Van Ling: Disc Features

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Donahue, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. John Donahue

    John Donahue Auditioning

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    I thought the "poll" questions asked by Van Ling in the latest chat were really interesting and since I wasn't present for that chat (as were many I assume) I thought this thread might give us all a chance to voice our opinions. It would be great to get everyone's input, obtain some statistics to get the top 10 good things and top 10 bad things and present it to Van.
    I'm not sure how many good things I can think up, but there are a variety of things that annoy me so I can come up with some bad things easily. [​IMG]
    BAD THINGS
    1) The first thing I want to see after inserting a disc is the menu. In other words, I really don't want to see "Coming soon on home video", commercials, FBI warnings or anything like that. I like previews for coming attractions and having them as a menu item is fine, but to force it down my throat is annoying. And yes, I understand that the FBI stuff must appear at some point, but can't it be at the END of the movie?
    2) Do not start the movie automatically. Due to the annoying things that appear when you insert a disc, I frequently pop in a disc then go away for bit (get something to drink). I don't like coming back and having the movie running and 5 minutes into it already.
    3) I like one single menu that allows me to select both AUDIO and SUBTITLES. Make this menu item available on the main menu, then let me select AUDIO (if this requires confirmation for DTS then BRING ME BACK to this menu and select None for subtitles) then SUBTITLES and then at this point, default to "Play Movie".
    4) I actually don't care too much for Infinifilm extras. That is to say, the gimmick of viewing things in context isn't such a benefit to me. I prefer to view the documentary as such, non-stop. I don't like jumping back and forth from the movie to some extras. Once this link is no longer required, the documentary can go on the second disc and extras that REQUIRE synchronization with the movie (commentaries or the textual subtitle commentaries that many enjoy, myself included) can be placed here. This might even free up bit space for the growing-in-popularity DTS track.
    GOOD THINGS
    1) Someone else mentioned menus that cycle and where the last frame matches the first frame for a seamless cycle. That's a nice touch.
    2) I can't say enough about seamless branching. I don't know if this is difficult to author or what reason is behind it being so rare but T2:UE did a really nice job. It would be nice to ALWAYS have the theatrical version, but if there's extra footage for a director's cut or whatever, branching isa great way to incorporate this footage as opposed to appearing separately. I believe the Abyss does this quite nicely too.
    3) Good commentaries. I wish Roger Ebert would do more (his Dark City and Citizen Kane are two of many people's favorites) or other "educated" critics. I know this may be asking too much, but if I directed a movie, and I was proud of it, and I wanted to do a good commentary, I'd watch the movie and TAKE NOTES (or record notes or have an assistant take notes) like "Remember to talk about such and such at 14:27 into the film". Then make index cards to refer to while recording the commentary or convert these into a tele-prompter or something so there are few "dead spots" in the commentary. I like John Carpenter movies and I thought the commentary for "Big Trouble..." was TERRIBLE when he and Kurt Russell went on and on about personal issues ("How's you son doing?" -- I want to hear about the freaking movie I'm watching). Maybe it's just me...
    -- John
    P.S. I've been a member for years and read HTF several times each day, but this is my first post in EONS. "Hi Everyone!" :)
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    LOGOS and PRE-MAIN MENU STUFF

    I don't mind a short, skippable logo (WB and Columbia) followed by the main menu.

    That's how it should be.

    What I don't like is MGM's forced-upon ROAR logo, Disney's skippable, but endless pre-menu crap, and any FBI warnings.

    Do it like WB. Short, skippable logo, then the menu right after. Keep FBI warnings AFTER the film and NO COMMERICALS!

    I didn't pay 30 bucks for Mickey Mouse in Living Color to see an ad for the disc I just bought!

    COMMENTARIES

    I like how T-2 and Shrek have subtitles for the commentary. I don't care if the commentator hits a few dull spots, I like it how it was.

    MENUS:

    Skippable animations and easy to use. The best menus of this sort on on Snow White. Really entertaining, too. Also, don't put audio and subtitles separately.

    SUPPLEMENTS:

    Don't leave ANYTHING that can be put on the disc out. Of course, rights screw up some things, but if it's possible, do it. I'm annoyed by how Willy Wonka went though the SE trouble, yet it's missing the music-only/sound effects track and the reissue trailer on the laser disc. It's also annoying when studios won't purchase the rights to Criterion supplements for their own discs. MPI had no trouble getting all the supplements from the Criterion version of Help!, Columbia was able to use Criterion's Gilliam/Jones commentary for MP & The Holy Grail, and a few others.

    North By Northwest is missing storyboards, Wizard of Oz...depsite endless supplements, is missing the Criterion commentary. Some Like It Hot has somewhat light extras and is missing Criterion's stuff. Isn't it worth it to buy back some of this stuff?

    VIDEO & AUDIO:

    DTS should be used ONLY if really needed. For example, DTS is great for a title like Fantasia, but wouldn't really do much for Sound FX/Dialogue/Music Track remix such as Doctor Zhivago. If it was released with DTS, always retain it. If it could be remixed from scratch, use DTS. DTS would be nice for silent movie scores if PCM 2.0 isn't used, also.

    Video should be the correct AR only. WB tried hard with Ben-Hur, but the fake matting for it just cramped the image. If they simply used the entire 2.55:1 image on the 35mm print they used, that would have been perfect.

    EASTER EGGS:

    I don't mind easter eggs if they're kind of throwaway treats. The easter egging of the hidden Walt Disney intros for Silly Symphonies is a bad thing. I would have liked to have seen a section called "Walt Disney Presents" with all of those cartoons easily selected. The 3rd cut of T-2 is a throwaway egg mainly because it's just a tiny change to the film (I prefer the SE cut). The trailers on The Abyss are good easter eggs because they're not expected. The easter eggs on Citizen Kane, Doctor Zhivago, and The Wizard of Oz are fine because they're obvious (the images stick out).
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I still say discs should start with the MOVIE, or whatever is the MAIN portion of the disc. The MOVIE is why the disc exists, and I don't like having to hit anything other than the "Play" button on my remote to have it start! I know menus are cool to people who just got their new DVD player, but enough is enough! And since Van Ling may be reading this, I understand the way you think and what you might think is cool, but my reaction to what comes onscreen before I can start 'The Abyss' is "Ohhhh, this is soooo SILLY!"
    It'll be fun if I ever get to make a DVD someday! [​IMG]
     
  4. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Is there a transcript of the chat available somewhere?

    I want the first few moments of a DVD to have some audio that is at a level similar to the feature itself, so I can quickly set the volume. I don't want the feature to begin automatically, since obviously one needs to select whatever sound format they are equipped to listen to.

    But I can't stress the first point enough: The worst thing is when a DVD starts with a company logo and there is no sound. I don't know if I pressed the wrong button on my receiver, or if a wire came loose, or if the logo is just silent. Really annoys me. (Thought the THX logo with it's asinine "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiooooooooooohhhhhhh" sound is just as bad, and just as useless when it comes to judging what the volume level should be).
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think it's important to have at least a video/audio/subtitles setup screen before the movie.

    Whether it's to view the supplements instead of the movie or to select different audio tracks (like DTS instead of DD).
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Found it! Two words, upper right corner of the screen : Chat Transcripts. Never noticed it before, and I've been here for months.
     
  7. KyleK

    KyleK Second Unit

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    Also, you should always be able to change the audio/subtitles with the remote while watching the feature. Sometimes I'm not sure what an actor said, and it is really annoying when I have to go back to the menu, sit through the nifty little animations, turn on the subtitles, select play, watch the animation, then when I am sure what was said, do the same thing over again. You also should be able to change the audio on-the-fly (for listening to parts of commentaries, etc.).
     
  8. Michael Taylor

    Michael Taylor Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with many of you. The first thing you see after you insert the disk should either be the menu or the movie. I hate it when they provide an option to watch trailers in the menu and still insist on making you watch the trailers every time you pop the disk in.

    I think the forced FBI/Interpol warnings are stupid because I thought that (at least in the US) ingnorance of the law is no excuse. I don't think anyone has ever successfully defended themselves in a movie piracy trial by saying, "But I didn't see any FBI warning!". Also, like the "Video Pirates" sktech in Amazon Women on the Moon, the people for whom the FBI warning is meant are well aware of the laws but don't care!

    I also share John Donahue's sentiments on Infinifilm extras. I hate having to break up the flow of the movie to watch extras. I'd rather watch them all in one continuous session.

    I really can't stand it when I am *forced* to watch the studio's logo, as if I care who distributes the dang thing, or have a choice about which distributor I can go through to purchase a particular title anyway. (Ok, I guess I can by the Criterion.)

    As far as Easter Eggs are concerned, I shouldn't have to search the net for DVD Easter Eggs in order to access advertised features: The worst offender I can list off-hand is T2:UE. The marketing on the package states that you get 3 versions of the film, but hide the 3rd version as an Easter Egg! I don't care if the 3rd version is hidden, but if that's the route you want to go, don't advertise it on the packaging. There are a number of instances where I knew an Easter Egg existed and how to access it, but couldn't because of some issue with my remote control. I would hate to buy a DVD for an advertised feature, only to be unable to view it from an obvious menu option.

    The THX trailer *is* annoying. My speaker volume is set at a level where the average sound volume is suitable for late evening DVD viewing. I hate it when I pop the DVD in, I walk away to grab a snack while the forced trailers, FBI warning, and other stupid nonsense is going on, only to hear the super-loud THX trailer play and wake up everyone in the house. THX is not the only culprit. MGM's Lion comes to mind.

    Subtitle/Audio options. Sometimes someone mumbles a line and I just want to back it up a bit, hit the subtitle button for a minute to figure out what was said, then continue. Why do I have to stop the movie to access them from the menu? Those two buttons are on my remote for a reason!

    Sorry for the long rant, but I had to get it all off my chest!
     
  9. Cliff B

    Cliff B Agent

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    The only thing that I would like to add to this is that I personally LIKE animated menus. It's not just a case of having a new player and they're a novelty. I've had my player for a while now and I still enjoy them. They're a nice bonus to the movie watching experience and if you don't like the menus then it's a perfect time to get up and get refreshments before starting the movie.
     
  10. Gavin K

    Gavin K Stunt Coordinator

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    One of the poll questions was 'DTS or Inifinifilm type features?'

    How about DTS on the film on disc 1, and extras on disc two. I don't like the movie being broken up to get to the features, or having to fast forward to the white rabbit, a la the matrix, just to get to the extras. And the mini featurettes on Rush Hour 2 were fun, but it seemed like they were designed as a brief interruption to a certain part of the film rather than to be viewed seperately. A lot of them could have been edited together to make a great documentary. A play all option would have worked as well, excep that each featurette had a credit sequence that seemed as long as the featurette itself. Let's keep the features seperate from the movie please.
     
  11. Jon Mercer

    Jon Mercer Second Unit

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    Sorry to say this but add another vote for enjoying animated menus.

    Have had my DVD player for three and a half years now so this is not just a new thrill for me either.
     
  12. Rob Dawn

    Rob Dawn Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing that bugs my wife and I to no end on many DVDs is the way Deleted Scenes are done.
    1) Just putting deleted scenes on a disc with no mention as to why they weren't used isn't very helpful.
    2) Almost as bad (and more annoying) is having a commentary run over the deleted scenes. Then you have to watch the scenes twice!! [​IMG] Once with the commentary off to hear the dialog, etc. & once with it on to hear why it wasn't used, where it would have gone in the movie, etc.
    The deleted scenes on Legally Blonde are a GREAT [​IMG] example of how to do this right! The director talked for a few seconds before each scene to give some insight. There was also a title screen that helped with where the scene would have gone in the movie. Then the scene was played. And lastly there was a "Play All" option so you aren't taken back to the menu every time (with a few seconds pause) making you have to move the cursor and press "Enter" to see the next scene.
    (End of rant! [​IMG] )
    I'd also vote AGAINST the Infinifilm/"Follow The White Rabbit" type stuff. If I rent a movie I'm only going to watch it once and then watch the bonus stuff I want to see. I don't want to bounce in and out of a movie the first time I see it. And I don't want to watch the whole movie again just to get to the bonus stuff. (So many moivies, so little time.[​IMG])
    One more thing: how about when you have a Photo Gallery on a disc, telling us how many pics we're going to have to go through. I might look at 10-20 production photos, but I'm not going to take the time to look at 50-100 of them. Having "thumbnail" pages like on the new TRON disc isn't bad either - better than just starting a gallery and having no idea if it's going to take 60 seconds or 10 minutes to get through it.
    Rob
     
  13. Marc Deslauriers

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    I hate it when studios put spoilers in the DVD's menu. If you want to make an animated menu, don't put the best parts of the film in there ruining major plot points!

    Also, I would really like for EVERYTHING to be anamorphic on anamorphic dvd's....at the very least make the previews at the beginning anamorphic so I don't have to sit through seeing upcoming movies with everybody's head looking like a football.

    Marc.
     

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