DVD Market Fragmentation Attempt

Discussion in 'DVD' started by budrichard, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. budrichard

    budrichard Auditioning

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    I sent the following message to both Sony Pictures and Hollywood Video. I am sure that the studios would love to fragment the DVD market to increase revenue and this is another attempt to accomplish that fragmentation. The long term goal of course is to have us pay for EACH view.

    Your (Sony) attempt to fragment the DVD market by issuing two release of 'Charlie's Angels- Full Throttle', one in full screen to the Video Rental Stores and one in widescreen that requires purchasing the movie is a very transparent effort to force DVD viewers who want to view the movie in it's original format to purchase the movie.
    I rented this movie from Hollywood Video expecting to see the normal widescreen aspect ratio. When the DVD informed me that it was not widescreen, I stopped viewing and will return to Hollywood for a refund. I also will hence forth NOT view or purchase ANY Sony movies.
    Blockbuster also attempted to force renters to watch the full screen editions. I do not rent from Blockbuster.
    We know that this is a blatant attempt to do away with video rental and maximize already obscene profits by only releasing full screen versions at a lower price to the rental companies. Those that want the theater experience must purchase another version. This all stems from the loss of movie ticket revenue. I and others simply do not go to the movies because of the horrible conditions present in the theaters not to mention the 2 hour time constraint for movie length. We only view movies on the DVD widescreen format in our home studios. To force us to purchase DVD's will simply not work. I am sure I am not alone in my boycott of Sony as I am posting this on a number of websites.
     
  2. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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  3. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Odd, all the video rental outlets around here, including Hollywood and Blockbuster, have widescreen copies of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" available, of both the rated and unrated versions of the movie.

    Maybe instead of writing an indignant letter to the studio you should take it up with the manager of your local store.
     
  4. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Bud, I think you made a whole lot of assumptions that just aren't true. You should have, perhaps, researched it a bit before posting. Bummer that your rental place carried the FS version, but to assume all that other crap like it's some big conspiracy, is just way off base.
     
  5. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I hope you didn't mention this forum in another part of the letter. As others have said, full of assumptions.
     
  6. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Your post/letter is full of incorrect information.

    Rental stores could purchase either version for rentals - blame your local store for not getting the widescreen version, not Sony.
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Well, you can't buy OR rent the theatrical cut of this movie at all unless it's in pan and scan- noticed there's no "formatted to fit your screen" message on the cover either- by looking at it one could think 1.33 was the correct ratio.
    I heard it's not that big a loss for me never to see this movie, but still...
     
  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Whereas it's clear that that the actual content of the letter is misguided, I think that his statements still have some merit. The studios are voluntarily releasing dual versions because of pressure from companies like Wal-Mart and so forth to do so. For all we know, Sony would prefer that their releases are OAR or dual-format but their catering to the what I consider to be unethical pressures from companies such as Wal-Mart. Many people on HTF have said very clearly that DVDs should be OAR or dual releases, not separate releases.

    To that end, the ultimate responsibility for movies being released in dual-format thus giving these stores the ability to stock only pan-and-scan versions rests solely on Sony. It's their product, not the product of the video stores. If Sony would release all of their DVDs in a dual-format instead of in separate releases, there would be no problems.
     
  9. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    I wanted to rent Charlie's Angels 2, but our Hollywood Video only had the full-screen version! The odd thing is that we get only the widescreen editions of DVDs.

    However, I held true to my OAR-only standpoint, and didn't rent it. My parents were sure upset that I didn't get it and they called me a "Nerd." Nerd I may be, but at least I'm not watching a 2.40:1 film chopped in half!
     
  10. Justin W

    Justin W Stunt Coordinator

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  11. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Justin,

    Maybe they have bad theaters? I know there are a few in my area that I would never attend, because of the inconsiderate patrons that go there, the small screens, the lack of care for the prints, and the lacking sound quality. I have to drive about 45 minutes (highway) to get to a decent theater, and I make that trip about twice a month.
     
  12. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe the studio should stop panning an scanning and just zoom to the center of the picture. That will show the foolscreen lovers what madness this is.

    A lot of DVDs from India's Bollywood do this (but not with the intention of educating the public). It is so disgusting to watch scenes in Indian movies where two people standing on either end of the screen talking to each other and we can't see their bodies. Sometimes they zoom a 2.35:1 movie to 1.77:1 and we can see the tips of the noses of the people in such scenes. But strangely there is no consumer outcry that will force these bollywood studios to change their practices.
     
  13. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I personally prefer dual releases rather than wasting space with OAR/P&S version in the same set.
    That said, I totally dislike Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle only having the unrated version in widescreen. This is more likely then not why it's the P&S version for rent, since many rental places will not rent unrated content.
     
  14. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I don't think it is a conspiracy either, it seems to me to be simple marketing. Sony figures that a person who is interested in WS would also most likely choose the unrated version of the film as well. Probably the only reason they released the "Rated" version was because they feared Wal-Mart would not sell the unrated version and since we know that Wal Mart loves P&S, there you go. Same thing with "Old School" as well. But in an ironic way, this actually could help promote WS by saying to Joe Public "Hey this version has additional footage not seen in theaters!" which is a big selling point to the masses "But, if that's what you want, you have to accept that the only way you can see it is in WS"
     
  15. budrichard

    budrichard Auditioning

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    Reply from Sony Pictures: None

    Reply from Hollywood Video:
    "Thank you for writing to us regarding Charlie's Angles Full Throttle. Hollywood Video is dedicated to providing exceptional guest experiences delivered with genuine warmth and friendliness.
    Hollywood Video does not request Full Screen or Wide Screen formats. We purchase our product directly from the studios in the format they choose to release for rental/sale."

    Our local Blockbuster only offers the Full Screen Version. To those that say that their local HV & BBV have both, I would ask you to verify that. The cover of the Full Screen edition says "Original Theatrical Relaese", making one believe that this is the way it was shown in the theater.
    I agree that it really doesn't make a difference for this film but the portend for the future is not good. Why release a Full Screen version to the rental companies and not make that version available in widescreen format. The only widescreen version available is an 'Unrated ' version leading one to believe that you are seeing something extra worth viewing.
    Furthermore, I never once said conspiracy. I said 'fragment the market' and I stand by that statement.

    As to theaters, they are dirty, have bad picture quality and the sound is atrocious not to mention that individuals behave in theaters as if they were in the privacy of thier own homes. Thier may be a good theater out there but I haven't seen one in many years.

    The theater owners have forced the studios to release movies in the under 2 hour time frame for maximization of showings. Yes, there are exceptions but they are not the rule. The new marketing tactic, is to release the DVD in the original theatrical run time. Later offer the 'Director's Cut' with mostly a few minutes of additional material. True 'Director's Cut's are rare. I am still waiintg for 'Blade Runner' and will never see a Director's cut of 2001. I saw the Cinerma release of that movie in Milwaukee which was shortened from it's theatrical showing in New York. I assume that material is gone for ever. -Dick
     
  16. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Kubrick trimmed 2001 himself - not studio head or theatre owner made him. The version that's out IS the Director's Cut.
     
  17. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Peter,

    Actually, he should move out of the big cities. I've had the worst experiences in New York and Chicago, yet my theater in a town of 100,000 is wonderful. It takes me 40 minutes to get there, but it's worth it. The theater in a town of 50,000 is passable.

    And you're right, any rental place that tells you they can't request a certain format is full of it. It just means you're not shooting high enough. Local stores may have no control, because they get their product from a regional center, but someone makes the orders.
     
  18. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  19. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    My Hollywood video only has the pan and scan version...I always give the clerks hell for that too.
     
  20. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    My rental store used to do the same thing until I exlained to them they would not get a red cent from me. About 8 months later and SEVERAL trips to explain this rational and I have a widescreen option. Emailing the studios is like pissing in the wind. I'd talk to your manager and raise a little cain. [​IMG]
     

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