DVDs

MileFilms@aol.com
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 11:24:17 -0700 (PDT)

Just a quick note. I saw the first of these emails before lunch, went
upstairs for a sandwich and read my Video Store magazine (something all of
you should get, especially since it's free). Today's lead story is "A
Pressing Issue for DVD" which says that the studios were pressing 1-3 million
units last year, now are at 4-5 million and for the fall will be pressing up
to TEN MILLION DVDs each for their new big titles. I believe that this is a
faster rate of growth than CDs in their first three years. (I don't think
anyone is discussing how many LPs to buy of certain titles these days.)

At the same time, Milestone (through Image) is selling more DVDs of a title
(in most cases) than we did in VHS.

This is not a value judgement between the two formats (especially since I
prefer 35mm to anything) and I do believe in Darryl's statement that going
exclusively to DVD right now is a class structure issue to contend with in
public libraries. But with DVD players selling for as low as $159.00 (I
almost bought another one yesterday just because they were so cheap but
sanity kicked in), this will become less of an issue, hopefully. Also, the
cost of a DVD is not affecting most people since quite a bit of the unit
sales totals are to video stores where people are renting the titles on DVD
instead of video. DVD has been a very, very big boon to video stores because
the wholesale cost for each unit is decidedly lower and more and more people
are coming to their stores today because DVD is a brand-new toy in many
households.

At the same time, I am hoping two things:

a) Indie distributors will find a way to bring out their "educational" titles
on DVD and find a large enough library/institutional market to make up the
$10,000 additional investment for a new video master and compression.

b) That if they can't, I sincerely hope that titles won't go out of
distribution forever. I would guess that this did happen when 16mm changed to
video and distributors either couldn't afford or have original film
materials, to make a video master.

I hate to say that there will be a shake-up in the next year or two, but
there will be, especially when recordable DVD becomes readily available.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640-0128
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: Milefilms@aol.com
Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com