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BREAKING NEWS: Warner Archive Collection Announces First Blu-Ray Releases

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 15, 2012.

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  1. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Sadly true. A lot of my friends who bought a ton of DVDs have drastically reduced their purchases of Blu-rays by comparison.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Hell, I see comments right here on HTF in which some posters think black and white films don't really have great benefit in 1080p on BD. I'm afraid the number of us that buy BD product like we bought DVD is smaller than many of us realize even today.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    It's become a specialty label's market for catalog Blu-ray titles. That's simply the reality. The new releases can get the attention of the consumer public because they've never owned those movies before on any format, but catalog simply does not sell to the vast majority of people who will throw $20 down on Fast Five or Jack Reacher.
     
  4. kingofthejungle

    kingofthejungle Stunt Coordinator

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    At the beginning of last year I would have had no problem agreeing with that, but I think the quantity (and relative obscurity) of the titles released by Olive Films has reset everyone's expectations. I understand that the market for catalog classics is limited, but there are clearly smaller outfits out there attempting a go at it (like Olive and TT).
     
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Olive likely has very small runs of each title (I'm guessing 1000 or less for most), and they also seem to have a very enthusiastic owner who should be applauded for his commitment to the titles they've acquired.
     
  6. Julian Lustig

    Julian Lustig Auditioning

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    My WAC Blu -ray wishlist : The Beast with Five Fingers They Drive by Night Gun Crazy Baby Doll Bad Day at Black Rock Splendor in the Grass America, America Wait Until Dark The Bad of Cable Hogue McCabe and Mrs. Miller Klute Straight Time Night Moves Time After Time The Ninth Configuration Local Hero After Hours Ride the High Country Somebody Up There Likes Me The Hill Diner Lone Star The Year of Living Dangerously They Live by Night Out of the Past
     
  7. kingofthejungle

    kingofthejungle Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree wholeheartedly. The taste and boldness in the selection of titles they've chosen to release is remarkable.
     
  8. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    It's not just the market hurting sales, IMO, some of the damage is done right here on HTF. There are many members here who are quite vocal in their opinion that if a product is not 100% perfect, in every conceivable way, it is a piece of junk and should not be bought. And not only should it not be bought, but the studio that released it should be boycotted, and everyone else should be told (loudly) to not buy it either.
     
  9. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    In the UK it is increasingly difficult to find catalogue titles in stores. The future seems to be programmes like the Warner Archive and on-line retailers. The advantage for the studios is that they don't have to distribute thousands of copies, many of which end up in bargain bins. I would like to see Warners step up the pace of Blu-ray titles through the Archive and on-line retailers where they have acceptable HD masters. It would be interesting to see the response to high profile titles such as High Society or Around the World in 80 days.
     
  10. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    "Around The World In 80 Days" is one of Warner's crown jewels, being the 1956 Best Picture Oscar winner and a 65mm Todd-AO production with an all-star cast...heavy restoration work needs to be done on this one and the only way to recoup the costs would be to release it in mainstream retail...the LAST place THIS title would end up is on the limited-market Archives outlet...
     
  11. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    I just used Around the World as an example. Obviously if there is no acceptable master then I agree it can't be released. Presumably many of the titles we want need significant restoration work which may or may not be justified based on anticipated sales. So either they won't be released any time soon or the best available materials might be supplied to distributors like Olive etc. The dilemma is do you wait or do you put out the best available PQ. No easy answers if catalogue sales are declining.
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    You know, Brandon, I've been around this forum a long while, as you have. Even when I read a really dumb question posed by another member, I try to be civil and respond with patience (or not at all), avoiding sarcasm and confrontation. My question did disregard the wording of the original press release, so I was wrong to mention it (although I was only asking, not complaining). I do not think we need to be putting each other down here like bullies. I contribute some valuable information from time to time, and I make some stupid comments sometimes. Kind of par for the course, no? Tolerance please, friend :)
     
  13. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Why is heavy restoration work needed? "Around the World in 80 Days" is regularly shown in HD on TCM UK and it looks fantastic.
     
  14. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I wasn't putting you down in any way. Just stating the facts, and asking why Warner fulfilling the stated goal of the press released was now seen as reason for concern. Sorry if you took it as something else. My response to you was neither sarcastic or confrontational in intent.
    I got a bit snarky on my response to Noach's post following mine. However, I took his eye-roll smiley as being towards my clarification, but upon re-reading his post it's probable he was eye-rolling to the perceived complaint of a one/two minimum being too low for HTF enthusiasts in general.
    In any case, there were several posts the last day or so with concern over the success of the program so far, and I was trying to dispel that perception.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Olive's business model is quite different than Warner's. Furthermore, their PQ standards are lacking in comparison to the other studios. I've bought several Olive titles, but their video and audio presentations are usually not on par to what the studios release themselves on BD. In short, monies spent to get indivdual titles ready for BD are not same with Olive versus the main studios.
    Crawdaddy
     
  16. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Catalog sales have proven to be low (Twilight Time only presses 3,000 units and has yet to sell out - with the exception of a few horror fantasty titles) If a catalog title sells unless than 3,000 over two years and cost a lot more to remaster and clean up for blu-rays higher standards, we are lucky to have the catalog titles we have. New films don't require clean up work and will sell millions of copies - millions compared to 3,000, yet a catalog title will require thousands of dollars to prepare for Blu-ray) cost and demand are what drive the industry, very little else
     
  17. kingofthejungle

    kingofthejungle Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand where you're coming from, but I feel that the case against Olive's PQ is pretty consistently overstated here. The quality of most of the more popular titles (particularly the Wayne films) are very much in line with what I would expect from the other majors. The Wayne B-westerns are pristine, Rio Grande looks great, The Quiet Man has minor issues (you can notice the same registration issues in Warner Technicolor Blu for the time period, Quo Vadis) , but looks very good. The more problematic films are generally the lesser known titles that (as you've pointed out) won't reap the kind of profits the others will. Would it be nice if they could spend the extra money to make DeToth's Ramrod and McCarey's My Son John as pristine as possible? Yeah, but market economics make that unfeasible - these are, after all, titles that didn't even get a DVD release before Olive came along. The final product is roughly comparable to a print I might expect to see at my local repertory theater. Olive, like the major studios is ultimately subject to the same trade-offs necessitated by the limited market potential of some of these films, and IMO a Blu-Ray with a few specs and scratches visible is better than having to settle for a DVD-R with specs and scratches visible. (Though obviously, I can see how Warner's massive catalog would restrict the kind of market experimentation that Olive is freed to attempt with Republic's more limited holdings) The major exception to this has been High Noon, which was a huge misfire and looks nothing like film. It's video-y presentation is very much like Paramount's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Blu-Ray. Yuck. I do hope Warner continues to experiment with ways to get classic Blu-Ray to market, though. I was really fond of the way Fox presented it's Elia Kazan films in the two Blu-Ray sets, reasonably priced, only available online - with select individual titles hitting retail afterward. It would be nice if Warner might present it's five remaining Hitchcock films similarly (Suspicion/ Mr. and Mrs. Smith/ I Confess/ Stage Fright/ The Wrong Man). And though it will probably never happen, I can imagine few collections that would be as rewarding (or a better testament to it's studio) as a carefully chosen Walsh at Warner set.
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Sorry, but that Wayne Irish epic looks nothing like film. You might compare it to the likes of Criterions's Colonel Blimp, which will hold its own against an original nitrate print.
    RAH
     
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  19. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    This
     
  20. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    I sure wish they had some enthusiastic people at Warners like they do at Olive! I really wonder how you could lose money on BDs on PORGY AND BESS, LUST FOR LIFE, AUNTIE MAME, AROUND THE WORLD IN 60 DAYS or THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (to name just a few). How Woody Allen described God in LOVE AND DEATH is a good way to descibe Warner's BD policy, basically an underachiever. Yet, bold pioneers like Olive really delve into the realms of obscure cinema. Let's face the truth here, Warners wouldn't lose a cent releasing ten times their present output. Twiddling away for years and years while potential customers are dying off seems not a good business plan to me. Still, Universal and Sony are SO much worse.
     

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