Money Squabbles ^ But not everything was peachy keen in DVD land. When you have it so good for so long, problems are bound to arise. The phenomenon had to find a crutch, and the culprit is a familiar one: money.
A recent Variety article revealed the guilds and talent of the industry are tired of donating free time to the production of Special Edition DVDs. For example, Artisan recently paid Schwarzenegger $75,000 to participate in the audio commentary for the recent “Total Recall” Special Edition. While this is small change compared to the 30 million he received to star in “Terminator 3,” that amount is usually the entire production budget for a single disc. Other actors, though the article listed no names, required $10,000 each to participate in audio commentaries. This is a disturbing trend. These few examples are foreboding and the guilds are coming down harder every day.
Writers of the world, me included, are a picky, frightful bunch. They are so desperate for recognition they will do whatever it takes to be noticed, and paid. The Writers Guild of America recently settled a dispute with studios and now demands $5,000 to a screenwriter each time his or her film is released on DVD. This doesn’t include providing the script on the disc, just the fact that the film is released on DVD period. The WGA also mandated the screenwriter must be featured on discs that include director participation. It is these types of demands, pitiful ego trips at best, which will destroy the Special Edition as we know it. There is a fine line between being recognized and tooting your own horn, and these guidelines cross it.
The music talent in the industry isn’t happy about the DVD situation either. Isolated music scores are going the way of the dodo thanks to new regulations. The composers, songwriters, and artists now want a slice of the pie just like everybody else. This means no more music videos, scores, or composer commentaries unless the studio is willing to shell out big bucks.
“Pretty soon we’ll just stop doing (Special Editions),” says the disgruntled president of one top-tier distributor. ^ -Variety article
Get the rest of the story in the next part of THE DEATH OF THE SPECIAL EDITION DVD>>>
Posted on January 14, 2001 in Features by Evan Erwin
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