- May 29, 2006
Sound & Vision Magazine - 5 Shortcuts to Blu-ray Release
1. Stuff blows up
Quite simply, the most important criterion for choosing a Blu-ray release is a film that will best exploit the benefits of a high-end home system. "You want sexy-looking stuff that is going to make your system scream," says Steve Feldstein, spokesperson for Fox Home Entertainment. That means a movie with striking visuals and cinematography, jaw-dropping special effects, and booming sound. More often than not, these are big action movies, like Face/Off or Twister — the latter, one of the first titles released on DVD that's now getting a Blu-ray release. These are also the movies that the early adopters of Blu-ray (who are generally male) enjoy. In short, Feldstein says that what all of the Blu-ray titles have in common is great imagery. "In the early days of the format, it's key. It certainly was with DVD and laserdisc," he says.
2. There's a sequel out now
With a new installment of a franchise currently in theaters, studios will often look to release previous films. That's why Fox put out the first Die Hard movies, as well as the original Alien vs. Predator.
3. The title has proven popular in the past
George Feltenstein, senior VP of marketing for Warner Bros., says, "Films that have had a prior sales success in other media demand our attention." If it was a big hit on DVD, it's more likely to get the Blu-ray treatment.
4. Fans have been clamoring for it
True, a write-in campaign by the three fans of Nail Gun Massacre probably won't get any results, but the studios say they do take customer feedback into consideration. "I've been hearing from [fans] for 20 years," Feldstein says. "The Internet makes it even more democratic. We absolutely listen to our customers. We're looking at a lot of different properties."
The staff at Warner Bros. gets asked constantly about when titles from their voluminous library of classics will get the Blu-ray treatment. Sit tight. Feltenstein says indispensable titles, such as Gone With the Wind, Casablanca and Ben-Hur, are on the way.
5. The master doesn't need much cleaning up
"If we have a good looking hi-def master available, that would get a title out sooner than another title that might need full restoration," Feldstein says. "So quality elements is definitely a determining factor." Restoration is obviously time-consuming and expensive, and it's easier for the studios to release films that don't require much.