Blue Underground/William Lustig interview up at PopImage.com

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Drew Reiber, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    Hey everyone. I finally got an interview online that I did with Blue Underground's William Lustig, DVD producer and filmmaker. I'm sorry about the bad edit job, it's my fault due to my miscommunication with the editors. Hopefully it will look nicer soon, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy it. Please post if you have any comments.

    Blue Underground's Bill Lustig interview
     
  2. RichardCrowther

    RichardCrowther Stunt Coordinator

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    Good, informative stuff.

    Thanks, Drew.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Great interview. They continue to release Jess Franco titles so I hope they'll eventually do a box set of some of his lesser known works. They're all "lesser known" but perhaps some of his 80's stuff. I'm also glad they aren't scared to release "harder" material. The upcoming 99 WOMEN will be available in its soft version as well as hardcore.
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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  5. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    Some day-for-night shots were incorrectly presented in the transfer.
     
  6. Joshua_W

    Joshua_W Second Unit

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    This is disappointing. Does he mean that BU won't be re-issuing these titles after AB's rights expire, or that they'll simply re-release the existing editions.

    Most of the AB Hammer titles are decent enough special editions, but some of them, notably "Dracula Prince of Darkness" could use 16:9 transfers.
     
  7. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Disappointing. I'd like for them to pursue licensing the Universal Hammer titles since they (Uni) seem to have no interest in releasing any of them.

    Also, no word on any more Spaghetti Westerns?
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I think we'll see a set of Hammer's from Universal next year. I'm somewhat glad BU isn't going to redo the Hammer since they're already fairly good. I'd much rather them release stuff that hasn't been on DVD yet. At least now I know I should go ahead and get the AB Hammer's.
     
  9. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    But what about FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN? AB's copies of this title seemed doomed to delamination. All I want is for a copy that plays, and will continue to play for more than a year after purchase...
     
  10. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    No, not really. But what else could they release? The major studios (MGM, Universal, Sony, etc.) own the remainder of the signifigant Spaghetti.
     
  11. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Perhaps if he doesnt renew the rights tot he Hammer library, perhaps someone else can release them, like criterion?
     
  12. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    We HAVE to see a 16:9 enhanced QUATERMASS IN THE PIT.

    Japan has it.
     
  13. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    From Lustig's very detailed response to the question about locating the rights to a film, it sounds as if he has tried to get "Monster Squad" (the movie he uses as an example) out on DVD. I wonder if he has had any success if he did try.

    With "Bird with the Crystal Plumage" on the second giallo set, that one may be a must-buy for me.
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  15. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Rights expire & change hands so often it's hard to say who owns what with cult foreign titles. Not to mention the fact that BU, Anchor Bay, etc. license many titles from the majors.

    Anyhow as to what's left, I'd like to see decent OAR R1 releases of...
    The Big Gundown (1966)
    Face to Face (1967)
    Death Rides a Horse (1968)
    The Mercenary (1968)
    They Call Me Trinity (1971)
    My Name is Nobody (1973)
    Day of Anger (1967)
    Sabata (1970)


    Just to name a few.
     
  16. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Nice interview, one thing though...
    ...so Lustig worked for Criterion then? Because most of the things we associate with SE supplements on home video today they pioneered/popularized on LD back in the 80's & early 90's including commentaries, outtakes & deleted scenes, cast & crew info, retrospective interviews, trailers & TV spots...you name it.
    Lustig is responsible for giving this treatment to cult/B-Movies but not IMO for "pioneering" it to begin with.
     
  17. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Another thing (regarding the missing elements on the Suspiria re-mixed english tracks)...
    ...uh yeah but Bill, the missing effects were on the english PCM stereo tracks that you yourself did for the old Image LD back in the early 90's and I recently watched an OLD taping from cable TV circa 1984/85 that also had these effects in the suspect spots...those were well before any remixing was done so, as far as I can tell, if the missing effects are on the italian tracks and if they are on a VERY old print from the 80's then the tracks were in the original mixes to begin with and you folks just screwed up...just swallow your pride and fix it for any new DVD's your company will put out when the rights revert back to you.
     
  18. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    I would disagree, though I suppose it is just my opinion. I said "one of the key... for much of the supplemental features we associate with", because a good number of the special editions carried on shelves at Target, Best Buy and other retail stores in more abundance than Criterion are the Anchor Bay releases that flooded the market between the late 90's and early 00's.

    I don't really believe that most of the "mainstream" market purchase that much Criterion, so I was mostly approaching the intro to the article as if I was trying to get their attention. I know the interview itself is obviously geared more towards the more experienced consumers like ourselves, but that was the choice I made in the introduction. Also, as a non-laserdisc consumer and part of the younger generation, Lustig's work IS largely what brought me into the collector's market and the understanding of what special editions can do. Again, I felt "one of the key..." was fair enough, because I really do believe that, depending on who you are.
     
  19. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    The Big Gundown is owned by Sony. My Name is Nobody is owned by Universal. Death Rides a Horse, The Mercenary and Sabata are owned by MGM (as well as Return of Sabata, Adios Sabata, Navajo Joe and The Hills Run Red). Though I do not know for sure, it is quite likely that the others you mention are owned by a major studio, as other labels (such as VCI) have not taken a bite.

    More importantly, even if Face to Face or Day of Anger were available as properties, the larger titles which could serve to anchor a set or wave of Spagetti are locked down. Anchor Bay did alright because they had a few of the better titles to begin with, like Damiano Damiani's A Bullet for the General, Enzo G. Castellari's Keoma and Sergio Corbucci's Companero. Blue Underground had Corbucci's Django (holy crap yes!) and Guilio Questi's Django, Kill, in addition to a few others.

    In both cases, Franco Nero headlined one or two titles for each set/wave of releases. There's no way you could put as much emphasis on such a smaller catalogue, it just wouldn't do very well at all. When I spoke to Lustig, he mentioned that due to the costs to present the BU Spaghetti set properly (specifically the print of Django), their profits had only just been taken into the black for those titles fairly recently.

    Sure, it's a given that their distribution has improved by leaps and bounds since the launch of the label, but we have to take into account that these kinds of companies have no safety nets and it's the overall performance of their acquisitions that dictate where they go next. Clearly we are very lucky to have the Spaghetti sets that already exist, and with the remaining high-visibility titles resting with the major studios, the ball is in their court from this point on.
     
  20. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Drew I can only comment on what you wrote, not any underlying thought prosess behind it and in that light you specifically said..."responsible for much of the supplemental features we associate with the term "special edition" on home video....and that reads pretty clearly to me at least that you were saying that the "extras" we associate with SE presentations can be credited to (partly) Lustig...now as it reads I disagree with this notion as Lustig took what had already been going on for years before his entry into home video and applied it to genera & b-movies...he didn't come up with anything that Criterion hadn't already done years before.

    Again I can only comment on what you wrote.
     

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