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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:47 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
Thanks Zot!

Things are changing fast. Criterion and the BFI have really pushed the boat out and been wonderfully brave with their Blu-ray releases. We're lucky that we're in a position where we can ditch dual releases for Blu-ray only (although we are doing dual for M and METROPOLIS). I think it will be a while before Criterion and the BFI can safely ditch DVD.


Well, I don't think that a BR of Make Way For Tomorrow is technically useful...
And when I look at their That Hamilton Woman DVD, I can't even imagine looking at it in HD on a 40"+ TV.
Or maybe all these scratches and glitches are better in HD, I don't know. :-k

peerpee wrote:
The problem then would be piracy, which would seriously devalue the limited edition originals, which would have to come with a ltd edition Taschen style book just to hold their value.


Of course. The movie is the most important. People who are willing to pay $100 for the same movie they can have with the regular edition for $20, who are they ? Hardcore fans. The added-value has to be as important as the amount of stuff they want to learn about the movie itself.

It's like when you have a single-disc edition, a 2-dicer, and a 4-dicer + documentary + book + OST.
If you just want the movie, just get the movie. The more you like it, the more you are willing to pay, but the more stuff you need to get in order to justify the investment.
I don't think I'm learning anything new to anyone here.

But generally speaking, for regular editions like MoCs, I personally think that a simple 60 pages booklet is enough for a nice edition, or perhaps, some nice packaging like Wild Side has done lately with their Sin City or 36th Chamber of Shaolin HD release. They don't need to be materially huge. Value should not be counted as the amount of paper, cardboard or plastic used for the release but in the care put in the release. It's like the extras for some movies. Some try to fill the package with tons of useless bonuses, when others just know that quality is the best.

Plus, I don't remember the NIN material CDs going with a 600 pages book in order to justify the money spent, but they still managed to do a huuuuge amount of money, even if it was legally possible not to buy the material editions...

Anyway, I find Taschen books really cheap. In France, it's like 20€ for a decade book. It's just amazingly cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:49 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
I could think of a number of exciting projects for that model. But someone with deep pockets has to pony up the money in the first place and a small team would have to work hard on it for a year just to be able to offer it to the 1,000 (?) people globally who'd bite. The problem then would be piracy, which would seriously devalue the limited edition originals, which would have to come with a ltd edition Taschen style book just to hold their value.

I do think the power of the internet, to pool interest and backers, could be tremendously important in the creation of such a project which would deliver a product so sexy and niche that it would never have a chance of being made normally.

A similar model seems to be working in terms of music, with exorbitant online 'limited editions' preceding regular releases (Radiohead, Dylan, Byrne / Eno). Though the only ones of those I've been interested in are the ones with unique music - i.e. the core stuff, not the fancy trappings. And the standard release trailing behind changes the economics drastically. Then there are the huge deluxe mail-order things like Townshend's Lifehouse Chronicles, which are probably even closer to what Nick's thinking about.

I know there are a lot of unreleased films I'd pay through the nose for (and have done). In terms of price, content and packaging, those Japanese Shimizu sets might as well have been MoC special editions (though I'm sure they'd add some extras and a juicy book).

If the only way I could get a fine BluRay of A Brighter Summer Day was to plunk down 150 quid for a big box that included a near-useless coffee table book of stills, a miniature samurai sword and a souvenir flashlight, I'd do it in an instant. Who cares if I could buy twenty James Bond films for the same price? There's no comparison.

EDIT: Actually, would a pre-pay / subscription model work for this? MoC could propose a list of potential titles, future purchasers could sign up for them and as soon as the subscription list for a given title reaches critical mass their credit cards are charged and the package goes into production. There would need to be some kind of exclusivity (e.g. MoC was world rights for these titles and gives an undertaking that no comparable cheap edition will be coming out within five years or something). Or you could use the music example and have the subscription version a seriously souped-up version of a regular release (e.g. The Mother and the Whore on Moc; The Complete Jean Eustache via MoC's Cochon-In-Muck-Pay-Through-the-Nose Subscription Service.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:22 pm 
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zedz wrote:
There would need to be some kind of exclusivity (e.g. MoC was world rights for these titles and gives an undertaking that no comparable cheap edition will be coming out within five years or something).

Surely acquiring the world rights would cost more than any possible return could bring them? I'd love a Complete Eustache - as would many, but owning the world rights to everything non-Mother, is going to make a lot of angry dvd companies around the world!


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
Well the "patronage" system has been in use for some time now, but yes, musicians are having considerable success with efforts like this, where the fans are footing the bill for the recording sessions and getting psuedo-producer credit or work-in-progress demos, downloads and the like. For a film, it would probably have to be a pre-pay kind of deal. Video artists have long sold limited edition "prints" of their work to their patrons. Matthew Barney finances his movies like this. The patrons get ultra-exclusive editions in artist created packaging. Hows this for a laserdisc?
Image

Barney: Part of it had to do with figuring out a way to fund it. Looking to the thing we knew best, which was how to edition and distribute artwork, that's what we did. We made an edition of 10 out of the [first] film, divided the budget by 10 and sold it for that. So, at least the film would break even and the work that was generated out of it could start to fund the following film.

The gallery, however, knows its market. Two years ago, a laserdisc of Cremaster 4, made in 1995 at a cost of $200,000 and issued in an edition of 10, sold at auction for $380,000. A set of five photographs from the same film, made in editions of three, sold for $180,000.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3578195/Contemporary-market.html
I would love a Eustache collection, but that is probably more mainstream than this kind of effort. Though, I thought the problem with Eustache was the rights. Maybe the owners would be more willing to release rights to a small run. I would be curious what kind of projects perpee would consider if he had his way?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Peacock wrote:
Surely acquiring the world rights would cost more than any possible return could bring them? I'd love a Complete Eustache - as would many, but owning the world rights to everything non-Mother, is going to make a lot of angry dvd companies around the world!

Well, I'm assuming that MoC would be targetting films nobody else would be issuing - really obscure stuff, or films which need a huge amount of work to make presentable. (And the second part of the equation is - if there would be that many angry DVD companies around the world, where are all the Eustache DVDs right now?)


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:35 am 
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zedz wrote:
EDIT: Actually, would a pre-pay / subscription model work for this? MoC could propose a list of potential titles, future purchasers could sign up for them and as soon as the subscription list for a given title reaches critical mass their credit cards are charged and the package goes into production. There would need to be some kind of exclusivity (e.g. MoC was world rights for these titles and gives an undertaking that no comparable cheap edition will be coming out within five years or something). Or you could use the music example and have the subscription version a seriously souped-up version of a regular release (e.g. The Mother and the Whore on Moc; The Complete Jean Eustache via MoC's Cochon-In-Muck-Pay-Through-the-Nose Subscription Service.
I just wanted to go on record for Nick that if MoC ever institutes a subscription model like this, I'll sign up the day you announce it.

Frankly, I'm baffled as to why Criterion and MoC haven't been doing this for years. But since it's hardly an original idea, they've clearly thought it over, crunched the numbers, and determined that it's not worth it. I remember, for instance, that when Eclipse first got rolling, Peter Becker said that they were contemplating a subscription program, which, obviously, never panned out.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:15 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:13 am
zedz wrote:
There would need to be some kind of exclusivity (e.g. MoC was world rights for these titles


Eh, does MoC hold the world rights for any of it's titles? Maybe I'm wrong but I guess they don't (for instance all these Pialats have been released in France so I guess MoC bought up the rights for the UK, an the (re)mastering has been done by French companies already).

A bit off topic but I think this regional rights thing is not very good for rare (arthouse) films. I can understand movie companies want to protect their regional rights for new blockbuster films but the arthouse film market is pretty small, if not terribly small for some films so it makes little sense there at all. For instance Criterion releases "Paris, Texas" on Blu-ray soon , I would have bought that instantly but it's not meant for my region (B) so it doesn't play in my Blu-ray player. So I don't buy it. I'd almost hope for some big company to take over all these small arthouse labels so they can buy up all the rights and release all their films "all region" so the film fans can just buy it without any hassle and get what they are after: seeing the movie. *sigh*


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:52 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:00 pm
L'amiDeVS wrote:
So I don't buy it. I'd almost hope for some big company to take over all these small arthouse labels so they can buy up all the rights and release all their films "all region"


Studio Canal kinda does this with better known arthouse pictures with it's Studio Canal Collection: Releasing the same Blu-ray in France, Germany, UK and US.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:57 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
Mozart wrote:
L'amiDeVS wrote:
So I don't buy it. I'd almost hope for some big company to take over all these small arthouse labels so they can buy up all the rights and release all their films "all region"


Studio Canal kinda does this with better known arthouse pictures with it's Studio Canal Collection: Releasing the same Blu-ray in France, Germany, UK and US.

I am not sure it would serve the admittedly small market of arthouse films well if arthouse films got centralized with big companies. These films do not show up on the priority list of big companies when they own them. Warner is sitting on various Visconties and Antonionies, and I am not sure if they would issue them on Blu Ray any time soon. I would support small committed organizations such as Criterion and MoC any day instead of corporate giants. Anyoneone who wants access to all their DVDs and Blu Rays can have it by making a one-time investment in a region-free player.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:29 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:13 am
IMO a region free player is a stop-gap measure and it's a bit in a grey area as far as legality is concerned (I think even Oppo hasn't made their Blu-ray player region free). Music, books, paintings and most other art forms don't have these regional restrictions (in practice), sadly films (for home viewing) often do. Well hopefully the arthouse labels (and arthouse divisions of big companies) can cooperate more so so Blu-rays of 1 film will be available in all regions (and also save on (re)mastering costs etc.)

Back on topic: I do think the move to Blu-ray is a good thing for MoC, and in general: better image quality, no 4% PAL speedup etc. I'm waiting for the "La Planète Sauvage" to pop up on Amazon or Play so I can pre-order it :) (And if they ever should release Melville's "Le Samouraï" I'll order 2 copies (wishful thinking here)


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:13 am 
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L'amiDeVS wrote:
I'd almost hope for some big company to take over all these small arthouse labels so they can buy up all the rights and release all their films "all region" so the film fans can just buy it without any hassle and get what they are after: seeing the movie. *sigh*


But if there's something wrong with the subsequent release, the problems will be replicated across the board - there'd be no chance of a superior rival edition riding to the rescue in another territory. Just look at the Studio Canal catalogue for several examples - most notoriously The Deer Hunter with its unnecessary 4% speedup being released in numerous territories, or Ran with its widely reported transfer problems.

Do you really think a giant organisation like Studio Canal or a Hollywood major would do as conscientious a job as MoC, the BFI, Second Run and other smaller publishers whose staff really do care about the quality of their releases and go the extra mile?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:21 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:33 am
L'amiDeVS wrote:
IMO a region free player is a stop-gap measure and it's a bit in a grey area as far as legality is concerned (I think even Oppo hasn't made their Blu-ray player region free). Music, books, paintings and most other art forms don't have these regional restrictions (in practice), sadly films (for home viewing) often do. Well hopefully the arthouse labels (and arthouse divisions of big companies) can cooperate more so so Blu-rays of 1 film will be available in all regions (and also save on (re)mastering costs etc.)


Adding to what MichealB already pointed out you also have to take into account how big companies as of late have been treating their older films that would fall into the art house category or niche appeal. Even if they have the capital so to speak its not in their pipelines and have otherwise been dumped on burn-on-demand, simply put its wishful thinking that big companies would suddenly change heart and be conscientious about their releases.

Though on another topic, which was started by perpee, it is also an opportunity for other labels like MoC or Criterion to snatch up titles from bigger companies given that the transition to Blu-ray generally focuses on a) big title movies that they've released in 'new restored' or 'definitive edition X' or b) new titles. While Blu is a possibility for some of those titles given proper restoration chances are DVD versions would be apt with the titles that would entail really high costs for a HD resto.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:32 am 
not perpee
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The big companies are used to big returns and they're throwing everything they've got at that. Smaller/catalogue titles aren't on their radar at all -- but they should be, and could be.

There needs to be a deep love for the more 'niche' films to want to bring them out in lovely editions. Warners and Fox did wonders for their longterm reputations by being the main studios who treated their back catalogue to lovely editions. I'm sure they could continue to do this if they got a few multitaskers onboard.

For 5/6 years the MoC Series had only 2 fulltime production staff, now it has 3, and we've put out over 100 films. We have to pay minimum guarantees upfront, the studios don't have those costs, as they own their own films.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:26 am 
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peerpee wrote:
(although we are doing dual for M and METROPOLIS).

Is there any word already on when we`re gonna see the blu-ray release of the new Metropolis version? or is it still too early for that?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:45 am 
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I believe they said a while ago that it would be around Christmas of 2010, though who knows if that's still on track.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:54 am 
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The new restoration premieres February 12th so I think an end of the year release still sounds possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:53 pm
Location: Estonia
Nick, how many Blu-ray's are you planning to release in 2010? Will we reach spine #025 by the end of the year or am I too optimistic?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:52 pm 
not perpee
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We're flying by the seat of our pants. We have no idea exactly what we're releasing in the Summer, let alone later this year, we just know we have about 15-20 titles lined up that need lots of work. So we're taking them one at a time and going as fast as we can.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:34 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
I believe they said a while ago that it would be around Christmas of 2010, though who knows if that's still on track.


NilbogSavant wrote:
The new restoration premieres February 12th so I think an end of the year release still sounds possible.

Ok thanks. End of the year can`t come soon enough in that respect...


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:40 pm 
not perpee
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MoC METROPOLIS BD will be released before Xmas. We're coordinating with the other major licencees (Kino, MK2) etc for a simultaneous release -- and it's looking like sometime in October or November.

At this stage, our BD will be Region B.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Thanks for the info!


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:13 pm 
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:D

Are you planning on just porting the extras from the previous release or will there be a few more treats included?


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:31 am 
not perpee
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The old extras are out of date now and the old commentary is too short. We're not really planning on carrying any of it over.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:39 am 
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You know what would be perfect for a Blu-only release? Abel Gance's NAPOLEON.


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 Post subject: Re: Blu-only Releases?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:24 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:16 pm
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peerpee wrote:
The old extras are out of date now and the old commentary is too short. We're not really planning on carrying any of it over.


Thanks, that's good to know. Anyone interested in this probably owns the old release anyways so carrying over extras would just mean less space for new stuff. Are you interested in including the Arte documentary shown after the film or a similar restoration related one. Actually, I'd prefer another one as the one shown on Arte had its lengths and not that much actual content.


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