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Chat Transcript: Warner Home Video
on Home Theater Forum

The following is a complete transcript of the on-line chat with with Paul Hemstreet and Jim Wuthrich of Warner Brothers Home Video, held on Tuesday night (April 18th) on The Home Theater Forum. A wide variety of DVD-related topics were discussed, and I think you'll find it interesting. Thanks to Ron Epstein (of the HTF) for all their hard work, and for providing the transcript for all to read. Enjoy!

Home Theater Forum
Subject: Warner Brothers chat Date: April 18, 2000

[RonEpstein] Okay... Thanks everyone for coming

[RonEpstein] At this time wewould like to welcome Paul Hemstreet and Jim Wuthrich of Warner Brothers Home Video. Say Hello guys...

[Warner_Bros] Also here are Mike Finnegan of Programming, Mike Radiloff of Marketing...and others.

[RonEpstein] Great! Thanks guys for agreeing to do this chat.

[Warner_Bros] You're welcome. Ready when you are.

[RonEpstein] I have three questions to ask of you before we start the member portion of the chat These come courtesy of Bill Hunt of THE DIGITAL BITS. Question #1...

[RonEpstein] Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits asks: "I've heard that the Blade Runner: Special Edition has been delayed until 2001 to allow more time to restore the film and gather special edition materials. Can you confirm that, and tell us what you can about the title?"

[Warner_Bros] BLADE RUNNER will arrive in a deluxe enhanced edition in 2001, on which Ridley Scott will collaborate. We do not have details at this time but the enhancements will be substantial.

[RonEpstein] Next question from THE DIGITAL BITS: "We've heard that a Batman: SE is planned. Are there any other previously-released DVDs that you plan to revisit as special editions? And are there any plans to re-visit the flipper discs like The Right Stuff and JFK as RSDL dual-layered editions?"

[Warner_Bros] JFK will be revisited later this year. Other titles like GOODFELLAS, THE COLOR PURPLE, BATMAN and various long movies will be revisited.

[RonEpstein] Okay final question from THE DIGITAL BITS... What can you tell us about the Superman series later this year? Is there plans for a 4-DVD boxed set?

[Warner_Bros] SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE is being revisited by Richard Donner, with rare, never-seen footage already uncovered. An announcement re studio-wide plans should come later this Spring. SUPERMAN II, SUPERMAN III and SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE are being remastered as we chat.

[RonEpstein] At this time we are going to open the floor for questions

[hakan_powers] Hi Thanks for participating in this chat, I'm having breakfast here in Sweden :-) I'm listening to one of the B5 soundtracks right now.. I can't wait for this on DVD. What is the status of B5 on DVD? Are they at all in the pipeline, will they be in widescreen etc?

[Warner_Bros] BABYLON 5 is being discussed and planned. Remasterings are necessary.

[hakan_powers] widescreen remasters?

[Warner_Bros] What are the most desired B5 seasons/episodes/telefilms to start

[hakan_powers] I and most would like season box sets. But in the beginning is probably a good title to start with along with the pilot.

[Warner_Bros] Understood. DONE

[MichaelH] The Mission (1986) with Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons was previously announced (or rumored?) as a June, 2000 release. I have now been told it has been delayed. Any definitive news?

[Warner_Bros] It has now undergone remastering and will be scheduled during 2001. DONE

[GregStaten] I'm a big fan of the old MGM musicals. On LD, George Feltenstein produced some wonderful editions of many of them with wonderful supplements. Now that you own the rights to these titles, what are your release plans? (and is George still involved?)

[Warner_Bros] George is still involved...definitely. Go out and buy ANCHORS AWEIGH and ON THE TOWN on May 2. And return SEPTEMBER 26th for 42ND STREET, TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME, THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN and GOOD NEWS.

[GregStaten] WOW!

[Jason_Hughes] What about obvious RSDL titles that have yet to make it to DVD like Wyatt Earp (directors cut I hope), Once Upon a time in America, Hamet (Ken Brannaugh) and Where eagles dare?

[Warner_Bros] ONCE UPON A TIME and WHERE EAGLES DARE need extensive remastering/restoration before being scheduled. WYATT EARP DIRECTOR'S CUT and HAMLET (1996) are possibilities for 2001 but not definitely slated yet.

[chadparks] I'm a big fan of the vast majority of your DVDs. What can you tell me about Under the Cherry Moon or Waiting for Guffman making it to DVD (all in 16x9 LBX please)?

[Warner_Bros] WAITING FOR GUFFMAN is tentatively planned for 2001 release. UNDER THE CHERRY MOON is not scheduled.

[JACOB] I know that you have mentioned batman SE. I made a page on what I would like to see on the disc.. here is the address: I read on another site that was saying that the dvd was in work.. with the ideas that I had that included commentary by burton, keaton, deleted scenes etc.. some deatals on this? thanks.

[Warner_Bros] Taken under bat-advisement. We don't have a timetable for this but understand the audience anticipation and will try not to drag our caped feet.

[Warner_Bros] PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE is coming May 2 for those who need a Tim Burton fix.

[RonHayes] My question has to do with A Star Is Born and when it will be available in stores

[Warner_Bros] September 26th is the Street Date for A STAR IS BORN. That's also the date for GOOD NEWS, 42ND STRRET, and UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN.

[HoldenPike] Any word on future Eastwood releases, specifically A PERFECT WORLD, BIRD, WHITE HUNTER,BLACK HEART, HONKYTONK MAN, TIGHTROPE, or BRONCO BILLY, most of which never had letterboxed transfers on LD? Is Malpaso involved? Also, can you confirm or deny rumors of a multi-studio Eastwood box-set coming this yea, maybe to coincide w/ SPACE COWBOYS theatrical release? *BTW, JOSEY WALES and THE GAUNTLET are superior discs. Thanks!

[Warner_Bros] BRONCO BILLY and KELLY'S HEROES street 7/18/00. An Eastwood Collection Box Set will also street at that time, with titles soon to be revealed. More on Eastwood: A PERFECT WORLD and BIRD have recently been remastered but not scheduled for DVD yet.

[DAVE] I was wondering what news you can give us on a Sopranos dvd release. I love this show and can't wait to see it on DVD. Also will Goodfellas be a Special Ed. when it is rereleased. thanks

[Warner_Bros] WHV does not have Domestic Rights to THE SOPRANOS. It has International Rights and will tentatively release the First Season on DVD in 4th Quarter 2000. A GOODFELLAS Special Edition is under exploration for 2001, depending upon the hoped-for participation of filmmaker and cast.

[JackA] ok will you do special edition of The Lost Boys also i have a mistake that you made on Batman to address in the end scene on the widescreen version you cut 2 seconds

[Warner_Bros] THE LOST BOYS Special Edition is not being discussed at this time. Thank you for the information on Batman.

[DanR] After the June 6 wave of DTS titles (all of which I am buying), what other titles can we expect and when?

[Warner_Bros] We will consider future releases on a title-by-title basis.

[MattBirchall] Will the upcoming Space Jam: SE be anamorphic widescreen? I've seen the feature list, but no word on the widescreen. . . Thanks!

[Warner_Bros] No.

[AdamBarratt] Do you have any plans to re-visit The Iron Giant as a full Special Edition?

[Warner_Bros] Yes. With even greater filmmaker participation next time. No timetable yet, however.

[StevenA] Thank you for releasing Creepshow last year, but I though it was a missed opportunity not to record a Stephen King/George Romero/Tom Savini audio commentary. That's an incredible team to work on a horror film together and I think horror fans would snap it up! Any chance in future of a reissue (if they can get King for The Stand commentary...)

[Warner_Bros] We will consider your proposal for a few years down the road. If we're all still working here.

[MarkPfeiffer] Any chance of seeing DVDs of films with Audrey Hepburn, such as "Wait Until Dark", or Grace Kelly, such as "Dial M For Murder" or her MGM films?

[Warner_Bros] WAIT UNTIL DARK, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON and THE NUN'S STORY are all under consideration for the as-yet-incomplete 2001 schedule. DIAL M FOR MURDER needs restoration before it can proceed, and Ms. Kelly's MGM pictures will have to be examined one-by-one.

[SteveEnemark] When can we expect some of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons (uncensored, please) to appear on DVD?

[Warner_Bros] We hope to release something along the lines of Vintage Looney Tunes Compilations in 2001.

[Steve_Simon] I got here a little late, so I hope this question wasn't asked yet, I know your company has some DTS titles comming out , but what is the future going to hold FOR DTS 5.1, and Warner Bros Home Video, and any release date for ANY GIVEN SUNDAY?

[Warner_Bros] ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is coming Fall 2000 -- heavily enhanced. DTS, as mentioned before, will be considered title-by-title.

[Steve_Simon] Thats what I like to Hear , DTS thank You Warner!!!

[PeterMFitzgerald] I'd like to see a DVD collection of all the Warner-controlled stop-motion animated monster movies by Ray Harryhausen (MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, BEAST FROM 20.000 FATHOMS, VALLEY OF GWANGI, CLASH OF THE TITANS) and others, (BLACK SCORPION, GIANT BEHEMOTH, WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH, 7 FACES OF DR. LAO), with Harryhausen's entire dinosaur sequence from Warner's otherwise-ordinary nature documentary THE ANIMAL WORLD (1956, WB) "bonus material" on a DVD of Harryhausen's VALLEY OF GWANGI... Is stuff like this likely from WB soon?

[Warner_Bros] 7 FACES OF DR. LAO arrives 10/3/00. Most others you mention need extensive restoration/remastering with the exception of CLASH OF THE TITANS, which was recently completed and is a 2001 scheduling possibility.

[PeterMFitzgerald] Ah, thanks. PAPILLON was GREAT!

[GregStaten] I believe Citizen Kane is now in your library. Criterion did a wonderful LD edition of this a few years back. Is this title in your current release plans? (hopefully as a special edition?)

[Warner_Bros] We have been planning it for some time and will make every effort possible to deliver a 60th Anniversary Edition next year. Realizing this is dicey because of the extensive remastering and restoration it needs but best efforts are being made.

[SteveEnemark] All this talk about "2001" releases invites the obvious question: when can we expect the super-duper special edition 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY deserves? A new anamorphic transfer, and fixed dialog being at the top of the list of features.

[Warner_Bros] Periodically check our website: for news on this.

[MarkMcLeod] I'm wondering if there are any plans for the cult teen classic Empire Records. Even a barebone's, Widescreen release would be nice. Thanks

[RonEpstein] Next up is Mark McLeod....

[Warner_Bros] It is a 2001 scheduling possibility.

[Drue_Elrick] I have enjoyed both Batman animated DVDs and look forward to the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie. I was wondering what the plans are regarding the older Batman animated series and newer Batman Beyond series on DVD. I would buy them both in a heartbeat. Given what was on the Batman Beyond: The Movie DVD, can we look forward to discs with 6-8 episodes per disc, perhaps in season box sets? (Perhaps more than 8 eps. per disc?)... And I would like to add my support for Babylon 5 season sets. I'd buy them in a heartbeat. That series deserves to be released on DVD (2-4 eps per disc if possible, with intros.) Thank you.

[Warner_Bros] Duly noted. Your desires re BATMAN BEYOND and earlier incarnations of BATMAN will be conveyed to our Family Entertainment Group. BABYLON 5 has already been addressed and acknowledged.

[BrianKirchhoff] Good evening from Chicago! Thanks for producing such incredible titles. Three Kings is awesome! Any thought or discussions about moving to an alternative form of packaging, such as the plastic Keep Case, at any point in the future?

[Warner_Bros] No plans to change.

[Jim_K] I'm a big fan of older Hammer horror titles that you own such as HORRO OF DRACULA, MUMMY etc. do you have any release plans? If not would you consider licensing these to another studio such as Anchor Bay? Also do you have any plans for more classic westerns such as Rio Bravo or Magnificent Seven? thanks.

[Warner_Bros] In the hopper as 2001 possibilities are McCABE & MRS. MILLER, RIO BRAVO, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON and one or two other Westerns. HORROR OF DRACULA, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE MUMMY (1959) are 4th Qtr 2001 possibilities.

[NeilBulk] Hi and thanks for coming. What are the plans for the Superman-The Movie DVD? Can we expect multiple commentaries, a new documentary, seamless branching between different versions of the film, an isolated score all on a multiple disc set? That's what I'd like to see anyway. Any details please? Thank you.

[Warner_Bros] You seem to have lots of details. More than we have a handle on at this time.

[PeterRohlfs] Will the classic WB Errol Flynn movies such as Adventures of Robin Hood come out on DVD? Thank You

[Warner_Bros] Yes, when restoration remasterings can be realized on THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, CAPTAIN BLOOD and THE SEA HAWK and others, we will issue them. These will take a while, however. The only recently remastered Flynn titles available to us at this time are OBJECTIVE BURMA and THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER and THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE.

[hakan_powers] Will the recent Time Warner / AOL merger have any impact on future DVD content?

[Warner_Bros] Not known at this time.

[GregStaten] As an ardent collector of DVDs (about 700 so far) I'm worried about the coming of rental pricing (both the prices and the fear of the reduction in features for the rental market). What are Warner's thoughts regarding this issue (arrival this year, two different versions for rental & sellthru, etc)?

[Warner_Bros] We are committed to sellthrough pricing in this format.

[DAVE] What details can you give us on the upcoming DVD release of "North by Northwest?" Will it get a new transfer? any extras? Also do you think since THE SOPRANOS is being released internationally during the 4th qtr. it be released in the states at around the same time? Thanks again.

[Warner_Bros] Ask HBO Home Video about THE SOPRANOS domestically. NORTH BY NORTHWEST will be a breathlessly exciting DVD with an all-new transfer, documentary, 5.1 Dolby, music-only track, Ernest Lehman commentary, widsecreen (1.85) and rare Hitchcock Trailers.

[Bruce_N] What determines which titles are released in DTS? Is it determined by the quality of the source material or content or dice roll? Just curious what goes into the decision-making process. BTW, thank you very much for your participation in this forum. It means a lot to to the enthusiasts that you are willing to listen to our ideas.

[Warner_Bros] Availability of elements, quality of source material, perceived marketability.

[David_Coleman] Will you release Ben-Hur and Doctor Zhivago and what films will you use seamless braching technology

[Warner_Bros] BEN-HUR and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO are 2001 possibilities; seamless branching is being explored for its title-by-title applications.

[MattBirchall] What is the status of "The Goonies"? I've heard some rumours of it coming this year. Any word on a possible release date, or features? Deleted scenes would be great. Thank you.

[Warner_Bros] It needs remastering first. After that is accomplished we'd like to schedule it in 2001.

[MichaelSliger] Just a request for more Babylon 5 info. If a decision is made to make DVDs of the series, how much of a delay would the remastering (hopefully anamorphic) add? IMHO, most fans would be willing to wait a little bit for remastered editions. If there is a question about sales figures, I really think a test run of In The Beginning (widescreen) would give you a good idea about interest. Thanks!

[Warner_Bros] Remastering will take time. Thank you for your input about widescreen preference.

[BillW] You mentioned B5 was 'being planned', can you give us some sense of a timeframe (ie, year/qtr) on when the first episodes or movies might appear? Thanks for being such a leading force in DVD!

[Warner_Bros] No timeframe yet.

[hakan_powers] Are there any plans on widescreen re-issues on the Stanley Kubrick collection and Eyes Wide Shut, preferably the uncut version of EWS?

[Warner_Bros] Periodically check our website for news on this topic.

[hakan_powers] no time frame?

[Warner_Bros] No time frame.

[Jim_K] Whats the status of the original KING KONG? Possible release date, specs, etc. thanks.

[Warner_Bros] KING KONG is in need of extensive restoration so it will take some time.

[StevenA] I believe you have the rights to the brilliant 1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. With Universal having such success with their monster classics, any chance we'll see this Oscar-winning classic soon?

[Warner_Bros] It needs restoration/remastering. No time soon.

[RonEpstein] From DVDRESOURCE.COM ... Steve Tannehill....

[SteveT] Thanks for the chat!!! Will THE SHINING (TV miniseries) be released? Why is WILLY WONKA being discontinued? And thanks for's practically 3-D! How about AUNTIE MAME for a double feature?

[Warner_Bros] AUNTIE MAME is in the restoration hopper just now. WILLY WONKA will be readdressed by our Family Entertainment Group anew for its 30th anniversary next year. THE SHINING has a Second Network Telecast holdback from Domestic Home Video before we can issue it.

[RonEpstein] Next up from THECINEMALASER.COM is Derek Germano....

[DerekGermano] Will V-The Miniseries and V-The Final Battle be released on DVD? Thanks!

[Warner_Bros] These have both been recently remastered. They are being looked at for 2001 or 2002 release.

[DAVE] I know this is technicallly a New Line owned title, but do you have any info. on when the Special Ed. of "Seven" is coming and what it might contain? And are there any plans to revisit "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" & "Dog Day Afternoon"as Special Ed.s. ...It is the 25th anniversary for both ya know... (hint, hint). Thanks again

[Warner_Bros] No information on SEVEN; ask New Line. CUCKOO'S NEST and DOG DAY AFTERNOON can be revisited in future, but not this year. Maybe for their 30th.

[Jeffrey] Okay. Any word on the following films: Imagine: John Lennon, This Is Elvis, All Dirty Harry films from Magnum Force onward, A Perfect World, Tightrope, East Of Eden

[Warner_Bros] Look for some DIRTY HARRY activity (including its sequels) in its 30th anniversary year, next year. IMAGINE JOHN LENNON needs remastering. A PERFECT WORLD and THIS IS ELVIS are 2001 possibilities. TIGHTROPE isn't being worked on just now. EAST OF EDEN is on moratorium now due to Rights Issues.

[DanR] Has work commenced on a dvd version of this summer's THE PERFECT STORM. If so, what value-added features can we look for? Wolfgang commenrtay, etc. DTS on this one too.

[Warner_Bros] We're working on it. Mr. Petersen will be involved. It will be a loaded and web-enabled extravaganza.

[RonEpstein] We wish to thank Paul Hemstreet, Jim Wuthrich and the other folks sitting at the computer at Warner Home Video for spending time with us tonight. Your studio has been tremendous to the DVD format. We appreciate your contributions to our forum.

[Warner_Bros] Thanks to all our supporters out there.

[ParkerClack] Thanks so much for taking the time out of your night to do this for us.

[Bruce_N] applause! applause! applause!

[NeilBulk] Thank you for coming tonight!

[MattBirchall] Looking forward to buying all the stuff next year!

[HoldenPike] Thanks for the time and info, guys. A true privelege. Keep on keepin' on.

[JosephDeMartino] Thanks guys!

[SteveT] Thanks again!!!

[hakan_powers] thanks for participating in the chat. keep up all the great work! major applause!

[Drue_Elrick] Thank you, both.

[Bruce_N] [applause! applause! applause!

[JeffUlmer] Thanks for everything!

[Chris_Jackson] Thank you Very much for the info guys..keep up the great work!

[Sam_Rossi] Thanks !!!

[EmilStoica] thanks

[Steve_Simon] Thanks

[JackA] thanks

[RonEpstein] Thanks again, everyone!

[ParkerClack] Do come back and join with our group again.

Session Close: Tue Apr 18 22:36:35 2000

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