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Interview with Twilight Time: Nick Redman on who they are, their business model and more.

Twilight Time Interview

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#21 of 245 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted December 25 2011 - 03:14 PM

Finally got the time this evening to read this all the way through.  It has to be one of the most satisfying interviews I've read in a long time.  Sincere thanks to all involved.

#22 of 245 OFFLINE   mdnitoil

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Posted December 25 2011 - 03:40 PM

Pretty good read. Out of curiousity, should we take the fact that this was posted in the Blu forum as a revealing hint regarding any future plans (or lack thereof) for DVD?

#23 of 245 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 25 2011 - 04:36 PM



Originally Posted by mdnitoil 

Pretty good read. Out of curiousity, should we take the fact that this was posted in the Blu forum as a revealing hint regarding any future plans (or lack thereof) for DVD?


Thanks.  Don't read anything "extra" into the fact that this is in the Blu-ray forum.  Most of the titles we were discussing were on or coming to Blu-ray so that's why I put it here.



#24 of 245 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted December 25 2011 - 04:38 PM

Pretty good read. Out of curiousity, should we take the fact that this was posted in the Blu forum as a revealing hint regarding any future plans (or lack thereof) for DVD?

Not to mention the fact that Mr. Redman makes mention, at least once in the interview, of the Blu-rays drawing more interest and selling better.

So far the DVD statistics seem to be quite weak. Some of the early titles that we put out on DVD are not selling encouragingly well, whereas the Blu-rays do seem to have a little bit more life to them.



#25 of 245 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted December 25 2011 - 08:27 PM

People keep talking about streaming like it's viable. It's not. There are so many issues/problems/variables involved with that whole way of thinking that it will take so much time to iron out and even then, there will be people like myself who don't consider it "owning" a movie via some cloud streaming service. Anyway, it was indeed an insightful interview that gave me a new perspective on the whole thing. I don't agree with everything the gentleman said but it is what it is.

I'm not sure what problems your referring too. But you are correct. Its NOT owning a movie, and thats exactly the way the studios want it. Doug
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#26 of 245 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted December 25 2011 - 11:09 PM

[SIZE=3][FONT=calibri] [SIZE=3][FONT=calibri]Our deal with Columbia is different.  With Columbia the films that we are releasing are titles they have ready for Blu-ray but are not on their schedule.  They are films that are already on DVD in the Columbia catalogue.  They want us to focus on Blu-rays they seem to feel there isn't a market for themselves. 

Does anyone know how many Columbia movies are already prepared for high definition release? I'm excited and surprised by the news about Picnic and Pal Joey - I didn't expect either and I'll buy both - but what about Lord Jim and Barabbas?

#27 of 245 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 26 2011 - 07:31 AM

Well suit yourself, to me it's beyond me to understand at all why substituting a music score decades after the fact is somehow okay. I despised the music replacement on the DVD releases of "The Fugitive" and I despise the tamperings George Lucas has made to the SW trilogy. I do not want a film to be a mishmash of things concocted long after the fact and out of the time in which they were first made on general principle and I'm sticking to that rule regardless of what film it is. Besides, the music is not the problem that dragged the film down it was the script and Peckinpah's inability to know what the hell he was doing. The first half of the film is terrific, the second half detours with pointless turns in the plot that bring everything to a halt. Is the song a little jarring? Yeah, but I like the main theme and I also like the "stingers" when the Apache are mentioned because when they pop in again after a half hour they end up offering a reminder of how far off-track the film has gotten. Amfitheatrof has gotten a bum rap on all levels IMO to try and obfuscate the fact that Peckinpah only had himself to blame for what was going wrong with the film, and maybe that's why I'm even more inclined to not trust his judgment on the music given that his judgment on the story was all off. Defering to the director on everything all the time is a standard I've never accepted, and I'm not about to begin for a guy who singlehandedly screwed up the film in areas more important than the score. The alternate score gets zero listening from me on any version, and I make no apology for sticking to that perspective. At least I'm staying consistent in terms of how I judge music replacement on other properties. Music replacement is as wrong as colorization is for films, period and the ONLY circumstance in which I will accept an alternate music score track is if we are dealing with an alternate score composed AT THE TIME but was rejected. If you want to included Herrmann's rejected "Torn Curtain" score on an alternate track that's one thing, but a score composed decades later to replace a pre-existing one because of as subjective opinion that is not a truism etched in life is a stupid idea whether for "Major Dundee" or with the Mark Heyes replacement music on "The Fugitive". What about films that we think "ruined the director's vision" as a result of someone's belief that a key part was miscast? Do we someday, when we perfect the technology "rescue" the film by digitally removing the actor and replacing him with another one who wasn't alive at the time? If you're going to use technology to tamper with one part of the creative process for the sake of "improving" it, then you might as well go the whole enchilada. Let's digitally replace actors that someone thinks weren't good enough, let's get soundalikes to redub lines actors didn't properly deliver or digitally alter their words to "improve" the dialogue....it all stems from the same wrongheaded impulse that was behind the Caliendo score and it destroys the ability of a film to stand the test of time properly as a product of when it was made. Footage shot at the time and cut I'm all for seeing. Seeing alterations that wrench the film out of its era is another thing entirely.

Whew! Where in this torrent of emotion is your awareness of the film? It is nice that you are sticking to your perspective and being consistent, but your perspective does not take into account the circumstances under which the film was made or the reason that particular score by Daniele Amfitheatrof was chosen. If you broaden your perspective to include the facts, you might be able to understand why it is okay to compose a new score in the period style for an old film. First of all, your statement that Peckinpah didn't know what he was doing is inaccurate, incorrect and provably just plain wrong. I don't want to derail this thread by reciting chapter and verse, but you should be blaming producer Jerry Bresler for ushering the film into principle photography before the script had been finalized, and then shredding Sam Peckinpah's director's cut so that it no longer made sense. Bresler was the producer of Gidget. He was not a writer or a director. He was a bean counter. A bureaucrat. He imposed the burden of finishing the script on the director as the film was being shot, an impossible task. An unfinished script can not be properly planned for camera set-ups or logistics, scheduled, or budgeted. When principle photography was completed and the film delivered, Bresler cut 27 minutes of dramatic exposition, completely restructured the film, and imposed a narration. He removed entire scenes from the first act and shortened scenes in the mid-section that would have led logically into the third act, rendering the third act almost incomprehensible because it was no longer supported by the balance of the film. Bresler also used takes that Peckinpah had rejected instead of takes that he had chosen. When exhibitors turned thumbs down at a preview, Bresler realized that the film could not be salvaged, so he decided to lay the blame on Peckinpah by manipulating the studio promotional machine. He added a music track and sound effects that he knew were wrong just to make Peckinpah look bad. Bresler's cut was a disaster when the film premiered at the Egyptian Theater in 1965, but audiences and critics didn't know it was Bresler's cut. They thought it was Peckinpah's cut because his name was on the film as the director. Audiences laughed at the incongruous music. The music was ridiculed by critics who thought it belonged in some other movie. Do you really think that library sounds heard in hundreds of television episodes from Bewitched to Star Trek are appropriate "stingers" in this gritty historical western? Do you really think that a sing-along with Mitch Miller and the Gang fits the bloody massacre at the beginning? It is nice that you like these things, but I can't help wonder if you comprehend the story being told in front of your eyes. There is no analogy to music replacement in The Fugitive and in Star Wars. The wrong music was imposed on Major Dundee to sabotage it in 1965. Posted Image All things considered, it is remarkable that Major Dundee turned out as well it did. The film is a gritty, tactile vision of the early American west. It is historically sound. The behavior is authentic to the period. There are rich, layered characterizations, texture and detail in the compositions, landscapes that define character, pictorial beauty, some well-choreographed action, and a story that hasn't been told elsewhere. The underlying theme of a cavalry regiment that descends into savagery in the pursuit of savages, torn apart by internal conflicts, and led by a flawed hero who finds redemption for himself and his men, is consistently expressed throughout the film, thanks to Sam Peckinpah. Much of his vision survives. Bresler could not cut Peckinpah's vision out entirely. Sure the film is flawed, but Sam Peckinpah is responsible for everything that is good and for everything that works in Major Dundee. In view of the fact that Nick Redman included the original score as an option on the DVD, it is unlikely he will withhold it from the blu-ray. No one is denying you the opportunity to sing-a-long with Mitch Miller and the Gang. Since you despise the film, however, why bother to watch it? Just listen to Daniele Amfitheatrof's soundtrack CD instead.

#28 of 245 OFFLINE   Paul Rossen

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Posted December 26 2011 - 07:45 AM

I don't believe it has been mentioned. Charlton Heston hated the version that premiered and preferred Peckinpah's vision.

#29 of 245 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted December 26 2011 - 08:22 AM

Where in this torrent of emotion is your awareness of the film?

My awareness of the film is quite strong, thank you. I'm well aware of the problems that went on with this film, and the reasons for why this film ended up being short of what it could have been have to rest squarely on the shoulders of the director as much as the producer. We ended up with a story that for its first half was gripping and exciting and then completely went off the wheels with some pointless plot digressions such as Senta Berger's character and the whole business with the French. A smart writer and an intelligent director would have kept things confined to what was driving the core of the drama (1) Unions and Confederates in their tension filled alliance of convenience and (2) the pursuit of the Apache. And then we get a film that has no real ending, it just stops. That again is just as much the fault of the director because he clearly didn't have a script that gave us any narrative cohesion at the end and evidently didn't know how to make something of it (but evidently he was at this stage obsessing with giving us slow-mo ballet style violence if reports are to believed which sure as hell wasn't going to improve the picture) . So whatever problems I have with this film, Daniele Amfitheatrof's score isn't among them. The song was unquestionably a producer's desire to get some broader box office appeal, but big deal, that's the name of the game sometimes in the business and Peckinpah's irresponsible conduct in the making of the film more than makes me unsympathetic to the notion of seeing this film through the lens of an "auteur" perspective (which is a perspective I haven't much use for anyway). Amfitheatrof's score works fine in the film itself and it IMO is absolutely wrong to make him some kind of scapegoat to suggest that his score is what keeps the film from being great to justify doing this kind of unprecedented after the fact tampering to a film that I have strong objections to on general principle. Films should be a product of the time they were made in and should not be "updated" because of some dubious subjective reasoning that it can be "improved" through things not available at the time. This is NOT the same thing as restoring footage cut at the time of production, which is something I don't have a quarrel with especially when the film previously existed in a longer version. But music replacement and special FX tampering are no different than colorization and there should be zero exceptions to that rule for those who care about properly archiving films as a product of the times they were madein. And FYI, I do not despise the film. As I said, I think it's a great film up to a point and then it fails for reasons in which Peckinpah must take his share of the blame. He wasn't living up to the terms of the contract he was hired for and having read Heston's diary of the production, he should have been grateful he wasn't fired sooner. *****Do you really think that library sounds heard in hundreds of television episodes from Bewitched to Star Trek are appropriate "stingers" in this gritty historical western?****of I found them an effective device conveying the menace of the Apache, and they also served a valuable role in reminding me, the viewer, of how off-kilter the film was getting when a half hour went by with no mention of the Apache. This is what is known as a SUBJECTIVE opinion, and it strikes me as asinine to suggest that one person's subjectivism should be used to justify doing something that I believe is ethically WRONG for films in general. I have seen plenty of films in my time with inappropriate music in spots but my subjective take on that shouldn't give me a license or anyone else to hire a new composer for the film anymore than my subjective belief that a certain film would look better in color should give me a license to have it colorized. ******There is no analogy to music replacement in The Fugitive and in Star Wars. The wrong music was imposed on Major Dundee to sabotage it in 1965.***** Rubbish. Sam Peckinpah deserves more than his share of the blame for what went wrong with the film during production and trying to give him a pass is the ultimate case of auteurism run amuck. Everything that's good we praise Peckinpah, but anything bad he is a blameless victim of the evil suits. That's one cliche that's long worn thin with me since I prefer to believe that directors are fallible human beings like everyone else. ******In view of the fact that Nick Redman included the original score as an option on the DVD, it is unlikely he will withhold it from the blu-ray.****** Yeah, preserved in the substandard mono format I noticed while the tampered version got the splashier audio treatment. Shades of Lucas using cheap LD ports for the original SW cuts on DVD! But ultimately, this kind of discussion shouldn't even center on Amiftheatrof's score. It ultimately comes back to simple ethics and ethically there is no justification to do this with ANY film regardless of wehther whether we liked the score or not. Films should be a product of the time they were made in and stand or fall on their own merits. Otherwise, you might as well one day digitially replace one actor with another which is the same thing as hiring a new composer.

#30 of 245 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted December 26 2011 - 08:26 AM

PS-If you bothered to read my posts, you would have found I did NOT praise the song. I found the main *theme* of the *score* just fine and the score in general to be fine. Don't confuse the song with the rest of the score with your "you can sing along" cracks, which is a flat out falsification of what I've said.

#31 of 245 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 26 2011 - 08:26 AM

I don't believe it has been mentioned. Charlton Heston hated the version that premiered and preferred Peckinpah's vision.

Yes, and Heston also defended the director when producer Jerry Bresler wanted to fire him. Heston offered up his salary on behalf of Peckinpah and the studio, to their discredit, accepted it. Bresler also cut the budget, shortened the schedule, and ordered Peckinpah to rewrite before filming began, thus creating problems before the film even started. He then reinforced his other production Love Has Many Faces then shooting in Mexico. Who remembers that? To insure that his sabotage of Peckinpah's career was not challenged, Bresler destroyed a third of the footage that had been in Peckinpah's version. Jack P doesn't know what he's talking about in post 29, but he's entitled to his "opinion." The good news, of course, is that Twilight Time will be releasing Major Dundee on Blu-ray. I have no doubt it will be up to the high standard of the DVD. Bring it on soon. Money burns a hole in my pocket for this one.

#32 of 245 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted December 26 2011 - 08:57 AM

Your condescending arrogance and your cowardly refusal to address what are legitimate points on the ethics of tampering with a film decades after the fact based on narrow subjectivism, is duly noted.

#33 of 245 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 26 2011 - 09:32 AM

Oh, nonsense. The only "subjectivism" here is yours', and the "points" you raise refute themselves. I'm well informed on the production history of Major Dundee, although I don't claim to be an authority on it. I also have 34 years of production experience and my training in western history to call on when considering a film such as this. It's good that you take it all so seriously, however. People who doubt Peckinpah's responsibility for the virtues in Major Dundee should compare the shorter VHS to the longer restoration on DVD. Also read the liner notes in the Columbia DVD. That should be included in the Blu-ray packaging.

#34 of 245 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted December 26 2011 - 09:38 AM

Great interview! I applaud Twilight Time for providing DVDs and Blu-rays of films that might otherwise be neglected. I, too am keen on a release of Major Dundee. While it is a flawed film, I think it contains one of Charlton Heston's best performances. It was shown on HDNet Movies a couple of years ago and looked great; but was only shown in the original theatrical release. I really like it better with the extra scenes. I also really liked the new music score, which fit the movie perfectly. IMO, the rescoring/recutting of Major Dundee is more along the lines of what Rick Schmidlin did with Touch of Evil; rather than the constant tweaking/re-imagining of a George Lucas. However, I think the original score should be included. I think it should work just like the current DVD, where you choose the option from the outset. The SE DVD of Touch of Evil included the original cut(s) of the film along with Schmidlin's. One almost needs the old cut to appreciate what Schmidlin did to restore Touch of Evil to Welles' original vision. I feel the same way about the new score for Major Dundee. It helps to have both, IMO, to appreciate the improvement of the new score (or to enjoy the old if that is what one prefers).

#35 of 245 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted December 26 2011 - 10:04 AM

Here we go again. First off, my point about 'subjectivism' relates to the issue of the score. A person's capacity to decide whether or not a score works or not, is like it or not a subjective issue and for a decision such as this to alter movies decades after the fact, we are only seeing one person's subjectivism enforced over another's which sets a dangerous precedent IMO in general no different than the precedents established by colorization of movies. I take the position of consistency which is that the only things that should be added to a film after the fact is footage shot at the time for purposes of restoring to an earlier pre-existing cut, because the "restored" film still stands the test as a product of its time. Replacements in music and special FX by people decades after the fact is not the same thing and IMO is destructive to the archival integrity of how films are supposed to be preserved. Whether it's Lucas with SW, the new FX for Star Trek the TV series, Mark Heyes replacement music in "The Fugitive" or colorizing "Miracle On 34th Street", I regard it as wrong. You've chosen to pooh-pooh that perspective which I object to, because it is a legitimate area of concern, especially when in this case there arises the matter of whether the original score and audio will not be preserved in the best possible fashion and that those who want to continue to see the film in what for many is the way we prefer it, will not be forced to see it in a substandard presentation compared to the altered version. Second, I said I was well aware of the troubles that took place in the making of the film. I've probably reread Heston's Actor's Life a hundred times because it's the most compelling celeb memoir ever written IMO. Of course the studio was causing problems, but at the same time Peckinpah was also not behaving 100% perfect and I simply take the position that he's not blameless for what ultimately happened either. That's why I *especially* can't accept the premise that this film justifies doing something that I wouldn't even support if I *personally* felt that another film would benefit from a different score. If I'm not going to change my standards for a film where I'd think it would be nice, I'm certainly not going to accept the argument for this one. If another composer *at the time* had another score ready and was taking part in the creative process *then*, then I'm for having alternate audio from an archival standpoint. That's another thing entirely. And again, I'm not disputing the things that work thanks to Peckinpah. I simply take the view that he deserves his share of the blame as much as he deserves the credit. The extra 13 minutes were nice, but they still left us with a weak final third with no ending. But once again, the ethical issue is the more important one for this film. I'm told Peckinpah hated the score for "Ride The High Country" so are we going to see that replaced as well? Consistency on your part would require saying yes to that, as far as I'm concerned. And BTW, your constant use of quotes around words like 'opinion' is really the height of arrogance. I'm more than open to having a civil discussion on the subject but from the get-go, your tone has been one of snarky condescension rooted in the arrogant belief that one can find Amfitheatrof's score to be just fine and the least of the problems with the film, and that the ethical issue isn't worth talking about. If you can't deal with the fact that your view of the score is not an objective truism of life that others can disagree with, without lessening their regard for the film's virtues, then that has to be your problem.

#36 of 245 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted December 26 2011 - 10:05 AM

I would think that having the original score of Major Dundee on the disc would be useful as a curiosity if nothing else. I too found the original score to be off putting and in fact was never able to watch the whole movie until it was re-scored. However having the original score would be interesting as an example of how to really screw up a movie. Doug
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#37 of 245 OFFLINE   William Miller

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Posted December 26 2011 - 10:53 AM

Very nice interview. But I do not agree with his dire predictions for "physical media". Yes, who knows what the future will bring but at the moment we are a long way from the end of physical media. And it won't help the sales of Twilight Time by continuing to say that their products on the verge of obsolescence. I do have a suggestion for Twilight Time. Covers do make a difference. Collectors love when the artwork matches the era of the film and that is why Warner Archive went to original poster artwork on their releases as opposed to the generic look they started with. It seems the Twilight Time covers so far have been geared to a younger audience who might like the cover if they were browsing at Wal-Mart. But since these items are not sold at Wal-Mart, why try to play that game? I don't know exactly what title he is referring too that has the lowest sales but I have a hunch it is "A Woman Obsessed". And it doesn't help that it has the stupid cover of a close-up of Susan Hayward's face which tries to give the impression that it is some kind of Horror Hag movie. And the Violent Saturday cover seems to be composed to sell directly to Joe Wal-Mart who is looking for a good action flick. I know it's too late to change the covers. And the upcoming Picnic and Roots of Heaven look a little better. And this comment really riled me up: "$26.98 for a DVD-R which is basically worthless". Worthless to who? You? First of all, they don't charge $26.95 and if you are patient, you can buy what you want for $15 or $13 or even $10. And the transfers are usually pretty good and the covers are now great and you really feel you own something collectible. And will they last forever? I don't know. Will Blu-rays last forever? I don't know. Forever is a long time. The only thing you can buy now that is forever are stamps from the United States Post Office. And the stamps are forever but the Post Office might not be if you believe recent news stories.

#38 of 245 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 26 2011 - 11:07 AM

I'm not sure that choosing a name which projects the demise of physical media is the most optimistic projection for a business enterprise, although I share in the feeling. William Miller makes a valid point about how consumers love Blu-ray / DVD covers that match the original poster art. Close-ups of faces just don't sell a film to me the way an old poster does. The cover art on Columbia's DVD of Major Dundee plays the scene and evokes the original poster art. As a painting, I think it's better than the original poster art, which was primitive at best. If only Nick Redman could negotiate with the network to release NOON WINE, all Peckinpah fans would be grateful. NOON WINE is the only LOST Peckinpah film, lost as in out of sight, out of mind.

#39 of 245 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted December 26 2011 - 11:19 AM

In fact NOON WINE could be a supplement on the Major Dundee Blu-ray, or it could be a stand-alone release with a commentary. There are enough Peckipah fans to buy a limited edition. I predict a critical resurgence and re-appraisal after people see it. Who else would like to see NOON WINE released on Blu-ray?

#40 of 245 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 26 2011 - 01:45 PM

There will be plenty of time to debate the merits of Major Dundee when it's released.....





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