Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Difference

The other day, someone asked me what the difference was between a DVD movie and a theatrical movie (with no distinction regarding DVD Premieres or theatrical re-releases on DVD). It was a very broad question and there are numerous technical, budgetary and financial differences between the two media, but I chose to narrow my focus onto the personal aspects...

There is a huge difference between someone going to the theatre, paying ten bucks and being entertained for two hours on a big screen...and someone seeing your movie on the shelf, renting or buying it, and bringing it home to watch.

The audience gets to hold it in their hands for one thing, and they get to watch it at their leisure - like a novel. At the theatre they can't pause it, rewind and experience it all over again. They can't put the movie on the shelf, and when the mood strikes pull it down and watch it again.

And then there are the DVD essentials - at the theatre, an audience doesn't get to immerse themselves in the world of the film the way you can with a DVD. They don't know what it took to get that picture onscreen. With DVD you get to learn what that movie is, and who brought it to life.

A theatrical movie is a one night stand.

A DVD movie is a more intimate relationship. Even when it's over...


Sunset Parker said...

Amen! They're trying to tie themselves up in knots to get people in the theaters. (On his blog Mark Cuban's offering money to people to come up with an idea to get into theaters...anything!) Last three theater experiences; all in the same theater, all opening night (10 pm screening or later) :

1) Superman: Walked out 45 min in, got my money back

2) Pirates of Caribbean 2: the two people I was with walked out. A baby cried in the theater throughout (for an eleven pm showing, lots of 5 year olds)

3) Miami Vice. Couple next to me talked throughout. Another crying baby (in an R rated movie)

I go less and less... ten years ago I went twice a week or more. Now I barely go once a month...and if you use craigslist or ebay and buy your dvds used, you rarely spend more than 6 or 7 bucks.

It's the natural progression. People went from gathering around campfires to hear stories, to reading books on their own...

wcmartell said...

Another thing is that a DVD original needs to have a "supercharged" story to make up for the lack of $25 million stars and big budget production value. We might watch Tom Cruise sit on a sofa and think for 2 minutes, but that B movie star better be *doing something*. Something *exciting*.

- Bill

Kelly J. Compeau said...

I watched Pirates 2, Superman and Miami Vice back-to-back yesterday. The first two were pretty decent, but I fell asleep during Miami Vice.

I don't go to theatres much at all. I've made a habit over the past few years of seeing them in bunches of three to five on the same day in a sort of "get it over with" mentality. So, while I technically I see 4 to 6 movies per year, I'm only going to the theatre twice a year because it's such a pain. So many problems with people talking, cell phones going off, ice cold air-conditioning (or too hot and stuffy), expensive snacks -- and the $12 ticket price per movie is just sickening.