Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    73
    Liked
    0 times
    With the British Film DVD releases in the UK - Why can't we have extras ? , I know there are a few releases with limited extras such as commentaries and stills galleries and then there is the Carry On series with Trailers etc., but the vast amount of pre 1970 British Films have nothing at all. This situation has irritated me for years and it makes things worse when you know suitable material still exists. Of course it will never be economically viable to issue every B movie with extras, but what about World famous Classics like the Ealing Comedies etc. - Most of the original negatives for these films are gone but is it really the case there are virtually no deleted scenes or extra footage for any of them. (not much has turned up so far).



    Over the last year or so there have been a few DVD producers who are finally willing to release some very welcome forgotten films from the 1940's to 1960's period. - there are still many more such as the Edgar Wallace series - Merton Park - and others, but I suppose they cannot release everything at once.



    Oh yes, other possible DVD extras could be - Lobby Cards, promotional booklets, images of posters, out-takes, film rushes, behind the scenes footage, Making of Documentaries, Music soundtracks, PDF scripts & other papers, deleted scene info/stills, Interviews etc.



    Hope some people may have a few comments on the above points.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Canada
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    679
    Liked
    0 times
    It's always nice to have extras, but in some cases I'm just pleased that companies like Optimum and Network (for example) are issuing these old British films at all. I'm usually satisfied to get a fairly decent print in the correct ratio.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    203
    Liked
    0 times
    Agreed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Canada
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    679
    Liked
    0 times
    name='cletus awreetus']Agreed.
    With who...?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    203
    Liked
    0 times
    The post prior to mine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Canada
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    679
    Liked
    0 times
    Ok. It's just yours appeared so quickly after mine, I wasn't sure whether you were already typing it in response to the first post while I was posting mine!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    203
    Liked
    0 times
    I seem to be good at posting things just after other people!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Canada
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    679
    Liked
    0 times
    By the way (to the OP), something mentioned here (or might have been another forum) was that the BBFC was going to start classifying commentaries. This will make commentaries even less likely, since the cost of submitting a commentary for classification is borne by the DVD companies.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    203
    Liked
    0 times
    I'm not keen on commentaries and although I've several discs that have this feature I tend not to listen to them.



    Ones that spring to mind as being very muffled with very long gaps in between them are Twilight Zone series and Bilko

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Country: Scotland
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,400
    Liked
    27 times
    name='Dave Rattigan']By the way (to the OP), something mentioned here (or might have been another forum) was that the BBFC was going to start classifying commentaries. This will make commentaries even less likely, since the cost of submitting a commentary for classification is borne by the DVD companies.


    The BBFC have been classifying volunteered commentaries for some time. Their recently issued statement stating that all "audio commentaries constitute new video works and therefore require classification" does not hold water but whilst it exists, I agree that it puts at risk the production of commentaries due to perceived financial constraints. In truth, and this can be gleaned from other statements issued by the BBFC themselves as well as the Video Recordings Act, new video works only require classification if they do not fall into one of the several exemption categories (unless they fall foul of the listed exceptions to the exemptions). Therefore the statement the BBFC recently issued is not bear whole truth. It should read 'consequently require separate consideration for classification'. Amongst the exemptions listed are 'works which, taken as a whole, are designed to inform, educate or instruct' (bbfc - the official website of the bbfc. classification for entertainment, movies and video games). This is what makes many documentaries exempt. If an audio commentary playing over the images and soundtrack of the film is a new video work then, in many cases, I would argue that it is 'taken as a whole...designed to inform, educate or instruct' and is exempt. An audio commentary featuring Steve Coogan performing in character would constitute entertainment and not at all apply to the exemption and therefore would require classification. Some other informative audio commentaries would also be unable to be released as exempt works if the underlying film contains, to any significant extent, a variety of activities and techniques. These include the display of 'human genital organs' and so would discount audio commentaries made for some of the raunchier British sex comedies and horror films made. Another element that must not be contained is 'acts of gross violence towards humans'. This would not include seeing PC Dixon being gunned down by Dirk Bogarde's hoodlum in The Blue Lamp as this is not an actual act of violence but a portrayal of violence. Portrayals of violence only come into the designation of a certificate of a work that is required to be submitted, not at the qualifying stage. If Optimum produced a commentary with screenwriter Jan Rad and actress Peggy Evans for The Blue Lamp, I do not see why it would require classification.



    I too have been disappointed with the lack of extras made for DVD releases of older British film titles so much so that I set about trying to address the issue of financial viability and even offering to produce such content for the DVD companies involved.



    One factor I took into account was that, if the cost of the production of such material did exceed the expected return from its use by one releasing DVD company, the full potential return from such material might be much greater than the production costs if it also used by other DVD companies in other regions. I basically got the price of the first time use (that could even be exclusive for a set time period) of a brand new audio commentary by a DVD company down to �500 in some cases. This included payments to participants and the completion of a formatted commentary that would be mixed with their specific soundtrack of the film enabling it to go straight into the final authoring process. A DVD company in the UK would already have to commit a sum of a similar amount for its BBFC certificate and would have many other costs behind their release. I know that the addition of such an audio commentary can raise the value of the DVD significantly and I would have thought that it would also:-



    1) increase the potential for its inclusion in review publications

    2) serve as an indicator of quality to the consumer (if a company has spent money on such material then it would be more likely that the presentation of the actual film will be decent)

    3) provide an incentive to buy to someone who has a previously released copy of the same film



    This would not only increase the return on the sale of each DVD but would also increase the total number of DVDs. Of course you lose a customer who is willing to buy the DVD but is put off by the additional cost applied because of that audio commentary. I can not imagine there would be many people who would be keen to buy a DVD of a film for �12.99 but would then be put off when they learnt that the disc was to be raised to special edition status with inclusion of a commentary and increase in price to �15.99.



    Sadly, I have failed to get the green light from every company bar one.



    I would suspect I would have better luck if I had completed commentaries to offer. Unfortunately it is too difficult to establish what forthcoming releases are until it is too late for material to be added (beyond the authoring stage).



    The most important things with a DVD release of a film is for the film to be complete, presented in the correct aspect ratio and have an image of reasonable quality.



    It's not that hard to offer the first and second. With all British feature films made before 1954 and many after long that being in the 1.37:1 ratio, these first two points would have likely been already achieved with previous VHS releases. For people who have previous VHS or even DVD releases for these films, the only thing they can expect is improved picture quality and that is not always achieved. An audio commentary is, to some, a much appreciated addition. It always amuses me when a company releases a DVD and fails to tells you all about the film they have released but fails to tell you anything about their particular product leaving the potential customer to source this information elsewhere. This was true of the now defunct DD Home Entertainment label. Sometimes when they do provide information relating specifically to their release, in a addition to details of the film, they don't care to ensure this most important piece of information is correct. This is true of Optimum releasing who, when they released an anamorphic edition of Forty Guns in the 2.35:1 ratio (basically what everybody would want), issued press releases and information on their own website that the film is presented in the 4:3 ratio.



    For older feature films, I always find it ironic that companies, often quite small, who have only licensed titles for a limited period of time and for a limited region are more likely to produce audio commentaries and short documentaries to adorn their releases whereas larger companies who hold rights to their films for all time and in all territories, such as ITV DVD and Optimum Releasing (who are owned by Studio Canal) do not.



    I feel that Optimum and ITV DVD (Granada) have missed some opportunities, though luckily Granada have licensed some titles out to Network.



    I have been looking at the Sharecrow player, which allows users to attach a commentary to play alongside their DVD on a PC, and have been thinking of producing commentaries to sell for use with corresponding DVD releases. Doing this, I would not have to learn what intended releases are. I could just await their release.



    I have a couple of commentaries I recorded some years ago but I will have to to speak to the people involved before I would announce such use. In addition to this, I have a commentary for a 1952 British feature film but I am making efforts to sell it first before announcing it. I also plan to record another commentary in the near future and have the agreement of two people and just have to contact a third. Once that has been produced, I shall announce it.



    The website for Sharecrow and a description of how it works can be found here:-



    Sharecrow - Their Movies - Your Voice



    A Mac version has not yet been created but Sharecrow are looking to develop one.



    I would produce a crow file with the audio file to play with the appointed DVD release so that it would be ready to play into the player immediately. I was thinking of charging around �3.00 per commentary. The question is, would people be prepared to pay this much and would they be that keen about a commentary they would ideally have to play on a PC?

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,281
    Liked
    0 times
    I purchased the 3 disc 80th annoversary set of The Jazz Singer and there is a very informative commantary which ,as the film is only part sound can be played at the same time as the film.Very useful.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    I'm with Dave Rattian on this one I think. As long as the films are available I can live without the extras.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    8,872
    Liked
    177 times
    Bumping this thread up, one year on, as I'm hoping people feel the same way as me about the lack of extras in some releases. Complete image galleries are my dream. That is to say every available on/off-set and publicity picture, as with the amazing Charlie Chaplin DVDs, The Prisoner 40th Anniversary boxset and I think My Fair Lady.



    I thought The Ipcress File and The Quiller Memorandum had every photograph but I'm convinced there's more. It's the completist in me! And if we have the chance of seeing ALL the stills from Limelight,why not Charlie Bubbles (which had an admittedly good selection). As for commentaries, I'd rather read the contributors' anecdotes, as with Gillian Hills for The Owl Service, as it's easier to savour the words - if they are interesting enough. What do others think?

  14. #14
    Banned Country: UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,452
    Liked
    6 times
    I do not mind extras on discs,although older films that do eventually get released are indeed barebones because a lot of documentary material is very expensive to produce and also getting hold of rights to these materials can be pretty expensive as well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,960
    Liked
    103 times
    Surely the key issue is the quality of the commentary. in terms of accuracy, providing new insights etc....



    A few rambling thoughts from a celebrity who can't remember much from 50 years ago - no thanks !

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    25,718
    Liked
    492 times
    name='julian_craster']Surely the key issue is the quality of the commentary. in terms of accuracy, providing new insights etc....



    A few rambling thoughts from a celebrity who can't remember much from 50 years ago - no thanks !


    Some of the Doctor Who commentaries are simply embarassing. While some people (notably Peter Davison) do watch the tapes beforehand and are ready with anecdotes and things to watch out for ('See that bored looking security guard in the background - he's about to look at his watch'), many of those taking part seem hardly aware of which story they're talking about and certainly haven't bothered to watch it before hand or check the castlist. This can be amusing but when the same people are doing the same annoying 'Look, I'm doing the fans a favour by turning up' act for the 10th time, it's gets a little wearing.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    4,226
    Liked
    67 times
    name='julian_craster']Surely the key issue is the quality of the commentary. in terms of accuracy, providing new insights etc....



    A few rambling thoughts from a celebrity who can't remember much from 50 years ago - no thanks !


    Agreed, especially when the star doing the commentary doesn't even recognise a well known character actor in his own film. I was watching The Man Who Haunted Himself yesterday, and was amazed when Roger Moore and Bryan Forbes wrongly identified John Welsh as Anthony Nicholls. It wasn't until Anthony Nicholls actually made his appearance that they realised their mistake.



    I must say that when you get a good commentary then it really does enhance your enjoyment of the film. I am thinking particularly of All About Eve, in which Tom, the son of Joe Mankiwicz has some very interesting stories to tell.

  18. #18
    Senior Member HUGHJAMPTON's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,833
    Liked
    1 times
    With a hard of hearing partner, it matters very little to people with her disability, as to whether there are extras or not, as 99% of them don't carry subtitles for either the featurettes or commentaries, even if the feature itself is subtitled.



    As to my own opinion, I agree entirely with Julian Crasters post. The worst offenders of these inane commentaries are those that have a posse of people all talking over one another.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,777
    Liked
    71 times
    name='Dave Rattigan']It's always nice to have extras, but in some cases I'm just pleased that companies like Optimum and Network (for example) are issuing these old British films at all. I'm usually satisfied to get a fairly decent print in the correct ratio.




    I agree, too.

  20. #20
    Banned Country: UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,452
    Liked
    6 times
    name='HUGHJAMPTON']The worst offenders of these inane commentaries are those that have a posse of people all talking over one another.


    The other worst offender is when a commentary is telling you exactly what is on the screen when you already know that because your watching it.



    Probably the best extras I have come across is in the Alien Quadrilogy box set where everything is covered in detail with 3 hrs of Makings of for all 4 films (plus a whole lot more ) now to some that maybe boring to watch but to me is very informative.



    Others I would recommend watching are Bladerunner (5 Disc Set) and Superman The Ultimate Collection (13 Discs).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Can anyone identify two ITC extras?
    By wellendcanons in forum Actors and Actresses
    Replies: 311
    Last Post: 15-07-14, 11:45 PM
  2. Extras
    By Aenima in forum British Television
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 03-06-10, 10:22 PM
  3. (Well)Hidden extras
    By paul revere in forum British Television
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 25-10-09, 12:49 AM
  4. Landis and the Extras
    By bluenose in forum General Film Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-09-09, 04:22 AM
  5. Why are there no extras with the Will Hay DVD releases
    By Mr Martin in forum Ask a Film Question
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 28-05-08, 06:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts