23 July, 2011

An open letter to Filmmakers, Producers, and DVD makers

Hello,

I am an avid film watcher. I have over the years invested a lot of money in my "legal" DVD collection. I always, without any thought of monetary gain, promote a movie I like or find genre defining. I hate the thought of putting a pirated DVD in my somewhat expensive player. In general I love everything about the movies and they have been an important part of my life.


So I hope you take me seriously when I say that after recently watching the Moser Baer DVD of Dum Maaro Dum, not only was I grossly disappointed, but rightfully believe that I was cheated. Don't jump your guns. I'm not talking about the content of the movie. That, I have always believed to be everyone's individual opinion. What I like, you might not and visa versa. Moreover, you can always read my review of the movie at a later date. My problem was with the quality of the DVD. While the DVD did not "skip" or "jump", the movie was so dark in numerous prominent moments that it was impossible to figure out what was going on. The darkened screen was so annoying and try as I might fiddling with the contrast and brightness on my projector, I was unable to view it the way it was meant to be.

So, for the price of Rs. 300,- (I know it's 299,- but who are we kidding) I did not get a film that is advertised on the box as "Digitally mastered from high definition source".

I was for the first time so disgusted by the quality that I tweeted to the director of the film Rohan Sippy. To my pleasant surprise he tweeted back not only acknowledging the fact, but also apologizing. I truly appreciate that. He also suggested that I write to Moser Baer as he himself was trying to get this fixed. So that is also how this blog originated.


I have no complaints against the company Moser Baer as a whole. I believe they are pioneers in bringing down DVD prices and making a whole lot of movies available that were not earlier. But, this does not mean that an inferior quality product is allowed in the market. If the price is a factor, make sure you mention it on the cover, so the person buying is aware that they are buying something of a lesser quality for a cheaper price. I mean isn't that the exact stand that the film industry takes against piracy. Isn't that what they promote, that we should buy originals because they are of better quality. I also feel that the film makers and producers (Fox Star in this case) should be more vigilant about the DVDs. I was a tad surprised to know that Mr. Sippy himself was trying to get this sorted out. I'm not at all aware of the intricacies of the film business, but if I along with numerous people had worked on a project I would make sure that it reached the audience in the right way, be it in any format. The film industry talks about anti-piracy laws to safeguard the lives of the people it employs. I believe that by selling a movie in such a shabby condition, the film industry itself is responsible for discouraging the audience from buying originals.


This post is by no means meant to advocate for or even promote piracy. The joy of watching a movie in a theater is a completely different experience. For individuals who cannot make it to the movie theater for numerous reasons, we rely heavily on home cinema in this film crazy country. This post is also not to degrade the company or the filmmaker. I mention them in this post because I saw the movie yesterday and it is all fresh in my mind. So it is my humble request to the companies making the DVDs and to the filmmakers, distributors, and producers that do not disappoint us the audience by simply presenting your hard work in such low light (pun intended :-)

Thank you

Location:India

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