DVD and Blu-ray discs

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Howard-Smith
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DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Howard-Smith »

It’s a shame that this forum has fallen into disuse recently. I check most days to see if anyone has posted anything new but there’s been nothing since last month so I’ve thought of a new topic to raise.
I’m a big fan of Blu-ray discs. While I obviously stream films from Netflix, Amazon Prime etc., not all films are available to stream by any means. My most recent purchase is the little seen 1969 thriller “I Start Counting” starring the lovely Jenny Agutter. The disc is packed with extras including long interviews with the scriptwriter Richard Harris and with Jenny Agutter herself talking about her memories of making the film.
My Blu-ray player is multi-region and I was pleased to import a Blu-ray from the USA of the first X Certificate film I saw at the cinema in 1968, “P.J.” aka “New Face in Hell” directed by John Guillermin starring George Peppard, Raymond Burr and Gayle Hunnicutt with whom I corresponded briefly about this film about 10 years ago. This obscure hard-edged thriller has never been shown on British television and has never been made available in the UK for home viewing.
I still make physical discs of my own films on Blu-ray and DVD to give to actors and other people involved with the films but I’m saddened that more and more people have chosen to dispose of their players and therefore can’t play the discs. I would never do this as I have hundreds of DVDs many of which are of films unavailable for streaming. To my mind, it’s really good to have a physical copy of a film in a case to put on a shelf. I suspect that most of the people who don’t bother with discs are ONLY interested in watching new stuff on streaming and don’t bother with older films. A few years ago a friend in her thirties told me she would never watch a black & white film as she’d never seen one that was any good. I was left speechless.
Anyway, I’m submitting all my current entries to BIAFF 2022 on Blu-ray Discs as well as supplying the Vimeo links. Long live Blu-ray.
Michael Slowe
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Michael Slowe »

Never have I felt more in agreement with a post than I am with this one from Howard. Both his and mine should be emblazoned all over the next issue of the magazine!

I simply cannot understand, nor come to terms with, the demise of discs. I think that the catalyst was Apple's disgraceful decision to discourage them by omitting the disc slot in their computers. Then there was the eagerness of "the business" to work solely with files, due of course, to the necessity and ease of transmitting over a network of working bases. However, for the consumers of produced media, there is nothing as simple and convenient as discs. You can easily stop and start playing as you desire, players are cheap and compatible with TVs and all the problems (that I have) with streaming are avoided. What is more, you can easily identify the production from the printed face of the disc.

I often ask wedding videographers what they provide for relatives and little old ladies, and they say discs. The young people, as Howard says, don't use them and in any case their computers can't now play them, and they look at everything on their computers or, perish the thought, on their iphones!
Files are of course an integral part of our film making as far as archiving and transferring productions, but the finished article is best presented to the consumer on a disc, nicely printed with all the relevant information which can't possibly be fitted on a "stick", no matter how many Gigs might be contained within it.

I'm with Howard also on the enjoyment of all the material that can't be accessed on the streaming devices. Discs will long outlive the old VHS tapes, whose demise none of us regret, and I'm delighted to note that most commercial producers appear to be continuing to supply their productions on discs. I too send my BIAFF entries on Blu-Ray disc but have to admit that most other festivals are entered through Film Freeway, who rely entirely on files.

Finally, yes Howard, this Forum seems to have lost its audience. This is a pity, it is such a great way for us film makers to communicate and attempt to change the world.
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

I miss the extras that DVD and Blue-Ray have, all the behind the scenes and various aspects of how the film was made. I always study these very carefully and have leaned so much, but alas with streamed movies, it is no more.

I think there is a push to further monopolise and control the whole media industry, whereas DVD and Blue-Ray could be also be used by independents. So the gap between independent artistic comment and the power of big money gets wider and wider -- which I feel is a very sinister situation.
Michael Slowe
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Michael Slowe »

Not sinister Jameela as much as irritating. The industry as a whole favours files now, overwhelmingly, purely as a matter of convenience, I think that your reference to 'sinister' is a bit dramatic, rather on the lines of 'anti vax'.
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TimStannard
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by TimStannard »

Another angle to this discussion.

As some of you know, Martine and I often film local school nativities and productions.
We have offered DVDs for years and more recently 1080p files for download. There has been no interest in BluRay.
It seems the primary schools in particuylar still have a preference for the DVDs - and this is because they get the whole package - they like to see their child's photo on the cover and like the artwork in general. Theres' a feeling of "getting somthing" simply because it's physical.
There is also the advantage of the menu system - I provide menus whereby they can jump straight to whatever song (or sometimes scene) they want.
By the time secondary school rolls around,, they have enough memorabilia and just want to vide the film (probably on their phone)

The problem with providing files is they are just so simple to copy. I've no knowledge of any "pirating" going on (and sales don't seem to have dropped off) but I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I'm a known entity - a "fellow parent" if you like. As people come to think of me as just another person making a profit (in their eyes) I suspect they'll start to distribute copies.

Yes, I know it's easy to pirate a DVD as well, but it takes a bit more effort than just copying an mp4.

Books tell a similar story. I used to have shelves of books I'd read once. Now I just have a Kindle.

But there's a positive side to the demise of DVDs/BluRays too. I realise this is not the reason industry has made the move to files, but the plastic boxes and the media itself is pretty dreadful for the environment. I dread to think how many DVDs (and fewer BluRays) I've burned which have just gone to land fill.
Tim
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

Artists have always made comment about the world as they see it. Whether it be anti-war comments, or any other kind of tyranny or deception imposed upon the population.

I watched a DVD called "First Do No Harm", it was about better alternatives to the conventional treatment of Epilepsy. Very thought provoking, but is such as this available on any streaming channel?

So in this context, I value the independent voice, which could be shared much wider by DVD.
ned c
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by ned c »

I am on the side of discs and have a substantial collection and still make copies of most of my work .Apple are part of the problem; they are driven by computer people who seem to have little respect for their end users; DVD drives - gone; USB 3 -gone. For many years I used FCP to v7; destroyed.

However; another business driven pressure is at work; eliminate the costs and the problems of physical distribution; by using cloud based files. Netfix for example save the costs of sending out, recovering, testing, repackaging and sending out again and ultimate replacement with all the associated handling which will require the intervention of people at some stages; keep costs low as people are often the most expensive part of a process.

This is why software subscription is so attractive to the suppliers; good cash flow; low piracy; no distribution costs.

ned c
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

I think amateur and micro budget independent film makers are limited by distribution rather than anything else. The quality of amateur work can be very high, but the gap is widening between those commercial productions that get on Netflix, and the rest.

It is not about creativity or originality, but about money.

DVDs can be pressed out in mass production, or they can be burned individually, but all can be played on the same modestly priced player attached to a TV. So there is a seamless transition from small producer to large. But internet streaming changes that. I know amateur video can be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo or private websites, but this is not the same as 'distribution'...

In a world now with so much content online, how do people find what will be of interest to them that they don't know about? ...Don't rely on Google, it is a massive commercial enterprise.

The physical media of a disk has its own advert, and it can be passed between people.

Distribution is the limiting factor, and I don't yet have an answer.
Ken Wilson
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Ken Wilson »

I have quite a bit to say on this subject, so will return later. But just to briefly say this time that well done to Howard for raising this important subject. I am in total agreement with Howard and also this time with Michael too as discs shouldn`t be abandoned/ destroyed and I have no intention of getting rid of the DVD/ Blu ray players I have here or the large collection of DVDs and Blu-ray discs we watch on a regular basis. But as I say, there is much more to say on this one.
I have to go now as I am editing another wedding video which will be supplied on DVDs as all the others before it have been.
Ken
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Howard-Smith
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Howard-Smith »

I’m glad that there’s a consensus of opinion about discs. Part of my enjoyment of making films is designing the Case covers and the ‘labels’ to print straight onto the discs. Also discs encourage people to watch films on a proper screen rather than on their smart phones.
Recently I felt offended and disappointed when a ‘friend’ who was, along with his wife, involved with two or three of my films between 2008 and 2012, gave me the DVDs of the films back saying they would never be played again and so I could have them back so I could recycle the boxes. I’d rather he’d have privately thrown them away.
tom hardwick
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by tom hardwick »

Very interesting thread we have here, Team, on a subject dear to my heart too. It could well be duplicated on the 'equipment and technical' forum pages (and in FVM) as well.

I too love the extras on DVDs and BDs, and gasp at the amount of info a tiny spinning disc can hold.

But as regards film competitions I feel that files top discs every single time, whether the judges sit at home or side-by-side. I've seen too many films stumble at the judging session - lost loops and iffy focus in the film days, tracking and NTSC problems in tape days, DVDs freezing, Blu-rays stuttering, and lots more problems besides.

HD and 4K Files viewed over YouTube are smooth, sharp, perfect on my 65 OLED. Bring it on for film competitions I say. But for home entertainment? Blu-ray it is, and that's 1920x1080 Blu-ray. It's BITINGLY sharp, and I can understand the reluctance of the consumer to go 4K BD.
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

IAC members almost by definition are Enthusiasts, and as such are likely to have internet enabled computers connected to decent size screens with decent speakers. So for our community, sharing large files in high resolution is quite possible.

However, for many people nowadays, they have their smartphone and they have their TV - two separate spheres: and despite what is claimed of screen casting, I remain unimpressed at connecting the two spheres. Last night I transferred a 16GB file from my desktop to my old laptop, then connected it to a large screen TV by HDMI cable... Only "enthusiasts" would go to such trouble.

So to share our creations beyond our own "community of enthusiasts", the disk is an easy way for other people to watch on their TV.

Alas this independence is being deprecated.
Ken Wilson
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by Ken Wilson »

On discs Vs downloads etc.
I still love my DVDs and Blu ray discs. The advantages are that,
1/ You get all the "Making of" extras on the discs which you don`t get on services such as Netflix. For film makers, this is a huge plus!
2/ We have watched the occasional film or programme on Netflix and despite having a good download speed which has been checked by BT, we do still sometimes get a "freeze" when everything stops and the message appears saying there has been a problem and we should check connections (which are all ok and unchanged) and then finally that we should try again later! Not very good when you are well into something when you have to leave it. Rather like coming out of a cinema mid-way though a film screening...something I have NEVER done even with bad films. This interruption doesn`t occur watching a disc.

I also like the physical article such as a CD or a DVD or Blu-ray disc on my purpose built shelves. You can browse the titles to decide what you are going to choose to play and have the actual disc in it`s box in your hand.

Our youngest son (never a HUGE film fan) threw away his DVD player and discs, but since buying a caravan for family holidays, bought a new player and borrows my discs to pay on their trips away. The other older son likes his films. He does mostly watch Netflix or Sky but still keeps his DVDs etc and watches them still. He also borrows mine and we discuss the ones he has seen as we would after going to a cinema screening .

The one probable advantage to many people (though not to me) of watching them via internet services is that of cost; it`s cheaper than buying. As this is not of concern to a big film enthusiast, there is NO advantage. I mainly buy Blu-rays of new films and blockbusters but still will buy a DVD when it`s a lesser film and at a bargain price. These still look great on a large screen TV when upscaled

Almost all our wedding videos are still supplied on DVDs. No one asks for Blu-rays. Only a handful have asked for a copy on USB.
So that`s the state of play from here. It`s just the concern that the market stays large enough for companies to continue to produce discs.
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TimStannard
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by TimStannard »

Jameela M Boardman wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:47 am So to share our creations beyond our own "community of enthusiasts", the disk is an easy way for other people to watch on their TV.
I WAS going to respond that this contradicts Howard's original post and the fact that fewer and frewer people have the means to play Discs nowadays.

And then Ken blew up this argument with his comments about his sons. I wonder how far this is replicated though.
Tim
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TimStannard
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Re: DVD and Blu-ray discs

Post by TimStannard »

Ken Wilson wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:21 pm The one probable advantage to many people (though not to me) of watching them via internet services is that of cost; it`s cheaper than buying.
I think cost does come into it. Realistically, how often will you watch a film? Maybe as an enthusiast you'll want to dip in to parts of a film occasionally, but I can probably count on the fingers on one hand the number of (commercial) films I've watched more than twice.

But cost isn't the main benefit. The real benefit is availability and accessibility (convenience). If Martine and I suddenly discover we have a free night in, we can browse Prime or Netflix and choose a film we've always meant to watch and watch it there and then***. Anything else required planning, even if you're getting it delivered same day via Amazon Prime.

This is also a benefit to the manufacturers. £4.99 for the rental of a film is income as opposed to us not spending £20 (or anything at all) on a BluRay. The immediacy also panders to the impulse purchase.

*** This is, of course, the "Little House on the Prarie" version of events. In reality there would be 30 minutes of indecision followed by 10 minutes of argument before reaching an aqgreement to compromise then another 20 minutes of indecision about what to compromise on, followed by agreement that it's now too late to watch anything and retirement to bed with a book (well, a pair of Kindles)
Tim
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