  You barely see Uni catalog titles on any of these platforms. 

 

Sitting back and saying, "Well, there's not enough demand" doesn't cut it.  Others seem to have figured it out.  Common sense would dictate you make zero dollars from the titles you don't exploit.


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#2395 of 2425 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted March 04 2014 - 08:38 AM

  But has WB, under the aggressive (and I think it's fair to say, highly appreciated) leadership of George Feltenstein, been exercising poor or reckless business acumen?  I think not.  And WB exploits its library on every platform:  DVD, MOD-DVD, streaming and TV (TCM).  

 

I hope you realise there are several regular posters in this forum who disagree very strongly, particularly regarding Blu-ray.



#2396 of 2425 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted March 04 2014 - 10:16 AM

And if you spend $ on a release that doesn't sell, you make negative dollars - so in that case "zero" is the preferable option.

There doesn't seem to the the philosophy in place at current Universal management to license out large groups of titles, but rather they do things on a film by film basis. They aren't like WB who never license (even Badlands I believe was independently owned), but they don't have any particular inclination to license it seems.

Until that changes I would expect to see more of these titles.
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#2397 of 2425 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted March 04 2014 - 11:05 AM

Badlands is indeed licensed by Warner to Criterion, but my perception is that it took considerable pull from Malick for that to occur.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#2398 of 2425 OFFLINE   rdimucci

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Posted March 04 2014 - 11:27 AM

But has WB, under the aggressive (and I think it's fair to say, highly appreciated) leadership of George Feltenstein, been exercising poor or reckless business acumen?  I think not.  And WB exploits its library on every platform:  DVD, MOD-DVD, streaming and TV (TCM).  

 

I hope you realise there are several regular posters in this forum who disagree very strongly, particularly regarding Blu-ray.

 

Maybe so.  But would these posters prefer the current Universal model or the current Warner model?



#2399 of 2425 OFFLINE   Camps

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Posted March 04 2014 - 11:44 AM

I hope you realise there are several regular posters in this forum who disagree very strongly, particularly regarding Blu-ray.

 

I understand that completely.  The trend for pressed DVDs seems to be blu-ray re-releases of proven standard-bearers.  But what about licensing these more obscure titles to TCM?  Or to streaming?   Even the most die-hard purists wouldn't argue with that.  And the whole point about MOD DVDs is that they're made on demand.  Apart from general start-up costs, the studio largely incurs the cost only when an order comes in, right?   

 

I don't know anyone who's suggesting Uni issue obscure catalog titles on blu-ray in hopes they'll find a market (though, amazingly, Olive Films seems to be doing just that in concert with its studio partners -- Hello, "Fire Maidens of Outer Space"?!).  I'm just suggesting they attempt to think out-of-the-box a little.  Partner with Feltenstein's operation at WB Home Vid maybe?  Or license to Olive or some other indie willing to give it a shot?  Or license titles to Amazon for streaming?   It seems to me doing virtually nothing isn't a very sensible option. 

 

Now, like some here have noted, Uni may have very substantial reasons for this inactivity.  Maybe many titles assumed to be in their library are not.  Maybe the fire was a culprit.  The average fan like me wouldn't know.  That's because Uni Home Ent. doesn't communicate about this stuff.  No Facebook or Twitter presence as far as I've been able to find.  

 

They seem to have given up on this.  One Vault title every month or so...?


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#2400 of 2425 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted March 04 2014 - 12:21 PM

I have lists of the 1929-1949 Paramount titles that were sold to MCA, based on Copyright Office Assignment Documents. Is there a specific title you were wondering about? I can tell you that MCA didn't get the Hopalong Cassidy pictures, the Pine-Thomas productions, the Bulldog Drummonds, and a number of westerns based on Zane Grey books. There are other Paramount titles that were withheld from the MCA sale for one reason or another.

 

I was more interested in how they groups, packaged and sold the films for television.

One film that seems to fall through the cracks in the 1938 LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE Film






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