Criterion LD commentaries

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by streeter, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Criterion owns the rights to the audio commentaries that they recorded for films which they no longer own. I believe they mentioned they may one day look into publishing some of them in a book. However, would it also be possible (from a legal standpoint) for them to release these tracks on CDs which could be played simultaneously to DVDs? I imagine that a lot of people have CD players in their home theaters as well, so aside from having to switch CDs halfway through a movie, this would seem like a feasable idea to me. I also think there is a big enough market for these CDs, or a box set of 'lost audio commentaries' but of course Criterion hasn't done this yet, so there must be a reason. Does anyone know more about this, before I waste asking Criterion the same thing in October?
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Legal? Yes, if Criterion owns the commentaries. Practical? No. A money maker - very likely not. I wouldn't expect this any time soon (although I was wrong once last year - could happen again).
    ------------------
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    - Napoleon XIV
     
  3. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I think a transcript book, with accompanying stills (so you could keep up), would be absolutely phenomenal!
    I'd be first in line to get a copy (or however many volumes they publish).
     
  4. Jun-Dai Bates

    Jun-Dai Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow. transcript book? I would grab that in a second. Some of those commentaries are legendary.
     
  5. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    You would buy a transcript book over a set of CDs? For some of them, I'd prefer reading it, but others are screen-specific. I think it would be horrible to read that. I'd rather see Criterion release CDs. Either way, I'll pick up whatever they'll release.
     
  6. Jun-Dai Bates

    Jun-Dai Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't mind if it's screen specific. If I have the DVD, I can just read along, as the film plays, fast-forwarding and rewinding as necessary. Having photos as visual cues will help a good deal (or a running time counter in the margin). I'd much prefer written format over CD's, because CD's would be awkward, requiring 2-3 CD's per film, rather than one book for 2-3 films, or a booklet per. Additionally, you'd have to play a CD and DVD simultaneously, which is a little inconvenient (I supposed you could use a discman), and additionally, CD players tend to play at slightly different speeds from one another.
    I definitely think the printed version would be best. I also wouldn't mind if they just put the mp3's up on their site (I watch my movies on my computer), which would be free, as well as the simplest distribution. It would compliment a series of book-published commentary tracks quite well, I think.
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    quote: You would buy a transcript book over a set of CDs[/quote]The Criterion commentaries were frequently edited together from multiple commentaries and interviews from the participants. A textual or CD-ROM release that is not tied to being screen specific within the running time of the film would allow for the inclusion of additional material.
    Some of their commentaries were not even screen specific. The "audio essay" on Casablanca by Ronald Haver is one such example, but it is as good or better than any book I have read or documentary I have seen on the subject of the film. It would be a shame if it were not available in some medium or other. Incidentally, Mr. Haver's books on David Selznick, Gone with the Wind, and A Star is Born appear to be lapsing from publication as well, right now, but are well worth seeking out used or at your local library.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on September 04, 2001 at 08:50 AM]
     

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