[Videolib] DVD Costs etc

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:48:49 -0400

Right now the cost of DVD is largely prohibitive for smaller non fiction &
educational titles but there are more complicated issues involving feature
films which are not solved by cost alone though it is a major factor.
For most non studio titles rights and materials are a major problem. Many
old contracts did not provide for DVD and must be renegotiated, in the case
of foreign films in particular this may not be feasible. Kino for instance
took on the Interama library which initially had about 70 titles, mostly
French. We DID NOT HAVE dvd rights on any of these films and in my view only
the higher end titles like SOME of the Renoir's & Pagnol's will ever make it
to DVD. Not only do you have to go back an get a new contract but you must
obtain GOOD material as most of what was used for video masters is not
acceptable for DVD. Kino is something of boutique company so we can often
break even with as few as 1,000 copies but we can't really stay in business
if that is what we sell on MOST titles. Packaging and promotion of a title
for DVD may run as high as production. We have had to pass on a number of
wonderful films because we simply could not AFFORD to put them out on DVD
even IF they cost little or nothing for the initial rights ( which they
usually do).

As for Studio titles, this will remain similar to VHS in that they will
not release more obscure titles on DVD because studios need to sell
huge numbers to make it worth their while. They have backlogs of CRAP
that will sell 10 times a lesser known classic and while they will
put out some prestige titles don't hold your breath for anything that
off beat or interesting.

( who is going to Pittsburgh AND Chicago on consecutive weekends to
see the Cubs , not to mention at least 3 more trips for the POST SEASON)

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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