Splash Magazines

Event Review: Producers Guild New Media Council "Beyond Dvd" Panel

By Don Rose

View the Full Article | Return to the Site

(Universal City, March 18, 2004) Universal Studios was the site for tonight's event on the subject of DVD and its future. The event was one in a series of fine confabs put on during the year by the New Media Council of PGA (no, not the golfer group -- the Producers Guild of America).

After networking and noshing (from a smart assortment of SmartWater, wraps, quesadillas and beer/wine), the main event ensued. SCOTT HETTRICK (Home Entertainment Editor at Variety, Editor-in-Chief of Video Business and DVD Exclusive, founder/producer of the annual DVD Exclusive Awards) led the discussion with an all star panel of DVD producer heavyweights: Andy Siditsky (Senior VP of DVD Productions at Disney), Laurent Bouzereau (creator of many "Making Of" documentaries and special edition content), Randy Wells (Lions Gate Executive Director of Marketing), Blaine Graboyes (Media Architect for Studio Cognito, a leader in DVD Design/Production), Mark Rowen (DVD producer of blockbusters such as the Indy Jones Trilogy and many Dreamworks titles), and Jim Ramo (CEO of Movielink, top purveyor of VOD -- Video on Demand).


The main topic was the future of DVD production -- which by all accounts looks, well, Universally bright. New formats like HD DVD, said one panelist, just means more work for DVD producers -- since it gives studios a reason to revisit old movie titles and release them in the improved format. (So hey, perhaps this is one bright spot on the nation's job front -- an actual area of our economy not hearing a giant sucking sound from overseas workforces.)


Of course, one might wonder if some titles get TOO much revisiting -- like, are there too too many T2 titles? Special Edition, Ultimate Edition, Extreme Edition -- can constant creation continually confuse or confound consumers? Perhaps. Too many titles and formats CAN cause conundrums for some, but isn't more stuff (extra footage, more featurettes, easter eggs), at better quality, always preferable to less? Studios seem to agree; today's mantra is: if you release it, they will come.


Main conclusions I drew from the panel: DVD is not only here to stay for the foreseeable future, it is growing... the combo of DVDs and DVRs (a la TiVo) means the rumors of VHS's death might NOT have been greatly exaggerated... new increased-storage technologies like Blu-Ray (record up to 27GB) and Blue Laser (read-only at 15-30GB per side, rewrite at 20-40GB) may supplant today's standard (8.5GB max), but should only broaden DVD's Mastery and Command of the home entertainment seas... and finally, DVD producers really like the Charades game on the FINDING NEMO DVD. (Such extras are what makes DVDs increasingly appealing to consumer purchasers, who could easily opt for Movielink's inexpensive VOD rental instead; if you're thinking of trying it, one low rental fee gets you 24hrs to watch a VOD film as much as you want, then it stays on your hard drive for a month during which you can re-rent it).


To find out more about PGA, visit http://www.producersguild.org - or see the New Media Council page at http://www.pganewmedia.org/pnm/index1.html . Special thanks to NMC PR rep Phillip Nakov for his help on this event. 







Dr. Don Rose

Entertainment and Technology Writer

Publisher & Editor In Chief, The Rose Review

Reporter, Radio Parallax, KDVS FM

310 729 1683

[email protected]

Published on Dec 31, 1969

View the Full Article | Return to the Site