Paramount Compared To Newline: Friday The 13th Series and Other Product

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck L, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    In all due respects, the latest DVD installments from the Friday The 13th Series from Newline are everything that the past DVD releases from Paramount are not.

    Not only are the fans of this series treated to almost pristine transfers, but 5.1 sound and even DTS Tracks. We are also given great commentaries. One features scenes that were only available for the televised version. Jason X even goes as far as to offer documentaries on not only the making of the film, but of Jason’s history.

    Paramount, while offering to us the movies that we love, has continued to release sporadically planned releases that basically bare no consistency with one another. Either a staggered mix of transfers, which I will say the films look better than ever on DVD, but still do not match the quality of other Paramount product. Sound has been a continuing mixed bag, even with one film sporting a 5.1 mix, then the release afterward back to 2.0. Artwork has not been consistent, nor has the use of providing trailers for all the films. Why Paramount, why?

    It has been well documented your companies regard for this series. So you are ashamed of the film series. You weren’t ashamed at all of the money that the series has brought you, nor the fact that first film was a stunning highlight and a huge box office success that helped your studio survive in the early ‘80’s. Throughout all the various forms of home entertainment product, from Beta to the current DVD, the fans have always purchased these titles from you. How do we get awarded for our faithful service for the past twenty-two years to this series and your company? The proof is in the current product that you have put out.

    By giving up the series to Newline, and though they only produced two movies in over a fourteen year period, their respect for the series and the fans was presented first hand. Not only with a reference quality DVD (Jason X), but also with DVD’s that are full of extra’s that are not only pleasing to the fans, but also show that a studio will go the extra mile. Also, even being the fact that Jason X is new title, most retailers and online stores even had the catalog title Jason Goes To Hell at a better price than what I have paid for a single brand new title from Paramount.

    Paramount titles of late have been more than mixed bag than your average dollar store ‘mystery’ bag. Grease, a title that deserved every bit of respect from its company, received a transfer that was worthy of DVD 1997. Saturday Night Fever, another movie deserving of such grand distinction, has gotten a stellar release, while other musical titles from Paramount have had mixed to negative reaction. The constant lacking of trailers, long a fan and home theater favorite, are as well spotty. Some releases get them, others, it is stated rights issues. In various posts throughout many online forums have questioned this practice and wonder just how lacking things must be in the clearance department for these things. In most cases, it seems to most, to be a case of laziness.

    One title that is getting great notice and great overall packaging is the Star Trek series. The past releases have been replaced with grand transfers and audio as well as marvelous features to keep fans busy for hours. At the same time, the grand lady of Paramount, Lucille Ball and “I Love Lucy” fans are being treated to glorious collections of the first season of this landmark television series. Why then does other product continue to be shafted? Also after much consumer request, we still have yet to get any sort of DVD release of Police Squad. Yet Paramount put out a box set of the previous three Naked Gun films, with nothing more than a pretty box to encase them in, while they would have had additional sales simply by including a disc of the eight Police Squad shows that you could have only gotten if you bought the set. Your marketing team is not working up to it’s full potential. Why I have I mentioned these titles when the main focus is on the Friday The 13th series? These are all titles that I have purchased as well, and again, in various forms in the home theater format.

    Other studios such as MGM are producing a great series of titles until the “Midnight Movie” banner. These titles range in horror classic to schlock. cinema. Yet they are regarded with honors by this label. Many are featuring extras such as original trailers and even commentaries by renowned directors like Roger Corman. Better yet, they are at customer friendly prices. Also, many of these titles are featured in their unrated versions.

    Horror films, at least in line of Paramount stock titles, are still the bastards at the family reunion. Despite the pleas of fans, it is only the MPAA versions of these titles that appear for the consumer. There honestly is not much to fear in mine, and many others eyes, on the amount of movie violence in these films when you compare it to the real violence of the daily newspaper and the newscast. By continuing to release these films in these edited forms, the Friday series, My Bloody Valentine and other movies in this same vain, you are only giving in to the people that are not interested in your films to begin with. You are forgetting the people that have supported you and allowed you to bankroll more ‘important’ titles.

    What must we do to have these policy changed? Paramount has stated that online petitions are nothing to them and are not viable. Mail doesn’t seem to get anywhere either. Fans from around the world have written to you since the early 80’s to get these films in their proper, director intent versions. All in all, every action seems to fall upon deaf ears.

    Martin Blythe himself has said that Paramount might consider releasing the Friday series now in the ‘non MPAA versions’ now that the censored version has come to an end. We would like to know if this is seriously being considered, or is this simply a ploy to hope that we will dry up and go away. If a media magnet such as the Newline/Time Warner Corporation can release a title such as Jason Goes to Hell in both it’s rated and unrated forms, then surely a company the size of Paramount can make concession as well. These titles might mean very little to Paramount as a whole, much like their other horror titles, but there is a strong fan base for these titles. Ignoring our request are doing little more than adding to the disconnection of the prospective revenue that you would receive if you listened to us.
     
  2. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    I totally agree. I'd be happy if Paramount would have just stayed consistent, kept the original artwork, left all the original soundmixes on, and provided trailers for all 8. All the sudden, in the end, we get no trailers for 7 and 8 when the first 6 had them? HUH? Get a clue Paramount.
     
  3. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    i gave up on paramount a long time ago. filled under "lost cause".

    for all their positive attributes, they're just not delivering on the bottom line. we can only hope they wake up and smell the coffee one day and realise how much more $$$ they could make from this format if only they would try a bit harder (not just on a few titles). either get those prices down or justify those weighty price tags please.

    i for one, will not be re-buying Friday13th should they come out as SEs. only one chance with this customer ...

    and i think comparing new line to paramount is moot. paramount are not even in the same league.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Chuck, may I praise you on a well-written, well-thought-out post full of constructive criticism. Yes, constructive. Depsite direct and somewhat harsh language at times, if egos and bruised feelings can be put aside, the people involved can read through and easily pick out the points that can help them develop better releases. Releases that would certainly convince ME to double-dip (even if Andy is not so easily convinced! [​IMG] ).
     
  5. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    I ran into an interesting item on IMDB, a documentary dated for the year 2003 titled "Return To Crystal Lake: Making Friday The 13th." The director is Jeffrey Schwarz, who is credited with various movie-releated documentaries, including those created for the Jason X DVD.
    Now we all know the IMDB is not exactly known for its accuracy, but I don't see anything in the listing that screams hoax. If indeed true, this is the best indication yet Paramount is preparing a special edition of at least the first film. The question remains, of course, which version of the movie will actually appear in the SE.
    Here's the link .
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, the main reason why New Line was able to put out loaded SEs of their Jason films is because their library is extremely small...

    Paramount has tons of movies (despite not having access to their 1928-1948 library of sound films, which Universal owns) and only does SE treatments on certain titles. I'm sure if they had a main catalog only going back to the 1980's, they'd put out the same stuff.
     
  7. Eugene Esterly

    Eugene Esterly Supporting Actor

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    Chuck L,

    Excellent point. I agree with what you posted. In reference to My Blood Valentine & the Friday The 13Th movies owned by Paramount, I love these movies but I haven't purchased them because the DVD's only contain the theatrical version but not the unedited versions.

    Paramount,

    Please release your movies on DVD in the way that the movies were filmed.

    And no, I am not against theatrical cuts. IMO, I just believe that if a movie was cut for the theatrical that we should be able to purchase the full unedited movie on DVD.
     
  8. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    I no longer get all worked up and emotional regarding this issue, I just accepted the fact that I'll never see some of my favorite films in their unrated glory.
    I have been hoping for SE F13th's ever since the debut of DVD format, and they still are number 1 on my wishlist, but it's almost as if there's no point anymore. I would be happy, no, I would be overjoyed to get rereleases of 1-8 with:
    Original cover art
    OAR
    Director's commentary (would be nice, but not a must have)
    Theatrical trailers
    Original "unrated" versions of all movies (except 4), with the scenes edited back in (not separate ie. deleted scenes)
    And maybe a separate disc with bonus features (documentaries, etc.) just like the Nightmare box-set.
    I would seriously pay some good $$$ to have that, but sadly I feel it will never happen [​IMG]
     
  9. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    In a small defense of Paramount, the "Friday the 13th" films have always been a red headed stepchild. Sure, it makes them money but it's not something they're proud of. How they made money is no secret, they were cheap, dirt cheap, to make.

    So, Paramount is only extending that theory to their DVD releases. They're producing them cheaply, and with limited effort (like the films themselves) to make the greatest amount of profit. It makes sense to me, and as a horror fan it doesn't bother me.

    New Line might have the best DVDs of the Jason films, but they also have the two crappiest films. Just goes to show what happens when putting too much thought into these films. They were much better when the filmmakers were left alone. Paramount didn't meddle too much just so long as the films were delivered on time.
     
  11. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    But Chad...which one's are crappy is purely subjective.

    While you think that Newline has two of the worst, I personally adore Jason X and Paramount has two stinkers for my vote...the horrid part 5 and the lackluster 8...

    While I understand what you are saying and if you read my post you see that I point out both sides of Paramount's feelings...whether they are ashamed of the films or not, it still doesn't forgive them for ignoring the fan base of the series or horror fans in general.

    Personally, I am not a Star Trek fan, but in our house, not only did we have the first bare bone editions, but the new double disc versions as well. I only have use for one movie out of the entire series and that is part 6. By all accounts, if this was to be taken by the statements in your post, it would only be this one that I would want released in a Special Edition.

    It still goes along with what has been said along though, and I am sure that you will agree...if Paramount is ashamed, fine, let them cry in their DVD vault over Captian Kirk, and give the series to a group that gives a damn. But they don't because of the money that they know that they can get if they were to do it right. That is why they hold onto them. I seriously doubt that the fact that Newline can do SE easier because they lack a huge catalog of titles. They do it simply to make money and the fact that they know that if you will, pardon me for using this quote since I hate the movie from which it comes..."If you build it, they will come..."

    Blaming lackluster sales for the bare-bone editions is bull**** when you know that the people that want it want more. They would have had great sales had they actually given the fans what they have asked for over twenty damn years.
     
  12. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I watch Friday the 13th series, and while I'm not a fan, it's really puzzling that Paramount missed a great opportunity. I know a great buddy of mine who's a huge fan and is even wondering why Paramount doesn't release special editions concerning the large fan base.
     
  13. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    The stuff about the 'crappy films' was an afterthought. Really my point was that it's a business to them. They do the very simple equation of does the extra cost to produce special editions justify the raise in sales, if any.
    You might say that a special edition would have sold more, but we don't have the facts. You bought the bare-bones editions. If they were released as special editions first instead you still would have bought them. Even though I'm a horror fan, I wouldn't. So based on this minutely small sampling, the extra expense wouldn't have netted Paramount any bigger sales.
    The series was, and still is, an easy way for them to make money with little effort. Horror films in general have always been known for their low costs and high yield. That's why they are made, and as a horror fan I don't feel slighted by Paramount. Sorry. [​IMG]
     
  14. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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  15. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    I thought Paramount was toying with the idea of redoing these discs after the entire series was out? Like what they are doing with the Star Trek franchise. Am I wrong with this assumption?
     
  16. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Josh...Martin Blythe did say at one time that they were through with the MPAA versions...the problem is, he didn't SAY that they were hard at work on the others. So basically, we don't know.

    Hopefully, if it is true about the IMDB listing of a docu on the making of the first film...maybe this means that they are. I would have a really hard time thinking that Paramount would simply be giving them access to scenes and such of the first film (which would have to come into play in a docu) if they weren't the ones that were going to be making the money of it. Also, it wouldn't make sense for them to release it by itself...SO...if it is going to be used, a Special Edition of the first film is the most likely place that it would be utilized.

    In this same thought process though...if Paramount is going to be doing SE, they need to revisit their thinkings about unrated editions. The parts that have been edited out over the years in the States, but available overseas, are the stuff that the fans are wanting. Not just simply put the same edited version and then a special feature on the disc that has those alternate scenes. Paramount did a big goof on the first edition of the first film when they let slip through Annie's unedited death after the many years of saying that they didn't have it. If they have one, they more than likely have the others as well.

    At the same time, though already suggested in numerous threads, the unedited films could simply be tacked on as a Special Feature that wouldn't require a rating. They have a way around the MPAA, they just need to have the balls to do it.

    On to something else in response to your post Josh. With the recent box office reception of the most recent Star Trek film, it really makes me wonder what their dedication to this series is anymore. With the money that they spent to produce the film against what it has made, it makes Jason X look like a success at the boxoffice almost. I wonder if being the fact that they know of the instant cash that they can make on the home market, if the interest in big screen stories is simply waining?
     
  17. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  18. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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  19. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    If you check out DVDfile.com right now, you will find that Warner Bros. is releasing Friday the 13th UNCUT(not region 1 though) with the new documentary(the one mentioned above), plus all new interviews with the actor/actresses
     
  20. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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