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Back from Hollywood: A brief summary of our trip, plus: CLONES, SPIDER-MAN and MORE!


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#1 of 357 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 23 2002 - 12:21 AM

Posted Image*Posted Image



For those of you who have been wondering why
it has been so quiet around here over the past
week, we are pleased to announce that we have
just returned from yet another eye-opening visit
to Tinseltown.

Earlier this year, Parker and I decided that we
would make a yearly ritual of visiting our contacts
at all the studios. Although we have ceased to do
the sort of National Meets we have done in the past,
this year we decided to bring our Moderating staff
along with us.

Though it will take me a good two weeks to write
a full report of our visit (as well as uploading
dozens of pictures), I thought I'd briefly comment
about our week out in Hollywood.

When you think of what is being released on DVD
this fall, two major studios come to mind. We had
the opportunity to spend some time with the DVD
folks at Columbia Studios and Fox Studios.
What we saw there was nothing short of an
eye-opening experience.

The folks at Columbia Pictures treated us
to a full studio tour that took us into their
many sound stages where we saw sets from the
upcoming Charlie's Angels 2 and Homicide
(Harrison Ford) films. We also had the opportunity
to visit their transfer facility where we got a
pretty cool preview of their upcoming Spider-man,
Men in Black 2
and Stuart Little 2 DVD
releases.

While we were certainly impressed with the transfer
quality of Spider-man, it was the extra features
on Men In Black 2 and Stuart Little 2
that got the most oohs and aaahs from our group.
In particular, Stuart Little 2 impressed
us the most with its gorgeous transfer and voice
navigated menus. The disc features some impressive
supplemental material that can be accessed during the
film's playback. Through an icon that regularly
appears on the corner of the screen, you can click
and access upon branched material. This material is
quite extensive, mostly touching upon the film's
CGI material, including a live camera sweep through
Central Park that was used for an airplane chase.

Posted Image

Perhaps the highlight of our visit to Columbia
was their invite to lunch, which included a chat
session with representatives of the Columbia Home
Video team. I can honestly tell all of you that
the folks at Columbia were genuinely interested in
our feedback as well as the feedback of our membership.
The studios is particularly proud of the fact
that our membership regards the transfers out of
their studio as being one of the best out there.
They also made a point to comment that while they
would love to do everything that members of
this forum ask of them, there are reasons why some
of their films lack the extras that have been
requested from time to time as well as reasons why
they are forced to released Pan & Scan only product.
Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to discuss
everything that was told to us, but I politely ask
members of this board to give the studio a break
with some of the nitpicking complaints as of late.
The folks at Columbia Home Entertainment are DVD
enthusiasts like yourself, and unfortunately, there
are just reasons why DVDs cannot always be released
in a manner that will appease everyone.

Posted Image

The one person that most all of us enjoy spending
time with during our visits to LA is Peter Staddon
of Fox Home Entertainment. Once again, Mr.
Staddon invited us all out to the studio lot for
lunch and screening.

Posted Image


We were proud to be among the first to have a
look at the upcoming release of the Episode II
DVD and its many supplements. I am pleased to
tell all of you that the transfer of this DVD has
set a new benchmark. Transferred directly from its
digital source with absolutely no film middleman,
this transfer looks almost as good as high-definition.
Certainly, no live-action DVD to date can match
the purity of this transfer. As for supplements,
well, there was plenty for us to watch including
nearly 10 deleted scenes. Most of those scenes
included extended dialogue that slowed the pacing
of the film, but two scenes in particular were of
immense interest. The first was a scene between
Obi-Wan and Mace Windu along a elevated ramp, where
the young Obi-Wan expresses concern for Anakin's
attitude changes and the fact that he has shown
emotional interest in Senator Amidala. The second
sequence of interest involves Amidala bringing
Anakin home to her parents and sister. It is here
that we begin to see how much closer to a boyfriend
Anakin is becoming to the Senator. All of these
deleted sequences contain lengthy introductions
from George Lucas and Rick McCallum.

There is an absolutely hilarious R2D2 mockumentary
called Beneath The Dome, which chronicles the
rise and fall of our droid friend. Did you know
that R2D2 used to hang out with Richard Dreyfuss
in his early years, only to snub the actor after
becoming jealous of Richard's success? How about
the years where R2D2 performed in dance recitals
and stage shows? You'll be amazed as Francis Ford
Coppola talks about how he begged R2D2 to play
Michael Corleone in The Godfather, only to
be turned down by the droid. Of course, fame
comes with a price, as we see a down-and-out R2D2
on skid row living beneath newspapers. This will
certainly be a feature of the DVD that will be
talked about for months to come.

Of course, there are the usual Easter Eggs. One
of those eggs can be found in the exact same manner
as The Phantom Menace DVD. Here you'll find
a collection of side-splitting outtakes including
lots of clumsy falls by Hayden Christensen.

We also had the opportunity to watch a few
supplements from the upcoming Ice Age DVD.
Be sure to look for a newly animated adventure
short featuring Scrat that had the attendees
of our screening room howling with laughter. It's
an incredibly funny short that simply compliments
the entire DVD package.


Final Thoughts


I think most of us were startled by the fact
that the attitude of the studios and DVD format
in general has drastically changed over the past
year.

First of all, it is apparent that the Internet
and forums such as ours no longer play as vital
a role to the studios as they once did. This
format now belongs to the mainstream consumers,
and until HD-DVD comes along, the Internet will
not be as closely watched as it has.

We have also come to full realization that Walmart
controls the DVD industry more than ever. This
is the main reason why studios are being forced
to release Pan & Scan product -- especially with
sales figures showing that Walmart sells more DVDs
in P&S than Widescreen.

The good news is that the studios are indeed
gearing up toward HD-DVD. While we do hope that
all the studios pick one format, Sony has promised
us that their players will be backward compatible.
It is estimated that by year's end 2003, we will
be seeing the first High-definition DVD titles
hit the shelves.

One thing I need to stress to this membership....

The studios have pulled away from participating
on Internet forums. One of the reasons personally
conveyed to me was the fact that the Internet has
become a breeding ground for vicious negativity
toward the studios. An overwhelming majority of
people just don't understand the politics at the
studios and the immense pressure that these DVD
enthusiasts are put under to cut corners and appease
the mainstream consumer over the hardcore enthusiasts
that helped launch the format.

There are specific and legitimate reasons why
the studios are not meeting the demands of this
forum's membership. While we are not at liberty
to discuss everything that was told to us in
confidence, I think the entire Moderating staff
who was on hand to hear what studio executives
had to say will all back me up in saying that
there are legitimate reasons for what the membership
may cite as bad decision making.

I have become quite saddened by the attitudes
expressed by this membership in post after post
that attack studios and their representatives on
an almost daily basis. These attacks are done
without any real knowledge of why studio decisions
are made. As a result of these attacks, studio
representatives no longer feel comfortable
participating on many of the Internet forums.

Today alone, I read quite a few threads in this
forum that attacked studio reps by name, implying
that they were making stupid decisions. It's sad
see that the professional reputation of this forum
is dumbed down by these sort of remarks that are
made by individuals who have no clue as to how
and why studio decisions are made. As a result,
we will be actively doing whatever we can to tone
down that sort of negativity in this forum over
the next few months.

You should be seeing quite a few posts by the
staff of Moderators who came out to LA with us.
If you have any specific questions about what we
saw and learned, please feel free to ask.

Once again, our thanks to both Columbia Home
Video
and Fox Home Entertainment for
the generosity that was shown during our visit
to LA.


 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 357 OFFLINE   Michael Ballack

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Posted September 23 2002 - 12:38 AM

Great news about Episode 2. Very sad news indeed about the DVD Industry being under J6P's control. Posted Image Posted Image
Michael's DVD's

#3 of 357 OFFLINE   Jay Mitchosky

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Posted September 23 2002 - 12:42 AM

That sounds like it was a really great time. Wish I could have been there. Glad to hear Peter is doing well.

Quote:
...it is apparent that the Internet and forums such as ours no longer play as vital a role to the studios as they once did. This format now belongs to the mainstream consumers...

Ah well. It was fun while it lasted. Posted Image I remember the prophetic words of Mike Knapp back in the "early days" of the format.
"The computer had attained consciousness, only to reject it, claiming it was too unstable an operating system."

#4 of 357 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted September 23 2002 - 12:52 AM

Ron I read your post with sadness. This forum's membership has lost it's clout with the studios. Truly sad.

As to your comments on studios are no longer being willing to browse internet sites - that is even more saddening.

Part of the criticism comes from the fact that the studio presence here seemed to disappear without a trace. Certain studio reps that posted here - all of a sudden stopped. With no explanation. We feel abandoned. That is frustrating for us having valuable input to the industry and then loosing it.

I'm not dwelling on it. Things change, people move on.

Thankfully there are many great people that post here. That is where my focus lies now.

Any info you can provide through your studio links is great. I'll take your reports gratefully but honestly I'm severely disappointed that the studios are so thin skinned.

Peace.
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#5 of 357 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted September 23 2002 - 12:52 AM

Yes Ron, great news about the video quality of Episode II. Can't wait for Nov. 12th. When the studios like Fox give a demo of Episode II, what equipment do they use to show this off to you all? Just curious. Thanks!

#6 of 357 OFFLINE   Brian Kidd

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Posted September 23 2002 - 01:05 AM

I think it's a shame that the studios (all of them) feel the need to dumb-down their product for the general masses. The truth is, the masses were buying dvd when it was supposedly being designed for the enthusiasts. Why stop now? I don't blame an individual person. I know full well that any corporation is run by groups of people. I just wish that decisions didn't rely entirely on "focus groups" and statistics and instead were made with the intention of producing the finest quality products possible. Quality does matter, I don't care what the consultants have told the studios. It's just sad.
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#7 of 357 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted September 23 2002 - 01:28 AM

It really is a sad day when we are to accept pan and scan only releases of titles from studios. As unlikely as I was before to buy a film if not released in OAR, I'm that much more unlikely now that I have a widescreen TV.

Walmart is not good for DVD. It's really too bad that a more widescreen friendly retailer could not dominate instead. Their clientele may seek pan and scan, but Walmart does not educate, and quite nearly promotes pan and scan as the best option.

I'm glad to hear there are good things on the horizon. I certainly look forward to a well launched HD-DVD. The more DVD gets hijacked by the "common consumer", the more likely I am to early-adopt HD-DVD. Of course studios probably know this. They ought to also know that I won't be pushing HD-DVD on my less educated associates like I did with DVD.
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#8 of 357 OFFLINE   Jeff

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:06 AM

I'm not defending anyone who has said anything negative to a studio but how are these people to know what goes on at the studios and why those decisions are made? Maybe if there was some sort of general outline as to how things work at them, the comments would greatly diminish.

I'm not saying the studios have to supply us with this info but I'm just saying if they are truly bothered by the comments then maybe they could educate us a little.

As far as the negative comments to studio reps, themselves, is concerned, that's a competely different matter.


Jeff

#9 of 357 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:10 AM

Tim, this year, and in fact for all previous years, Fox have always opted to run DVDs for us via a super high end 3 chip DLP projector. What the audio hardware was in the theatre on Friday I have no idea, it was the third of forth different screening room the HTF had been given access too in all our visits, and they are forever upgrading their hardware at the studio. Some obscene video scaler to get DVD to hold up so well at 25+ feet is also put to good use at these events.

Attack of the Clones and Ice Age really are, for lack of a better word, disgustingly impressive in every way. What we watched of Clones just showed it off to be flawless on all counts, audio and video. The detail in clothing especially is really a sight to behold, but what must be said is that the CG REALLY stands out, more so than I found theatrically 5 times (4 of those viewings of which were the DLP). In watching the Yoda vs Dooku duel, I was noticing the little CG Dooku tweaks that went over my head in theatres.

The DVD transfer holds up better with the films darker scenes than both 35mm and DLP presentations did. Everything is a lot more balanced for the DVD presentation, and the sound too feels far more impressive in the confines of a small screening room (and eventually our HTs) than it did in a large theatre auditorium. Impressive, most impressive.

The deleted scenes on disc 2 are all uninspiring save for maybe the one with Obi and Mace on the landing platform, which I liked really only for the inventive set up of the hangar and how the Jedi Starfighter platform stretches out into the open allowing the ship to take off. This scene is actually an alternate/early version of the scene that exists in the film with Obi, Mace and Yoda in which Obi Wan questions Anakin's field of thought. It was changed because this original doesnt have Yoda, though much of the dialogue is the same. Visualy, this scene was going in a nice direction...

I don't know if the missconceptions (read; fanboy lies) about additional deleted scenes of the "lost 20" "expanded duel" and "expanded Jedi raid on geonosis" have continued on during our being away last week, but if they have, put them to rest now, they aint there. Like Ep1, we're not given all the deleted material which I foresee being the example use by those fans who truly feel they must have something to complain about with this release (no one will dare knock the transfer and sound). I am happy enough with that is here, and the Analaysis Droid scene, whilst utterly pointless, was nice visuall nevertheless (even if they do look like Jonny 5!).

The 3 minor tweaks to the actual film I am rather fond of. The 2 line extension to Anakin's confession to Padme is not really needed to be sure, but it's nice and does no harm. The fix to Padme in the sand now just plays out SOOOOOOO much better. You'll wonder why it was never like this in the first place. The other tweak is a cg tweak most wont even notice...

Van Ling has done another nice job in producing the DVD. Again we're treated to 3 alternating menus, this time Coruscant, Kamino and Geonosis. Coruscant remains my favorite of the three variations. Disc one plays host to what must now be the obligatory 1138 easter egg and proves you can never stop laughing at Hayden Christensen falling over.

We watched about 15 minues of the 45 min From Puppets to Pixels documentary (one of a few docs on disc 2) and this is shaping up REALLY nicely. I think those who have reservations over there being now single lengthy documentary this time round will be very pleased with what's on offer here. It's all shaping up to be MORE extensive than anything on TPM given we now have some solid in depth material focusing on indivudual elements of production.

And finally, as Ron said, R2 Beneath the Dome is an absolute hoot. The screening room was roaring with laughter watching this 5 minute preview for what will be a series of spoof web documentaries. Funny, FUNNY stuff. Oh my!


In addition to AOTC then, Fox's second winter direct digital gem is coming in the form of Ice Age, my want for which was boosted significantly on Friday having watched some of the supplements. There's some neat and funny stuff going on with this title, and it's sure to turn a lot of heads.


Quote:
Today alone, I read quite a few threads in this
forum that attacked studio reps by name, implying
that they were making stupid decisions. It's sad
see that the professional reputation of this forum
is dumbed down by these sort of remarks that are
made by individuals who have no clue as to how
and why studio decisions are made.

Indeed. It was quite depressing for us to return from LA to find such pathetic and damn near insulting posts on this forum from those who could not be any more missinformed of various situations regarding studio DVD output. I know I dont speak for myself when I state that all who feel studio representatives owe you something can sod off to another forum.

Dan

#10 of 357 OFFLINE   DaveBB

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:18 AM

Thanks for all the information Ron: I always look forward your reports.

Sorry to hear you got so much negative feedback from the studios about the rudeness found on this and other forums. I still remember the good ol' days when I would post a question, a positive feedback or a constructive criticism and get a response. Then again I know if I was a studio rep and saw a thread like this one that I would stop showing up. It sucks when one person or a small group messes it up for everyone else.


#11 of 357 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:40 AM

Quote:
The truth is, the masses were buying dvd when it was supposedly being designed for the enthusiasts.

Comments like this are hard to fathom. What is your source for the assertion that DVD was "designed for enthusiasts"? The major industry proponents of DVD in the early days (e.g., Warner's Warren Lieberfarb) were always explicit about their desire to make DVD the standard consumer format for home video, replacing VHS. But unlike VHS, DVD has the technical capabilities to deliver quality and features that also appeal to the enthusiast -- and that's why, even today, there is a huge selection of exceptional product that vastly exceeds anything previously available to the home consumer. Yes, there is an ongoing tension between servicing a mass market and catering to the enthusiasts (and, as an aside, it required no great prophetic insight to see that coming). That doesn't change the fact that enthusiasts are far better off today than they ever have been. And as the reports from the California trip demonstrate (I wasn't able to join in, so I'm reading them for the first time myself), there's more great product in the works.

M.
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#12 of 357 OFFLINE   Dharmesh C

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:41 AM

What was the AOTC sound like? Especially the charges Posted Image I bet the LFE channel got a major workout!!! Posted Image

#13 of 357 OFFLINE   Todd Phillips

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Posted September 23 2002 - 02:51 AM

Thanks for the info, Ron. Maybe Walmart should be the focus of the energy spent criticizing the studios?

I've got a genuine question, though:

Quote:
It was quite depressing for us to return from LA to find such pathetic and damn near insulting posts on this forum from those who could not be any more missinformed of various situations regarding studio DVD output.


Not excusing personal attacks, but how should we be responding to the studios who put out lousy product?

Quote:
There are specific and legitimate reasons why
the studios are not meeting the demands of this
forum's membership. While we are not at liberty
to discuss everything that was told to us in
confidence...


If the studios have legitimate reasons (which I am not questioning), what are the proper steps to take to influence the output of the studios? Without disclosing the issues discussed in confidence, is there some direction that can be given from that understanding?
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#14 of 357 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:02 AM

Were there any discussions with the studio reps about any plans to educate consumers about OAR?

#15 of 357 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:03 AM

If you follow the old adage "it's not what you say, but how you say it" then constructive criticism would more likely be accepted by the studios as valid concerns rather than insults from disgruntled fanatics. Furthermore, some members are a little too caught up in specific dvd features instead of concentrating their concern on getting a good dvd presentation of their favorite films.




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#16 of 357 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:17 AM

You know, I detest rudeness, personal attacks and uninformed criticism as much as the next guy. There's no need and no place for schoolyard dialog and name calling to get a point across. However, I do think that the studios are partly to blame for some of the badmouthing they've been subjected to on the net regarding some of their DVD policies. Let's take HTF for example. In the ABSENCE of any participation or input from the studios on the issues that have been discussed here what do they really expect? In an information vacuum people's imaginations run wild, rumors spread, and the worst case scenario can be presented as fact.

I would put forth to the big players in the DVD business that ignoring the concerns of the internet community is not an answer. Their long-term corporate interests and the interests of their customers would be better served by offering more information to consumers of their products, not less. The enthusiasts who became early adopters of this format were an integral part of its *overwhelming* success. In my opinion the studios should acknowledge and respect that contribution.

It is also my opinion that educating the public about the differences between original aspect ratios and full frame/pan-n-scan presentations should become a major priority for these companies. By neglecting this issue now they are only postponing the next perception problem, when widescreen HDTV capable sets are the norm and everyone's 4:3 material "doesn't fill the screen."

There's a lot that can be accomplished on both sides of this fence.

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#17 of 357 OFFLINE   aldamon

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:25 AM

Thanks for the exciting post! You guys have an amazing job.

On another note, it saddens me that the studios' response to flaming in the HTF is to leave the scene cold turkey. Every major online forum has flamers in it. It's a fact of life any reasonable Internet user can recognize and handle with ease. If all it takes is a few flames to repel the studios from the HTF, then I believe that they were looking for a reason to leave anyway. Certainly, some stricter moderation will clean up the place for the better, but the underlying negativity will only continue to fester if left unchecked. If the studios find it awkward to post here in person, then perhaps the HTF staff can continue to pass news along, officially or unofficially instead of leaving us, the consumers, alone to contemplate conspiracies and innuendos and pseudo economics. We ARE, after all, cinema fans. With the ability to suspend disbelief, comes a vivid imagination. That can be a good or a bad thing Posted Image

#18 of 357 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:31 AM

Again, Crawdaddy has put things into
proper perspective...

It's not what you say against the
studios and their product but how those
opinions are being expressed on this forum.

The folks at Columbia made it very clear that
they want to hear the opinions of their consumers.
In the same voice, they made it clear that doing
so in a rude manner often falls on deaf ears.

We aren't going to control constructive criticism
on this forum. The studios want that criticism
in order to produce better product when they are
able to. What we are going to control are posts
that are filled with personal attacks.

Someone asked for direction? Okay, here's
something to think about. The people who run
DVD Home Entertainment at most all the studios
are DVD enthusiasts just like us. They know
exactly the type of material we want included
in Special Edition products. If it were solely
up to them, we would be getting 3-disc
sets filled with every extra imaginable. In
the real world, however, there are legal
restrictions attached to just about every piece
of added material that needs clearance. In most
all cases (without being specific), the studios
cannot clear everything they wish to include on
a DVD. Furthermore, the window between theatrical
and DVD release has greatly shortened. Studios
are under immense time constraints to get product
out. This often results in material not being able
to be included the first time around, but perhaps
in a later re-release. In addition, the studios
are under pressure from the likes of Walmart who
make up the bulk of their DVD purchase orders.
It's Walmart that dictates the format films are
released in.

The direction I am pointing all of you in is to
back off on complaining about every little demand
that is not met. Some of you guys see a piece of
material that is excluded from a release and you
start pointing fingers at the studio, referring to
them as "stupid" or otherwise, and in the process,
have no clue whatsoever as to why a decision had
to be made to exclude that material.

None of you are in a position here to demand
anything from the studios. Personally, this trip
has opened all our eyes in realizing that the
studios are doing everything to put out the best
product possible when their hands are usually
always tied.

So you want direction? Kindly back off.

The studios owe us nothing. We were very, very
fortunate to have representatives here for a
very long time. The fact that a minority of this
forum's membership took it upon themselves to take
personal shots at these representatives and their
studios has resulted in a noticeable absence of
these individuals.

You can bet that we are going to do everything
we can to get these reps back on our forum. This
means an assurance from us that the membership
will treat them with the utmost respect at all
times. We can easily remove any member who feels
that they have demands that have to be met by a
studio that owes us nothing.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#19 of 357 OFFLINE   Brian Kidd

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:43 AM

Quote:
Comments like this are hard to fathom.

Michael,

What I meant by "designed for enthusiasts" was OAR as the norm and special features that were, to a great extent, more intelligent than the EPK drivel we get nowadays. The studios knew that it was going to be the enthusiasts who would be first to adopt a new technology and tailored their discs accordingly. Certainly not all of them, but a great many of them. Sorry if you misunderstood me.

I agree that personal attacks on specific studio reps are childish and unwarranted. However, I think that complaining about a particular studio is fine and necessary. Debate is becoming all too rare in the forum. When it is done in an intelligent and, above all, polite manner, it can be a wonderful tool. Childishness needs to stay on the playground, though. None of the individual reps are responsible for the decisions being made and shouldn't have to put up with abuse over them.

It's a shame that the Internet has become unimportant to the studios. I guess it just proves that we were pawns in the game to grow DVD. I hope we learn from our mistakes and don't go kowtowing to the studios when HD-DVD comes out. I guarantee the same thing will happen again. We simply have to vote with our dollars. That's the only thing that matters to the studios. If they produce lesser-quality products, then I refuse to buy them. I know that it's fighting the tide, but it's all any of us can do at this point.
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#20 of 357 OFFLINE   Dave Anderson

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:53 AM

Quote:
It really is a sad day when we are to accept pan and scan only releases of titles from studios. It really is a sad day when we are to accept pan and scan only releases of titles from studios.

I agree. And we all should continue to voice our displeasure with the studios for releasing P&S-only DVDs, regardless of their politics. I understand the obvious: studios have budgets, and the thought process is that not every budget for a particular DVD is going to allow both a P&S and widescreen DVD. Example: something like Snow Dogs just isn't going to warrant two separate releases. Clearly in that case the choice will be a P&S release over widescreen, thanks to Walmart.

THAT IS JUST WRONG!

Anyone remember laserdisc? There was a time when many laserdisc releases had both P&S and widescreen releases. And I probably don't need to tell you that laserdisc never reached the mainstream level that DVD has. And that's where the problem lies - DVD is mainstream. Laserdisc was a niche format. If they didn't release widescreen when it was demanded, there wouldn't be any sales. A dual P&S LD release was just to satisfy the occasional J6P that stumbled onto a laserdisc player, but P&S LD of the same title would never outsell a widscreen LD. That's not the case with DVD, thanks to big stores like Walmart buying more P&S copies than all the smaller on-line retailers that primarily sell widescreen, and the fact that DVD is mainstream and J6P prefers P&S.

I think the big problem HERE is people coming in here with guns blazing, verbally attacking studios. That's wrong. Voice your displeasure, but do it in a polite manner. Again, state the obious:

1) I will not shop at Walmart (I've always preferred Target anyway. Plus often carry both P&S and Widescreen DVDs of the same title).

2) I will not buy a P&S DVD - PERIOD! Now, this statement will vary depending on how diehard the person is over widescreen. Myself, I would buy a P&S DVD if it's a movie I, my wife, or my son really likes. I have several P&S laserdiscs, simply because no widescreen version exists on DVD, LD, or VHS.

Attacking the studios is wrong. Just let them know they lost a sale over their choice to exclude widescreen. Perhaps that will get them to rethink their budgets. A shining example, in my opinion, of a studio doing DVD right is MGM. They often include both P&S and widescreen releases on the same disc. If both won't fit, they either drop P&S (e.g. Killer Klowns) or release a separate DVD if it's a big title (e.g. Hannibal). Too bad more studios don't do this.

My $.02 ...
David W. Anderson - dave@horrordvds.com
Webmaster - www.horrordvds.com





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