Why are featurettes broken down in DVDs?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Juan M. Rico, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Juan M. Rico

    Juan M. Rico Stunt Coordinator

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    The title of the thread says it all, but here is an example:

    Narc, for instance. The three featurettes included in the DVD, and even "The Friedkin Connection", are part of the same production, they are just "chapters" of a long documentary. So, Why to give us three 15 minutes featurettes instead of a 45 minute documentary? Is it to make it easier to digest? To make the DVD look like it has more features? Or are there any legal reasons to this?

    Juan Machuca Rico
     
  2. Shane D

    Shane D Supporting Actor

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    I think I read a long time ago, that if featurettes were a certain length, then it was a documentary, and the priciples in the docu. had to be compensated, where as a featurette was just fluff or something, and no one had to be paid.

    I'm sure thats off base some, but I'm just throwing out what I read once. =0)
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yep- length is the issue, over a certain length, the actors must be paid.

    -V
     
  4. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    So, instead of one documentary, you get three pieces of fluff. That was fun.
     
  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    The length of time in question that results in a higher royalty rate is 30 minutes, which is why these featurettes often come close to that length.

    DJ
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I don't care if the stuff is presented as one long piece or several small ones, but in the latter case, I wish they'd always include a Play All option.
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Content not withstanding- I would imagine if you find the 3 elements on their own "fluff" it probably wouldn't have equaled a full "documentary" just because they were magically joined.

    -V
     
  8. Juan M. Rico

    Juan M. Rico Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys:

    Thanks for the feedback.

     
  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Why would an actor participate in a interview for a DVD, thinking they were going to be paid, and then not being paid, due to the time of the final product? And if they got duped like that, wouldn't it put them off participating in any future DVD interview(s)?


    Gordy
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    There is often some serious overlap when three featurettes are present.

    --
    Holadem
     
  11. Kyle Milligan

    Kyle Milligan Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone know of the actual source of this legal information? I'm very curious because I'd like to follow it up.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    IIRC it's a SAG (Screen Actors' Guild) thing, probably part of the collective agreement between SAG and the studios. I guess they needed a strict definition of a documentary which attracted additional royalties, and that was fixed at 30 minutes, which the studios now work around by splitting the content into sub-30 minute bits. I don't think it's so much an issue of what any particular actor thinks of when he's doing the interview (which he's probably contractually obliged to do anyway as part of promoting the movie), but is an "overriding" thing imposed by SAG.

    I may be wrong on this, but this sort of thing may also be why cameos are often not credited: if credited, you must (by SAG decree) be paid a certain minimum wage, which in the case of cameos often shouldn't apply as the actor usually does it free as a favour to someone.

    As already opined, quality, not quantity. As an example, the 5 minute web featurettes on the two SW DVDs so far are excellent examples of short featurettes that are really interesting and do not overlap each other at all. The problem is when a DVD producer takes limited material and tries to "pad" or "expand" it into more impressive run-times, perhaps by studio decree, so that the package can scream "2-hours of extra bonus material", when in reality there's a lot of overlap.

    Hopefully more knowledgeable members can expand on this.
     

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