Re: PRICE GOUGING or GOOD BUSINESS?

MileFilms@aol.com
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 10:37:05 -0500

I've tried to stay out of this "controversy" because I get a little
embarrassed being on "the other side." We do sell tapes for a higher price
before they come out on home video (usually $195). We see it as a profitable
way to sell tapes to institutions who can't wait for the home video while our
films are still in theatrical release. We do have a policy, however, that
once the home video date is decided (usually six months in advance of its
release), that we will warn customers that if they want to save money and are
not looking for public performance rights, they should wait for the home
video date. I hope and assume other reputable companies do this as well, and
perhaps librarians should ask before ordering.

However, the idea that selling tapes to libraries is good publicity is, I
believe, a bit misleading. In five years, we have had a few phone calls
interesting in receiving our catalog because they liked one of our videos and
in this sense it has helped our business. But they are few and far between.

People borrow books and videos from the library precisely because they don't
want to buy them. And you know what? This is absolutely a good and wonderful
thing. I was raised on a firm belief in the public library and most of my
youth was spent borrowing books from the Springfield New Jersey Public
Library.

What is missing in the previous emails is the idea that libraries in
themselves are a major customer for our videos sales (Blockbuster and Tower
combined doesn't even come close) and we thank God every day that the public
libraries buy independent, foreign and "challenging" videos. Is that enough
reason why we distributors should be nice to you?

I am assuming that the established independent distributors on the whole do
treat libraries and institutions with the respect due them. I hope so!

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
275 West 96th Street, Suite 28C
New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 865-7449
Email: MileFilms@aol.com