This annoying "no insert" trend -- A RANT

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jeremy Anderson, May 13, 2003.

  1. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Am I the only one disturbed about the recent trend toward not including inserts in DVD's? I'm not talking about the companies that historically never have (Lion's Gate, for example). I'm talking about the big name studios just not bothering anymore. Last week, it was The Emperor's Club (Columbia/Tri-Star) and this week Equilibrium (Dimension). And apparently this is a practice that is going to continue.

    At least with Lion's Gate releases, the chapter stops were usually included on the back cover of the DVD so it wasn't really a big loss. But what if I want to glance quickly at the chapter stops to find my favorite scene? Does it really add so much of an expense to the production of these discs to add a single piece of paper that shows the chapter stops? Hell, throw advertising for other discs on the back of it to make up for it... but at least give me some kind of quick reference to what the hell is on the disc. I don't think I'm asking much.

    Where do we go from here? Will a chapter stop insert become a special feature or something you see only in special editions? Will we see "Superbit -- Now with Insert!"? Are the words "Limited Edition Insert" far behind? Will we lose the cover art altogether and just have big black and white generic titles to save on ink? Studios everywhere, I implore you -- Don't screw with a formula that is so obviously working. For my $20, give me the disc, the case, the cover art and an insert... and I'll keep buying. Oh hell, I'll probably keep buying anyway, but I won't be as happy.

    Ah... I feel better now that I have that out of my system. Who's up for croquet? [​IMG]
     
  2. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    They really need to move to the clear plastic covers like many UK discs are released. Then the chapter stops are printed on the reverse of the insert (and visible through the plastic).
     
  3. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Vanguard uses transparent cases for some, if not all, of their releases stateside. I think they're pretty hideous, but that could just be Vanguard's implementation of the concept.

    I dunno, I have to admit that the chapter selection submenus work well enough for me.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  5. Jeff Ashforth

    Jeff Ashforth Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm fine just using the scene selection option. The only time I really use an insert is when they feature flow chart guides to supplements like on the FOTR:EE and many of the Disney Collector's editions.

    Cheers.
    J.
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Personally I just use the arrow keys on the remote to jump around, or the discs's on-screen menus, but I *do* miss the little booklets with the MGM discs. Sometimes a CRITERION title has substantial liner notes, but with 99% of DVDs in general, the insert is just a list of chapter stops. What I would like to see is the return of true liner notes.
     
  7. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    I'm another who likes his inserts. Cahpter listings are far faster then having to browse through a dozen selection pages with four chapters listed on each. Even if you know about when in the movie a scene occurs, it usually takes several guesses to find the right page, and that doesn't even count DVD's like American Beauty that force you to go through transition animation each time and go through each page of chapters in order. Plus, I like my production notes in the inserts, it's a lot easier to read physical paper then a TV screen that holds maybe one paragraph or so per page.
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    A list of chapter stops is unneccessary. And with the move to thinpacks they won't have them either.

    Only if a booklet has actual content will it be missed.
     
  9. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    i'm guessing that when a DVD is now given an insert, it can be listed as a "special" feature [​IMG]

    couldn't customers be given a menu option to list all chapters on the screen (ie replicate the insert) ? would that make both camps happy ? studio saves money on producing the insert and customer gets his/her chapter list.

    or is it important to have something physical to fondle while watching a DVD ?
     
  10. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    I'm not a big booklet/insert fan, unless they contain actual information/background material for the film. I don't think I've ever used the "Chapter Stop" list on any insert, but I love the extensive liner notes on the Criterion DVDs.

    AnimEigo's Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance disc probably has one of the best inserts I've seen in awhile, several pages of information that discuss the history, background, and provide definitions for Tokugawa-era Japan. For novices to the series/era, it's a wonderful addition.

    But it ain't got no Chapter Stops! [​IMG]
     
  11. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Would anyone know, just how much a color double-sided insert cost?
     
  12. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I couldn't care less whether or not there is an insert. A booklet with production info on select titles is welcome, but just a little piece of paper with chapter stops listed?
     
  13. Dave_P.

    Dave_P. Supporting Actor

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    Catch Me If You Can has an insert with the poster art on one side and an ad for other Dreamworks titles on the other...but no chapter listings anywhere. [​IMG]
     
  14. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    The only time I've found an insert "necessary" was for Donnie Darko so that it would cover the awful cover-art used. Other than that, one page inserts are redundant and usually have the same art as the cover, so they don't even have a use as an alternate cover.

    Bruce
     
  15. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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    Honestly I havent even looked at the inserts of 95% of my dvd's, so no I dont find it disturbing.
     
  16. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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  17. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Emperor's Club is from Universal, and yes both Universal and Buena Vista have dropped inserts, in addition to MGM's $15 price catalogue.
     
  18. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  19. Charlie Essmeier

    Charlie Essmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    With laserdiscs, they listed the chapter stops on the cover. Oops. DVDs don't have "covers", do they?

    Regardless, I have yet to pull out a DVD insert and look at it, so I don't think I'll miss them.

    Charlie
     
  20. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    My $0.02...

    IMO, one of the biggest problems with DVDs is how many catalog titles have not been released. I would bet that most movie buffs could list dozens of movies that they'd love to have on DVD, but are afraid will never be released. In order to make us all happy, every catalog title would have to be released (in OAR and anamorphic where applicable, of course).

    Even though it's unrealistic to expect EVERY catalog title to make it to DVD, we can at least hope for a good percentage. In order for this to happen, the studios need to find a way to make money on these titles. Maybe deleting inserts only saves $0.25, but if they can find several places to save $0.25 they can afford to charge a little less for each movie. And that means they'll sell more copies, and can afford to release even more catalog titles.

    Don't think that a nominal cost savings is of negligible meaning to the studios. When you deal in large numbers, small savings become significant. Is there anybody who actually would refuse to by a title like UHF simply because it has no insert? I know it pisses some people off, but would the studio really lose any sales because of this?

    As far as I'm concerned, anything that makesit more profitable to release catalog titles is a good thing.
     

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