Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Direct to DVD that's actually good?

So Stargate SG-1 was recently cancelled on SciFi, but everyone said that it wasn't dead yet. You all heard that, right? And you've probably heard that the reason it's not dead is that it's going Direct to DVD in the form of a couple of movies.

What you may not have heard is science-fiction comics author and futurist Warren Ellis' take on what it could mean for the future of the DVD industry.

From Ellis' Bad Signal newsletter:

"You've heard me talk a bit about D2DVD over the last little while. It's reported today that STARGATE SG-1, the venerable sf franchise that got put down by Sci-Fi Channel after ten years, is getting a new lease of life: direct to DVD. MGM are funding two D2DVD SG-1 movies.

"Now, the Cuban/Soderbergh DVD movies going day-and-date with theatre openings and downloads or whatever were a pretty big thing for D2DVD: but hampered by the fact that so many people thought it was an attack (which it was). There are no antagonists to SG-1 going D2DVD. It's going to be a far better yardstick of what a fan audience and an early-adopter audience will go for. And ultimately it marks out D2DVD as a home for something other than the equivalent of MANT or MANSQUITO.

"MGM stated when SG-1 got bounced from Sci-Fi that they wanted to keep the show alive, so finding some kind of budget wasn't the hassle that others would have. But the DVD will provide numbers and demos as ammunition for people who want to follow. Maybe one day John Rogers will get his dream of putting out a tv show direct to DVD."

1 comment:

JoeKinski said...

See, I've never thought the direct-to-market has been that bad of a deal. In the late-80s/early-90s Charlie Band was doing some really good stuff with Full Moon Entertainment direct-to-video/videostore (like Subspecies, the first three Puppetmaster films, Trancers), alonng with some bad stuff (Subspecies II-IV, Trancers II-III, Puppetmaster IV-onwards), and in Japan you've always had the OVA market for most of the anime you see. Disney makes a pocketload and a half off the same thing with its animated sequels, which like Charlie Band vary from very good (the Lilo & Stitch films) to the oppressive (Cinderalla films), and the children's market is full of other instances (Barbie, Bratz, Polly Pocket) where media tie-ins are done direct-to-dvd, often packaged with toys. And while they're not the best ... they aren't any worse than the pap that's on Nick or Disney or the Cartoon Network asregular shows. It's more like mainstream media stigmatizes the procedure.


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