Be kind...why is Buffy DVD taking so long in states?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil Florian, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Okay, I am sure it is posted somewhere on HTF, but I can't find it. So, I was looking for a clear (as mud) explanation as to why the rest of the world is working on Buffy Season 4 and Angel season 2 and we still don't have Buffy Season 1 on DVD. I know they are supposed to be out in January (last I heard) but they said that last year. Will they start to catch up quicker after the first set is released or will it be another 6 years to get the current season?
    Just curious,
    Thanks,
    Phil
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  2. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I'll jump in here! (High Priest Jeff is welcome to add in where my bits are fuzzy). It all boils down to syndication and second-run issues. In other countries, like our friends in the UK, they don't have syndication deals where the producer of the show sells reruns for weekend and daily stripping. Here in the U.S. most syndication/second run deals give the station (or stations) a certain period where they can run the show without having to worry about video and dvd sales cutting into their audience. Hence the wait on our end. Fox sold second run rights (?) to F/X and weekend syndication to individual stations which delayed the first season set by one year. AFAIK, Fox intends to distribute 2 seasons per year of their television product.
    I hope that helped.
     
  3. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    The general answer is "syndication issues"... which breaks down as this:
    When the production companies and networks make their deals on the programs here in the USA, they are contingent on eventual revenues derived from syndicating the program. Syndication is a secondary market, kind of like home video is for theatrical releases. If these TV programs hit video before going into syndication, it reduces the value of the syndication package, something the production company is counting on to make back their investment.
    When programs air in other countries, these are also secondary markets. There is no secondary run following the first run in a foreign market. Home video releases in those countries are therefore not cutting into further revenue areas for the program.
    Now that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in syndication, it would be nice (and theoretically okay) to have a ramped-up release schedule for the further seasons. However, Fox has pretty much shown that they like the "every six months" release pattern for full season box sets. If they did put out three or more seasons of Buffy in 2002, I would definitely buy them all, but the staggering is nice considering I'm also looking to buy the Simpsons and other possible TV releases...
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  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I think our UK friends need a syndication market [​IMG]
    At the very least, the sets should be offered through mail-order. Since J6P is too lazy to mail order, that should control the amounts available.
    I know , pipe dream [​IMG]
    Jeff Kleist
     
  5. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Well, I should clarify that when I say there's no syndication for a market such as the UK, I mean for our programming that they buy from us. I don't know what kinds of deals they do for their own programming, although it has always seemed to me that the British have been particularly fond of releasing their television programming on home video.
    Further, I forgot to account for instances of some television programs that are on video already even though they've never gone to syndication. This usually means a program like South Park or The Sopranos, where syndication isn't really a consideration (content reasons should be obvious) or a syndicated version would differ from the original program (again, content issues)... home video is essentially the only secondary market for such programs.
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  6. CraigMc

    CraigMc Extra

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    I know you were probably joking Jeff, but I would scream bloody murder if we got syndication rights issues here.
    Wishing that sort of infliction on other countries just because the states as some crazy rights deals just sucks.
    (whilst I'm not in the UK, I'm in Aus, we have a similar non-syndication deal here too)
    Order the sets over the web if you have a PAL capable TV and region-free dvd player...
    I'm very sympathetic to you guys for how long you have to wait for Buffy, especially since it's U.S. product, but wishing it on us is just plain mean...
    American Pie 2 isn't out here theatrically till December, and you guys are getting it on DVD a month later!!!!!
    It all evens out in the long run.
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  7. ChristianW

    ChristianW Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah... What Craig said [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I'm considering ordering Angel, but with the Buffy sets I'd rather wait. The voice speedup annoys me a bit, and I'd rather not import what I can have here. I'll decide after the next chat with Fox, when I get a more solid answer on when Angel will be coming out
    Jeff Kleist
     
  9. ChristianW

    ChristianW Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, is the voice speedup thingy, really that big a deal?
    I've never seen Buffy in NTSC (obviously), but I wouldn't have thought it would be noticeable... The PAL version certainly doesn't sound weird or anything.
    I've watched plenty of NTSC discs and I never would have known there was a speed increase in PAL sources if I hadn't read it here on the forum. Of course, I've never watched the same thing in both formats, hence my question.
     
  10. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    I own Buffy season one on PAL. Don't know what it is, whether it's speedup or just a poor conversion, but it just doesn't feel right. Yes I know Buffy season one was filmed in 16mm. I suppose I'm just too used to NTSC.
    In any case, I'm looking forward to replace my set, and my sister is thrilled she's getting the PAL version. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jose C

    Jose C Extra

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    I have the Region 4 PAL discs of Buffy Seasons 1 and 2 (I just couldn't wait for R1) - there definitely is some PAL speedup, but you get used to it after awhile. Actually, it's not so bothersome since Seasons 1 and 2 still have the gang in high school, so it sometimes seems OK that Buffy and Cordelia's voices are a little bit higher in pitch (as if they were younger.) Angel's higher-pitched voice in PAL, though, is particularly noticeable. But that still won't stop me from ordering Season 3 from Oz pretty soon!
     
  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I watch Stargate SG-1 half a season from NTSC sources, half from PAL sources. I can DEFINATELY tell the difference, and it annoys me. I wish they'd use the pitch-shift technology to electronically correct it, but they never do [​IMG]
    Jeff Kleist
     
  13. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Never noticed the speedup. Even the Limey, where the 2.0 track appears to have been slowed back down doesn't show any effect on voices that I hear.
    Pulldown annoys me WAAAYYY more. Horses for courses. [​IMG]
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  14. Michael St. Clair

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    Progressive NTSC is the only way to go if you have the choice.
     
  15. ChristianW

    ChristianW Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm certainly not an expert, but surely correcting the pitch would be a fairly simple thing to do. Strange that they don't.
    I guess wherever PAL is used all the time the difference isn't noticed, so they just couldn't be bothered!
    The only problem now is... I want to get an NTSC version of something i've got in PAL, just to hear the difference. Damn curiosity [​IMG]
     
  16. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    If Angel follows exactly the same pattern as Buffy in terms of DVD release for R1, then I hypothesize the following:
    1. Angel reaches syndication after 100 episodes which isn't until halfway in Season 5, so when Season 5 ENDS in 2004.
    2. Angel season 1 syndication run starts in the fall of 2004, and with 22 episodes, it won't end until Q1 2005.
    According the basic assumption of Angel R1 DVD following exactly the same pattern as Buffy, then in the summer of 2005, we will have R1 DVD's for Angel. At the last Fox chat, Peter Staddon said Angel was caught up with the same syndication rights problems as Buffy, so, unless Angel moves into syndication sooner than the end of season 5, it is gonna be a long wait. [​IMG]
    Net result, I think I gotta get a multi-region, code-free, PAL-NTSC converting DVD player. [​IMG]
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