the 5th Bitsy awards are here

Discussion in 'DVD' started by oscar_merkx, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    here are the results from The Digital Bits awards

    editors' top 10 choices

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...5th/page0.html

    Outstanding Achievements in dvd in 2003

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...5th/page1.html
    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...th/page1a.html
    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...5th/page2.html

    I happen to agree with the Bits about best overall dvd, it was mine as well !!!!!!!!

    There are loads of fantastic awards being handed out, just read the entire piece.

    and just so you know, there are several dvds I have missed out on over the last couple of months, I will be splurging out yet again

    Great job Bill & Co

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I enjoyed these, as I always do, and I would have to agree with them on most of them including the not so saught after award of studio we'd like to see more from.

    2003 really was a banner year for DVD, just looking at these awards and the number of releases from 2003 that made the top 100 DVD census mentioned in another thread will bare that out. 2004 is shaping up to be even better.
     
  3. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Glad you guys are enjoying it. We certainly put a lot of work into it every year.
     
  4. Sten F

    Sten F Second Unit

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    Great job, Bill & staff. [​IMG] Always a pleasure to read your annual Bitsy Awards. Hope the studios read them as well in the effort to make better releases.
     
  5. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    I'm just glad someone with this kind of exposure is giving Universal the grief they so richly deserve for their performance this past year (wrt: Video quality in Meaning of Life and those damn forced trailers in the High-School Reunion set).
     
  6. dannyB

    dannyB Stunt Coordinator

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    How about those forced trailers in nearly everything Universal put out last year!

    Thanks to the staff of thedigitalbits.com for the great work. [​IMG]
     
  7. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Considering the quality of the other contenders, I was rather surprised to see this result; I haven't seen either the movie nor the DVD of this yet, but with such a ringing endorsement I guess I'll need to get my mitts on a copy.
     
  8. Benjamin.D

    Benjamin.D Stunt Coordinator

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    Great job on the Bitsys, Bill! I'm glad that you mentioned the "dumbing down" of DVD, and I sincerely hope that the studios get a good eyeful of what you guys mentioned on the subject.

    Ben
     
  9. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    enter party pooper [​IMG]

    I thought you guys were a little rough on Indy Jones. It seemed more you were judging it on what it could have been instead of what it was: GREAT GREAT transfers, great sound, and a solid bonus disc.

    But I know I'm in the minority on that one. It didn't disappoint me, because I don't think Special Features should carry as much weight in the judging of a DVD as a lot of people apparently do anymore. I'll take fewer special features if they're done as well as that Indy Doc, and especially if the special features are supplementing a audio/visual transfer of the quality of those Indy movies.

    But still--that's pretty much my only nitpick. Which is saying something. Good read, and I agree on many of your picks. Thanks for putting in the work.
     
  10. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    [​IMG][​IMG] to the Bits for giving Criterion well-earned kudos with their Best DVD - Studio award.
     
  11. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    I, too, don't think that Indy deserved to be on the most disappointing list.

    Lets see, we get absolutely stellar audio and video, which should be enough to keep it off of any dissapointment list right there. It is all about the movies right? Then you guys admit that the included documentary is pretty darn good. No commentary- yup, but who expected one on a Spielberg film? That was hardly a surprise. Is it all it could have been? Certainly not. But naming it most disappointing is doing a disservice to all of the work that obviously went into what we did get. If the Indy box set is among the most disappointing sets of the year then it must have been a pretty great year. I hate to say it, but the Bits seemed unfairly against this set from its original announcement.

    I'm willing to be that they've already written up the 2004 "Most Dissapointing DVD" blurb for the Star Wars box set [​IMG]
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I'll agree with Robert on the Indiana Jones comments, if we go by what this could've been we might as well pencil in the SW release in that catagory for next year since even if it blows our minds totally, if it doesn't meet or beat our expectations of what it should be then its in trouble.

    I don't know, maybe this could've gone with the studio we'd like to see more from catagory, or the worst trend in DVD, but HBO's rediculous prices on some of their TV box sets could've been addressed $50 for an 8 episode season of Sex and the City? I've ranted on that in the TV software thread, but that trend deserved at least an honorable mention somewhere.
     
  13. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Hi, Bill:

    Love your site - but I'm curious.

    Where did 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Special Edition wind up in your voting? And why hasn't your site - just like IGN DVD and DVDFile - reviewed 20,000 Leagues? If you guys haven't experienced this disc yet, you sure have a treat in store for you.

    Peace out.
     
  14. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    I have to say, it was a REALLY tough year in some categories. For example, there's so much good classic film work being done, and some absolutely fantastic restoration work, that there's just no way to possibly recognize it all.

    Robert, Indy was very good which is why it was listed in our Best DVD - Boxed Set and Best DVD - "Making of" Documentary categories. But our feeling is that after being made to wait 7+ years, it should have been a little better - a little more in-depth. Personally, I think 2-disc sets of each film would have been the better way to go. We've got very good intel that both Star Wars and Indy will get much more deluxe treatment in a few years on high-definition. So knowing we're gonna get soaked again on these titles, sooner rather than later, makes it a little tough to be completely thrilled with the release, as much as we love the films. If these releases had happened 2 or 3 years ago, they'd be awesome. But the longer fans have to wait, while seeing so many great SEs done of lesser films, the more they (and we) expect.

    On the dumbing down of DVD, it's just a sad state of affairs right now with some studios. I think the real glory days of this format have come and gone. There will still be lots of DVD releases happening 10-15 years from now, but I think the format has peaked creatively. I think there are still lots of people out there - independent producers (individuals and companies like Criterion) - that are still doing great work. But the trend right now at the studios seems to be to do most stuff in-house, to double-purpose EPK material whenever possible, and to cut costs and corners as much as possible. Until that changes, it's just the way it is. I think it will take HD-DVD and Blu-ray to really push the studios creatively again.

    On the subject of Universal, don't get me started. Having to scan past forced trailers on Lost in Translation made my blood boil. They're finally starting to do some good catalog and TV show releases, and some of their stuff is great (Battlestar TV, Meaning of Life). But it's two steps forward and a step and a half back.

    As for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, we loved the title and it was definitely a contender in a lot of categories. But as I said before, there's just so much good work being done, it's impossible to recognize them all. The only reason it hasn't been reviewed yet, is there's just not enough hours in the day. I can't speak for File and IGN, but I'd be willing to bet it's just a time/manpower issue. There are MANY excellent titles we haven't had time to review unfortunately. We just do the best we can.

    By the way, a few people have asked us why Battlestar Galactica didn't get mentioned for best packaging. We thought it was a pretty good effort by Universal, but ultimately we like our DVD packages to fit on the video shelf with our other discs. You'll notice that all of the titles mentioned in the category are fairly compact, but stylish and clever packaging designs. Since Battlestar was just re-released in more user friendly packaging, I think a lot of people felt the same way we did.

    Anyway, glad you guys are enjoying the awards. We certainly appreciate all your support, and your input, whether you agree with us or not. I should also tell you that we do read all the e-mails readers send us with feedback, even if we can't possibly respond to them all.

    Best!
     
  15. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "The only reason it hasn't been reviewed yet, is there's just not enough hours in the day. There are MANY excellent titles we haven't had time to review unfortunately. We just do the best we can."

    Well, crack the whip, Bill!

    Seriously, though -- Bits, DVDFile, IGN DVD, and other sites have inexplicably failed to review the disc. I'm truly baffled. Everyone has reviewed Freddy vs. Jason, but no one can find the time to review 20,000 Leagues? We all rightfully complain about Disney's failure to bring their films to DVD in OAR, or we criticize them for making discs with a lack of features (like the film-only pressing of Treasure Island)...when Disney finally does something *right*, and amazingly so, there isn't a peep.

    Leagues was the 2nd film ever shot in CinemaScope, and the first fantasy film shot in scope. They shot the entire film with one lens -- truly groundbreaking work here -- and the performances and production values were all top-notch. If any DVD deserves some belated love, it's Leagues. I truly don't get why so many sites neglected to review the title. It makes no sense to me. Did Disney not send any screeners? There are more Lion King 1 1/2 reviews than there are 20,000 Leagues reviews.

    Ah, well, just my two cents. [​IMG]
     
  16. Sten F

    Sten F Second Unit

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    These are the only one who have reviwed 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

    04-05-2003 UpcomingDiscs.com
    06-05-2003 Classics on DVD
    06-05-2003 Home Theater Forum
    12-05-2003 DVD Savant
    13-05-2003 dvdauthority.com
    17-05-2003 DVD TOWN
    19-05-2003 DVD Movie Guide
    20-05-2003 Film Freak Central
    27-05-2003 DVD Journal
    27-05-2003 Eccentric Cinema
    29-05-2003 DVD Movie Central
    02-07-2003 Audio Revolution
    19-08-2003 DVD Verdict
     
  17. Mike.B

    Mike.B Stunt Coordinator

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    Count me in as one who enjoys the Bitsy awards each year! Because of the fantastic praise heaped on Once Upon a Time in the West, I have purchased it on a whim and should be receiving it any day now! Very much looking forward to watching it for the first time.
     
  18. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    I had an excruciating evening watching the Once Upon a Time in the West DVD recently because I was viewing it with people in a bad mood who were frustrated over the film's pacing. Very intelligent people, too, just more used to 21st Century time, I guess, not 1880 times. Beautiful transfer, outstanding movie. One of the best westerns ever made, IMO.
     
  19. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    Thanks for that post, Bill.


    That may be true, and this is totally aside from the main thrust of the discussion, but don't you think that even if, in a couple years, HD is actually unleashed upon the public, and is not cost-prohibitive, that the same features wont, largely, also make the transition to regular DVD? You say later in that post that we still have about 10-15 years of DVD releases to look forward to. I just don't see studios, what with the large number of installed units and market saturation they're enjoying, putting DVD out to pasture so quickly, and I dont see film companies like LFL or Dreamworks completely leapfrogging DVD to put out SE's ONLY on HD-DVD. If that means they make a 6 disc SE to fit all the info an HD DVD Single disc is holding, I see them doing that. Easily. Hell, I see companies pulling a DAT or Laserdisc or even D-VHS with HD-DVD if DVD continues to grow as it's doing: Making it mostly cost-prohibitive, and only allowing it to drop prices and take over when they're sure they can't milk DVD anymore. There's too much home-electronics precedent for that scenario to go ignored.

    But your main point does stand--its' hard to be excited over what we got when you know more is coming down the line--but then again, should that really be weighed? you mention a 7 year wait, but I'm not so sure that should really be a bearing on what's on the disc itself, on it's own merits.

    Jesus I'm sounding negative, and I don't mean to. I'm 90 percent agreeing with your choices, and I appreciate the work you guys put in. Sorry if this sounds extra-whiny.
     
  20. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Hey Robert,

    You're right, no one is going to put DVD out to pasture for a very long time. 7 years into DVD, studios are STILL releasing VHS tapes. DVD isn't going anywhere for a VERY long time. Still, with regard to Star Wars and Indy, while certainly some of the HD release features will appear on standard DVD as well, I'm betting many will be exclusive. Why? Consider that HD-DVD or Blu-ray both have much higher storage capacity than regular DVD. Imagine a truly loaded and packed 3 or 4-disc set on those formats - releasing the same material in standard DVD would require several times that many discs. It might not be practical to release idential sets in both formats.

    Anyway, like I said, we liked Indy, which is why we reconized it in positive award categories as well. We just think it should have been a little more special, and we know that the reason that it isn't has to do with the fact that more-loaded future releases are already planned.
     

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