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Movie Studio Finally Sees the Light On Rentals

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the turns-out-wishful-thinking-is-a-bad-business-model dept.

Australia 213

Griller_GT writes "After months of conducting studies about the effects of delays on sales of DVDs, 'Paramount Pictures has agreed to provide its movies to Redbox on the same day they go on sale.' A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a purchase.' Gee, who would have thought of that?" Reader DisKurzion sends in news of another movie business experiment underway by an Australian company called Distracted Media. They are raising funds for a movie called The Tunnel by letting people invest in individual frames for $1 apiece. When the movie is complete, it will be released for free on torrent sites.

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213 comments

They're finally starting to get it (3, Insightful)

SweeBeeps (1827982) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618144)

Alternative distribution methods are definately here to stay. Companies like Blockbuster (who may just consider this another coffin nail) had a purpose 10-15+ years ago, but were incredibly slow to react to market changes (Netflix in particular) and are all having rather violent death fits (they're using the last of their influence with the big production companies to try and force Red Box to carry childrens movies only or not carry any new releases).

Re:They're finally starting to get it (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618416)

"Companies like Blockbuster (who may just consider this another coffin nail)"

Oh there were already nails in Blockbuster's coffin long before this announcement, [msn.com] and Hollywood Video isn't doing much better. [hollywoodvideo.com]

Despite living in a large (millions) city Blockbuster and Redbox are my only physical video rental locations. Redbox worked out a deal with Walmart back in 2008 [insideredbox.com] so they're already virtually everywhere, I predict Blockbuster locations will disappear in the next 5 years and we'll be left with Redbox at Walmart and McDonalds who use to own Redbox. [wikipedia.org]

Redbox is for new releases (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618580)

I predict Blockbuster locations will disappear in the next 5 years and we'll be left with Redbox

Redbox machines tend to carry only new releases, not older films that I may have missed. With Blockbuster and locally owned video rental stores gone, where will people rent older films?

Re:Redbox is for new releases (3, Informative)

SweeBeeps (1827982) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618628)

Older movies seem to be a Netflix specialty, especially with streaming content (whereas streaming new content is spotty at best!)

Re:Redbox is for new releases (2, Informative)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618788)

Check their website, you can have movies delivered to a redbox and they'll tell you when you can pick it up.

Re:They're finally starting to get it (4, Insightful)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618754)

Refusing to make content available to low-cost vendors encourages piracy. Plain and simple.

I'll never pay .99 cents a song to iTunes when there are other cheaper and legal options out there anymore than I would pay the now defunct Hollywood video $5 for a rental when I can get it elsewhere for $1. I'm willing to wait!

To a similar end, I have dumped DirectTV's crooked asses and replaced them with a Netflix subscription and a digital converter box to get broadcast channels. Why would I pay $75 a month for commercial laden TV? What good are 120 channels if they are paid programming 8 hours a day?

The entertainment industry might be finally getting with the digital age, but still seem to have trouble doing math. Perhaps they should ditch the abacus and get a calculator.

follow the green dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618170)

I'm not here to tell you how it's going to end -- I'm here to tell you how it's going to begin ...

Something seems off (3, Informative)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618174)

Most movies cost $800,000 + to shoot. At 1$ a frame and 24 frames a sec, a standard 190 min movie only comes out to $273,600. Seems low

Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

Re:Something seems off (5, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618214)

Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

Remember, what big companies put on paper as "costs" after tax evasion, big bonuses, and drug-fueled parties isn't much to do with the actual costs of a project.

Re:Something seems off (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618794)

Big movies also tend to have a TON of special effects and CG which burn computer time like it's going out of style and use armies of fairly well compensated graphics and computer professionals. Also the salaries of the stars and the advertising budget are both significant contributions. The actual cost for materials and such is probably only 4-5x that of an independent film.

Re:Something seems off (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618230)

At the same time The Blair Witch Project cost (reportedly) 40,000 to shoot.

Movies can be done on a budget. They just normally aren't.

Re:Something seems off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618336)

At the same time The Blair Witch Project cost (reportedly) 40,000 to shoot.

Movies can be done on a budget. Good ones just normally aren't.

FTFY, although admittedly there are some huge stinkers at the high end of the budget range. Price shouldn't be a measuring stick for a movie, but honestly how would Batman get produced well on $40,000???

Re:Something seems off (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618392)

As far as I'm concerned? Batman isn't a good film. So I guess there are a lot of "stinkers" out there in the upper range of the game too....

But hey, you're entitled to your opinion on the matter. It doesn't mean anything to me when I go to spend my entertainment dollar.

Re:Something seems off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618648)

And Blair Witch was awesome? Surely you can't hate every single movie that uses special effects... Right? What are you, like 95 years old?

Re:Something seems off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618970)

And Blair Witch was awesome? Surely you can't hate every single movie that uses special effects... Right? What are you, like 95 years old?

And you can't possibly hate every single movie that doesn't use special effects... Right? What are you, like 12 years old?

And stop calling me Shirley.

Re:Something seems off (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618878)

The first thing that came to mind was this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOZVp9NFhQE [youtube.com]



And here you have: http://insidemovies.moviefone.com/2010/05/25/watch-the-brilliant-fan-made-alien-vs-predator-movie-that-cost-j/ [moviefone.com]

An amateur film maker has posted online a 22-minute homemade Alien v Predator sequel. The fan-film - AVP: Redemption - was a one-man production by Alex Popov and took him two years of his spare time. Popov did all the filming, directing, editing, video FX and sound design himself and despite a budget of just $500 the production values are incredibly high quality.

On his Vimeo page Popov writes: "AVP:Redemption fan film made by me Alex A. Popov for the purpose of entertaining the fans of both Alien and Predator franchises, and also to share my vision of what Alien VS Predator film should be."

The AVP franchise has never been well regarded by critics. The New York Daily news labelled the original 2004 film the "worst sci-fi movie since Battlefield Earth". However, Paul W S Anderson's film did well at the box office, grossing $172 million which is the highest earning of any Alien or Predator movie.

The 2007 sequel Aliens v Predator: Requiem was also a hit and there has been rumours of another movie. First though Robert Rodriguez is bringing the cut-throat aliens back to life in Predators. The film, which opens here in July, is set on the Predator home planet and features a group of soldiers and villains battling for their lives against the creatures.

Re:Something seems off (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618668)

All you proved it poorly shot, crappy written movies can be cheap.

No shit.

Re:Something seems off (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619008)

All you proved it poorly shot, crappy written movies can be cheap.

So, what that means is that you can duplicate a big budget movie with a small budget. :)

On the other hand, there are examples like El Mariachi [wikipedia.org]:

"The movie was shot in numerous locations in Acuña, Coahuila. Rodriguez had a $7,000 budget, almost half of which he raised by participating in experimental clinical drug testing in Texas."

I'd bet a great deal of that cost was actual _film_, which doesn't apply today. If you've already got, or have access to, the equipment, you're most of the way there these days. The source of that money also explains a great deal about Rodriguez and his later films.

Re:Something seems off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618232)

Standard movie length is over 3 hours now?

Kill Bill (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618626)

Standard movie length is over 3 hours now?

It may not be standard, but Disney's Kill Bill was so long they had to release it in two installments. A lot of made-for-TV movies are the same way.

Re:Kill Bill (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618798)

Standard movie length is over 3 hours now?

It may not be standard, but Disney's Kill Bill was so long they had to release it in two installments. A lot of made-for-TV movies are the same way.

*Disney's* Kill Bill? Did you see the movie? Disney, it ain't. Maybe that was a joke I missed?

Miramax? That's another name for Disney. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618846)

Did you see the movie?

Nope. And I don't plan to until 2019 when the Sonny Bono Act, a U.S. copyright term extension heavily promoted by Miramax's parent company, finally wears off.

Disney, it ain't.

From Wikipedia: Kill Bill was distributed by Miramax Films [wikipedia.org], which has been part of Disney since 1993 [wikipedia.org].

Re:Miramax? That's another name for Disney. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32619184)

Nope. And I don't plan to until 2019 when the Sonny Bono Act, a U.S. copyright term extension heavily promoted by Miramax's parent company, finally wears off.

Oh. Dear. Lord. No. You're going to be one of those grandfathers who makes references to 30-year-old movies as if they were just released because you finally saw them after years of wondering what all the fuss was about, aren't you? Good GOD, you're going to be annoying around 2019. We'd best hurry up and get to extending it again just to keep you in the dark...

There's an xkcd for this, I just forgot the number.

From Wikipedia: Kill Bill was distributed by Miramax Films, which has been part of Disney since 1993.

Um... then that would be "Miramax's Kill Bill", not Disney's. Do you normally name things by their ultimate parent organizations? How far up the chain do you want to go? "America's Kill Bill"? "The human race's Kill Bill"? "The Milky Way Galaxy's Kill Bill"?

Re:Miramax? That's another name for Disney. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619270)

Distribution != production.

Any /.er who doesn't know this (hint:Video Games) doesn't deserve the title.

Re:Something seems off (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618278)

Movies do not cost that much to shoot. Explosions, hot famous actors and actresses, and anthropomorphic CGI animals cost that much to shoot. I know most people nowadays think the one is synonymous with the others, but that is not necessarily the case.

Re:Something seems off (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618318)

At 1$ a frame and 24 frames a sec, a standard 190 min movie only comes out to $273,600.

Maybe they're shooting at 120 fps? =o

Re:Something seems off (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618332)

Yeah, except it's quite possible to make a good film for less than even that.

If you RTFA'd, you'd see their finished film intends to have 135,000 frames. So, $135,000 budget. That's not unreasonable.

Consider that the biggest costs with film production these days is CG/special effects, actors, marketing, and distribution. The technology for doing something with film is cheap - and mature - enough to put the bar for entry at around $1500, give or take.

This film looks like it might be an action/horror/thriller film. If they've got their sets (looks like they may be filming 'on location' and paying a negligible fee for doing so), and their actors are working for free (not implausible - they'd surely be able to find some suitable talent in a city like Sidney willing to do so), their biggest costs will likely be in costumes and makeup.

Re:Something seems off (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618660)

their biggest costs will likely be in costumes and makeup.

That and licensing music for the soundtrack. I seem to remember a couple films where fully half the budget was spent on clearing music.

Re:Something seems off (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619118)

The solution is to avoid using popular swill, and paying a composer to do the job. It's probably cheaper, and has a better result.

Re:Something seems off (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618830)

enough to put the bar for entry at around $1500, give or take.

I don't think you can buy the glass for a decent film camera for less than $1500 let alone the film or digital camera itself.

Re:Something seems off (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619142)

You can get high-quality used cameras for previous-gen technologies for pretty cheap, though, which is why lots of indie films shoot on things like Super 16. There are also places that will rent equipment, including some indie-filmmaker organizations that acquire equipment for their own members' use.

One of my favorite recent films, Primer [wikipedia.org], had a $7000 total budget.

Re:Something seems off (5, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618344)

One of my favorite movies, The Man from Earth [wikipedia.org] cost $200,000.

It had 0 CGI, no big name actors but a kick ass story from Jerome Bixby.

Paranormal Activity was made for $15k and grossed $9M the first weekend.

Re:Something seems off (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618448)

One of my favorite movies, The Man from Earth [wikipedia.org] cost $200,000.

It had 0 CGI, no big name actors but a kick ass story from Jerome Bixby.

Ditto, an utterly amazing movie. But I cannot stress enough that anyone viewing it should go in cold, not even knowing the premise. Don't read the box, don't read a blurb, don't even follow the link. Watch it cold. That's what I was told to do, that's what I did, and boy was it worth it.

Re:Something seems off (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618678)

I think Paranormal Activity was so cheap because they only bought the first 10 pages of the script.

10 INT Living Room: 2 Unlikable characters mumble aloud.
20 INT Bedroom: Characters sleep.
30 INT Kitchen: Characters discuss previous scenes in bedroom and living room.
40 GOTO 10

Re:Something seems off (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618706)

It was like they filmed a stage play. Pretty much one set and one hell of a story.

It was a great Sci-Fi movie with no special effects!

I wish Hollywood would spend more time on stories instead of special effects. I really hate movies that are all special effects or just action sequences - yawn.

Re:Something seems off (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618998)

Paranormal Activity was a bit of a con though. The movie itself sucked, the beginning was kind of promising, the middle kind of sucked, and the ending really sucked.

The only reason they made as much money as they did was because of their constant advertising on TV to get it in theaters like it was some underground masterpiece. It piqued everyones interest. Unfortunately, I haven't met anyone who said it delivered on that interest.

Re:Something seems off (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619216)

The thing with films like Paranormal and Man from Earth is that they're essentially stunts that only make money because of their novelty. For everyone one of those that goes on to get recognition there are literally hundreds of quarter-million-dollar quickies that never swing that one festival screening that puts them over the top, or gets them the attention of the fanboy press, lying in wait to deck themselves in the borrowed plumes of the filmmakers they "discover."

There's definitely no business model in making these films, they're so uneven in quality. A much more representative film in the budget range would be something like The Asylum's Transmorfers or Snakes on a Train; ridiculously poor-quality films that get their feature presentation on Sci-Fi channel and profit from their German TV presale.

Notice I'm not saying that Paranormal or Man from Earth are BAD, just that good small-budget films don't reliably profit. Without the reliable profits, it's very hard for these filmmakers to continue making them, because nobody wants to keep making $30k movies all their life, they finally get to the point where they want to make something and not have to beg, borrow and steal to get it made, and they run out of people to call in favors from. Paranormal easily cost over a million dollars when all of the favors and one-time-only deals the filmmakers made are factored in.

Re:Something seems off (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618378)

I'm pretty sure you can make an Indy film with no-name actors for less than $273,600. Hollywood blockbuster with lots of special effects and A-list actors, no.

Re:Something seems off (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618454)

If it's digital, they may going with the average of 30fps. 190 min * 60 seconds * 30 frames = $288000. That extra $15,000 should cover gas, lunch and tolls.

Re:Something seems off (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619026)

That extra $15,000 should cover gas, lunch and tolls.

But Lonestar won't take the money, because he fell in love with Vespa along the way.

Re:Something seems off (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618838)

We're talking about a horror movie here, and they can be incredibly cheap. Big special effects cost money, but it's usually scarier if you catch only glimpses of the monster. The real emotional impact is in the reactions.

Blair Witch Project was shot for under $25k (though high-end editing and sound were applied later, ballooning the price before it hit theaters). Paranormal Activity was shot for $11k. They're treated like documentaries, which means that the audience will forgive and even expect things like poor sound, poor lighting, cheap video, bad framing, etc.

The film can only sustain itself for maybe 90 minutes, so they can only take in $130k, but that's plenty for a low budget horror flick.

The same thing applies to real documentaries, and I think aspiring documentary makers could avail themselves of this model. But clearly if you want to do "real" movies this way you're going to have to add zeroes to the price tag.

Re:Something seems off (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618842)

Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

No-one is holding a gun to their heads, forcing them to spend all that money. :)

Re:Something seems off (3, Insightful)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618856)

Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing.

How much of that cost goes to pay made up positions like "Associate Producers" and others who really contribute nothing to the project?

Re:Something seems off (3, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619082)

How much of that cost goes to pay made up positions like "Associate Producers" and others who really contribute nothing to the project?

For the record, APs work their asses off, and usually earn that credit by doing the line producing or post-production supervision, and are themselves usually one promotion over the coffee gofers and runners. It's miserable and unglamorous work and as a technician I have nothing but respect for them.

You might be getting confused between Associate Producers and Executive Producers, but even they sometimes work very hard, or if they don't work on the film they at least are risking millions of dollars of their own money. Everybody's different of course.

Re:Something seems off (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618900)

>Remember, Hollywood movies can cost from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000 to shoot and produce so compared to that it is nothing. And remember that equating cost of a movies doesn't equal how good a movie is. They'd be better off using unknown artists every time and have creative writers to write a good story line instead of spending 300mil on special effects to wow the sheeople.

Asmounding! (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618178)

So, you mean, I can now drive to a store and rent the DVD/Bluray of a movie on the same day as I can buy it in a store, six months after I could download a virtually complete and much more interesting workprint release?

Wow, this is real cutting-edge tech they're bringing to consumers. Who wouldn't want to pay through the eyeballs for that?

Re:Asmounding! (5, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618426)

Is a $1 (perhaps $1.50 or whatever bluray ends up costing at the 'box) really "paying through the eyeballs"? That's the big deal here, it used to be that Blockbuster was the only outfit to rent from, and new releases are regularly $5 or more per day from them. Now, the 'box will rent them for $1 or so, and you can find one at tons of convenient places and there's no pimply guy behind a counter to eye you for renting a chick flick (or even require a voided check, social security card, and fingerprint before 'allowing' you to be a customer). Just swipe any credit card and you get your movie. Digital distribution may be a little ways off yet, but this is surely a step in the right direction (and away from overpriced brick and mortar rental places.)

Re:Asmounding! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618898)

The best thing about Redbox if you have kids and do roadtrips is you can rent at one location and return at another. When we were driving back from Florida to Ohio and the kids had already watched all the DVD's we brought we were able to rent 10 new ones and return them when we got home. It was probably the best $10 spent in the history of humanity =)

Re:Asmounding! (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619012)

It's funny, the local video rental store in my hometown used to rent out VHS and DVD's for 3 days for $1.00 a pop. Then Blockbuster moved in and put them out of town because they had a better selection and a membership card. Now the Red Box is putting Blockbuster out of business because it doesn't have as huge of a selection or a membership and it rents DVD's for $1.00 a pop. What is it that folk tend to say about pendulums and cyclical nature and what not again?

Re:Asmounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32619204)

Blockbuster actually revised their business model to be comparative to Redbox pricing. All rentals are now $1.00 per day, with a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 14, at which point you're charged the selling price of the movie. And membership requirements are more lax than ever (over 18, Driver's License). The company may be a dinosaur of the VHS era, but it's not quite death throes time yet.

Re:Asmounding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618576)

So, you mean, I can now drive to a store and rent the DVD/Bluray of a movie on the same day as I can buy it in a store, six months after I could download a virtually complete and much more interesting workprint release?

Wow, this is real cutting-edge tech they're bringing to consumers. Who wouldn't want to pay through the eyeballs for that?

How nice of you to let the rest of us pay for your movies. The old term was freeloader.

Re:Asmounding! (1, Troll)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618828)

six months after I could download a virtually complete and much more interesting workprint release

You mean steal right? I have a feeling the producers are not giving you special access to their prints, so if you're downloading it you're stealing it from them. Same goes for leaked music. Are you working on the assumption that because no one can stop you that you have the right to take whatever you want? It's theft whether you've got a black mask and a flashlight or not.

Re:Asmounding! (2, Insightful)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619210)

Yes I see it now. Someone with a black mask and flashlight breaks into a house, looks and the jewels, takes some photos and then goes home empty handed, leaving the jewels. He used a technologically advanced 3D printer to recreate his own copy of the jewels. Theft! How dare he! What is he doing? He is the vilest of thieves, duplicating other peoples property. /sarcasm

For the record, downloading movies or music is copyright infringement, not theft. Illegal? Yes. Theft? No. I'd like to see a prosecutor try to make the case that duplicating and distributing copyrighted material is theft. It would be laughable. Their case would be summarily thrown out.

Re:Asmounding! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619214)

Indeed. I can sympathize if you have an actual reason to do it, but if you go downloading it because "lolz i can watch this before you lololol" then you're part of the problem.

About time! (3, Insightful)

eihab (823648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618200)

It's about time movie studios started realizing that. I'm a rental-convert and have been renting my movies for almost 2 years now.

I have a shelve full of DVDs and VHS tapes that are collecting dust. Most movies aren't worth re-watching and it seems ridiculous to purchase things you're only going to watch once.

I still buy DVDs, but I only buy movies that I know I will watch again (e.g. The Matrix, God Father trilogy, etc.).

Everything else is on the Netflix queue, and if it takes 10 months for me to finally see it, oh well, so be it.

Case in point, I was looking forward to watching Ninja Assassin because the previews looked good and it has the "Wachowski brothers" stamp on it.

When it finally reached Netflix and my mailbox, I was extremely excited... extremely excited that I didn't go out of my way and buy it. The movie was a piece of junk in my opinion, and it would not even be on my shelve collecting dust with other DVDs.

tl;dr: Renting Movies "FTW".

Re:About time! (3, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618294)

You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends. Take turns buying new movies as soon as they are released, and share them with friends. You're not paying the overhead of a for-profit distribution company like Netflix, and it's perfectly legal.

Re:About time! (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618476)

You're still being forced to pay $1 (or more depending on how much the price exceeds $20) for every single movie you or your friends wants to see. Surely there are movies you would rather not see... Right? Just go to a RedBox or similar $1-per-rental outfit and rent only what you want.

Plus, there's no in-fighting between you and your 19 "close friends" over who gets to keep Avatar on their DVD shelf...

Re:About time! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618720)

Just go to a RedBox or similar $1-per-rental outfit and rent only what you want.

Unless a movie is old enough that Redbox doesn't have it anymore.

Re:About time! (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618562)

You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends.

19 friends?? I can count my friends that I still interact with on one hand with a few missing fingers!

I pay about $8 a month for Netflix and I watch anywhere between 1-3 movies a month. In addition to that, I watch a lot of movies/shows on my Wii or my Blu-ray player. It's insanely cheap compared to any other method (including socializing with 19 people and exchanging DVDs).

To each their own though :)

Re:About time! (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618566)

You're missing the point of buying DVDs: start a co-op with 19 of your friends. Take turns buying new movies as soon as they are released, and share them with friends. You're not paying the overhead of a for-profit distribution company like Netflix, and it's perfectly legal.

Prerequisite: 19 friends w/o Netflix subscriptions

Re:About time! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618688)

Worse than that, it requires 19 friends with similar tastes. My wife's friend loaned her Pride and Prejudice. I, uh... still haven't watched it. Another reason for buying... kids. My daughter will actually watch the same movie several times in a row -- on the same day. Myself, most movies I buy I only end up watching once.

I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618770)

Most movies aren't worth re-watching

True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often. I should know: I was six once, and I was that way with The Care Bears Movie.

Re:I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618968)

Most movies aren't worth re-watching

True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often. I should know: I was six once, and I was that way with The Care Bears Movie.

Are you telling me you have never re-watched a movie past the age of 6? Ever go back and watch a classic that you have seen before but it's so good that you want to see it again?

I happen to forget movies and even plots sometimes, and re-watching a good movie (not weekly obviously) can be a fun experience where you notice the subtle hints you may have missed before (sixth sense, beautiful mind, butterfly effect, etc.).

I would take a good movie that I watched before any day over a crappy shiny new movie.

Re:I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

celery stalk (617764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619112)

Amen to that. There's movies I have on DVD/BD (or ::ahem:: a "time-shifted rental") that I can see anytime I want to, but what if I just catch it on TV? Strangely enough, I'll sit there and watch it, even with the commercials added and it having been edited for "time and content". It's not quite the same, but it is still the same story as the uncut, and I still enjoy seeing it again.

Re:I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619246)

Are you telling me you have never re-watched a movie past the age of 6?

Over the 20-year life of a home video format, I'll re-watch a film three, four, five times, maybe. But not 20, which is the number of times I would have to re-watch to break even with Redbox.

Re:I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618974)

Deliberately misspelling a common name to be 'unique' (such as Staisy) is punishable by death.

Re:I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

tooyoung (853621) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619198)

True, most movies aren't made with single-digit-year-olds in mind. But when little Staisy wants Cinderella, she wants Cinderella. And she wants it once a week or more often

Yeah, she wants it, oh well...

I've seen this behavior with plenty of my friends and it just blows my mind. Their kid will sit in front of the TV watch Cars or some Disney cartoon over and over and over. Every time I am at their house, the kid will be watching the same movie. Is this really healthy for a child? I have enough of a problem with the television being the sitter for a kid under the age of 10, but at least give them some variety.

Oh, believe me, I know, your kid really wants to watch that movie again. They demand it. They will not behave if you don't let them watch it. This is a parenting problem. How about interacting with your children instead of letting them set the rules?

Re:Wachowski bros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618948)

Wachowski bros lost all their cred when they tried to make a sequel to the Matrix. Fortunately you and I know that they never made a sequel to the Matrix, and I for one will never watch another Wachowski bros movie.

"Unthinkable", another weird movie studio story (5, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618208)

funny how stories tend to come in packs. The Movie "Unthinkable" [imdb.com] was ranked #3 at IMDB prior to the release of the DVD/BR (it was a straight to video release) [latimes.com]. The producer ended up asking on the IMDB forums the people who had rated it where they got it from and about ideas on how to make things fairer for both sides.
As someone who saw it ~early~ too, I can only urge you to watch it (if possible through a legal rental or by buying the DVD or BR ... it IS worth it), as it is a really interesting movie.
I wonder whether this and TFS are linked somehow.

I work for a video rental store (4, Interesting)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618226)

In the last couple years, there have been a ton of retail exclusives. There are a few distributors who won't sell us movies that have some bogus exclusivity, but you know who will? Best Buy. We just buy em there, and rent em out just like anything else. The only thing we can't effectively get a large quantity of are the Netflix exclusives, but those are usually more obscure movies(which my store specializes in).

What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.

Re:I work for a video rental store (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618492)

What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.

That sort of thing has me absolutely livid. I have netflix but it makes me want to go seed a hundred movies out of spite.

Re:I work for a video rental store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618836)

This is why I won't even watch my Netflix movie before ripping it with AnyDVD and burning it with CloneDVD2 or just compressing with ffmpeg and streaming over UPnP to my tv. Yeah by the time I've done that I've sometimes lost some quality, and I love my HDTV, but you know what? I don't give a fuck if it means I can avoid the raging fit I'm bound to have if I get impatient and pop the actual DVD into the player. I cuss, smash random buttons on my remote, trying to bypass that ridiculous shit.

Good job movie studios, since I've already taken all these steps I guess I might just invest in 500 bucks in a Synology home NAS and pop in some 1 TB drives.

Yeah I'm impatient or whatever, I'm not in the habit of paying money (even if it's relatively little) to be annoyed. Relaxation is not for being annoyed. Work may be, but you get paid for that, so it's okay there.

Re:I work for a video rental store (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618536)

What I really hate are the "Rental Exclusive" editions of movies which have long, unskipable previews before the movie.

Posting anonymous so I'm not karma whoring, but there was a LifeHacker article some weeks (months?) ago that said there's a good trick that works for many DVDs and DVD players (granted, not all of them)... to skip all the crap at the beginning of a disk, once it's started, hit STOP-STOP and then PLAY. Many players will start up the main title. I know this has already saved me from many annoying and painful preview crap on discs that we already own.

Re:I work for a video rental store (1)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618674)

Fast forward also still usually works

and if your player is like mine, hitting it more than once makes it go faster.

A "preview" at 20X is practically like hitting the next chapter button.

Netflix has exclusives? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618778)

Could you give an example? I don't doubt it, it just seems as though NF is the last in line for many things. Most of the time, I have to wait months before a movie is available on NF.

And they're really weird about streaming. They'll offer a streamed version for a couple of months, take it off, and then put it back on.

Re:I work for a video rental store (-1, Flamebait)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 3 years ago | (#32619054)

There are a few distributors who won't sell us movies that have some bogus exclusivity, but you know who will? Best Buy.

That is completely illegal. Copies of movies from Best Buy come with a different license than the copies purchased for rental. Therefore the rental copies cost more.

That is nice and all... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618264)

...but after I downloaded "Gamer" with Russel Crow and watched it in fast-forward I decided to stop watching movies.

So DRM didn't beat me... "Gamer" did...

Re:That is nice and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618642)

...but after I downloaded "Gamer" with Russel Crow and watched it in fast-forward I decided to stop watching movies.

Are you sure you actually watched it? Russel Crowe isn't in that movie man. You kinda lose those details whilst in "fast forward" mode.

Wow (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618276)

A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a purchase.'

That statement just kills me. In recent years, phrases like 'the customer is always right' seem like out-of-style-like-full-service-gas-stations concepts. If I were to go back in time like 15 years and talk about how these places lowered the value of the products to the people who pay for them to increase sales from those who didn't, they'd think I was concocting some silly sci-fi story.

Re:Wow (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618606)

I wonder if that Paramount exec had considered the implications of substituting "pirate" for "rent" wherever it occurs in that statement. It would be just as correct.

At last (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618298)

Having kids, a busy job and a generally hectic life I just don't have time to get to the cinema as often as I would like to. I would more than happily pay the equivalent, or even a small premium, to see a new release at home... why? Because going to the cinema is not just going to the cinema - it is an event with baby-sitter costs, a meal, drinks and generally making the most of a rare night out. Why oh why can't the movie business see this market (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, well maybe on slashdot) and cater to my needs? I mean really! They are bonkers, the lot of them. Hell, I'd even subscribe and watch a new release once a week.

Re:At last (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618624)

Having kids, a busy job and a generally hectic life I just don't have time to get to the cinema as often as I would like to. I would more than happily pay the equivalent, or even a small premium, to see a new release at home... why? Because going to the cinema is not just going to the cinema - it is an event with baby-sitter costs, a meal, drinks and generally making the most of a rare night out. Why oh why can't the movie business see this market (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, well maybe on slashdot) and cater to my needs? I mean really! They are bonkers, the lot of them. Hell, I'd even subscribe and watch a new release once a week.

That's supposedly the reason behind the push to get the FCC to approve "Selective Output Control" - basically kill the analog outputs so the movie studios can release movies earlier. (The FCC did, but restricted its use - from the moment it's made available and uses it, until 90 days later or when the movie is for retail sale - whichever is earlier). Of course we all see it as the MPAA and the like taking control of our cableboxes and obsoleting equipment, but they claim it's because there's a market for those who want to see a movie at home earlier than the usual 3-4 months between theatrical and home video release (via Video on Demand type cablebox service).

Only time will tell if this is the case or it's horribly abused.

Re:At last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32619096)

It's not a matter of whether it will be abused, but when. If a corporation perceives a legal means of profit---even at an unreasonable cost to its customers---it will pursue it.

Re:At last (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618676)

Torrent an R5 you eeediot.
Shove all that cinema crap.

Re:At last (3, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618912)

I can't stand the damn advertisements at the beginning. My bladder is only so big and sitting through a 2 hour movie is a challenge. I also have this thing about arriving late to miss the ads - walking in the dark, trying to find a seat - I like to sit at the very back under the projectionist - anyway, I have to plan to be dehydrated a little before I see a movie so that I can sit through it.

It's also pretty pathetic that they have to remind people to be quiet and turn off their cell phones. Off course there's always one person that gets a call, their ringer is on full blast, it's also some hokey ring tone that just pierces through the movie sound ( and if you have an actor who likes to do those dramatic whispering dialogs ...), and of course, the phone is somewhere that's not in easy reach so it rings 4 or 5 times (one ring of a ringtone lasts the equivalent of 4 standard rings.) Then, some asshats actually answer the phone and talk.

Then there's the shitty quality of movies in the theater. After watching clear crisp DVDs, a 35mm projected movie looks fuzzy to me. They all do so it couldn't have been a projectionist that didn't know what he was doing.

DVDs for the win.

The story needs to be corrected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618376)

That's a soon to be former Paramount executive.

Just like when an IBM VP came down to RTP and told us all how our software was too complex and hard to configure. That we needed to start having it do what the customer needed and for them to be able to understand it. I told my co-workers he'd be out of the company in under 6 months. Sure enough he left the company after 5 months.

The powers that be don't like the truth or those who continually spout it.

A return to the days of commissioned art. (2, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618398)

>They are raising funds for a movie called The Tunnel by letting people invest in individual frames for $1 apiece.
>When the movie is complete, it will be released for free on torrent sites.

Sounds like a return to the days of commissioned art.

Re:A return to the days of commissioned art. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32619272)

Let's do this with porn too!

Link? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618424)

Other than these two, totally separate stories being about movies, how are they even related? Shouldn't they be two different front page submissions? One is about rental policies from a major studio while the second is about a decidedly independent movie-making effort. Or did we just piggyback one on the other so that it could get Slashdot front page face time?

Big Rental Release (4, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618586)

The bigger the rental release the more copies the rental places need to have to meet the surge. If the surge is dampened because of earlier sales and less hype because of the mixed release dates then the rental places have to buy less to meet the peak opening demand.

So releasing into both markets at the same time is likely to lead to more sales into the rental market.

Purchase? Restricting? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32618666)

A Paramount exec said, 'Those people who want to rent are going to figure out ways to rent, and us restricting them from renting isn't going to turn it into a long term rental ending when we change to a new DRM scheme.'

There, FTFY
Also: Restricting. Nice to know they're owning up to that word.

spoNge (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32618736)

*BSD but FrreBSD Discussions on please moderate
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