Let me just ask a very elementary question: Do you actually care about the consumers who buy your product -- who stuff your coffers and in many cases make you very wealthy -- or are we truly just the grass that needs to be cut so you can have a pretty lawn? When you (and I assume most studios do) read the remarks made in this and other forums, do you actually make an effort to help resolve our issues?
Yes, some of you do. There have been recalls of bad product and superior replacements released. Thank you. We all appreciate it, because we know it takes time and costs you money to send us improved editions. What you do in that regard is not forgotten by us; we hold you to be among the few studios willing to take a bit of a temporary loss in order to cement yourselves as companies that actually treat their customers as intelligent beings, ones who are going to spread the word about your efforts and keep coming back to you, because we know you are doing your best to give us exceptional product.
Then, there are the rest of you (and you know who you are). Time and time again posts are left here expressing frustration and disappointment with aspects of your product, yet nothing changes. Why is this? Are you contemptuous of us? Do you think we do not know whereof we speak? Are you aware of the number of professional studio insiders who frequent this and other sites, and of the thousands of dedicated (if not professional) film enthusiasts who devote a massive chunk of their lives and earnings to collecting (i.e. spending money for your product) films and gathering in forums to talk about them? You seem deaf to us.
But let me give you a few examples, and hopefully more will be added by others. Blu-ray is a stunning format that some studios treat with dignity and others just chuck out there with no respect to the art, the fan or the consumer at all:
1. Timelines. Okay, the idea is acceptable. When a movie is "paused," a timeline appears. This is sort of cool, actually. UNLESS I CAN'T GET RID OF IT IF I WANT TO. I love to just look at still frames. That's what the pause on CAV lasers permitted us, what DVD's have always allowed, and, until recently, what all Blu-rays allowed as well. Now, however, some of you have decided that we should never be able to study a still frame without that Timeline covering up to 30% of the picture frame. What are you afraid will happen if you allow us free access? That we're all going to capture and sell frames of movies to each other? My eyes are rolling in disbelief. A truly unfortunate supporter of this forced Timeline is Twilight Time, and I gotta tell ya, when I'm on the borderline of buying a movie they have released, for premium bucks, I will pass on it for that reason alone. Even Disney allows you to move the stupid thing out of the way, in order to take in the beauty of those animated frames. PLEASE discontinue this insidious practice. I paid for this movie. Let me watch it as I choose!
2. Forced trailers. If you check this forum regularly, you have seen complaints about this hundreds of times. Why don't you listen to us? Why can't you offer these trailers - which we may actually enjoy watching at our leisure - as a menu choice? The thing is, when we fire up a Blu-ray, we want to get to the main menu, as we were permitted to do with early DVD's. Having to sit through a ton of extraneous material, or having to skip over trailer after trailer, is bothersome, annoying, and unnecessary. And unfair to us! I like trailers. I would watch ones that are offered as optional choices via the menu. When they come before I can even reach the menu, I get annoyed and skip them, so what's the point? You ain't selling me stuff you shove in my face. Again, I paid for the movie, not all this promo crap. Even Disney is now allowing me to skip over this stuff and get right to the menu.
3. FBI and Homeland Security Warnings. How can any of you imagine that this is helpful to you? The people for whom such warnings are intended do not care a whit about them, and those who have no intention of ever copying such material are only incredibly annoyed to have to sit through these screens. But, worse: many of you are now placing these useless warnings AFTER one presses "play." Do any of you have any idea how your Blu-rays are frequently used? They are used as presentations for an audience in a home theater environment. Why do we have to subject our audiences to this FBI crap when we hit "play?" We like to be able to cue up the movie and make the experience as theatrical as possible. There isn't a soul in our audiences who is going to give a damn about your warnings, and it takes them right out of the mood to have to see them. You people need to review this whole business, If you really think that one person in a hundred thousand might curtail his or her illegal copying activity because you included these things, at least put them on the disc startup. So far, Criterion has avoided this ridiculous pitfall. How about the rest of you?
4. Leaving Trailers Off the Disc. As I said above, I like trailers. Some, I even love. During the peak of the DVD years, it was unusual for a disc to be released without a trailer. Again, this harkens back to the fact that many of us collect movies in order to share them in a home theater environment -- you make a ton of money from us, because we have home theaters and love to entertain our friends. We also like to produce as close to a true theatrical experience as possible. We will go to great lengths to achieve this, including queueing-up multiple Blu-ray players so that we can present a trailer or two, a cartoon, and then the feature. When you don't include the trailer, a major part of the theater experience is lost. Trailers are fun. But nowadays, most of you are dropping these in favor of putting the trailer for a specific film only on another movie's disc as a promo, and we do not wish to have to buy every damn disc you put out just to have those trailers. C'mon, people -- it just can't require that much effort to give us the trailer for the movie we just bought on that disc!
5. Digital Copies Instead of DVD's, 2-D Blu-rays with 3-D. Well, for the sake of full disclosure: I see no need for digital copies, and always give them away. I do like having a DVD copy of a Blu-ray title, because I can then share a disc with someone who is not (for whatever bizarre reason) Blu-ray capable. Digital copies are coasters, and a huge environmental waste, my opinion. Then there is the recent announcement that Disney is going to offer a 2-D Blu-ray as a special order to go with their 3-D release, for $5.99 plus shipping. What? That's right, they are putting out OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL as a 3-D edition with Digital Copy (but no 2-D Blu-ray) for a whopping $44.99 list price. Add $5.99 and shipping charges to that, and you'll pay at least $45.00 street price! Thanks, Disney! What are you thinking? Some way to promote the 3-D format, eh? With any 3-D release, it should be mandatory to include -- at a reasonable street price -- a 2-D Blu-ray. If you want this format to succeed, support it!!
6. Cases and Inserts. Okay, I'm not terribly anal about this, but it would seem prudent of you all to stop putting discs in cases that have clips for booklets when you so clearly have to intention of including them. Fliers for new Disney releases just don't count. Also, I spent an hour recently at the local Wal*Mart looking at cover art, and I was close to gagging. The whole art of cover art and poster art business has died. Only a few (independent) distributors actually bother to use the original poster art from movies for their Blu-rays. Otherwise, what we see is "art" that nearly all of us can glance at and know: "I can do better than that with Adobe or Paintshop if you give me about fifteen minutes." Not a biggie, really, since we can all find the original poster art on the net and create our own sleeves.... but, I have to ask, why do we need to?
Those are the peeves that come to mind right at the moment, and I know there are others.
The point is, studios, that you seem not to be really wanting to maximize your profits. Some of us on this forum refuse to purchase your product due to some of what I have described here. Is that your goal? To not sell as much as you can were you to make all of your consumers happy? That seems weird to me, but I can't reconcile your refusal to work with us any other way.
We are out here with our money in hand, waving it in your direction. Why are you so reluctant to see that we know what we are talking about, know what we want, produce the product we wish for?
Edited by Dick, May 04 2013 - 08:06 PM.