NICK REDMAN / TWILIGHT TIME (2011 / 2012)

February 5, 2012 | By

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March 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of Twilight Time, one of several independent video labels whose goal is to release catalogue titles that have slipped under the radar of the major labels, such 1952’s My Cousin Rachel, and the relatively recent Fright Night (1985).

When the interviews for this label profile took place in late November of 2011, the home video business had already gone through several substantive changes from which there’s basically no going back: less classic films are being released by the major studios on DVD and Blu-ray, and the very nature of how these films are being release has started the move from the once bountiful seasonal boxed sets, themed actor & director collections, series, and tribute reissues, to an on-demand style of distribution.

This is an important stage in the ongoing evolution of film distribution, because from the debut of the videotape, studios have been wrestling with the issue of what constitutes an old film’s worth, if not the desire to maintain absolute ownership as titles slowly fall into the realm known as Public Domain: roughly 50 to 70 years after the “creation of publication,” a work loses its copyrighted status and can be reproduced, distributed and sold by anyone, as there is no rights holder. (Copyright term limits have been extended in recent years in the United Stares and Europe, making the simplest definition of a copyrighted work rather tenuous.)

A film’s worth during the 1920s through the 1940s was ostensibly tied to its ability to make money through its first-run domestic and international release, and reissues. When television became a venue to sell packages of old film catalogues to TV during the 1940s and 1950s, classic movies were given a third life, and whole libraries of once-dead stock circulated domestically and internationally on the Idiot Box.

This proved useful, as studios realized the ongoing circulation of their product on the small screen ensured certain stars, genres, and series remained popular, if not familiar with new generations of movie fans. However, it became clear over time that viewing habits could no longer be fully controlled: if one could see old movies – any movies – for free on TV, why pay to see a movie in a theatre, with added travel, parking, and food costs?

Videotape democratized the process of viewing, renting, and taping classic films on a massive scale because the gear and the media (pre-recorded and blank) were available everywhere, and while initially viewed by studios as a threat to theatrical revenues, the formal genesis of home video spawned the biggest exploitation of catalogue material. From VHS to Beta, laserdisc to DVD, every kind of film from around the world seemed to exist on physical media whose only restrictions were, in the case of DVD, formal region coding, or TV standards like PAL, NTSC, and SECAM for older tape and disc-based formats

Studios still owned the bulk of their film catalogue, and there seemed to be no end to the venues where a single movie could live on; if not on tape or disc, then pay-per-view, pay TV, specialty cable channels, and syndication.

But by 2011, the profitability of older catalogue material – in terms of 15-20 year old films – had started to wane, and the standard distribution model of pressing tens of thousands of copies of a 1942 noir, a 1958 soap opera, a 1975 disaster film, or a 1982 drive-in horror film wasn’t logical. The solutions have included not releasing anything, only reissuing top-selling catalogue titles, licensing titles to independent labels, and self-distributing titles through online-only venues as streamed, digitally downloadable, or pressed on-demand DVD-Rs.

The current state of the industry is more unstable than it’s ever been because no one can see where it’ll settle for a while, and studios are attempting to meet demand of a consumer base whose behavioral methods of experiencing, acquiring, and archiving products is still changing. Exactly what films will remain popular is unknown; whether current interest in a specific range of catalogue titles will evaporate forever within a handful of years is unknown; and whether the concept of copyright will shift from something absolute towards degrees of limited ownership is unknown.

Twilight Time isn’t alone in recognizing the value of older films, their importance to film history, and a hungry fan base starving for new goodies, but the label represents an example of how classic films may end up surviving on a physical medium, and reaching an increasingly smaller / niche audience of classic film fans.

The first of this multi-part label profile begins with a discussion with Nick Redman, a veteran of the soundtrack business (including specialty labels Bay Cities, and later Fox Records), co-producer of the Oscar-Nominated documentary The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage (1997), and now producer at Twilight Time, co-founded with Brian Jamieson, and whose titles are exclusively distributed by veteran online soundtrack merchant Screen Archives Entertainment.

At the end of this Q&A are several links towards related interviews & articles that expand on subjects, topics, and issues touched upon in this discussion.

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Mark R. Hasan: With studios cutting back on the release of older titles, I’m curious if you find Twilight Time’s ‘timing’ has been ideal in tapping into the classic film collector demand the studios have largely abandoned?

Nick Redman: You could say that was a very important aspect to Twilight Time’s [TT] starting. I don’t think we could’ve started TT had the studios been doing the same thing today that they were doing in 2007.

At Fox, where I’ve been involved since the early nineties running the catalog music restoration program (which is ongoing), we pioneered the limited edition market, and we’ve also continued working with Fox Home Entertainment over the years doing isolated scores, commentary tracks, all kinds of things to tie-in with Fox Home Ent.

At the end of 2010, it was becoming apparent that Fox, like every other studio, was completely dropping out of the catalogue DVD business, and so it seemed logical to go to them and say ‘Look, you know what we’ve been doing with limited editions soundtracks for the past couple of decades. Why don’t we have a go at doing it with DVDs?’ and that’s how it began.

MRH: I don’t know if it’s the business arrangement that exists between Fox North America vs. Fox Europe where there are a number of classic films still being released in Spain or Germany, for example, but with very few exceptions, in North America it’s virtually dried up.

NR: When we’re doing the soundtracks, we kind of control the market here in North America, in the sense that we put out the soundtrack and Fox in Europe or some other label does not put it out in some other territory due to various rights agreements.

We discovered that’s not the case with the DVD business where the territories act completely independently. I mean, there is no reciprocal arrangement between Fox North America and Fox Spain, Fox France, Fox U.K., and Fox anywhere else. For those people, if they have adequate masters in the Fox territories, they’ll put out what they can do, and if they want to continue doing classic films for a while, they will do so.

Fox America doesn’t tell them what to do, and it seems has no interest in what they’re doing. For example, we’ve noticed that for a couple of foreign releases, where they’ve come out as 16×9 high-def masters, we don’t have high-def masters on those titles in the Fox vaults, and we have no access to them. That’s something that was generated by the foreign territories and not generated by Fox America.

MRH: Is it unusual that Fox wouldn’t create a definitive digital master for all territories and ancillary markets, much in the way Sony has done for their catalogue, and Warner Home Video have done by mastering some region-free Blu-ray titles with multiple language and subtitle tracks, leaving it up to the territorial distribution arms to address native packaging nuances?

NR: I can only assume policies differ from studio to studio, and perhaps that it is the way it is for new releases and certain older blockbusters, but not for the majority of deep-catalogue titles.

Fox America seems to have given up on catalogue titles, but it’s not just Fox; it’s every studio. What is strange to me is the coming of the high-def market was a huge problem because it came too soon.

When DVD arrived in the late 1990s, it converted the American public from renters to buyers. That was always going to be the big thing with DVD: were they going to be successful in converting a renting public into a buying public? They succeeded tremendously well. Then when the hi-def master became possible in the home, it was just too much change-too soon for the majority to consider upgrading their collections.

Then there was the competing war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray. People became incredibly confused just as they had done way back in the Betamax-VHS days, so that put a lot of people off of upgrading. And then when that war was settled and Blu-ray had won, there wasn’t enough interest in it. It settled into a niche market like laserdisc, so the studios thought ‘You know, maybe it’s not worth supporting as much as we thought it was.’

MRH: I’ve certainly noticed that on the font lines, as I was there when we carried the two HD formats and people just sort of looked at it and thought ‘Well, I just bought a DVD player after holding out for many years. Why do I want to get something new?”

Then there was the issue of pricing, and the variety of available new and catalogue titles. The studios didn’t know exactly what genres to support, so they offered one classic, two comedies, a few dramas, and some action, and it was a really strange mish-mash of titles coming out with high price points. Nobody was buying them, and it sort of contributed to the format being pushed to the margins like laserdiscs for a while.

I’m curious of your thoughts on the Movies on Demand [MOD] format, which is part of the studios’ plans to reassert themselves through digital downloads & custom releases?

NR: I think the general idea, much as they will deny it point blank, is to go gradually to streaming and piping it directly to your home and bypass a physical media. I’m not going to say that it’s a long-term goal, but it’s not that far away, and depending on who you talk to, 5-7 years at the very most.

What we were able to recognize in starting TT is exactly the same principle that happened in the nineties when major labels started to back away completely from soundtracks: it became a niche label business.

We never thought (and I never dreamed) the day would come so quickly that the DVD business – which was so big just 4 years ago with the studios, deriving so much revenue – would be a business that they would allow to dwindle away. It’s going to devolve to a niche label business; it’s going to be labels like TT, Criterion, Image Entertainment – all the ones that we know about – and it’s going to be exclusively a sub-license business for physical media, with the studios owning and controlling all forms of streaming and downloading.

I think the Warner model that began with their on-demand DVD-R is a strange one. It’s good in the sense that yes, you can buy a DVD-R of your favourite movie if they deem it worthwhile to put it out, but it seems awfully strange to me that you would pay say $19.95 to Warners for a glitchy DVD-R, $26.98 if you’re buying it from Amazon, and that they are selling their catalogue Blu-rays for $10, like Bullitt. It seems to me that the pricing is topsy-turvy.

With laserdisc, they treated it the way it should’ve been treated, which was as a premium product, albeit it was so expensive in those days. I find it amusing that many people squawk about the price of TT Blu-rays because some are $34.95 and some are $29.95, and they scream that that’s so expensive when it’s not out of line with Criterion’s price point, and so much better than it was 20 years ago when you were paying routinely $120 for a Criterion laserdisc.

MRH: I’m assuming part of TT’s pricing model is to support the rights you have to negotiate to build up a small cache so that you can continue to develop titles so that the label has an ongoing title roster?

NR: Well, the limited edition model of 3,000 units per title was exactly the same with what we started at Fox in 1995 with CDs. It appeals to the studios because for them it’s a model that eradicates paperwork. In other words, we say to them ‘We’re going to do 3,000 only for “X” title,’ and they say ‘Fine, how much are you going to pay,’ and we work out a per unit rate which they then get in advance.

With that hit it’s one payment and they’re out of it; and then we have the 3,000 units that we hope that we’re able to sell. If we’re going to release, let’s say, 2 titles per month, which is what our current plan is, we have to make sure that we get to our break-even point, which is basically 1,500 minimum on each title in order to pay forward the royalty obligations for the next month’s titles.

It’s a much cleaner model than say licensing 50 films from them and saying ‘We’ll pay you a $50,000 or $100,000 advance against royalties,’ because then they’re dealing with royalty statements every quarter, and of course if you’re distributing through the usual ‘bricks & mortar’ outlet you have to deal with things like returns, and that’s when it becomes incredibly messy, paperwork-driven, and utterly confusing. It’s a tangle the studios don’t really want to be involved with because it creates a job on top of a job

We knew that this limited edition model was the cleanest and the easiest; the one that wouldn’t sink us into debt; and make it easiest for everybody all around. It’s hard on us only because we have to front the money for the royalties, and then if we don’t sell well enough on a particular title, then that becomes a losing proposition, but that’s a chance we thought was worth taking.

MRH: Do you find that your background in soundtracks also helped a great deal in terms of which business models work, where the flaws are, and so on?

NR: Yes, I think it did in this particular case, because working in conjunction with Screen Archives Entertainment (SAE), who I’ve worked off and on since the late eighties, we know that we had sort of one big soundtrack mail order company that could effectively consume most of the niche labels’ products.

Basically, without SAE, labels like Kritzerland, La-La Land, FSM, and any of those who already sell through their own websites would be in a bit of a pickle. SAE has become in a sense (and I mean this facetiously) the AIG of soundtracks. It is the operation, if you like, or the octopus that controls all of those niche labels’ output and finds a home for them.

Their worldwide mailing list is basically the soundtrack market, so when we began working with SAE years ago on various soundtrack-related projects, we realized that what they did – by effectively going online, by effectively eliminating bricks & mortar retail – was, in a sense, eradicate one of the biggest problems: distribution.

They ended the problem of going to a third-party distributor who then sold your products to all kinds of stores and accounts all over the country, and then dealing with the problem of half of that product coming back 6 months later because every store in America has the right to return anything they can’t sell. That creates enormous accounting, and it makes the labels unsure of what they’re doing. You can’t be sure how many you’ve sold; you can only be sure of how many you’ve shipped, but you never know how many are coming back.

SAE is a no-return business because they will take a certain amount of a limited edition quantity of every single label in the soundtrack business. They sell them over a period of time, but those are sales – they are not shipped numbers – so therefore it gives everyone an accurate idea of what’s selling. In other words, you get a very clear and quick idea of whether a title is going to move its limited edition quantity, or whether it’s going to stall and sit there for sometimes years.

When we began TT and we instituted this limited edition / DVD-Blu-ray model, I went to SAE because we knew they were the best in the business at this particular thing. They are after all the sort of grandfather of it. We said to them ‘We will sell you the TT DVDs on exactly the same basis; in other words you won’t get stuck because you only pay us for the ones you actually sell.’ There are only 3,000, so therefore 3,000 are warehoused, and SAE works their way through them on a sale-by-sale basis. That way no one is compromised with things that we think are sold but in reality aren’t sold. It makes sense.

MRH: With Mysterious Island, was there any kind of restoration you had to do yourself or had Sony already done the work?

NR: Sony does everything, and they’re particularly ahead of the game because they’re doing 2K and 4K scans and protection masters of as many of their films as they can, regardless of whether or not their own studio or anyone else is going to release those things on Blu-ray. They already have a substantial list of catalogue titles that are what we call ‘Blu-ray ready.’

When I call Sony and I say ‘We’d like to license a batch of titles,’ I first talk to Grover Crisp (Senior Vice-President in charge of Asset Management at Sony) who tells me what’s in the hopper – what’s been done, what is currently being worked on, what they’re likely to tackle next – and they start with what the studio wants to do themselves versus what the studio would like to license out to other labels. We then sort of cherry pick our titles based on that information.

We don’t touch the masters at all. We’re not restoration experts. They are shipped by Sony or Fox to our authoring and compression facility, [and when all of the capturing is done], the masters are returned to the studio. We are only issuing titles that are, in a sense, ‘ready to go.’

MRH: Were you involved in the isolated score track on the Mysterious Island Blu-ray?

NR:  I was to the extent that I hired Mike Matessino to do it for me. We had to go from every source that existed, which included the old CD on Cloud Nine Records. That disc had been derived from Columbia’s own LCR, which is a left-centre-right track stereo mix and has some separation, but is not terrifically wide. It is almost as Mike Matessino likes to call it a sort of a ‘fat mono,’ but that CD release was incomplete.

Sony’s restored stems also had big holes in them, and there were huge numbers of drop-outs and things like that. There’s also the M&E (music and effects) track, but unfortunately in particularly busy scenes, such as ‘buzzing bees’ or ‘crashing surf,’ there isn’t any way to get those effects out, so using every source at his disposal, Mike cobbled together the isolated score so that every cue is there, but some of them still have the effects.

We had a screening of the film at the Egyptian theatre in Hollywood, and one in the audience asked afterwards why had I called it an isolated score track in this case if it was really a music & effects track, and I said ‘Well, it’s not really a music & effects track, it’s both: it’s a hybrid.’

When we did Fate is the Hunter, we identified the isolated score track as an isolated music & effects track because that was the truth: it was mostly culled from the music & effects track. In the case of Mysterious Island it is mostly culled from the music tracks, probably in percentage terms about 70% from the music and about 30% from the M&E tracks, so therefore it didn’t seem right to call it an M&E track; that would be misleading.

I have told the labels that have called me about doing a new soundtrack album that’s it’s probably not worth it because you can’t do anymore than the Cloud Nine CD; it might sound a little bit better, but there’s nothing more to add that doesn’t have the sound effects on it.

MRH: The Root of Heaven, which you just released on Blu-ray, contains an isolated mono track of Malcolm Arnold’s score. Do most of the CinemaScope films that were exhibited in stereo and surround sound survive with stereo music stems, or is Roots an example of stereo master tapes that are no longer extant due to various circumstances?

NR: Fox certainly retains separate stereo music elements on most of their CinemaScope films, but oddly, in the cases of the “overseas” productions – where the music was not recorded in the US, like Roots of Heaven – only mono mix-downs or in some instances, nothing at all, remains.

MRH: Was Mysterious Island one of the titles that you’d always wanted to release?

NR: Not really. Again, Grover will say ‘Do you have any interest in…’ For example, that’s how we got Fright Night. I never would’ve thought of Fright Night in a million years. They simply said ‘Look, have you heard of this movie? A remake has just come out and we just did a real nice beautiful Blu-ray transfer of it, but the studio decided that it wasn’t interested in releasing it, so would you like to do it?’

MRH: That’s really fascinating, because it is a huge cult favourite-

NR: As I have subsequently found out. I didn’t know that, and in fact I had never seen the film prior to getting involved in releasing it. I called a couple of sci-fi and horror nuts that I know, and they said ‘Oh my God, Fright Night is one of the most beloved films of the eighties. You have to put that out.’ So we did it based on that.

A lot of the scuttlebutt on the message boards is like ‘How come this crappy label TT is putting out this wonderful film? Why isn’t Sony doing it? ’ Well the truth is Sony isn’t doing most of their catalogue films, just as every other studio isn’t doing most of its catalogue films.

MRH: For you, does part of the learning curve as a home video producer include reading comments from message boards or discussions?

NR: I’d like to say yes but I think the truth is really no… If three people write you and say ‘You must put out (fill in the blank title)’, what those three people that are passionate about a film don’t realize is that they would be the three people that would buy it.

Even with something like the Fright Night Blu-ray, the message boards are agog with the fact that Sony is ‘crazy’ that they’re not doing it themselves, yet if Sony did it and had spent the money to release it and market it and then ship 50,000-100,000 units or more than that, they would find that 90,000 of those units would be back in their warehouse in 6 months time.

We haven’t sold out of the 3,000 units yet (and I didn’t expect it to) but the message board people would then say ‘It’s pretty amazing that this rinky-dink outfit hasn’t sold the 3,000 copies,’ and then it becomes our fault that we didn’t sell them, or it’s too expensive, or it doesn’t have any extras, or any other fill-in-the-blank reason why people don’t buy it. They just can’t accept the actual truth, which is there aren’t many people who do want these things, and that is the sad reality of the business that we’re in.

[Editor’s note: Fright Night is now the label’s first sold out title.]

MRH: That’s one of the things I’ve noticed when discussing issues of sales with other soundtrack producers. Sometimes I’m just stunned when they’ll say ‘Well, we haven’t sold that many,’ and I’ll wonder how the heck is that possible?

When Kritzerland, for example, releases 1,000 copies of a title by an A-list composer, you’d think there has to be 1,000 people that would want this; or 500 people that would want a never-before released Ennio Morricone score via an Italian label, or some of the amazing composers represented by Film Score Monthly [FSM], and yet there are titles still listed by vendors as ‘for sale,’ with large stocks on the shelves. I find that baffling because maybe 10 years ago, it would’ve been very different.

NR: I’ll give you an absolute cast-iron example. As recently as say 1991 – that was 20 years ago – it was impossible to get a deal with studios to release catalogue soundtracks, because at that time the re-use payment which was mandated by the American Federation of Musicians made it financially impossible: you would’ve basically had to have paid $50,000 in re-use payments to release any soundtrack that FSM has put out in the last 15 years; not one of them would’ve been possible just 5 years earlier.

Fox was the first studio to have the foresight to say ‘We have all of these wonderful catalogue soundtracks that were never released – ever – so can we put them on CD?’ which is what they originally hired me to do back in 1993.

We started doing it at that time on Fox’s own label, which was distributed through and by Arista. It was part of a big distribution machine, so the cost of doing it could be offset against a certain number of things, but by the time 1995-1996 rolled around and Arista wasn’t as interested in doing those things anymore, Fox decided to let go its own record label and its regular record label staff. I stayed on because I was a consultant, and we tried to figure out with Fox Music’s business affairs, how could we keep it going when the demand for the music was so low, but the price for doing the music was so high.

So, working in conjunction with FSM, I said to [label owner / magazine publisher Lukas Kendall] ‘What if we distributed Fox CDs just through your magazine and we go to the union and we call it ‘the magazine rate?’ They become limited editions, 3,000 units only, they’re sold as part of the subscription to your magazine.’

On that basis, Fox Music business affairs people went to the union, and the union agreed for the first time that they would allow what they then started to refer to as ‘the magazine rate’ which was effective for limited editions, and Fox started releasing a bunch of its titles through the auspices of FSM.

Now, you may have noticed recently that Lukas has decided that he was going to close down his label, and has recently been writing on his website the history of every CD that he put out. He talks about how many were pressed and how many were sold and how many are left, and that shows you that right back in the mid- to late-nineties, 3,000 units for most catalogue soundtracks was too high a number.

We decided on 3,000 because we thought ‘Hell, we’re talking about world-wide. Is there 3,000 people in the world that would support basically a good percentage of catalogue soundtrack releases?’ and we found over the years that mostly to be untrue. Now how shocking is that? There are not 3,000 people in the world that would buy a catalogue soundtrack, or most catalogue soundtracks.

MRH: There have been some cult titles that were expected to sell out, or by complete surprise, sold out in a matter of days.

NR: For every Predator that sold out in 24 hours or every Commando, there’s a Lust for Life by Miklos Rozsa that will sit there for 20 years and not sell at all, and it’s horrible to think that today.

I love the music of Alfred Newman; for me he’s like a personal odyssey, and every time I convince one of our little record labels to go with an Alfred Newman title, I know I am shooting them in the foot because I know Alfred Newman won’t sell at all. And he doesn’t, and nor does David Raksin, and nor does a number of other people.

I’m torn between constantly trying to preserve the legacy of these composers’ works and having to convince somebody to put money into something that I know is basically a losing proposition.

MRH: I got FSM’s Raksin set as part of a bonus gift order, and while it was always on my list of sets-to-get, the price was a bit high for me at the time, and when I finally listened to the set I was just blown away by it. I’d always liked his writing, but I was stunned at how good he was, and it’s definitely one of my favourite sets.

I wonder if its failure to sell well is due to several generations of film music fans and film fans who don’t know who these people are. When I started collecting LPs, theirs was largely the music one would find in new & used shops, but today they have to compete with reissues & new releases of music by several generations of composers coming from every conceivable background, discipline, music stream, and country. There’s simply a wealth of music that never existed so readily to buyers before.

I also wonder if that’s similar with the catalogue movies. Enhanced by an aversion to black & white cinematography, non-widescreen formats, and actors they’ve never heard of, the films are disappearing because several generations can’t related to their technicalities, style, or content. It’s alarming to think that for many catalogue titles – be they studio or even grungy exploitation films – the target market is comprised of a small group of aging film fans.

NR: I know that our audience is aging fast, particularly when it comes to the TT stuff. It’s called Twilight Time for a reason; that was a joke title: the sun is setting on the world of physical media, and it’s also setting on the generations of people that actually care about it. This is a race against time, you know, because it’s all going to come to an end in a very short period, and it’s just becoming a race to get out as much stuff before the curtain comes down.

MRH: Compared to the soundtrack grey-level and bootleg market that was ridiculously prolific in the nineties, there’s far less (if not miniscule) illegal CD activity today because it’s pretty much gone digital via P2P file-sharing and archive sites like Megaupload. It’s less clear whether the current circumvention activities have been as detrimental as the illegal CDs that once flooded the market.

NR: Yes, they were causing some damage unquestionably in the nineties. I think with the file sharing it’s hard to say how much damage that really does. There’s no way to control it or stop it, and of course you’ve got the European copyright laws where everything is basically going into the public domain after 50 years. This is all going to come to a colossal head very shortly when The Beatles’ catalogue is in the public domain. I think that’s when you’ll see real government legislation coming in to put an end to this kind of copyright absence that we see now.

And we’re also toying with a whole generation that’s grown up on the internet and effectively think everything should be free. I’m amused by the people that say on the message board ‘Well I won’t buy this TT Blu-ray for $29.95. I want to wait to when it’s $14,’ and then someone will write and say ‘Would you buy it at $14?’ ‘No… I’d rather wait until they came down to $7.99.’

In the end you’d have to give it to them for free and give them $5 just to take it off your hands. There never will be a point in time when it will be cheap enough for anybody because they live in a world unlike older generations, who knew that you had to go to a store and riffle through the LPs, and then select one and then go buy it; that whole very premise – choosing what you do or what you watch – has changed so exponentially.

MRH: This is purely conjecture, but each year another set of films is poised to fall into public domain [P.D.], that realm where copyright has lapsed, and a film can be legally downloaded from sites such as Archive.org.

I can’t help wondering if one benefit of the studios switching the distribution of their aging catalogue titles (particularly the P.D. material) to MOD and digital delivery is to maintain an impression of ongoing ownership in the consumer’s mind – that if it doesn’t come with a studio imprimatur, it’s not valid and / or will be a poor quality P.D. release.

As The Beatles is the crown jewel in their current owner’s catalogue, Mickey Mouse and his brethren are equally valuable to Disney, but with the possibility that elements within the Disney empire will one day become P.D., I wonder if the studio’s ping-pong game of moratorium-reissue-moratorium every 4 years is also designed to present Disney as the ultimate and eternal guardian of its creations, since it owns the negatives, and has decades of stewarding its creations through new generations of physical media.

NR: Honestly, I don’t think I’m qualified to comment on this–inevitably, the studios and other major media asset owners are going to have to be proactive in some way to enforce copyright.

In the US, as you may have seen, Congress has been mulling over an online piracy bill that could fundamentally change the shape and functionality of the internet. It is known as SOPA, (Stop Online Piracy Act) and it has its advocates and detractors, but has recently been tabled because it is viewed as too problematic, too potentially damaging in wide-ranging ways to too many (innocent) web sites. However, regardless of the fate of this one bill, there will, in the not too distant future, be Government-sanctioned change, and then we will all have to get used to another brave new world.

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ALSO AVAILABLE :

In Part 2 of our Twilight Time label profile, film historian Julie Kirgo discusses her work writing liner notes for the label’s releases, and contributing value-added special features for DVD and Blu-rays, including commentary tracks.

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KQEK.com would like to thank Nick Redman for his generous time and candor.

More information on Twilight Time’s releases is available at Screen Archives Entertainment.

Additional interviews with Nick Redman are available online: 1994 interview with David Schecter, 2001 interview with Bruce Kimmel, 2011 interview with Jeffrey Kauffman at Blu-ray.com, and a lengthy 2011 interview with Adam Gregorich at the Home Theater Forum.

All images remain the property of their copyright holders.

This interview © 2011 / 2012 by Mark R. Hasan

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RELATED BLU-RAY and DVD REVIEWS:

Egyptian, The (1954) — Fate is the Hunter (1964) — Flim-Flam Man, The (1967) — Fright Night (1985) —  Kremlin Letter, The (1970) — Left Hand of God, The (1955) — My Cousin Rachel (1952) — Mysterious Island (1961) — Rapture (1965) — Stagecoach (1966) —  Violent Saturday (1955) — Woman Obsessed (1959)

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Category: DVD Label and Producer Profiles, INTERVIEWS

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