Where's my MoC?

The gossip on MoC. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Andre Jurieu
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#51 Post by Andre Jurieu » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:44 am

davebert wrote:No other forum seems to feature quite the same number of awkward moments as the MoC section. I wonder why that is...
Yeah, sometimes I'm glad Criterion doesn't have direct representation on this forum.

anton
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:00 pm

#52 Post by anton » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:46 pm

evillights wrote: The point is....(a lot of highminded hog-wash skipped..)
in any business delivering on the agreed schedule is a sign of professionality. it doesnt exclude a high product quality nor hard work. a good project manager underpromise and overdeliver.

it isnt like releasing DVDs is the only business with a gazillion variables that has to fit exactly both quality-wise and time-wise. If man can land on the moon it can bloody well deliver a DVD on time at the best ever quality. MoC are far from the only ones that could use some process polishing though. I'm looking at you Criterion.

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skuhn8
wax on; wax off
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#53 Post by skuhn8 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:04 pm

Huh, starting to see what some of you mean by using caps and proper punctuation in posts.

But I agree with the sentiment in your post, anton. At the same time these guys are just moving into the wonderful world of box sets and I suppose these packages bring into play a whole new set of problems (what with the books and whatever else goes into it). I suspect future releases will meet projected deadlines with greater frequency. Growing pains.

At the same time, I don't see why forum members need to take it personally if someone comes on board and expresses frustration...unless, of course, you're name is Nick and your head is still spinning from putting out fires sun up to sun down.

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GringoTex
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#54 Post by GringoTex » Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:21 pm

anton wrote:in any business delivering on the agreed schedule is a sign of professionality. it doesnt exclude a high product quality nor hard work. a good project manager underpromise and overdeliver.
Terrible analogy. MoC is under no contract to anybody to deliver a dvd by a certain date. Project managers don't make promises, anyway-You're confusing sales with delivery.

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Jun-Dai
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#55 Post by Jun-Dai » Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:33 pm

anton, I don't know if you remember the constant delays that Criterion used to have back in the day. Well, MoC is quite young, and aside from the fact that they don't have nearly as much funding as Criterion, they are also generous enough to give us a good heads up about what they're working on, which is a double-edged sword.

See, after all the criticism about their delays, Criterion stopped announcing things more than 3 months in advance, and our only insight into their future schedule is through hints and rumors. In the old days, Eclipse probably would have been officially mentioned on the Website like a year ago.

One of the downsides of this is that if I'm thinking of buying some inferior (or more expensive R2) version of something, I have only a three month window to know that Criterion's going to make me regret my purchase. It also makes it impractical for us to offer Criterion suggestions for features, commentators, etc.

But this is the price that we pay for forcing Criterion to appear more professional and managing their delays (not to imply that it was just the Criterion Forum that brought this about. Lots of people were complaining elsewhere on the webbernets as well). If we give them enough flac, MoC will probably follow the same route, and then we'll only have a short window of MoC's release schedule available for our scrutiny, which will in turn give us less input into the releases.

Probably the part that ticks me off the most is the irrelevance of it all. I mean, it's tough if you're in the marketing business or you're a retailer and people don't give you the product on time. But if you're a customer and you can't handle having a product you've been looking forward to be delayed by six months, then you should probably step away from your DVD collection and do something else for a while. It just doesn't seem healthy to me--it's obsession. I mean, what harm does that delay cause? It means we don't get to see the film on DVD for another half a year. It's not like we would even have gotten to see it if MoC had decided not to release it.

I think we're in a much better situation when MoC gives us their best estimates and tells us what they're working on that we would be if they were focused on managing expectation and struggled not to disappoint us.

Among other things, a reason the man on the moon analogy fails completely is a matter of resources. If MoC had $15 million to throw at a particular release, and it was really important that that release be on time, they could make sure it was on time. As it is, they have a budget to manage, and if the decision to make the release come out on time is going to increase the overall expense of the project by, say, 20%, then it's not really worth it, is it? Even worse, making the release come out on time would probably mean cutting corners, and unlike a regular software product, they can't release a patch upgrade 4 months later.

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godardslave
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#56 Post by godardslave » Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:41 pm

Doesnt criterion have like 40 or 50 employees?
Whereas MoC has only about 5?

im kinda guessing here... someone know the truth?

peerpee
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#57 Post by peerpee » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:30 pm

The MoC Series has two full-time paid staff, three part-time paid freelancers, and four non-paid advisers --- all involved with the DVD production and packaging.

In London, Eureka have a number of staff that aren't involved with the production of the MoC Series, but handle the manufacture, PR, and sales.

The "delays" -- which have been pretty minor really -- have amounted to 4 weeks for the KEATON set, 2 weeks for the NARUSE set, and 4 weeks for SHOAH. The delays can primarily be attributed to two main facts:

1.) The nature of the business is that we have to schedule release dates upto 8-9 months in advance, and we've been playing catchup since we started releasing titles. We've never had something ready even upto a month before release. (Solving this would mean having about 4 or 5 months with no releases at all).

2.) With such a small team, *any* delay impacts not only on the current project we're working on, but the subsequent releases also.

---

We're working with the director on SHOAH (this is only the second time we've had the opportunity to do this) and everything is being overseen by him. It wasn't decided until very late in the day that Lanzmann would have such involvement in the release, and the whole process has added a number of weeks to the production time.

---

I do wish very much that we had more resources/staff/time but we do not -- we cannot expand without seeing more sales. In an ideal world, of course we'd release everything on time, but we're not making packets of cheese ---- every release is different and has its own peculiar problems.

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MichaelB
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#58 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:39 pm

anton wrote:in any business delivering on the agreed schedule is a sign of professionality. it doesnt exclude a high product quality nor hard work. a good project manager underpromise and overdeliver.
Well, this particular project manager had to make a decision at almost the last minute, when the subjects of the DVD in question decided that they fancied a rather greater input into the menus and packaging design than they'd originally agreed.

So my choice was basically:

1. Go ahead with the original plans and hit the planned 31 October release date;
2. Let the Quay Brothers personally tinker with the package, at the almost certain risk of causing delays.

In all honesty, which of you would have picked (1)? And wasn't the three-week delay worth it given the universally-acclaimed gorgeousness of the final product? And, more to the point, who now remembers that there was a three-week delay in the first place?

Oh, and here's an illustration of what one of the menus would have looked like if we'd cleaved strictly to Anton's notion of "professionality":

Image

And this is presumably the "unprofessional" version:

Image

I rest my case.

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skuhn8
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#59 Post by skuhn8 » Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:21 am

And how many weeks did it take to change the font and move the text size up three notches? :D Just messin'.

CC's had dozens of delays. Their reasons are mysterious but most likely justified. I see no reason why we can't cut MOC the same slack. And with them we usually get uptodate word on progress and problems. Very rare that one gets such a close look into the biz. And whether it's on time, three weeks late, or three months late I doubt there are many among us who don't have a pile of dvds in need of viewing in the meantime.

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MichaelB
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#60 Post by MichaelB » Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:49 am

skuhn8 wrote:And how many weeks did it take to change the font and move the text size up three notches?
It took longer than you'd think, given that all the menu screens were ready to go - and there were loads of them (the Beaver review gives some idea of how many, though doesn't reproduce any of the introductory screens on disc two). We also had to re-render the animated section that opens disc one.

And all that was after numerous tests to make sure the new font worked at all - as you'll see from the comparisons, the proportions were quite different, so established layouts often had to be rethought. And on top of all that, all proofs had to be approved by the Quays as well as myself - and we weren't always singing from the same hymn sheet. (They were concerned with visual impact, while my primary interest was intuitive usability and navigational clarity - major issues with this project given the much-criticised menus of the earlier Kino Quay set).

And that was just the discs - then came the 24-page booklet, the foldout Digipak, the matching-up of disc and tray artwork, you name it. It didn't literally take a whole three weeks of extra work, but once you miss your original release date even a few days' delay has a knock-on effect in terms of distribution and marketing.
CC's had dozens of delays. Their reasons are mysterious but most likely justified. I see no reason why we can't cut MOC the same slack. And with them we usually get uptodate word on progress and problems. Very rare that one gets such a close look into the biz. And whether it's on time, three weeks late, or three months late I doubt there are many among us who don't have a pile of dvds in need of viewing in the meantime.
As Nick pointed out, the problem with being so upfront is that people have a tendency to take tentative dates as gospel, set their heart on obtaining the end product by a specific time, and therefore get unreasonably fussy when unforeseen problems arise.

And sometimes these "problems" aren't problems at all: they're heaven-sent opportunities to deliver a superior product at minimal or no extra cost that any producer worth his or her salt should grasp with both hands. I know for a fact that the Quay package released on November 20th was significantly better in terms of presentation than the one that was set for October 31st, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the same will be true of MoC's Shoah.

So I'm quite happy to wait.

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Steven H
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#61 Post by Steven H » Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:00 pm

There are a few posts in this thread that should be the final word on the subject. I can think of a million things worth worrying about that are more important that DVD release schedules (the only time I was ever really interested was with the Naruse box, because it originally was going to fall around my birthday, which was exciting to me.) And, frankly, no one throws themselves on the floor in agony when a Hollywood film's release gets delayed (sometimes years or decades), and unlike Criterion/MoC, you probably won't be as dissapointed.

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toiletduck!
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#62 Post by toiletduck! » Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:51 pm

Odd that this isn't happening in the Gaumont Histoire(s) thread, where the delays really are worth bitching about. Then again, until Chinese Democracy actually gets released, everyone pretty much has a get out of delays free trump card.

"I learned it from watching you, Axl! I learned it from watching you!"

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colinr0380
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#63 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:04 pm

I think Andre Jurieu's comment was important, since peerpee (along with bikey) has been very open about releases by posting future releases a long time in advance as well as keeping the forum up to date with the problems they may run into that cause delays. I'm sure it is something every label has had occur, but we just don't normally hear about it. I'm glad that peerpee finds the time to keep us updated on how the work is progressing - I've found many of the posts (and also MichaelB's on the work involved on the Quay Brothers set) have given me a lot of insight into the work involved.

The discussion reminds me of the quote from the director Jimmy Sangster, "Do you want it good or Tuesday?". I'd go for good every time! After all many of these discs are hopefully going to be definitive editions, so I'd much rather the time was taken over them to make every part of the package as praiseworthy as possible. While I might not have minded too much if MichaelB had used the previous menu screen (as long as all the films and such were there!), I certainly appreciate the extra touch that the new one has - the best menus don't just present the options in a generic way but get you prepared for the type of material you are about to see, so I think the extra time taken paid off, especially with the hands-on approach the filmmakers took!

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foggy eyes
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#64 Post by foggy eyes » Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:41 am

The last word has indeed been offered many times on this thread. MoC, remember, are ploughing time, money and resources into giving us the definitive DVD editions of films they choose to release (and, of course, they make exemplary choices). We are still waiting for definitive versions of countless other treasures released by other studios or boutiques, and shall continue to do so for quite a while. If we have to endure a few extra weeks for an MoC product, we are safe in the knowledge that the forthcoming release is going to be fantastic. And who wouldn't want to wait for that?

yukiyuki
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#65 Post by yukiyuki » Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:06 pm

mmm i wonder where to buy this boxset in US???

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tavernier
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#66 Post by tavernier » Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:39 pm

Online.

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Matango
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#67 Post by Matango » Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:53 pm

Just FYI, if you buy from Amazon, the price with shipping and minus the VAT (sales tax) that overseas buyers don't have to pay, the total price for Naruse Box is 33.36 pounds. Not bad, except for the poor dollar exhange rate right now.

yukiyuki
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#68 Post by yukiyuki » Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:49 pm

The things are, I live in Indonesia, and am still in college, I don't have a credit card, so I have to buy it through an agent who based in US. So if I could find an online seller located in US it would really minimize the prize. I checked CD Wow US couple days ago, they haven't listed the boxset yet. Thx guys if u have any informations.

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Steven H
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#69 Post by Steven H » Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:35 pm

Xploitedcinema.com has it listed, and it's US based. There's also a couple threads devoted to buying MoC discs in the Rumors and News section ("Cheapest Prices", and "Where's My MoC?") where you can find more online purchasing information.

yukiyuki
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#70 Post by yukiyuki » Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:40 am

Many thanks. You made my day.

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Michael Kerpan
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#71 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:16 pm

Amazon UK supposedly sent my copy of the Naruse set on Dec. 18 -- but it has never (apparently) made it to my post office. ;~{

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denti alligator
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#72 Post by denti alligator » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:33 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Amazon UK supposedly sent my copy of the Naruse set on Dec. 18 -- but it has never (apparently) made it to my post office. ;~{
I'm still waiting on mine, too. Might still come, no?

artfilmfan
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#73 Post by artfilmfan » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:36 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Amazon UK supposedly sent my copy of the Naruse set on Dec. 18 -- but it has never (apparently) made it to my post office. ;~{
Probably still at the Ozu-Naruse Galaxy post office :)

Once you get the set, make sure you read the inside of the back cover of the book that is included in the set first.

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What A Disgrace
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#74 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:46 pm

denti alligator wrote:
Michael Kerpan wrote:Amazon UK supposedly sent my copy of the Naruse set on Dec. 18 -- but it has never (apparently) made it to my post office. ;~{
I'm still waiting on mine, too. Might still come, no?
Mine has yet to arrive, as well.

I'm very irritated.

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davebert
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#75 Post by davebert » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:42 pm

My Naruse and Keaton sets both showed up on the same day today (Christmas 2.0) from Amazon UK, to much fanfare, although one of the Naruse cases was busted--it's nice to have a spare transparent Amary around for times of need.

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