Special Edition DVDs Aren't Special Anymore?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Tom Brennan, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    I agree with the results of this poll. DVD special editions are nothing of the kind anymore. They are the standard now, and with new movies, it's really nothing special anymore. All the new movies are rushed to the market now that there is no chance for perspective in the creation of the extra features.
     
  2. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Yep. I miss the rare and classy laserdisc boxsets.
     
  3. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    "Special edition" has become a marketing term in most cases.
     
  4. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    With the shortening of time between theatrical and DVD release, the studios are hard-pressed to prepare extensive supplements for most movies. That's also the reason for many "double-dip" titles (that and the "milk it for all it's worth" marketing ploy). It gives the DVD producers more time to prepare worthy supplements, instead of the usual "fluff" promos and featurettes found on most first-edition releases.

    I prefer more time to pass before getting the ultimate edition of a movie. I like to learn the filmmakers' perspective after they've had time to "remove" themselves from the project, having experienced their film's success/failure and critic and consumer reactions.
     
  5. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Columbia was the worst culprit labelling almost ALL its releases as Special until recently.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Alot (not all) of laserdisc special editions consisted of commentaries and deleted scenes. I remember when the Clerks LD came out, I was amazed that they had so much stuff for such a small movie. Now you look at the LD (or original DVD) and it seems fairly basic. More than anything, I think the audience has changed.

    Unless it's something crazy, like the LOTR four discs, it seems less special because it's the norm.
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I wonder about special editions of recent movies. Seriously, wouldn't it be better to reserve "special editions" for what time has shown to be special films? I don't know if anyone else gets this feeling, but I don't see the point of all these director's commentaries "see, there we did this... blah blah blah" for and out-takes from movies which aren't really all that interesting by themselves. Okay, so Starship Troopers was made marginally more interesting by Verhoeven talking about how he and the whole crew were naked on the set during the shower scene, to put the cast at their ease; but I don't think it's a movie anybody will remember in fifty years.
    I guess in my mind a motion picture, to deserve a Special Edition, has to be one people really care about, and/or which is really important to cinema's art or history. Beyond that, the glut of so-called Special Editions seems more like a case of "oh, here's all that stuff we swept up off the cutting room floor! d'ya want us to burn it? No, dump it onto the DVD instead". Only in the case of something like The Magnificent Ambersons [a nice example since it doesn't have a real final cut] is that stuff really valuable, instead of simple refuse.
     
  8. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    Strangely I don't agree, Chris. I don't think it's fair to say any movie doesn't deserve to be looked at closer. There are many smaller, less successful films (both financially and critically) that I would love to have SE's of (Condorman comes to mind for some reason). And every movie has a fan-base, there is no reason to say they're undeserving of the product. I think if this were really how SE's were approached everyone would be disappointed at some point, we all have personal favourites that aren't normally concidered popular.
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    I'd rather not rely on your definition of what counts as something special in order to get extra features on a DVD. I say give every film the royal treatment; if you're not interested in all of them, then don't buy them.

    If The Magnificent Ambersons set the bar for films qualified to get deleted scenes on DVD, then no other film would ever qualify.

    DJ
     
  10. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Who cares about The Magnificent Andersons? I want a Beetlejuice Special Edition. [​IMG]
     
  11. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    and then there are countless releases like the recently released Big Lebowski and Office Space that totally do no justice to your observation
     
  12. David Allen

    David Allen Stunt Coordinator

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    Let's be realistic: Laserdiscs were about the art (and priced accordingly), DVD is all about making money fast, recouping lost revenues from a poor box office take (and leading people into stores to buy more expensive appliances). Can you really expect somthing "Special" when it only costs $10 or $15 ? The only folks I can think of that actually put something worthy of "Special" out there is Warner Bros and their 2-disc releases.
     
  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    as the Von Bondies sing C'MON C'MON...it aint' special unless it's ULTIMATE! [​IMG]

    'memer those from UNIVERSAL!!?? and back in the day to boot.
     
  14. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    I'm sure some people in the industry would disagree that their work is designed as a fast post-theatrical money grab: Criterion, Fox (what quick buck is The Fly 2-disc SE going for?), Disney (their straight-to-video sequels may be cheap cash-ins, but the SEs of their aninated classics are far from it) Paramount (going after that recent John Wayne box office money?), Synapse, Blue Underground...

    DJ
     
  15. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    The three most abused phrases in DVD marketing are:

    "Special Edition" - Rarely all that special. A few EPK featurettes and trailers for other movies.

    "Collector's Edition" - Several million in print: not very collectible.

    "Unrated Version" - Translation: Innocuous PG-13 movie had another scene or two inserted and the new version is not submitted to the MPAA, even though the new version would be PG-13, too.
     
  16. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Interesting thread. I agree that EPKs and trailers do not an SE make. You see big releases like Lord of the Rings Directors or Ben Hur that deserve the SE moniker. But there's a healthy amount of discs with that title that are merely average for content. One of the things that I miss, small as it may be, are the booklets inside the keep cases.
     
  17. RomanSohor

    RomanSohor Second Unit

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    I disagree... that Special 2 Disc Edition of Stealth is...

    oh wait, I agree. :)
     
  18. David Allen

    David Allen Stunt Coordinator

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    DJ, I was responding to complaints about new films being released initially as S.E. Obviously we know why catalog films are given the "special" treatment.
     
  19. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

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    I agree with this alot. Still though, when a true collector's edition like the new Wizard of Oz comes out, it's nice enough (well to me at least) to be distinctly different and worthy of the Collector's Term.

    Special edition is a dumb term nowadays. I just think of them as 2 discers with some nice extras since I enjoy seeing how movies are made.
     
  20. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Maybe we should construct a list of true special editions vs special edition posers.

    To me, a true special edition has these elements:

    The Documentary: an informative documentary that explains the preproduction, production, and postproduction of the show, with no glossing over of difficulties or quarrels on the set. Lots of on the set footage of things being constructed, the director blocking the actors, etc. Interesting stuff.

    The Commentary(s): Full length, unedited, scene specific, technical, fun, reflective, with more than one person.

    Vast Supplemental Material: This includes storyboards, animatics, full advertising material, trailers, screenplay, treatments, production photos, production art, etc.
     

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