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Chat Transcript: MGM
on Home Theater Forum


The following is a complete transcript of the on-line chat with with Allyssa Moore and members of the DVD staff at MGM Home Video, held on Tuesday night (May 30th) 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!

Session Start: Tue May 30 21:03:46 2000

[RonEpstein] Good Evening everyone Thanks for coming to the chat tonight - seems we havea full house At this time, I would like to introduce MGM HOME VIDEO, in particular, Allyssa Moore, who I believe heads up the Home Video division.

[mgm] Hi Everyone

[RonEpstein] Allyssa, who is there with you tonight?

[mgm] We have myself, Julia Simmons, Blake Thomas and Brian Koselke

[RonEpstein] Welcome! We are going to open the floor to questions.

[AnthonyI] Will there be a widescreen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

[mgm] This is a title we will revisit in the future, but don't look for it in the next 12 months.

[GregStaten] You've announced PRINCESS BRIDE which I'm a big fan of. However, rumors have it that you are using an old non-anamorphic transfer. To be blunt, I already own the Criterion LD and will only purchase PB again if it has a new anamorphic transfer. Are rumors (hopefully) incorrect?

[mgm] We are releasing the Princess Bride, it is not a new transfer but we are beginning work with Rob Reiner on a special edition which will be scheduled around his production work. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

[JOHN_BERGGREN] Thank you MGM, you've done a great job on James Bond. Can I expect Anamorphic support and special features for "Six Degrees of Separation"?

[mgm] We are currently working on a new anamorphic transfer!

[Jason_Hughes] Thanks for coming, on the third wave of Bond DVDs this fall, can we expect more screen specific commentaris like Moonraker and TWINE, or more edited together interviews.

[mgm] Both, but likely to be more edited together interviews.

[JackTorrance] Any chance of seeing the Bill and Ted movies on dvd any time soon? Widescreen please?Also what are you doing with your other orion films (Robocop, Silence Of Thre Lambs in DD5.1 and UHF) please.

[mgm] You'll be happy to know Bill and Ted is scheduled for 2001. Look for other Orion films including RoboCop and Silence of the Lambs in 2001 as well. We will release anamorphic transfers whenever we have the available elements.

[PeterMFitzgerald] Hi! James Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman also made 3 great "Harry Palmer" spy films starring Michael Caine. Anchor Bay/Universal put out a nice THE IPCRESS FILE (1965, 1st film in trilogy) DVD last fall; will MGM/UA do the same with your "Harry Palmer" film, BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN (1967, final film in trilogy), directed by Ken "LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM" Russell? Perhaps as a "Special Edition"?

[mgm] At this point, we have not planned to do so but we will take your suggestion under consideration. Thanks!

[DerekGermano] Will the DVD editons of John Carpernter movies THE FOG and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK feature the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement? Thanks for coming tonight.

[mgm] Both titles will be released in the best form possible, we expect to release both in anamorphic.

[PeterMFitzgerald] Thanks! MGM/UA also controls some great spaghetti westerns like DEATH RIDES A HORSE, SABATA, THE MERCENARY. Mght we see these on DVD soon? Thanks.

[mgm] At this point, we have no plans to release any of these titles in 2001. Are there any other Westerns you are interested in?

[PeterMFitzgerald] Yes.

[mgm] Such as?

[PeterMFitzgerald] A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE (aka DUCK YOU SUCKER), THE BIG COUNTRY, MAGNIFICENT 7, VERA CRUZ, others...all widescreen films.

[mgm] Re: Fistful, we are currently working on legal issues. Re: Big Country, we are working on the transfer, look for it in 2001. Also look for the "MAG" movies in 2001. I think you will be happy.

[GregStaten] One film I'm eagerly awaiting is WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (hopefully with a new anamorphic transfer). Any release plans?

[mgm] We are planning a special edition release in 2001. We are working with Rob Reiner and the disc will be packed with lots of goodies.

[JasonPassons] I've heard that the Vincent Price/AIP film Tales Of Terror will be released on DVD and will be anamorphic, if this is true, do you have any plans to release any other Vincent Price/AIP on DVD, specifically the Edgar Allen Poe adaptations? Perhaps a box set? Thanks.

[mgm] Tales of Terror will be anamorphic in September 2000. All of the Vincent Price AIP films will be released over the next 2 yrs.

[Bill_Buklis] When are you planning to release UHF and will it be with an anamorphic transfer?

[mgm] At this point, we are trying to clear home video rights for this title and will release if and when we are able to.

[tim_gerdes] Looking forward to the Woody Allen boxed set. Any plans for the later Orion films on DVD?

[mgm] Yes, look for them in 2001.

[LukeB] Why are MGM and other studios waiting to release episodes of TV shows? The people are very much interested in buying episodes of a number of TV shows, yet studios seem to think otherwise.

[mgm] Actually, most episodic TV series do not sell well on DVD or VHS. However, we have released some of the Stargate SG1 series and based on performance, we will continue to release.

[Mike_D] Will you be releasing David Lynch's "Wild At Heart" on DVD soon, which I'm told you now have the rights to. If so, will it be a new anamorphic transfer?

[mgm] Unfortunately, we do not have the rights to this title.

[JohnGilmore] Hi...thanks for doing the chat! I'd like to know if you have plans to release Houe of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows (which you released as a double-bill LaserDisc) and (most especially) Barbra Streisand's Yentl in anamorphic with special features. thx!

[mgm] Look for Yentl in 2001, you will be happy with the release, that's all I am going to say. We are looking at the Dark Shadows titles but have not planned to release them in 2001.

[Ike] Hi, I thanks for coming tonight and chatting with us! I was wondering if maybe MGM could lease the commentary from Criterion's Raging Bull LD? If not, could you allow them to release it, or could you record a new one? Thanks for coming!

[mgm] Thank you for your suggestion. It's tough to arrange a mutually acceptable deal with Criterion for material like this, but we will try.

[GregStaten] I'm sure you're well aware of the heat MGM has been taking lately on the net. While virtually every other studio is doing new anamorphic transfers and loading discs with special edition content the only films you seem to do this with are the Bond films while most other films only get dated transfers and a booklet "supplement". Any hopes of seeing a change in this strategy?

[mgm] With the volume of titles we are currently releasing and the quality of the library materials on Orion and Polygram titles, we do the best we can. Look for many more anamorphic transfers and added value in 2001.

[CraigS] Thanks for being here! I'm also looking forward to the Woody Allen set, but we're hearing "Annie Hall" is the only title of the 8 to not get a new anamorphic transfer. This is arguably Allen's finest film, any reason why no new transfer? Any chance of one in the future?

[mgm] At this point, we are not planning to re-release Annie Hall with an anamorphic transfer.

[MikeSerrano] GregStaten stole my thunder, but here it goes: Regarding catalog titles: you have stated that an anamorphic transfer will be done if the needed elements are available. Does that mean the current crop of non-anamorphic MGM titles are that way because the lack of quality elements? Or are there any plans on the table to revisit and "anamorphisize" some titles (such as SpaceBalls)?

[mgm] For some of the title we have released, yes, it was based on element availability. However, over time, we have been able to locate some additional elements for these titles and we will revisit an anamorphic transfer on a title by title basis.

[Dedrick] When will the Terminator 1 DVD be released and will it be a special edition? Thanks

[mgm] We have not announce this title yet but look for an added-value loaded edition in 4th quarter.

[StevenA] Thank you for your upcoming Woody Allen releases! I am also concerned, however, about the Annie Hall disc using the original transfer, since there is a serious fault with the subtitles during the "inner thoughts" scene (they are closed captions, with the "thinking" disclaimer ruining the joke). Can you put my fears to rest that this problem will be fixed on the new disc?

[mgm] We are sorry, but the disc is as it stands, we are not planning to release a new disc.

[PatrickL] I'm a fan of Robert Altman's films and as of today, not a single one of his films from the 60s 70s or even 80s are on dvd. I believe MGM owns two - Brewster McCloud and Buffalo Bill and the Indians. Are either of these films being considered?

[mgm] Look for Buffalo Bill in 2001. And I do not think Brewster McCloud is ours. I'll check into it. Thanks.

[Michael_Pakula] Will There Be a Blade Runner Special Edition? , Thanks for Coming.

[mgm] We hope so, I'm an avid fan! But it is Warner Bros.

[RonEpstein] What are your plans for releasing ITS A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD as a Special Edition that was previously released to LD?

[mgm] It's on the schedule for 2001 with a new transfer but we are still determining what we will include on the disc.

[Lawrence] Is there a release date set for Some Like It Hot, and are there any plans to release the three MGM Abbott and Costello films to DVD?

[mgm] Look for Some Like It Hot in 2001.We do not own the Abbott and Costello films, they are now with Warner I think.

[Aaron_B] Any plans for The Man in the Moon (with Reese Witherspoon), Clash of the Titans or Deceiver?

[mgm] Both Man in the Moon and Deceiver are scheduled for 2001. Clash went to Warner Bros. I think.

[SteveL] Why was the Rocky boxed set postponed?what supplements will be on it when will it be released?

[mgm] The Rocky release was post-poned due to the creation of the added value elements. We can not divulge what those will be at this time, but look for it in 2001. We will not disapoint.

[PeterFranks] Thanks for being here, MGM. Regarding TMWTGG...are we going to see a recall, and a re-issue? There are MANY of us who cannot watch the entire second layer of the film. Once the layer change occurs, all we get is a pixellated, distorted mess. All of us who've spent hundred of dollars on these otherwise outstanding 007 DVDs would appreciate a collection with all working titles. Thank you for your help.

[mgm] Thanks for the applause on the release information. We are here to please. With respect to TMWTGG, we are aware of the problem and are currently working on a resolution. It looks like this is occuring on a small segment of 1st generation players. We will make sure to get the word out on the resolution as soon as we can. Please be patient.

[JackTorrance] Any chance of a Rain Man SE?

[mgm] At this time, no plans. Thanks for the suggestion.

[samrossi] Any plans for a fully-loaded special edition of A Fish Called Wanda ? Arguably one of the best modern comedies.

[mgm] We are glad you like the film. We have not discussed a special edition for 2001 but appreciate your thoughts.

[JeffSwindoll] Can we expect a special edition of the original Haunting? The remake was crap. Many thanks for coming & please supply more pre-release info on the MGM website. Cheers.

[mgm] Haunting is a Warner Bros. film. Done.

[Bill_Bessette] Please forgive me if this has been asked or is common knowledge... Do you have a general time frame for release of Escape from NY, and can you give us a basic run down on the included features you're working on? Will John Carpenter be participating?

[mgm] First, I wanted to answer Jeff's question re: the web. We are currently redesigning MGM.com and will make sure to update our DVD section. Look for it this summer. With respect to Escape from New York, we have not announced our plans for this title yet. Keep looking on MGM.com for updates.

[Michael_Pakula] Do you guys have any plans for a Special Edition of The Great Escape?, This Film is a Classic. Thanks

[mgm] We are pretty happy with the disc we have released but will revisit the title some time in the future. Maybe 2002?

[Aaron_B] Do you have any plans to release the Whit Stillman films Barcelona and Metropolitan and any info on when The Fog is coming?

[mgm] We do not have the rights to Barcelona and I'm not sure about Metropolitan. Look for The Fog in 2001.

[Neil_Bulk] Thank you for coming and thanks for the great Bond DVD's. I can't wait for volume 3! Are you aware though that the new DVD of On Her Majesty's Secret Service is cut compared to the wide screen laserdisc?

[mgm] We are glad you are enjoying the Bond discs. We've heard that there is question re: the OHMSS transfer, however, this was the best transfer available.

[Ike] I was wondering if you have a favorite DVD, non-MGM? Do you have an upcoming release from MGM that really excites you? Thanks for chatting with us! I'd also like to suggest a Leaving Las Vegas Special Edition with commentary by Figgis, and the current unrated widescreen transfer. Thanks again, we truly appreciate it when studios take the time to talk to us lowly fans. :-)

[mgm] I have to admit, my personal favorite disc is Ghostbusters Special Edition, others here like the Matrix - which is also great. From our home site - we are very excited about our upcomign releases - Terminator and Spinal Tap. We hope you are all pleased. With re: to Leaving Las Vegas, we have not announced any plans to do a special edition. We'll keep you posted. Thanks.

[Robert_Dunnill] Are there any plans to release The Apartment, Mulholland Falls, and The Misfits to DVD? Thanks for coming!

[mgm] Look for them all next year.

[BruceM] Any chance of seeing any DTS titles?

[mgm] At this point, we believe AC3 audio is the standard and broadest audio format. We will look at DTS on a title by title basis.

[StevenA] Is there any chance we'll see the original Outer Limits series on DVD soon (if you own the rights)? Image's Twilight Zone discs seem to have been successful and The Outer Limits would be wonderful to collect.

[mgm] We are evaluating it, but it is not a sure thing. Don't count it out.

[MarkPfeiffer] How similar will "This Is Spinal Tap" be to the Criterion version? I realize the commentary track is different, but are the deleted scenes the same or different?

[mgm] Look for some of the same, but many different elements. We were fortunate to have access to hours of unused footage as well as unbelievable participation from "the band" and Rob Reiner. Look for Spinaltap.com.

[Dedrick] I love Dirty Work will there ever be a special edition? Thanks

[mgm] At this time, we have no plans to do so.

[DerekGermano] Is MOONSTRUCK still an MGM title? If so, will it be re-released in 16:9 enhanced wide screen?

[mgm] It is still our title. We may revisit it in the future, but don't look for it in 2001.

[PatrickL] I was perplexed when your recent release of The Idolmaker was full frame only. How did that come to be? Thanks

[mgm] Overall, we look at formats on a title by title basis. This title seems to have a broad appeal, and the materials available through the acquisition were sub standard, however, the full frame elements were ready to go.

[MarkPfeiffer] Thanks for being so candid tonight. Anything special planned for "Return To Me" when it eventually comes to DVD? Generally speaking, will newer films see more supplemental features?

[mgm] We are working closely with Bonnie Hunt on this project but we can not announce our plans yet. We will look at the newer releases on a title by title basis, but it is often easier to create extra elements while the creative principals are sitll involved in making or marketing the film. So yes - we will look at including added value materials on newer releases!

[Jeffrey] Thanks Metro for coming aboard tonight...I'd like to cast a vote for one of the most underrated films of the 90's..."Rush" with Jennifer Jason Leigh....I think it would make a superb special edition title...---Thanks again....

[mgm] Thanks for your suggestion, we will take it into consideration.

[DAVE_B] Any plans to release "Running Scared" on DVD this year? Will it get a new transfer? Also what's the latest on the "Rocky" Special Ed.s.?

[mgm] Look for Running Scared in 2001, we have not announced a new transfer yet. Look for updates on mgm.com. The same goes for Rocky!

[John_Miles] I may be mistaken, but did you get the rights to "When Harry Met Sally" when you bought Polygram's library? If so, can you talk about any plans for a DVD release? Thanks for taking the time for the chat, it's certainly appreciated. Sorry if I'm mistaken about the title's ownership.

[mgm] As we said earlier, look for a special edition in 2001. Don't miss it!

[PeterMFitzgerald] Since you asked earlier, another great UA western deserving of DVD treatment: Anthony Mann's MAN OF THE WEST (1958), starring Gary Cooper. Do you currently own the Polygram film THE MAN FROM HONG KONG (1975)? It would make a great widescreen DVD, and martial arts star Jimmy Wang Yu fights villain George Lazenby (1-time James Bond)! Jackie Chan's pal Sammo Hung (star of TV's MARTIAL LAW) is in it too. Thanks for all the great work.

[mgm] Thanks for the suggestion. Man from Hong Kong is not our title, at least we don't think so.

[Aaron_B] Any chance on Jack The Giant Killer getting released and do you own the rights to Beastmaster (the movie not the TV show)?

[mgm] No plans on Jack yet. Beastmaster is at Warner Bros.

[Dedrick] When will Supernova be released and will it be a Special Edition? Thanks

[mgm] We haven't announced this title yet, but look for an SE announcement soon.

[Jason_Hughes] Does MGM have the rights to the original MAD MAX, and if so a release with an optional original Australian dub would thrill many here. Thanks

[mgm] Thanks for the suggestion. We are still working on our plans for this title - look for more information in 2001.

[JeffSwindoll] Subtitles, english subtitles. Why do only 2 of the Bonds in Box 2 have english subtitles while the others do not (only Spanish & French). I dont think they're closed captioned either.

[mgm] The 2 titles which have english subtitles were already compressed so that is why they have them. We included cc on the remaining titles. Is there any reason why we should have both?

[JeffSwindoll] Subtitles are less intrusive than CC, IMHO. Cheers.

[mgm] Thank you for your input!

[JohnGilmore] Since you own the rights to Orion films, do you have plans to release David Mamet's House of Games? Also, any chance of a special edition of West Side Story?

[mgm] House of Games is still in rights clearance. We have not finalized our plans for West Side Story yet.

[PeterMFitzgerald] Though the DVD of ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE was otherwise excellent in all departments, why was there no modern-day participation by Diana Rigg in either the documentary or commentary track? I saw her recently on a UK talk show taped in 1999, and she talked a tiny bit about the film then (she didn't seem to mind doing so). Thanks much for chatting with us tonight, this was great!

[mgm] We enjoyed our chat session as well! Diana Rigg was unavailable to work on the disc in our required time frame.

[DAVE_B] I got to the chat late and I figure this has probably been asked, but what's the latest on the "Terminator" Special ED? Also when can we expect "City Slickers"?. thanks again.

[mgm] Terminator special edition - coming soon. Stay alert - you won't be disappointed. Look for City in 2001 - great film.

[James_M_] I dont know if anyone has asked this already i wasnt here for all of this, but I am Interested in the two bond films that won't be included in the 3rd bond set, Never say never again and Casino Royale. When will those be released on dvd and what kind of treatment will they get?

[mgm] Look for Never Say Never again released around the same time as the next installment of Bond. Look for Casino Royale in 2001.

[JimB] Welcome, can you tell us whether Rocky III will finally be released on DVD? Can you elaborate on why this title was held up? Thanks.

[mgm] Look for this title in 2001 as part of a Rocky celebration, hence the wait.

[RonEpstein] Was there originally a rights problem?

[mgm] No rights problem on Rocky III.

[Louis-Olivier] Do you have any plans for a Tank Girl Dvd ?

[mgm] Look for Tank Girl in 2001.

[Michael_Pakula] Will Sean Connery get his picture on the box of the 3rd set? And what films will be in the set?

[mgm] Sean Connery is a possibility, you'll have to wait to see it on jamesbond.com. We've already addressed the other Bonds - scroll up! Look for updates on the next installment of Bond on jamesbond.com.

[RonEpstein] That does it for this evening. I wish to thank MGM Home Video for participating tonight -and- Ned Vogler for helping run this chat. You folks at MGM are welcome back anytime!

[mgm] Thanks to all. See you again soon.

Session Close: Tue May 30 22:31:08 2000

Copyright 2000 Home Theater Forum. Reader may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale or in any way exploit any of the content of transcript, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the copyright holder.


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