Time to get another player: was that the Director's cut or ClearPlay?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JackKay, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. JackKay

    JackKay Second Unit

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    From The Hollywood Reporter today:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr..._id=1000835883

    I am not referring to the Camcorder law or piracy enforcement, I am referring to Re-editing of motion pictures for the reason to clean them up. This may sound like an Innocent enough, so my 12 year old can watch the Godfather, but it is only opening a Pandora's box. This will let anyone develop software that can edit movies any way they choose. They will not be able to rearrange or add to a film, but they can take away. Anyone out there with any editing experience knows what a powerful tool it is. Just by subtraction, one can change the subtext or meaning or message of a film. Audio, Visual or both.

    With this law we can all do it. Personally I don't wish to see 15 or 20 versions of Citizen Kane out there, for what ever reason. The problem is if they can, people will just do it.
     
  2. Jeff D Han

    Jeff D Han Supporting Actor

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    I seriously doubt that real movie or art fans would
    even consider altering or deleting anything from an
    existing film (I surely wouldn't). If there are tools
    to alter a film to somebody's liking, so be it. If
    studios start giving in to complainers and release
    altered versions of films, then it's up to us to take
    a stand and not buy this kind of shit.
     
  3. JackKay

    JackKay Second Unit

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    I think for a long time some groups have lobbied for cleaned up versions of movies, like ones shown on airlines and over broadcast TV. These groups have complained to the studios and their lawmakers about why can't they release the clean versions on Home Video, arn't they already cut they say?

    I can only speculate that the studios felt such a market was not only too small but would cause problems in the market place. Stores like BestBuy and Target have limited real estate for DVDs. And that space is continually crammed with new releases. And on top of that, many of the new releases are coming in both P&S and Wide screen, making space even more limited. Having a third "Clean" version on top of that, may have been too much.

    The problem with this new legislation is that it allows anyone to write a program (for what ever reason, Moral, P.C., or Just for Laughs)that could through the editing process of extraction or superimpose have the potential to change the artistic intent of the writer and director.

    How about a 15 minute cut "Cliff Notes" version of Citizen Kane so students of film won't have to endure the full 119 minutes of the movie. We are not talking about a Readers Digest version of something, where permission and approval is granted by the copyright holder, but where anyone for whatever reason may make changes without any regard to the artists or what they have done to a movie.
     
  4. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    If people want to butcher movies for their own personal use, let em. Ive done video editing before, and I dont care how easy or cartoonish of an interface you give the program, its still a lot of work, and my guess is, J6P isn't going to waste his time.

    Since movie purists won't do this, and your average consumer won't do this, who does this leave? A small handful of technically proficient, yet non-film buff people who will not be big enough to drive a market for it.

    Theres so many other things out there to worry about, Im not going to spend any energy thinking about this.
     
  5. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    This leaves companies like ClearPlay.com and CleanFilms.com to go ahead and serve a large portion of family consumers interested in home entertainment. The act finally gives legal blessing on their products. My family and I love our ClearPlay dvd player and the support we get with new filters weekly. It's the best component I've purchased since my ReplayTV.
     
  6. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    You know that such software exists already, right? Most of the films we see these days are edited together that way.

    DJ
     
  7. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    As long as I can watch the original version of a movie, I don't care what other versions anyone else watches.
     
  8. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Hollywood doesn't really have to allow it, legislation or not. They could just refuse to give decryption keys to players that have ClearPlay-like capability, and expire the keys already out there. True, there are ways around this, but that would make ClearPlay a DMCA violator.

    I personally have no problem with a system like this. If only we had such a good system for P&S. Then all releases could be OAR only, and those who wanted P&S would just download and watch with their CropPlay filter.
     
  9. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I've only got one comment on this.

    I can't for the life of me figure out, why anyone would ever, ever, ever want to see an edited move. PERIOD. I think the concept is absolutely ridiculous. If you don't like the content, then find another movie. It's not as though there is a shortage of films that will meet your criteria. There are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of films dating back 80 years to last month that don't have offensive content. Just watch one of those.

    What I fear is what somebody already mentioned. Corporation such as Clearplay start selling these films to the non-filmloving masses (i.e. the majority). These people are completely happy and then these become the standard versions (just like P&S).

    Once again, if you don't like the content, then find another movie.
     
  10. Kevin Deselms

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    This kind of technology aggravates me as someone working in editorial post. I don't think Da Vinci would appreciate someone drawing a moustache on his Mona Lisa. Why film is still not treated as art as much as it is commerce is beyond me. Joe Sixpack doesn't care about the creative juices that brought a movie, kicking and screaming, into existence. It's why they give two seconds to the post-production people at the Oscars and give actors all the time they want to filibuster about whatever political or social subject they want. A total lack of respect for the creatives behind a film.

    So this kind of technology irks me, because it takes a big dumparoo all over the months and years of work those people put in to make these films. If a movie has content you deem unfit for you family, JUST DON'T WATCH IT. That always worked in MY family, growing up!

    I think the guilds should be raising a stink about this kind of thing, personally.
     
  11. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    There was a thread about this subject last year, and I will repeat what was said back then: ClearPlay does NOT sell edited films. The consumer uses a regular DVD in a player that has filters for CERTAIN TITLES (the player needs to download updates from ClearPlay to expand the number of titles that can be viewed). The CONSUMER chooses the settings on the filters (for example, you can "skip" the graphic violence, but keep the adult language). I, personally, agree that there are plenty of movies out there that don't require changes if that's what you choose to watch. I have no use for this player, but I don't understand the problem with making them available.
     
  12. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    If this technology ends up being a problem for studios, directors, and the like, I feel that in the future they will craft their films differently. You will see key elements of the movie mixed in with the filtered material simultaneously, so that the movie would be pointless unless watched in its entirety.
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    What's your favorite film? What song do you hate the most? Now, what if that song were inserted into that film? Would you simply accept it, and watch the film despite the song you hate? Or never watch a film you love?

    As a general rule, I don't watch edited versions of films. But there are one or two exceptions. For example, Singin' in the Rain. For a long time, I just refused to watch this film, because I HATE the ballet scene. It completely ruins it for me. But then I realized that without that scene, this was a great movie, and so I started watching it, but would skip past the ballet. Now, I've edited the ballet out.

    This is no way infringes upon anyone else's right to watch the whole film, and I would not support them selling the edited version I watch. But I don't mind making that edit for myself.

    There are lots of threads on HTF about people who rewatch only certain scenes of their favorite movies. Is this wrong? Should they be forced to watch the whole thing each time? If they can watch just 5% of a movie, then I can watch 99% of a movie, and as long as 100% of the movie is what's sold, then I'm OK with people's viewing habits.
     
  14. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I guess I can relate to this, at least partially. I know of a lot of movies that I don't like in particular because of one scene or section. Where we differ is that I wouldn't take it upon myself to edit that scene out. Personally, I respect the creators of the film too much to do that. If you choose to do that in your own home then feel free. This sort of scenario isn't really at the crux of my problem here, although I'm still not comfortable with it.

    The scenarios that object to on a much stronger level are the morality police/goofy patrol (The kind of people who seem to have an allergic reaction to curse words or nudity.) It seems to me that if you have objections to this kind of content it is in your best interest to not watch it at all instead of watching edited versions. In my view, by doing this you are still giving your money to the sources of this so-called filth that you so strongly object to. So in the end, why not just choose a different film that doesn't have the content that seems to bother you so much?
     
  15. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Eric,

    I think we agree to a large extent, and I do choose not to watch films at all that have excessive graphic violence or other things I might not like.

    It is hard to put my hypothetical into clear focus, but let's try this. It's very far-fetched, but there you have it. [​IMG]

    Let's assume that you woke up in an alternate universe, where films you love (like The Apartment), were originally released with an overture and exit music, which are part of the film. The overture is Margaritaville, and the exit music is a really bad rap song.

    Now, in this alternate universe, they have dvd players that allow you to watch the entire film (including overture and exit music), or you can push a button and it skips the overture and exit music.

    For these films that would be your favorite without the overture and exit music, do you hold your nose and watch the whole film (as they were originally released in your new alternate universe), or do you press the button and watch the films as you love them in this universe?
     
  16. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    My whole problem with it is that the technology is useless. How about instead of parents letting their 8 year old child watch a severly butchered version of Robocop, why not wait until he is of age to view it in it's entirety? What if the edits make the film incomprehensible or destroy certain points/emotions that the filmmaker wants to convey? What if the child sees a war picture and, having the violence and gore removed, decides war is a fun thing because it's mostly just guys dressed up shooting "cool guns and tanks"?

    And another thing, is there such a shortage of children and family films out there? I don't think so.
     
  17. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I remember one of the things they used to tout about the capabilities of DVD. They said that with the seamless branching feature you would be able to watch any "version" of the movie you want, e.g., the TV "edited" PG version of an R film.

    Of course, that turned out to be purely hypothetical, because I don't believe it's ever been implemented. I guess I shouldn't say "ever" because there's always an exception. But I haven't seen it.
     
  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    If I remember correctly, they didn't include clean versions on the same disc because not only was it difficult to implement, but most directors did not approved of having their movies available on home video in edited form (why they allow it on TV is anyone's guess.) I still think the branching feature has been extremely underused; I have Kalifornia and American Wedding which include both theatrical and unrated versions, but other titles are available only one way or the other or on separate discs. Especially ridiculous is "Star Wars" being available only in its "updated" form, when they could have included that along with the original versions.
    How have these Clearplay players been selling? I haven't heard anything about them in a while, if they ever got real cheap I might buy one just to see how it works though. While I believe every movie should be watched from start to finish (including studio opening and end credits), I'd much rather have any editing be done by the user and not have a disc available only in that edited form. Same as if most people want to watch stuff with the contrast and brightness cranked up too high, at least they're doing that on their TVs and I'm not forced to watch it that way myself.
     
  19. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    DOLLARS.
     
  20. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    Can I get one of these Clear Play things to edit the nightly news? Cause usually thats more disturbing than movies that say shit a dozen times. Or how about commercials that inform me that for only .99 cents a day I can feed, and vaccinate a undernourished child in a 3rd world country. Cause lets face it, those commercials make me sick. (have you seen those? fly's on the kids faces and stuff? and whats that white looking larva stuff they feed him with my .99 cents? Yuk, that food stuff makes me loose my appetite. How disturbing.

    But Im all for these machines really. Lets edit the scene where Luke gets his hand cut off. In fact, no fighting at all, good vs. evil is just fantasy anyway, in reality we all get along. Star Wars (for example) is too violent for a child (or some adults) to understand.

    Hows this scenario: don't like violence? lets edit novels too (this includes all your religious scriptures). No more epic battles in books. Its too hedonistic for our advanced craniums. We should edit newspapers too. All you get is the classifieds and sales flyer's. (so you can sell your junk, buy stuff, and find a job at a non-profit promoting peace and goodwill and rally for the destruction of art and expression.)

    Lets create the world we want to live in, and pretend reality doesnt exist. Who's with me?
     

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