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December 09 2005

Empire report Joss loves the UK. Or something to do with the Serenity DVD, anyway.

Looks like I will be waiting for the UK version then...
Seems like ours (in Australia) is still the best! ;-)
Looks like I'll be buying the U.K. version as well, then! Glad I got that multi-region DVD player!
Digital Spy have picked up on this story too.

[ edited by brob1 on 2005-12-09 17:50 ]
Well, I'm going to have to get the UK version in addition to the US version, now. I can play R2 DVDs on my computer, so that will have to do, since I don't have a region-free player otherwise.

A little OT: Anybody know what happened to the June 23rd birthday footage from the various pre-screening sites? I thought I remembered that footage was going to be compiled somewhere and made public. I remember seeing the footage of the screening where Joss arrived and everybody sang for him, but I know there was more from the other screenings. (Would love to have seen some of that on the DVDs.)
It's not official yet, but I just heard Serenity has won a film award in the UK. Joss will be doing an acceptance speech, which will be broadcast on TV towards Christmas.

Serenity: The UK Strikes Back.
I wonder what the award is?

So does the Australian version not have this special feature? What does the Australian version have that the UK version does not? Do we even know for certain yet or could the UK be definitive?
So that's three copies I'll have of the BDM! I've ordered one from Amazon and from PlayUSA so I've got a chance of one of them getting here for Christmas and I'll be buying the UK one now.
The Oz version has an extra disk - details on serenitymovie.com.au

The award is BBC Film 2005 'Film of the Year'. Joss, if you haven't been told yet, well done!
That's a 3rd copy I'll need to buy then, anyone know a reasonably priced site where I can import DVDs to the UK from Australia.

Film of the year, is an award it definitely deserved, onto the Oscars!
The BAFTAs first, Ghost Spike. Hopefully. I'm pushing that one.
Empire (Britain's biggest film mag) just named Serenity one of the ten best films of the year as well. Eveything is setting up nicely for a long DVD afterlife.
Yea, we've (Australia) got the Q&A also. Plus all the other stuff.
I actually just did a search, this is what we have (taken from JB HiFi):

Features:
A Filmmakers Journey: Journey with Joss from script to screen (no longer just exclusive to Australian DVD but also turning up in Mother England's version)
Joss Whedon Q&A Session: Filmed at Fox Studios (exclusive to Australian DVD)
Talk A Walk On Serenity: Cast and crew take us on a special tour of the Serenity ship (exclusive to Australian DVD)
The Green Clan: Expose on cinematographer Jack Green and his team (exclusive to Australian DVD)
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Future History: The story of Earth That Was
What's In A Firefly
Re-lighting the Firefly
Joss Whedon Introduction
Feature Commentary
Easter Egg: We'll Have A Fruity Oaty Good Time

So, it looks like we'll all be saving up hey?

[ edited by nixygirl on 2005-12-09 19:47 ]
Yay! For once, it turns out my vote counts! Congrats Joss!
nixygirl - just for info, the 1st feature is no longer exclusive to Oz - UK has it to now :)

I'm pretty sure Serenity will pick up a BBC Radio 1 award and an Empire award soon as well. BAFTA is a real challenge, as that's a fairly big award (it'd certainly spike the DVDs here, a lot), but the competition is big. Universal will likely want KONG and MUNICH entering, so my mission this month is to convince them Serenity needs a chance :)
I just copied it from the JB HiFi website gossi, but have edited it now for our gracious Queen.
(I'm talking about the Royal one here!!!!) ; D

[ edited by nixygirl on 2005-12-09 19:45 ]
WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY?????? First James gives more love to the UK, then whoever's in charge of Serenity stuff favors UK and AU.

Sure, I have a region free dvd player, but not everyone does. So why should those who don't have to go without the extras or buy a new dvd player? Not fair, I tell ya! I mean really, this stuff should be the same all over. Makes me wonder what the rationale is, other than to upset people.

I mean, the US Browncoats are chopped liver or something?

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-12-09 20:19 ]
Yes! Best film of the year 2005! Brilliant. Will be watching that then.
Rogue Slayer said:
WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY?????? First James gives more love to the UK, then whoever's in charge of Serenity stuff favors UK and AU.

Sure, I have a region free dvd player, but not everyone does. So why should those who don't have to go without the extras or buy a new dvd player? Not fair, I tell ya! I mean really, this stuff should be the same all over. Makes me wonder what the rationale is, other than to upset people.

I mean, the US Browncoats are chopped liver or something?


Why do we outside the US usually have to import DVDs if we want them quickly, if we want more special features, or occasionally if we want them at all? (Why don't we get the extra commentary on Buffy season 4? Why don't we get the Family Guy commentaries? Why to get the 1st season of Lost on R2 do you have to spend 70 pounds on 2 box sets? Why can't we get Clerks Animated on R2 DVD at all? And why (something that really ticks me off, no matter how petty it is) do the R2 art designers more often than not insist on putting "series x" rather than "season x" on the box?)

It's very rare that we get the superior DVD release, yet the US get them all the time.

And it'll all be on the Special Edition whenever that comes out.
For a long time the feeling had been that there was going to be a second, more specialler version for the U.S. (and Canada) sometime after we had all spent our money on this more limited version, correct?
Now that we know there is extra content that North America is not getting, we can assume that we were correct about this.
But I'm buying a $60.00 region free DVD player so that I can get the Australian version which still seems the most complete.
Of course, because I am nothing if not a spendthrift where Joss is concerned, I am also getting the North American version.
The answer to all of your questions is -- the MPAA member companies want to make more money. This is why we have region coding, this is why we have different release dates, this is why they vary the features deliberately between regions. Greed.

By the by on the subject of region free and good dvd players, there is a topic on flickr that some may want to check out including two great buys.

It's very rare that we get the superior DVD release, yet the US get them all the time.

And it'll all be on the Special Edition whenever that comes out.


It should all be equal. No one should have to buy special equipment or pony up extra money for stuff like this, regardless of where they are. And how long do we have to wait for the superspecialreallycompleteextras dvd anyway? Not fair, I tells ya!
Question: do our computers have region-specific DVD players?
Maybe the UK warrants special attention because... oh, I don't know...the movie went to no.1 at our box office? :)
Ronald_SF said:
Question: do our computers have region-specific DVD players?


You can change the region of your DVD drive 5 times, after that it locks. Never gotten any of the programmes that claim to make it region free to work myself.
[W]hy (something that really ticks me off, no matter how petty it is) do the R2 art designers more often than not insist on putting "series x" rather than "season x" on the box?


Ghost Spike, isn't that just a semantic difference between British and American English? The word "series" in the U.K. is often used to mean what is meant by "season" in the U.S., n'est-ce pas? At least, it was when I were a child growing up in the Big Smoke . . .

But I agree with the rest - it is unfair, on all sides, for different regions to get different treatment in terms of substance. Differences in packaging I understand, but not what's inside. I went region-free in my DVD player six weeks or so ago, and it feels wonderful.
I like the differences in DVDs as well as (music) CDs, it gives collectors purpose in life.
Ronald_SF/Ghost Spike - All of my computer DVD drives are region free. The reason you may not have gotten these programs to work is that region checking occurs at three levels -- The drive (firmware) level, the Operating System level, and the Software Player level. You may need to counteract all three depending upon your setup. Feel free to email me off-board if you have questions.

Caroline - ponders his cd singles and coloured vinyl albums from the U.K. and nods. Indeed, it is so ;)

ETA - just added some more info on region free stuff to the flickr thread ref'd above.
Woo, Serenity won an award!

I am happy.
ponders his cd singles and coloured vinyl albums from the U.K. and nods

I never had to buy special equipment or muck about on my computer config to get any of my music imports to play.

So, not quite the same.
Play just emailed me to say they've posted my copy of Serenity! Yay! Hopefully I'll get it before the twentieth.

I have a region free DVD player, though the biggest example of the UK getting a better deal than the US was of course Buffy. We got each season WAY before the US!
theonetruebix - was referring to the collector mentality, not comparing potential additional cost incurred.

zz9 - Yeah, syndication rights and whatnot cause shows here to be pushed out on DVD later, though that seems to be happening a little less at least (Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.)
WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY??????


Because we're so very sexy. That's why. Probably.
Because we're so very sexy. That's why. Probably.

I wondered about that. Ya'll are too sexy for standard extras it hurts....
Well it was either that or "Universal America doesn't really care".
Or they think that all North Americans are made of money (Don't we buy Thousands of dollars worth of tickets to Serenity and give them away?) and thus can afford to either buy other countries' DVDs or buy the version we are getting then buy the extra special version later or both.
But I think Simon is probably correct. You are so very sexy.

[ edited by Lioness on 2005-12-10 00:32 ]
Might note that an official explanation for region coding goes thusly:

"Theoretically all DVD drives or DVD players should come with a region lock. This limitation was defined in [the] DVD standard and is mainly for protecting the movie studios. If there's no region lock, someone could easily buy lots of DVDs in a country where DVD prices are low and sell them for a profit in other countries. This way the DVD distributors in wealthier countries will be hurt. This wasn't an issue for VHS because it only contains one soundtrack, thus one language."
Somone recently told me that hacking a DVD player cuts the life expectancy in half. Is this true? I guess there's a program that you can use instead.

Anyway, I totally agree with SNT, as someone who cannot afford region-free DVD players and buying over-seas. It's not fair to the poor people! And, if UK DVD players can play all regions, why can't ours? Luckily I just recently got to see Spaced at a friends house because she has a DVD player she bought in Israel.

I hope the special features in the UK Serenity version are released here in the U.S. Special Edition, if they release one.
ESG, all DVD players are built multiregion but as they leave the production line they are "set" to one region depending on where they're going. All hacking does is reset them back to the original state. So nothing to do with lifespan or reliability.

I think the main reason was the delay between releases of movies, and therefore DVDs, from country to country.
'Hacking' a DVD player involves pressing a few buttons on the remote. It's very, very easy, and does not harm the DVD player in any way (it's the method the manufacturers use to set the region, as it happens).

And yes, the US Serenity DVD was put together and completed before the movie even hit theatres there, as far as I know. Whereas the UK and Oz ones are still being designed (no set cover art yet yadada).

Each local DVD set gets the input of the local Universal Home Entertainment office, so in some areas it'll get extra love compared to elsewhere. The australian version definitely has the most love at the moment.

One thing to note: the UK DVDs will be in 'PAL'. Which means the frame rate is different. Which means the film is about an extra 4 minutes shorter here. It's exactly the same film, but it goes quicker.

Remember when I put the UK trailer online, and everybody complained the characters sounded like chipmunks? PAL.
Or they think that all North Americans are made of money

I think they're holding Browncoats upside down and rattling for silver.
Mind you, I live in Oz, and so far ours looks shinnyest of all! : D
It has irked me some tho.

I think they're holding Browncoats upside down and rattling for silver.


If Universal want a return on the investment in Serenity, this is exactly what they need to do over the next few years. This is why I think we'll see another DVD special edition and such.
Nah, I disagree Gossi. I think the US one should have all the juicy features now. They have them. Why not stock up on them immediately? If it wasn't for the fact they are aware that a lot of ppl will double buy them, I think it would have them on there now.
So yea, it may be a return on their investment, but I think it's not so nice, imo.
Thanks for the info guys. The person who gave me that info got it from a friend who works for Best Buy. I don't know where he got his information.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2005-12-11 00:18 ]
Oh, I agree on that nixy -- it's not nice, but business isn't nice :) Universal are in the business of milking fans for money - it's what they do to make a franchise a success. I mean, they hired a company called FanPimp for Serenity's online presence, I think that says it all :)

And I'm cool with fans being milked for money, by the way, as that is exactly what pays for these things in the first place.
Hmm. I think I'll go for the Australian version if it has all the extras on the other two. Any word on the release date?

I hate the whole business of different regions and different content on different versions. The only reason there is any difference in content in CDs or DVDs is so that the dedicated fans will shell out and buy multiple versions. It's the same type of con as releasing "Special Edition" CDs a few months later with a few extra tracks, or making fans buy every film in a series seperately before releasing a boxset with more extras, which they will then want to shell out for.

I think this is the ultimate in corporate greed, and now I almost always wait for a while before purchasing any film because I know there will probably be a more definitive version out sometime later. I'm waiting for the Star Wars prequels to be released in a boxset, for example. Even then there will probably be numerous re-releases every few years.

I'm sorry, I am a massive Joss fan but I just don't have the money to buy multiple versions of all the work he does, and I am morally against the idea, even if I did have the money. I release those involved in making films or CDs usually aren't in charge of these sort of things, but I always respect those who do ensure that their fans aren't ripped off.

I do think the Serenity DVD is perhaps a slightly different case, where they aren't sure of whether releasing a 2 disc set would be profitable, and are thus waiting to see how the 1 disc set sells. But practically every film these days is released on two discs, so I suspect we will see the same with Serenity, and that this is more of a way to get the most money out of us. But I for one am certainly not buying three different region versions of the film and then possibly more for a two disc set.

I hate the way they refer to seasons as "series" here. If someone says "series" you don't know whether they are talking about one specific season or the show as a whole. It would make more sense for them to adopt the American way of saying it, although even then "season" is not the best choice of word because there is only one TV season a year, not four. But it does make much more sense. I'm glad Buffy and Angel have the "seasons" written on the packaging.
:D So we're all agreed!

Evil Corporation = Bad.
Serenity = Good.
Browncoats = Poor but Happy.


Oh and Razor, it comes out Feb 8th over here.
Thanks for the info!

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