Criterion Suppliment Disk Suggestion

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkBurton, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. MarkBurton

    MarkBurton Second Unit

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    I recently sent an e-mail to Jon Mulvaney at Criterion asking if it would be possible for Criterion to release a suppliment disk for those things that didn't seem to find their way to DVD. Like the John Carpenter commentary for Halloween or the suppliments for The Game.

    Since it is my understanding that Criterion owns the suppliments that they create and they don't license them out (with the notable exception of the Monty Python & The Holy Grail commentary), I would think this would be a great way to get it out. What do you think?
     
  2. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Supplement disc? On the surface, this sounds good. However, I can immediately think of three problems:

    1. Audio commentaries: either a 2nd DVD player is required or a separate CD (or more) would be needed.

    2. There might be problems licensing extras if they contain sound clips (muffled in some commentaries) or video footage.

    3. Where's the market for these extras? Chances are the devoted fans of the films in question would already have the LDs etc. Casual fans wouldn't care IMHO, unless the price was very attractive.
     
  3. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Hmm, I wouldn't hesitate in buying these.. I've spent a fair bit aquiring Criterion LDs of movies with commentaries on eBay. (Halloween is one, and Raging Bull is the other. nice extras!)

    Someone mentioned before about producing books with transscripts of the commentaries with pages of photographs from the film with respect to the place in the film. Might be an idea worth pursuing. Although there are rights issues there too.

    I'd buy CDs of the commentaries though. Although releasing them this way is rife for piracy through audio ripping and compression, and the evil-file share programs. Sigh.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I would rather see Criterion relax their guidelines on Licensing supplements. I find it terribly ironic that a company which subsists entirely on licensing materials (films) from other companies, would have such a problem with licensing their property to others.

    It seems Criterion could license their supplements on similar terms the original film owner had granted license to Criterion for the film (original retains owndership, license period of "x" amount of time)--- this would supply financial support to allow Criterion to continue doing excellent work on more obscure film releases and give the fans the excellent Criterion supplements that might otherwise be lost.

    Seems like a win-win situation.

    -V
     
  5. Matthew_S

    Matthew_S Second Unit

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    Very good points, Vince. I remember seeing somewhere that Criterion feels that their supplements are their only "assets" in a way, so they have to hold on to them. I can see their point. But as you stated, their refusal to license their supplements to others creates a "everybody loses" situation. For a company that prides itself on saving and preserving films that may otherwise have vanished, they're doing the opposite with their own supplements...???
     
  6. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Well the Criterion supplements are a total waste if they're just locked up in a vault somewhere.

    I don't think there's a a big enough market for "supplement-only" discs to make it profitable for Criterion.

    I guess Criterion would rather have them rot away then make some money licensing them.
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Again, Criterion doesn't have to license every film they put out. The films of the Janus Library are owned by their parent company, Home Vision. Sure, their biggest sellers are licensed, but most of the foreign classics they put out are not.

    I would probably be interested in a supplements disc/book. I probably will not ever buy a LD player, but I'd love to hear/read the commentaries for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
     
  8. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    As Damin pointed out- this is a bit off the mark- but I understand your point. However, I think that many of the films in the Janus library (specifically foreign films)- they had no hand in production and do not own film rights in and of themselves- rather they have the distribution rights for the United States on particular titles. However, these rights are usually the results of licensing agreements.

    So while some titles (the BuenaVista stuff they do for example) are more obviously "licensed" properties- since Janus and Criterion are not a film producer, all the films they have the rights to distribute came from some sort of agreement with the previous rights owners. How many films they own outright, I'm unsure.

    But the point is the same-- if Criterion views their older bonus material as their "assets"- one would wonder exactly how such a asset would be of any value when they have no current avenue to use it. It's sitting in a vault, associated with a format (laserdisc) they no longer support. It's seems a natural partnership for Criterion to license their excellent assets to the studios who initially licensed the films themselves to criterion for the laserdisc market.

    I'm just a little unsure how a collection of work which they have absolutely no outlet for does them any service-- where as a licensed supplement would provide income, recognition, and an outlet for otherwise unusable property.

    I would never suggest that Criterion become an "extras" company- producing new supplements for studio released films-- but rather that existing supplements be made available through licensing agreements for future DVD releases...

    -Vince
     
  10. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Whoops, thanks Damin, and point taken Vince
     
  11. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I know nothing about Home Vision's ownership, but I should point out that they put out DVDs as well. I have two of them -- the transfers are Criterion quality but they have no supplements. For what it's worth, my local B&M treats them as Criterions, so I'd have to think they at least share retail distribution channels with Criterion.

    Ted
     
  12. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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