2011-2012: The Golden Age of Blu-ray? Comic-Con Panel Discussion with Warner SVP - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:34 AM
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2011-2012: The Golden Age of Blu-ray? Comic-Con Panel Discussion with Warner SVP

Comic Con 2011 in San Diego in a couple weeks with have a panel discussion talking about Blu-ray catalog releases.

Should be interesting to follow or attend if you are in the area and are interested in this kind of stuff.

Included will be Blu-ray producers Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Crave) and Cliff Stephenson (Rambo, The Expendables, Crank 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein (Senior Vice President, Theatrical catalog marketing) with the guys from The Digital Bits.com Bill Hunt, Adam Jahnke, and Todd Doogan and others.

George Feltenstein of Warner Home Video is the decision maker at that studio for Blu-ray catalog so it will be interesting to see what he and the producers have to say. He has been mentioned in articles and quoted heavily here many times on the subject.

Hopefully we will get a video or transcript of this event


Quote:
Event Description:

5:00-6:00 2011-2012:

The Golden Age of Blu-ray? —

With such titles as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Ben-Hur, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, Titanic, and Raiders of the Lost Ark on the way, could this be Blu-ray's Golden Age?


Panelists Bill Hunt, Adam Jahnke, and Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits.com, along with BD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Crave) and Cliff Stephenson (Rambo, The Expendables, Crank 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein (senior vice president, theatrical catalog marketing) and othere discuss the subject, hold Q&A, and offer giveaways. Room 5AB
Mentioned at The-Digital Bits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits
7/8/2011

Finally today, the folks down at Comic-Con have officially begun announcing the daily event schedule for the convention, starting with Thursday. As our annual Bits panel is on Thursday afternoon, that means we can now reveal more details. Here's the description you'll find online, and in the catalog at the show later this month:

"5:00-6:00 2011-2012: The Golden Age of Blu-ray? - With such titles as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Ben-Hur, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, Titanic and Raiders of the Lost Ark on the way, could this be Blu-ray's Golden Age? Panelists Bill Hunt, Adam Jahnke and Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits.com, BD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Crave) and Cliff Stephenson (Rambo, The Expendables, Crank 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein (Senior Vice President, Theatrical Catalog Marketing) and others will discuss the subject, hold Q&A and offer giveaways. Room 5AB"

Our panel is going to be a little different this year, but we think a lot of fun. The idea came when we were recently compiling a list of some of the MAJOR catalog titles that have been announced, or that we know are coming, over the next 12-24 months. The list is really about as heavy-duty as they come.

And it got us thinking: A decade from now, could we look back on the next couple of years as the Blu-ray format's "golden age"? When you think back, it was really Years 4 and 5 of the DVD format when you began to see the catalog floodgates open up. That's when Lucas finally released the first Star Wars film (The Phantom Menace) on DVD.

So here we are at nearly the same point in Blu-ray's lifecycle... and sure enough, the Star Wars films are coming, all the other titles in the list above are coming and many, many more are on the way as well. I suspect it'll be a topic worth talking about. Plus, we plan on doing LOTS of audience Q&A and we'll give away some cool stuff too. So we hope to see you there!
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
2011-2012: The Golden Age of Blu-ray?

And it got us thinking: A decade from now, could we look back on the next couple of years as the Blu-ray format's "golden age"?
I find it difficult to argue this point.

2011-2012 may be the days of wine and roses for blu-ray.

Thanks for the post, Kosty.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:56 AM
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New York Times:

Movie Studios Reassess Comic-Con

Quote:
June 12, 2011

By BROOKS BARNES and MICHAEL CIEPLY

LOS ANGELES — In summers past, Warner Brothers used Comic-Con International, the premiere convention for comic book, science fiction and fantasy fans, as a marketing platform for movies like “Sherlock Holmes,” “300” and “Sucker Punch.”

Walt Disney Studios staged “Tron: Legacy” stunts there three years in a row. Last July, DreamWorks Animation paraded Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and other members of the “Megamind” cast through the convention.

This year? Warner’s main studio operation is bringing nothing. Ditto Disney and DreamWorks. The Weinstein Company, a perennial presence, will also sit this one out. Even Marvel Entertainment, whose panel for “The Avengers” was a highlight of Comic-Con 2010, is on the fence about whether it will mount a major presentation.

Comic-Con, as a growing number of movie marketers are realizing, has turned into a treacherous place. Studios come seeking buzz, but the Comic-Con effect can be more negative than positive. The swarm of dedicated fans — many of whom arrive at the convention in Japanese anime drag or draped in Ewok fur — can instantly sour on a film if it doesn’t like what it sees, leaving publicity teams with months of damaging Web chatter to clean up.

“It’s a red-letter opportunity, but you shouldn’t go simply because it sits there on the calendar,” said Michael Moses, co-president of marketing for Universal Pictures. “You have to be absolutely certain you have goods ready that can really make a difference for your film.”

Even a joyous reaction at Comic-Con, which takes place in San Diego from July 21 to 24, can skew expectations, as a platoon of studios learned last year, if hard-core enthusiasm doesn’t spill into the mainstream.

Warner got burned with “Sucker Punch,” which had fans vibrating with excitement in July but failed in its March release. The millions that Disney spent on “Tron: Legacy” at Comic-Con had a less-than-fantastic payoff. A stunt involving video of attendees trapped in coffins made a splash for Lionsgate’s “Buried,” but the film sold just $1 million in tickets when it opened two months later.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” was the big alarm. That Universal movie was the belle of last year’s convention, and the studio spent heavily to make it so, draping the entire side of a skyscraper with an ad, for instance. Released just three weeks after the convention, “Scott Pilgrim” fizzled and the $60 million movie sold just $32 million in tickets.

Comic-Con, which attracts about 130,000 people, usually doesn’t lock in its schedule of presentations until two weeks before the convention — a practice that keeps studio publicists on edge, as they struggle to wrangle stars for appearances in slots that remain at a premium.

David Glanzer, the convention’s director of marketing, said he didn’t detect any major shift in the film industry’s stance toward Comic-Con.

“We get more and more requests, and have less ability to fulfill them,” he said, adding, “Not every studio comes every year.”

For certain, Big Hollywood will still be represented. Universal is plotting a stunt for “Cowboys & Aliens,” which has the advantage of a July 29 release date, when memories of a Comic-Con splash will be fresh. Paramount plans to trot out “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn,” with a possible appearance by its director, Steven Spielberg.

Twentieth Century Fox is expected to tackle Comic-Con head-on, particularly with its “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which arrives in theaters on Aug. 5. And Sony will roll out an aggressive promotion for its “The Amazing Spiderman,” even though the film won’t be seen until July 2012.

And the light schedule of some major studios leaves a void that newer players want to fill. Relativity Media, once a film financier and now a producer, is expected to make a push at the convention for “Immortals” and “The Raven,” while promoting “Shark Night 3-D,” which is bloodier than the convention usually tolerates.

Among smaller studios, Lionsgate, which won strong results last year for “The Expendables,” will be back; and Summit Entertainment will stage a panel for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1.”

The industry has also realized that Comic-Con’s timing, in late July, is actually friendlier to TV shows, which are getting revved up for fall debuts.

Fox plans to increase its Comic-Con footprint, mounting promotions for at least 10 series, including “Terra Nova,” a dinosaur show produced by Mr. Spielberg. Warner’s Digital operation is planning to promote several original Web series, including “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” and Warner’s TV division wouldn’t mind stealing the show.

“We’re certainly hoping to,” said Lisa Gregorian, chief marketing officer for the Warner Brothers Television Group, which plans to promote as many as 16 shows — including returning ones “Big Bang Theory” and “Chuck” — at the convention.

Still, even Ms. Gregorian, who said she had spent six months planning to reach fans at Comic-Con — whom she calls “evangelists” — doesn’t foresee her medium displacing the movies in the convention’s Hall H, which annually takes on the aura of a pop cinematic shrine.

“That’s a creative decision by the convention,” she said of the movies’ pride of place in the largest room. “We’re very respectful of that.”
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:55 AM
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Its seems the Comics have been taken out of the Con. More media now. But I guess they are doing something right as the attendance at the convention has been on the increase over the past several years.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by towergrove View Post
Its seems the Comics have been taken out of the Con. More media now. But I guess they are doing something right as the attendance at the convention has been on the increase over the past several years.
Been this way for well over a decade. It's still fun to shop around....but even when I go (not too often anymore), I go for the panels. I can buy both of the stuff cheaper online (aside from exclusives).
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mikemorel View Post
I find it difficult to argue this point.

2011-2012 may be the days of wine and roses for blu-ray.

Thanks for the post, Kosty.
That may be true. In retrospect, 2011-2012 may be seen as the end of the peak growth phase for Blu-ray.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Been this way for well over a decade. It's still fun to shop around....but even when I go (not too often anymore), I go for the panels. I can buy both of the stuff cheaper online (aside from exclusives).
And some of those costumes worn by the con goers are simply stunning! A great place to people watch.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by towergrove View Post
And some of those costumes worn by the con goers are simply stunning! A great place to people watch.
Not so much anymore. It's gone downhill in the past few years. Most of the cool costume people moved on to Anime Expo.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:13 PM
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Haven't been to comic-con or E3 since the 90s. It was fun though! Got to meet Todd McFarlane spawn creator and get a few figures signed that I was collecting at the time. That was cool. Nice guy.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:32 PM
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Hollywood Still Making Its Presence Felt at Comic-Con


22 Jul, 2011
By: John Latchem




SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Comic-Con International, taking place July 21-24, offered plenty of thrills for DVD and Blu-ray fans.

This year's Comic-Con included a huge “Star Wars” presence to promote the Sept. 16 saga-edition Blu-ray, with one booth treating fans to preview footage and another featuring comic book artist Ken Lashley drawing “Star Wars” art on a 2012 Volkswagen Passat.

In another booth Anchor Bay showed off an extra for its Sept. 13 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Blu-ray, featuring a battle scene converted to 3D. And while Marvel didn't have any panels to promote its upcoming Avengers film, it did have a huge Avengers booth, with screens promoting Paramount's Sept. 13 DVD and Blu-ray of Thor.

Fox took a different approach to promote the new DVD and Blu-ray of Limitless, sponsoring a special cafe for members of the press at the Arts & Cinema Center Presented by Nintendo.

And “South Park” celebrated its 15th season with its first major Comic-Con presence, as Comedy Central set up a huge interactive “South Park” fan experience and filmed fans recording their “South Park” memories for use on future DVDs and Blu-rays.

While many panels were for shows and movies and dealt indirectly with home video, the panel that most directly focused on the subject was TheDigitalBits.com's “The Golden Age of Blu-ray” panel July 21.

The panel was moderated by Bill Hunt, who was joined by his TheDigitalBits.com cohorts Todd Doogan and Adam Jahnke, disc producers Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus) and Cliff Stephenson (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Hunger Games), and Warner SVP of theatrical catalog marketing George Feltenstein.



The topic of conversation quickly turned to the consumer perception of Blu-ray versus reality, with Feltenstein decrying press coverage that seems to suggest Blu-ray is a flop.



“For new releases, Blu-ray is smoking hot,” Feltenstein said. “Out in the press is a lot of BS. Blu-ray is a growth industry for new release. Catalog is the challenge.”


One issue, the panel concluded, was that the explosion of special editions led to a lack of quality control.

I think part of the problem, especially with catalog, is they seem to have so many horrible supplements,” Stephenson said. “It costs the studio as much to produce, but they’re just cranking them out factory style. If we can get the great special editions for the movies that deserve them, we can get the people to buy them.”

According to de Lauzirika, extras have to be more than simple EPK-style featurettes.

“It would be great to find new ways to present this stuff,” CdL said. “You have to create cutting edge content, and there’s a way to enjoy that content. Find a deeper meaning to the film and the supplemental material. Find the story behind the story.”

Extras are also important, Feltenstein said, because they distinguishes a new version of a title from what has been released before.

“We as a studio have to create a compelling reason for you to buy it again,” Feltenstein said.


For example, he indicated a lot of care has been put into the upcoming Blu-ray release of Ben-Hur, with an 8K transfer of the original negative.

“It cost an ungodly amount of money, and every penny is on the screen,” Feltenstein said. “I don’t think anyone will look at this and not be in awe.”

Feltenstein said the nature of the industry has changed a lot since he started working in home entertainment.

“It was 23 years ago I risked my life to put Ben-Hur on laserdisc in widescreen, and everyone thought I was a maniac,” Feltenstein said.

But he also joked about the industry trend of anniversary re-releases, especially with Blade Runner’s 30th anniversary next year.

The panelists also discussed how streaming has hurt disc sales, but seemed to dismiss it as a fad.

“I’ve watched stuff on the Internet,” Stephenson said. “Streaming sucks. I like having the disc. It’s dependable. You don’t have to worry about the Internet going down.”

Hunt noted that the streaming industry might face a logistical problem soon as relates to the cost of Internet service versus what people actually pay companies such as Netflix for digital access.

“People aren’t paying for the bandwidth they’re actually using,” Hunt said. “That’s one of the most difficult things people are going to have to deal with going forward.”



Feltenstein said people want a choice for viewing movies, but lamented that part of the reason so many people turned to streaming was that the industry was too focused on what type of disc would replace DVD.

“Digital technology is wonderful for providing access,” Feltenstein said. “But we as an industry have not succeeding in conveying to the consumer how wonderful Blu-ray is.

The industry was fighting a format war when we should have been united behind promoting how great Blu-ray Disc is. It’s upsetting to me how many executives at the studios still don’t have a Blu-ray player. It’s like, why are you in this business?”


The problem, he said, is industry-wide.


“When people go to see HD at a Best Buy, and they see a 1.33:1 image stretched out and nobody knows the difference, it’s scary,” Feltenstein said. “It’s our job as an industry to educate them.”

Feltenstein compared the issue with the music industry.

“People don’t realize that when they listen to music on iTunes, it’s compressed,” Feltenstein said. “And they don’t really care. We have to make sure people care about their audio and their video. If we can’t sell them on Blu-ray, how do we sell them on something better that comes along?”

Another problem, Feltenstein said, is that people don’t always realize what “high-definition” actually means.

“DirecTV advertises 1080p broadcasts of movies that we don’t have 1080p masters of,” Feltenstein said. “When you buy Blu-ray, you are getting the real deal. When you download, you’re getting something that’s chopped, compressed and bound to be inferior.”

Indeed, with so many formats available, people have become somewhat spoiled when it comes to Blu-ray.

“People don’t understand the conditions in which films were made,” Stephenson said. “They think everything should look like Avatar. So they see an old movie and might say that it’s a horrible Blu-ray, but really it’s a great Blu-ray. It’s just not a good-looking film. Sometimes the best thing they can do is get out of the way and let the film be what it is.”


Another consideration for catalog Blu-ray relates to deciding which movies actually deserve the upgrade, since it can be quite costly.

“Black and white on Blu-ray disc is a scary thing because it usually doesn’t sell,” Feltenstein said. “King Kong didn’t sell. It’s extraordinarily expensive. That’s why A Streetcar Named Desire is a huge risk. But Warner management is very supportive.”

Feltenstein also plugged upcoming Looney Tunes Platinum Collection and Tom & Jerry Golden Collection Blu-ray sets, with cartoons that have been remastered from Technicolor negatives once thought to have been lost in a fire in the 1970s. He said the cartoons would be presented uncut, and that while a lot of the cartoons were previously released in the “Golden Collection” DVDs, a lot of them have never been released before.

This led into a conversation about the released of the rarely seen “Censored 11” cartoons, which have been unseen over the years due to their perceived themes of racism and other sensitive topics. Feltenstein said he has been given permission at the corporate level to explore releasing these cartoons someday.

“We can release them if they are presented in their proper historical context,” Feltenstein said. “How it will happen — on DVD, on Blu-ray — I don’t know. But corporate is open to it and it is being discussed.”

Feltenstein hinted that if the Tom & Jerry Blu-ray does well, he may have some leverage to push a personal favorite of his, a Tex Avery cartoon collection.

“I’m taking a big gamble on [Looney Tunes] and [Tom & Jerry], and I’ve bet my life with management that they sell,” Feltenstein said. “So go buy them.”


The panelists also pondered about the effect of 3D on the industry, as Hunt noted that a one reason new 3D discs don’t sell is that the 3D movies coming out aren’t very good.

“I think it will take off in 10 to 15 years when higher resolution is here and people won’t need to wear glasses,” Hunt said. “It will be a natural evolution, like color.”

“The thing that will push 3D TVs is video games,” Jahnke said. “That’s where it seems to make the most sense.”

Feltenstein indicated that some classic 3D movies are being converted for 3D in the modern format.

“We’re likely to do Dial M for Murder and House of Wax in real 3D,” Feltenstein said. “The problem is the grain. The way they shot 3D in the ’50s it might not have been shot in 3D at all. Those are likely for 2013, if the numbers work. We’re doing tests.”

Hunt asked if manufacture-on-demand programs have helped fill the gap for catalog titles, and Feltenstein said they had.

“We have built it into a very significant business,” Feltenstein said of Warner Archive. “We’re closing in on 1,000 titles.”

For perspective, Feltenstein said that the entire Warner catalog of store-released films amounts to about 1,200 titles since 1997, and Warner Archive has been around only a few years.

“It was meant to be complementary to the retail business,” Feltenstein said. “But the retail business has changed.”


Jahnke said he’s seen a lot of demand for older movies through his Facebook page.

“I’ve got this ‘most wanted’ thing, a list of about 500 titles never on disc,” Jahnke said. “A lot of them are now coming out through Warner Archive or the Sony program or occasionally Criterion. People are constantly requesting titles.”

“People want the discs. They want the high quality,” Feltenstein said. “And it’s our job to give it to them.”

Feltenstein added: “The more consumer-friendly studios can be, and we at Warner strive to be that, the more we can create a better world in which to live.”

http://www.homemediamagazine.com/com...omic-con-24573
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