Seamless branching

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JacobGunn, May 30, 2003.

  1. JacobGunn

    JacobGunn Auditioning

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    How difficult is it to make seamless branching? The current reason for my question is the upcoming 2-disc release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves which is extended by 12 minutes, but it might as well have been dozens of others discs.
    Like everybody else, I want the best possible video and audio quality, along with the best extras. Usually this points to the inevitable second release (the perennial term "ultimate edition" jumps to mind here) a lot of movies receive.
    But in ever so many cases, a second edition also means a bloated running time. Whether for "artistic" or marketing reasons, directors and/or producers feel compelled to add "exciting new scenes" over and over. But, quite frankly, I could have done without the added scenes of Superman, Blues Brothers, Star Trek II, and many other titles.
    How difficult is it to offer both theatrical and extended version via seamless branching? (Given, of course, that the longer version isn't sequenced totally differently)

    My apologies if this subject has been covered ad nauseam earlier.

    Thanks for your replies,
    Jacob
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Moving this to the Software forum.

    This subject usually comes up in connection with specific titles. Points frequently noted are:

    1. Every time there's a disc with seamless branching, some number of player models has a compatibility problem.

    2. Many popular DVD authoring packages do not support seamless branching.

    3. Not all longer versions are suitable for seamless branching treatment. If a director's cut involves a lot of short restorations or scene extensions (an example would be Oliver Stone's preferred cut of Natural Born Killers), seamless branching probably won't work.

     
  3. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    i tend to like extneded editions. I guess that may be because the only time I ever buy movies is when they are my favourties, and the rest are rentals. If it's a movie I love, I want to to go on forever.

    I saw LR:FOTR in the theatre three times, and everytime I didn't want to to end.
     
  4. ChadMcCallum

    ChadMcCallum Second Unit

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    Me too. I almost always perfer the extended or directors cut of a movie. Off the top of my head the only one I don't is Aliens. However, I do like having the option of choosing what version to watch. I think seamless branching should be used more often.
     
  5. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    i don't think seamless branchin should be used. I just don't like the idea that there are DVDs that may or may not work on my player.

    However, does anyone know those choose your own adventure books?
    I have often thought it would be cool to do that in movie form. Seamless branching could be used for that purpose quite well I think.

    Too bad it will never happen.
     
  6. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Jonathan, that's the player manufacturer's fault. No reason to abandon some very useful features just because some of the really early or really cheap players don't entirely follow the spec.
     
  7. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I fully agree!!!
     
  8. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  9. Eugene Esterly

    Eugene Esterly Supporting Actor

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  10. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't the Aliens Quadrilogy set supposed to feature seamless branching on all of its cuts?
     
  11. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  12. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    But this only applies to really early players. They few that are still in service could be replaced with somethign just as good very cheaply.
     
  13. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    I agree. And most cheap Asian players also can cope with Seamless branching nowadays (even though the licencing may be "dubious" in some cases). But there are still vast numbers of players which cannot do seamless branching, and its a hard job convincing an average guy on the street that he has to buy a new DVD player when he bought one less than 5 years ago.

    I just get annoyed sometimes when people attack early players incompatabilities, and don't realise it was the responsibility of the DVD Forum who licenced the players to ensure compatability. Yes, these old "legacy" players cause a problem, but it really isn't the manufacturer's fault in most cases.
     
  14. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Well, I certainly agree with the extended cut point. It really annoys me. The Superman Extended Cut annoyed me as a lifetime fan. That film is one of my all-time favorites, and I was annoyed that I could not see it on DVD in its original format, without the extended scenes. The restoration job was beautiful, I just wish I could have had the theatrical cut as well.

    Oh well, that is why I bought the laserdisc and had it professionally transfered to DVD - so now I CAN have the theatrical cut, though it would have been nice to have it the theatrical cut restored to the condition of the SE. [​IMG]
     
  15. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I would like to see seemless brqanching used more often - instead of layer changes. I know some players handle layer changes transparently, but it sure can be annoying for those of us who don't have such a player.

    As far as my feelings on Director's cuts vs. theatrical releases, I think there are good arguments for both. Take The Abyss, for instance. I liked the theatrical cut, but I could not have told you what the ending was supposed to mean. The extended version is really the intended story. Cameron was forced to make drastic cuts because the movie was simply too long for theatrical release. Seemless branching is the perfect solution for such a movie. I will probably never watch the theatrical cut again, but I like having the option.

    There are plenty of movies where the longer cut doesn't really add anything. I guess I would vote for seemless branching wherever it's practical just to maximize the available options.

    Now if they would only use pan & scan on-the-fly and do away with non-OAR releases...[​IMG]
     
  16. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  17. Scott*E

    Scott*E Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes it is. So is T2 Extreme.
     

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