« Home «

A Question for Brian Ward

Search Forums:

Hi Brian!

Just signed up and have a question concerning the Mister Ed set. Will there be replacement discs for the (11) episodes that are cut? (22 minutes long actually instead of 25:30 like the rest) To be honest with you, i know it's expensive to do a full remaster but i would be willing to pay a little something to see this happen. Also, will we eventually see the 2nd season of The Bill Cosby Show? Also are there any other vintage NBC Universal shows coming up in the near future? You guys do a heck of a lot better job with these than Timeless. It's a shame they did M Squad with Lee Marvin instead of Shout. 117 old 16mm prints transferred to DVD instead of full remasters really sucked! A couple more things and then I will sign off, have you ever considered transferring these old shows to DVD with the original commercials, next week previews, etc. Trust me, most all your TV shows customers would like to see them this way and sales would definately be much better. Also, have you guys ever considered Highway Patrol and Sea Hunt? Two shows that were on every local station almost in the entire country for over 15 years in reruns after they were cancelled. And of course, part of Sony's portfolio.Look forward to hearing from you Brian, and thanks for you time,

Jack

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

If you had no involvement in the Mr. Ed release, so be it. But at the risk of being written off as a "fanboy" because I disagree and signed up to state my opinions as a customer of your company (Myself and my family have purchased several of your products, such as Adam-12 and Father Knows Best) and was looking forward to adding season 1 of Mr. Ed, I don't think your attitude is the correct one to have.

For starters, you write it off to your quality control department and state you're not at liberty to explain the errors. Are you not an employee of this company? If you're not at liberty to explain the issues, why not inquire for us when asked since you choose to interact with your customers here? Why not do us a favor and spend a few minutes investigating the issue and get the individual that can explain it on here to talk to us or permission for you to pass along that explanation, instead of washing your hands clean of the issue?

Then you go on to say, and correctly so, that sometimes things happen that are beyond the control of the producer and sometimes decisions have to be made that aren't in the interest of the fan. Since, as you state, we're not in the loop, why criticize us when we do complain and try to get answers? As you said, we don't know the procedures or what's going on behind the scenes. That's why we sometimes make incorrect presumptions. We don't know what's going on and we have to base our presumptions off of things we think likely could be the cause of the problem since they make sense, such as some incorrect masters of Mr. Ed being pulled and no one at Shout! Factory catching that a lot of the episodes were missing several minutes of footage. That we haven't had an explanation that says otherwise, how is that ever going to end that possibly incorrect presumption that makes so much sense? Appearances sure indicate there's an extremely likely chance that a lack of care went into this release.

If those presumptions are incorrect, it's Shout! Factory's fault for not explaining the correct story. For starters, a warning in the listing of features on the rear of the case that include such as aspect ratio could've been placed indicating some episodes are cut syndicated copies, so buyers could at least know what they were getting into before purchasing. Secondly, I think many fans would be satisfied if we were explained to why it happened, such as that Shout went off what MGM sent them, that they identified that there were problems and were unsuccessful in sourcing uncut episodes from MGM, that you tried and failed to source complete copies of these episodes among prominent collectors in order to bring a uncut release to their fans, etc.

We could also be out there enjoying these shows, even if they're not quite to the level of quality we hoped for, but we feel there is a growing level of distrust between Shout! and fans since it appears Shout!'s reputation of high quality is increasingly becoming undeserved, with the company increasingly appearing that it doesn't have the interest of it's customers high enough in their level of priorities, with your company appearing to chooses not to communicate with the fans when there's no choice but to make those unfortunate decisions.

Until there is increased clarity and more communication among fans and Shout!, I think you can expect to see the level of outcry from such things as your release of Rhoda and Mr. Ed to continue to grow as more releases get that treatment. If these problems were truely out of Shout's hands and we knew Shout strived for quality and did it's best, perhaps we'd be more willing to understand and do less criticism and more purchasing and viewing of your products.

Instead, I suggest many of your potential customers aren't there sitting and enjoying your products. I know I'm waiting to buy it used or at an extremely discounted price point. If there had been more openess between customers and Shout and I felt they put their best effort forward, season 1 of Mr. Ed would likely be on my shelf right now and already been viewed.

 

----- Original Post -----
by B Ward at 10/16/2009 10:04:49 AM

Yeah, we fixed some problems on shows you don't care about, but it's proof positive that some companies not only listen to their fans and customers, but try to rectify problems as they occur.  If your company doesn't/didn't, well, that's really all about your company's lack of customer interest and service.  But don't put that on our heads.  We fix what we can, when we can.

The Mr. Ed masters don't include the word "syndication" anywhere, externally or on the slates.  And it's not really the job of the author, while they do catch things like that, to tell us what the slate says.  It is, in fact, the job of our QCers to determine whether or not the running times are accurate, and then that of the DVD producer to follow up.  But since I wasn't the producer on this title, nor was Brian Blum, I'm not at liberty to tell you why there are eight syndicated episodes. 

I will, however, say that, having been in the industry, you should know that sometimes there are things that happen that are beyond the control of the DVD producer and choices have to be made.  You should also know, having been in the industry, that fans don't always know what's going on behind the scenes.  And, having been in the industry myself, I can say that I don't know the procedures or work going on behind the scenes at Rhino or Warner Bros. or Paramount or Disney.  So why should you presume to know what's going on here?  Having been in the industry for 25 years merely makes you an "expert" on the technical side of things.  It doesn't mean you know anything about the day-to-day issues that arise and how each individual producer chooses--or is sometimes forced--to deal with said issues.

Perhaps instead of antagonizing on every thread you visit, which sounds a lot more like a fanboy than anyone who's ever had any experience in the industry, let alone 25 years, you should spend a little time thinking back on your own career and realizing that there are things that come up and decisions, tougher than some might imagine, that need to be made.  I own up to the fact that there are decisions I've made that have made purists unhappy.  Being a purist myself, I totally get their complaints.  But I also know that there are thousands of people out there right now enjoying their favorite shows on DVD, totally unaware or without care that there are two minutes out of 24 missing.  And they wouldn't otherwise be enjoying those shows, had I not made those decisions.  So I'm okay with that.

Brian


"Know Thyself" --Thales

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

to zaxxar

i have all the roseannes season 1 is syndicated are you positive the austrailan set has uncut versions? seems like my seasons 8 and 9 are all syndicated as well unless running time changed in those few years also seasons 2-7 have the message uncut episodes on box seasons 1 8 and 9 dont

When First Look Entertainment put out "The Cosby Show 25th Anniversary" collection last year, they included the original versions of the season 1 episodes.

Also, "Roseanne" season 1 has been released unedited in Germany and in Australia.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Brian,

I'm glad to see there are still plans for The Bill Cosby Show season two. It's unfortunate if season one undersold expectations, but unfortunately this has always been an underappreciated series. Thanks for keeping this show on the table, I'm hoping for some good news soon regarding season two.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Brian,

Bill Cosby had a variety show not long after the 1969-71 show, (1972) called The New Bill Cosby Show with Lola Falana and her dancers, Foster Brooks, and Quincy Jones and his orchestra. Was probably his best show ever but for some reason it didn't catch on. One season only. If you saw one, you would know what I mean. Maybe you could check into it ?

Thanks,

  Jack

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Generally, I tend to avoid commenting on threads where the comments get heated, but just to contribute my 2 cents, I tend to also be a purist on the subject of TV on DVD where a company (Shout or whoever) releases edited episodes. My usual response is thanks, but no thanks. I realize there are numerous reasons, perhaps some very understandable why edited episodes had to be used. Also realize that in some cases, the reason may simply be carelessness or indifference to fans. I will admit that after some internal debate, I went ahead and purchased Rhoda season 1. Why?  Firstly, I'm a sucker for all the MTM shows; that studio turned out some of the very best TV for over 20 years. Secondly, I hadn't seen Rhoda for at least two decades and wanted to see it again. Thirdly, I knew from the reviews that the wedding episode was complete, and it was probably about the funniest episode from the entire series. So I set aside my purist instincts and bought it.  My verdict? I am VERY glad that I did. I had forgotten how achingly funny the show was. And to my amazement, even the edited episodes weren't as hard to take as I thought, since the editing was for the most part pretty well handled. So while I'm still inclined to skip over TV releases with edited episodes, if it's a show I really want to see and know that its probably the only way I'll ever see it again, I will probably go ahead and buy it.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

I was being sarcastic when I said that. Hence the wink emoticon.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

We are not the same person We are just people who recognize that some attention to of the television business (of which SF has a stake) can result in the difference between good work and just plain sloppy work. However, based on your comment, I'm wondering if you are bucking for a job in SF's publicity department.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Yeah, we fixed some problems on shows you don't care about, but it's proof positive that some companies not only listen to their fans and customers, but try to rectify problems as they occur.  If your company doesn't/didn't, well, that's really all about your company's lack of customer interest and service.  But don't put that on our heads.  We fix what we can, when we can.

The Mr. Ed masters don't include the word "syndication" anywhere, externally or on the slates.  And it's not really the job of the author, while they do catch things like that, to tell us what the slate says.  It is, in fact, the job of our QCers to determine whether or not the running times are accurate, and then that of the DVD producer to follow up.  But since I wasn't the producer on this title, nor was Brian Blum, I'm not at liberty to tell you why there are eight syndicated episodes. 

I will, however, say that, having been in the industry, you should know that sometimes there are things that happen that are beyond the control of the DVD producer and choices have to be made.  You should also know, having been in the industry, that fans don't always know what's going on behind the scenes.  And, having been in the industry myself, I can say that I don't know the procedures or work going on behind the scenes at Rhino or Warner Bros. or Paramount or Disney.  So why should you presume to know what's going on here?  Having been in the industry for 25 years merely makes you an "expert" on the technical side of things.  It doesn't mean you know anything about the day-to-day issues that arise and how each individual producer chooses--or is sometimes forced--to deal with said issues.

Perhaps instead of antagonizing on every thread you visit, which sounds a lot more like a fanboy than anyone who's ever had any experience in the industry, let alone 25 years, you should spend a little time thinking back on your own career and realizing that there are things that come up and decisions, tougher than some might imagine, that need to be made.  I own up to the fact that there are decisions I've made that have made purists unhappy.  Being a purist myself, I totally get their complaints.  But I also know that there are thousands of people out there right now enjoying their favorite shows on DVD, totally unaware or without care that there are two minutes out of 24 missing.  And they wouldn't otherwise be enjoying those shows, had I not made those decisions.  So I'm okay with that.

Brian


"Know Thyself"
--Thales

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

----- Original Post -----
by zaxxar at 10/16/2009 8:48:51 AM

I wonder if bencasey and JeffWld are the same person? They fascinate over almost the same things (episode running times, whether or not a show has gone back to the original elements, the U.S. DOMESTIC SYNDICATION MASTER SLATE, etc.) 

Is it that hard to believe that there is more than one person who knows something about the TV business and how it runs? It's too bad that none of us who do work at Shout Factory.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

I wonder if bencasey and JeffWld are the same person? They fascinate over almost the same things (episode running times, whether or not a show has gone back to the original elements, the U.S. DOMESTIC SYNDICATION MASTER SLATE, etc.) 

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

I've got to agree that basic quality control is not rocket science. The most pressing question is "does anyone at SF take note of episode running times?" If you have a full season of episodes of show like "Mister Ed", and the majority have a running time of 25:30 (standard for shows of that vintage), isn't it logical that if you start encountering episode running 22:00 that red flags should start going up? If this situation was monitored, would a rep from SF contact the studio to request a search for complete elements? Does SF fork over license fees to studios blindly without any concept of the condition of the elements they are committing to?

For an organization that has taken heat for subpar product such as "Rhoda" (Season 1); "Father Knows Best" (Season 1); "Ozzie & Harriet" etc., you would think that attention to episode running times would be a prime consideration for any future projects.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

----- Original Post -----
by B Ward at 10/15/2009 5:04:04 PM

Hate to burst your bubble, Ben...

1.) We've fixed problems before.  Two days after Transformers: Season One was released, I was told there were shots I'd missed when I went in and edited the correct footage back into the masters.  Two days later, I was correcting those two episodes and sent off replacement masters.  Luckily, the correct versions of the DVDs were included in the complete series sets and replacement discs are currently in stores and available to those that need them.  And that's not the first time we've issued replacements, though it is rare.  We did it on Punky Brewster: Season One and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show's first volume, when it was discovered that a trailer for Undeclared was placed at the head of the first disc.

2.) We've transferred a great deal from film.  In fact, cleaning and transferring masters is what got us into the deepest of troubles with The Bill Cosby Show.  When I say we lost money on that, we LOST MONEY on that.  Do we make transfers of most television series?  No.  But usually, because it's not only cost prohibitive, but the film elements often no longer exist.  At least no where near where we can get to them.  Places like Universal keep their original elements in storage in Kansas and Tennessee.  So we can't even get access to the prints, if they even still exist.  But our master of Audition came from our own transfer.  Johnny Got His Gun was a new transfer.  And the second season of Rhoda  will be a brand new transfer. 

So...you're incorrect.  Hope should not be lost, gang.

Brian

Okay, so you've fixed a few things that I don't really know or care about. You obviously were able to source complete episodes for Father Knows Best for the 2nd and 3rd season releases. How about fixing the cut episodes from season 1? What about first season Rhoda? Also a botch job. And now 8 cut episodes on Mr. Ed. That one should be easiest of all as MGM has remastered, uncut tape masters on the show. Someone just pulled the wrong tapes when they sent them to Shout and I guess no one in your company either cares or knows that 22 minute episodes are not complete versions. Either way, one would think that after you guys went through this with two previous shows that someone might be paying a little bit closer attention. Here's a hint. Tell the guys who do your authoring that when they put a Beta SP or DigiBeta in the machine and the slate at the head says in DOMESTIC SYNDICATION MASTER TRT: 22:00, then it's the wrong version. You see, unlike the majority of the posters, I've worked in this industry for over 25 years and I've been a collector for even longer.


"Know Thyself" --Thales

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Oh?  Where in Tennessee?   Don't forget, I'm in Memphis!  ;)

(for that matter, I have cousins and friends in Kansas City)

DAVE

----- Original Post -----
by B Ward at 10/15/2009 5:04:04 PM

...Places like Universal keep their original elements in storage in Kansas and Tennessee.  So we can't even get access to the prints, if they even still exist....

Brian


"Know Thyself" --Thales

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Hate to burst your bubble, Ben...

1.) We've fixed problems before.  Two days after Transformers: Season One was released, I was told there were shots I'd missed when I went in and edited the correct footage back into the masters.  Two days later, I was correcting those two episodes and sent off replacement masters.  Luckily, the correct versions of the DVDs were included in the complete series sets and replacement discs are currently in stores and available to those that need them.  And that's not the first time we've issued replacements, though it is rare.  We did it on Punky Brewster: Season One and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show's first volume, when it was discovered that a trailer for Undeclared was placed at the head of the first disc.

2.) We've transferred a great deal from film.  In fact, cleaning and transferring masters is what got us into the deepest of troubles with The Bill Cosby Show.  When I say we lost money on that, we LOST MONEY on that.  Do we make transfers of most television series?  No.  But usually, because it's not only cost prohibitive, but the film elements often no longer exist.  At least no where near where we can get to them.  Places like Universal keep their original elements in storage in Kansas and Tennessee.  So we can't even get access to the prints, if they even still exist.  But our master of Audition came from our own transfer.  Johnny Got His Gun was a new transfer.  And the second season of Rhoda  will be a brand new transfer. 

So...you're incorrect.  Hope should not be lost, gang.

Brian


"Know Thyself"
--Thales

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

When First Look Entertainment put out "The Cosby Show 25th Anniversary" collection last year, they included the original versions of the season 1 episodes.

Also, "Roseanne" season 1 has been released unedited in Germany and in Australia.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

To the OP, I would like to reply.

1) Neither Shout or anybody else is ever going to doing a replacement set or replacement disc on cut episodes. Once something comes out screwed up, you're SOL. Rhoda, Father Knows Best, Cosby Show, Roseanne, Mr. Ed, Too Close for Comfort, etc. It's a long list. And, no, no company ever goes back and corrects the mistake. Just doesn't happen.

2) Shout doesn't transfer anything. They, like most of the small companies, take whatever transfers they are given. They are at the mercy of the studios that they license from. They don't have the money to transfer and they certainly don't have the money to remaster. And unfortunately when they are dealing with a company like Fox, which doesn't give a damn about it's back catalogue, they are often going to wind up with subpar elements.

3) Timeless does the best they can, dealing with a company like Universal, which cares less about it's back catalogue than Fox does, if that's possible. They don't have tape elements on their older shows, they don't lend out their prints and they charge astronomical in-house costs for transfers. No one is going to pay 200K to transfer M Squad from 35m film. The only reason Timeless is able to release all of these old Universal series is because when the company tossed out all of it's 16m prints a couple of decades ago, many wound up in collectors hands. Otherwise you wouldn't be seeing any of these series ever again.

 

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

I hope the Mister Ed show is fixed with replacement discs too.

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Who's project was "Mister Ed's"? Brian Blum's?

RE: A Question for Brian Ward

Sadly, Mister Ed was not my title and I have no knowledge of the daily behind-the-scenes discussions about the first or future volumes, so I'm not sure I can adequately answer your first question.

The Bill Cosby Show has definitely not been abandoned.  To be honest, it's been waiting in the wings, primarily because of the mountain of money lost on the production and release of the first volume.  But it's a show we love and we know there are a select few who still love it and want the show completed.  We want to do that for you, but we're looking into the various avenues in which that's possible.  I think we'll know something for sure "soon.  I'd check back with the forums for updates.

Some of our shows have had things like the previews.  We used them, for instance, on our two Peyton Place releases as previews for each episode.  Ultimately, though, it's just a really hard thing to find.  They're rarely, if ever, part of the masters.  So it's not like we're physically removing them.  It's that we've never really had them.  But when we do get them, we like to use them any way we can.

We have considered some of the aforementioned shows.  And we've been in talks with various studios over the years.  But studio talks are tough and looooooooong.  So while I have nothing to report on shows like that now, it doesn't mean we're not still talking to them about these types of shows and won't have something to report later.

Brian


"Know Thyself"
--Thales

Syndicate content