Special features that aren't so special

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gary->dee, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    At some point in the future DVD makers will realize that an interactive menu isn't exactly a "special feature" and they'll stop labelling it as such. Or is it? Interactive as compared to what, a non-interactive menu? Are there DVD's out there without interactive menus? Just a menu you look at that you can't interact with whatsover. What would be the point and would it still be considered a menu as opposed to a graphic?

    Or what about chapters/scene selection options being heralded as a special feature. I thought these things help make a DVD what a DVD is. Isn't it a bit like saying that a special feature of your car is that it comes with tires? I realize that sometimes they try to pad the cover or back covers of DVD's with these fundamental claims because they simply don't have any real special features, but isn't that gag a bit old now?

    Has anyone seen any other "special features" that aren't special?
     
  2. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    What a perfect point.

    I was in my local Wherehouse Music looking around yesterday and one of the employees told his co-worker about the features that aren't special features. I wanted to go right up to him and say that he was right. When will the studios learn that standard things like menus and scene selection are standard and not special. In my mind, a special feature is something like this:

    *Theatrical Trailer
    *Audio Commentary
    *Making-of documentary
    *Interviews
    *Deleted Scenes
    *Gag Reel

    As far as I'm concerned, if studios (especially Paramount) think that standard things are special features, then they need to rethink what they are doing in the business. A perfect example of recent memory is "Popeye." All special features on the back are standard, not special.

    A message to the studios should go out saying:

    "We have been buying DVDs since 1997, and we know what is a special feature and what is a standard feature. Think about it. The same things are on every DVD you produce that are considered standard by us. But you have to split them apart. It's as simple as apples and oranges."

    I think I'm overdoing it, but I think I made my point with this rant, if that was this even is. I've said enough.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Haven't seen this topic in a while. The practice in question goes back to the earliest days of DVD. Disney was a prime offender. I've always found this practice more amusing than annoying, since anyone who knows the first thing about DVD knows what's standard and what's "special". Then again . . .

     
  4. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Maybe this isn't really related, but I think it's stupid when the only version of a title DVD is called "Special Edition." How can there be a special edition when there isn't a regular edition?
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    First off, I hate the lack of chapter stops on Mulholland Drive. I know that Lynch wanted it that way and I suppose I understand his reasoning, and that's fine for first time viewers - but for those of us who actually buy the damn things, sometimes we just want to take a look at a certain part of the film. If I want something without chapter stops, I'll rent the video.

    These are things I don't consider special features:
    -Menus
    -Chapter Stops
    -Dolby Digital sound
    -Digitally remastered
    -Collectible insert
    -Cast & Crew List
    -Subtitles
    -Widescreen
    -16x9 enhanced

    For all the companies that list those as special features, they might as well add to the list:

    -Circular DVD disc
    -Label on the disc
    -Shrink wrap
    -Security seal
    -Plastic case

    In my mind, true special features include:

    -Audio commentaries
    -Documentaries
    -Deleted scenes
    -Interviews
    -Isolated music score

    Trailers and photo galleries I have a hard time considering special features, as I do with the ten minute press kit featurettes. To me, a special feature is something created special for the DVD (or, for older release, the laserdisc). Don't get me wrong, I like trailers, but when I pick up a DVD at the store and it has a huge list of special features that looks like:

    -Digitally remastered with Dolby Digital sound!
    -Widescreen format!
    -Interactive menus!
    -Chapter stops!
    -Subtitles!
    -Cast and crew list!
    -Theatrical trailer!

    I consider that to be a bare bones release.
     
  7. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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  8. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    I've actually gone into B&Ms to make fun of the so called "special features" before. I always loved the "chapter stops" and "collectable booklets" in addition to the "interactive menus". I'm also glad that studios take the big effort to subtitle in a foreign language sometimes. Even better when they do it in english and don't just rely on the closed captioning.

    What really blows my mind is when the studio considers that only releasing the movie in standard format (e.g. P/S) is a "special feature"
     
  9. Charlie Essmeier

    Charlie Essmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    If the movie would start when I pressed "play", I'd consider that a Very Special Feature.

    If I want a menu, I'll go to a restaurant.

    Charlie
     
  10. DeanWG

    DeanWG Stunt Coordinator

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    While I don't seem to have any of the titles (some of you parents out there can probably locate one), but I believe one of Disney's special features, at one point was "Full Color Disc Art"!! WOW!! FULL Color, too! None of that partial color crap the other studios were throwing at us!
     
  11. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    What are interactive menus anyhow? How do you interact with menus? [​IMG] What's really pathetic is when the "spoecial features" box isn't even full IE Better Off Dead [​IMG]
     

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