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. The 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: 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 exactly that! 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 negative comments? 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.