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Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Luke, Jul 7, 2004.
There wasn't supposed to be a second episode (yet). It was just a pilot.
Well, I hope to get it on video tape soon; so far it's saved on a friends TeVo, or whatver that thing is called.
Fantastic news. The pilot was a success so it has now been picked up for a season beginning in October!!!!
Congrats to ALF! I'm curious already.
Bah! I just found out the ALF DVD does not contain the original episodes. They decided to cut them up for whatever reason. And the extra's are of a lousy quality apparently. I guess I won't be buying it then but instead I'll be downloading the old syndicated versions. They are burning their own bridges as far as I'm concerned.
Actually I kind of enjoy have all my media on harddisks instead of DVD. It's more durable and it doesn't take up so much space either. besides DVD's are way too expensive. I have a huge wishlist and no money to buy it all.
I have heard the quality of the extras is absolutely fine - there are original interactive menus from ALF which have been called the best ever on DVD by some reviewers, the pilot episode and gag reels are apparently of the same quality that any kind of dated extras are on DVD sets. There are some minor cuts - these ARE the syndication prints though and (i think) all the cuts did appear in the syndicated airings. All the episodes themselves are newly remastered and perfect. I agree it would have been preferential to have the original recordings though.
I don't think it is 'ok' to download them just because there are a few minor cuts, at about a dollar an episode these are certainly not expensive by any means. People downloading means less sales and little chance of further releases.
We've heard different stories then about the extra's. Well anyway, I agree with you that a dollar an episode isn't that much if you look at it as just a dollar. But it is alot to me if you concider that I would like to watch everything out there if I could. Even for one dollar an episode that would become a huge amount of money. Not to mention the DVD sets that are much more expensive than that. I'd just have to accept then that I can't buy those DVD's then while we all still pay the TV companies to produce and air these shows. But to me this is unacceptable. Once they are aired in my opinion they become public property. You can't stop that anyway and trying to do so would be foolish. This has also been the case with cassette tapes and everyone always felt that was normal. It's just that the sudden posibilities the internet provides in this aspect attracts more attention. maybe it's just time we accepted this and try to see what we can do with it then to atleast ensure that people get paid. Wich I don't think is and would be a problem anyway.
I see that there are people out there who are just plain and simple trying to make way too much money off their products then they have the right to. I concider this usury. Unfair business. To take a show such as ALF as an example. The show is already decades old. I believe they already made alot of money off it and are now just trying to get more. Now don't get me wrong. I don't mind paying for things ofcourse but why should I pay for something wich I theoretically already payed for? The TV channels over here don't give me much choice in what to watch so the result is already that I just start downloading stuff from the internet because that's the kind of stuff I want to watch. These companies could provide me with the same service if they wanted to for a reasonable amount of money each month or so. But they refuse to because it doesn't make as much money as the whole DVD scam. And everything fun that's aired here is dubbed in the Dutch language wich is horrible to watch and listen to. If you thought the English SpongeBob sounded annoying you should hear the Dutch version. You'd be begging for the English version again.
Then there is the matter of these companies searching the entire planet for series wich they have the rights to but they never bothered to secure the mastertapes. They gather their episodes etc. from people who share these things and try to preserve episodes in the best quality available. And finally when they have them complete they publish a DVD and start complaining to the people they actually got their episodes from. While they didn't seem to care enough atfirst to secure the mastertapes. I have no love for those kinds of people.
As I said before I also think DVD's are nonsense. They deteriorate too fast while you pay too much for them. It's crap. Nothing more than that. Instead we should all use harddrives that are much more durable and take up alot less space. I know alot of people with huge gastly looking closets full of DVD's. Not too mention those VHS tapes they paid good money for only a few years ago and aren't worth a dime nowadays.
I understand your view but these things are not that simple. I don't know where the future is going with all this. I just hope it will be better for the consumer eventually. Wich means some companies will have to give up a certain amount of unfairly gained profits wich they've gotten so used to in the mean time. What comes around goes around though.
Merchandice is another issue with me though. if I decide to print Kermit shirts and try to pass them off as official Muppets merchandice then that's just plain wrong. Just like burning ALF episodes on DVD for instance and selling those to others with a profit. I don't think I need to explain that.
Well this post became quite long. Sorry. But I guess I said what I had to say about this though.
I get what you are saying and you're entitled to your opinion - i don't think it makes it any more 'right' or 'justified' though but i'm not trying to stop you by any means. Saying that you feel it's right to download DVD rips because if you wanted to buy everything you desired it would cost a lot is nonsense. I might want a Ferrari but just because i can't afford it that doesn't mean i go and steal my next door neighbours. You can't have everything you want in the world. Saying once a TV company has made the money they spent on making a show they shouldn't be able to make any more is a little unrealistic too. If you owned a house and rented it out to tenants once they had paid you enough rent to cover the cost of the house would you give it to them? I doubt it. Besides, nowadays big TV shows can cost more to make than the companies initially profit and they are commisioned on the potential to make more back in the longterm. TV shows aren't public property at all, i don't get why they should be. With network shows other people pay to make them, not the viewers, and it's a business - why shouldn't someone profit from all the time/sweat/creativity/planning they have put in? Not to mention by putting shows out on DVD the people buying the rights to do that have to pay the TV company (and so should be able to profit) and the TV company has to pay the actors residuals etc. The media isn't a charity. It's not as straightforward as there just being some mass rip off putting old shows onto DVD to make mass profit. If there was some regulated way of downloading this stuff on the internet on a pay-per-view basis it'd all be the same, nothing is free. Again i'm not trying to stop anyone from downloading, it's their business. I just don't see point in justifying doing it. We all know it's wrong, but it's easily done, free, low risk and easily accessible. I can't blame people for doing it, but it doesnt make it right. At the end of the day my real concern is for fans, i want the sales to be high enough for there to be a Season 2 !
Still, i'd be interested in hearing what you have been told about the ALF discs and where from. I have seen four reviews so far. Three gave it almost top marks and said how great it looked/sounded and that it was good value. The one poor review complained about the technical quality, but this was written by someone who called the family the 'Turners', didn't know the show had gone into syndication, and criticised the disc because some of the jokes seemed a bit dated - which they would because the show was done in the 80's and it's the whole point of a cult show like ALF being released.
All that, and Willie and Kate Tanner are absolutely NOT a likely couple. Me and Kate Tanner...heh heh...plus, WE'D have had cuter kids.
Well to be honest, about the bad quality of the extra's was hearsay. So I can't say that for sure. Just heard it from someone I trust in these matters. I don't know where he got it from exactly though. But ofcourse the news about the cut episodes is offcially confirmed. I'm already not very thrilled about that.
I think your comparison to the ferrari was not entirely correct actually. Since I would not be stealing someones stuff but rather making a copy of it. And ofcourse I could only copy a DVD from my next door neighbour if he'd give me permission. So I fail to see the logic in that. DVD's and cars are two very different products. And like I said I already have a problem with DVD's as it is so I even think those are a waste of money.
Then again opinions may vary on this entire subject. Until recently I would've agreed with you and I urged others not to spread "illegal" copies of whatever they owned. But after having done alot of research I found that the consumer is being treated unfairly. I'm not saying that I'm always entirely justified with what I do. But I've thought it over very hard and I am not the kind of person to knowingly rip off other people. But I won't let myself be ripped off either. I also found that in some cases it's actually perfectly legal to make copies and has always been so. So I don't even get what the big deal is then if I'm not even breaking any laws. This is different in every country though.
I never hear small production companies complaining about these things. It's always the big companies who are obviously not doing that bad at all actually. So what are they complaing about then? The actors got paid, the crew got paid, the writers got paid, etc. Everyone got paid with a big profit left and still that's not enough. And even if they get a bigger profit...what does cameraman #4 for instance actually get to see of that huge profit? Just his set fee. And nothing more. Maybe just a Christmas bonus if he's lucky. And so with all these downloads going on everywhere worldwide, do you notice any change in the quality of programming? Are they so poor that they cannot produce series such as Smallville etc anymore? They are already working on the next season for this series. So they must have enough funds to cover it. And there is always such a thing as merchandice.
Once I see a company like the Time-Warner Company actually take heavy losses and being on the verge of bankrupcy, maybe then they've proven to me that they are in serious trouble. But since they do not provide us with this kind of specific information I will not take their word for it and rely on my own findings.
heh I'll stop talking about this now though. Gives me a headache.
With the comparison to the Ferrari i was talking about taking money from the rights holder, not the person owning the particular DVD but yeah you are right that lots of these companies are big corporate people with megabucks. It is legal in most countries to make backups, but only of what you own. There are problems with DVD prices etc but i feel that's more films than TV shows on DVD. The films are way expensive here but with TV shows (taking advantage of pre-orders) you can get whole seasons of shows on DVD for near enough the price we used to pay for a few episodes "Best Of" compilation on VHS - AND you get extras. That's not too shabby in my book. I don't agree with the free use argument but then i wouldn't - i work in TV so obviously i'm going to be on the side of the industry, i can see both points.
Once i get a chance to check out the extras on the ALF DVD myself i will report back as to the quality. There have been some cuts but from what i can work out they are few inbetween and in all but a couple of cases fairly minor. Hopefully we can get original episodes in the future, i know Lions Gate are putting a lot of effort into the ALF DVD's.
ALF actually did an interview on NBC's "Access Hollywood" on Tuesdays edition. This was to promote the DVD release where they showed clips from the sitcom too. Anybody catch this?
I can also see both points actually. Oh well... there are forums especially set up for these kinds of discussions. So I guess I shouldn't bore everyone here anymore with my ramblings. That's the smart thing to do.
I will see if I can get that particular Access Hollywood episode for you. I know a few ALF fans who keep track of his apearances so they might have it. I'll contact you through your site then.
This is the mistaken impression that is often used to justify piracy. DVDs are and cars aren't any different really except that it's a lot easier to copy a DVD than it is a Ferrari (and if someone could clone them, you know we'd be debating the legality of that too!). The problem of course is that your neighbor can't give you permission to copy a DVD (in a legal sense anyway). Whoever created or owns the content you're copying should have the right to control and profit from it. If they wanted someone to be able to duplicate their work they'd release it in the public domain or through something like Creative Commons.
There is virtually no legal way to make/distribute copies of copyrighted content that you do not own or have permission to. The exceptions like fair use, personal copies, etc. are very narrow and people who try to justify piracy with those rules usually misunderstand them.
This doesn't mean you can't copy things of course, just that it is illegal just about everywhere except China.
That said, I definately agree with you that that customers are being ripped off to an extent here and the Studios are in it for themselves. There's a lot of price-gouging in the DVD market at the moment and the big studios are trying to make copyright even more restrictive in the US and elsewhere. They're also already trying to line-up an "improved" high-definition DVD format which is rediculous this early in the DVD format's life cycle.
Again, I hate to argue with you but this is absolutely false.
While the big stars, the director and maybe the writer do make millions on a Hollywood films many supporting actors, extras and crews do not really make that much. They often depend on royalties from the studios to help support their families (a lot of people who work in film only work half the year) or to help pay for their union pensions so that they can retire one day. I know actors and crew who frequently do big commercials, movies, etc. but work as temps in an office part of the year to help make ends meet. I'm not saying a lot of these people aren't well paid, but for every well-off person in the film biz you show me I'll show you five who aren't.
But again, the studios are the bad guys here. Because they're not going loose money no matter what. They'll just lay people off. Or make movies in the Czech Republic, Canada or New Zeland or whatever cheap country they can to save bucks. They don't care who they put out of work.
It's so sad.
I guess It's up to people like you and me then to make our own programming and bring those dinosaurs to their knees.
Thanks for all the info Andrew. I hate having the wrong impression on matters so... It's always good to be reminded. I still disagree with a few things though. But I won't really comment on that. The law doesn't mean that much to me so I guess it's useless to remind me of that. And these are different everywhere. I feel that God's laws take precendence over any manmade law. But that's an entirely different subject ofcourse.
So i am aware of the ALF Cuts. The intro narration of the pilot is cut out. A narration from Lynn in the camping episode where she is writing to her boyfriend. ALF's conversation with Skip and Rhonda in their spaceship during "Help Me Rhonda" is cut so you just see ALF talking on the Ham Radio, not the spaceship scenes. These are all cuts made for the syndicated prints, they haven't been made just for the DVD. Some of those scenes were great though, wish we had the originals. Maybe those prints weren't in as good condition ?
I don't know actually. Maybe I can still find the origional episodes though. I'll check it out. Haven't been able to find the ALF interview yet. Sorry.
Luke, any idea how this show is doing...and if it means more Alf to come? Or is it a last hurrah? I dont have cable so I have no idea how this show is being recieved. Also, any chance the Alf cartoon will ever be on dvd? Call it heresy, but I was more a fan of the cartoon than the sitcom.
Yes Cory. The pilot was a success with viewers despite a mixed reaction from the critics. ALF's Hit Talk Show has been picked up by TV Land and will return for it's first season in October with a regular weekly time slot. No idea about the cartoon on DVD as yet - i'm not sure whether the rights are partly owned by DIC still.
Well, I still want it, cuts and all. Blaime the syndicators for this one, cutting stuff so we can see an extra 2 minutes of local commercials for Crazy Freddy's regional used matresses. Really wish they'd have gotten the uncut portions, but I guess something happened to them. I don't have cable, so I can't see the new ALF show, long awaited. For a while, I thought that this went into Unfounded TV heaven with the Kid's WB TMNT series, Jay Ward's "Watts Gnu" puppet show from the 60's, and all the Muppet TV rumors....
I changed my mind on the subject actually. Not entirely. But I have come to the conclusion that I need to uphold the law no matter how wrong it is. If I'd keep on copying stuff I'm actually part of the problem instead of the solution. I have written more on the subject on my blog.
Now there is still the problem of software though. If I don't copy series and movies etc then I can't copy software either. It's the same principle. So now me and my friend are trying to figure out how to get these programs because they are about $800 a piece. (Adobe mostly)
I guess that's also because too many people make illegal copies so they raise their prices. I would probably do the same. The only way this can ever change is if we all play fair. That goes for them too then ofcourse. And I'm not very happy about that situation right now.
I realize that not every production company treats it's employers fairly. But I'd say this is not my responsibility. If I'm being treated unfairly at work I'll take it up with my boss and maybe even quit. If they don't and keep on working for these companies then that's their decision. It's not for me to pity them. It's their choice. Except when contracts are involved though. Then you're just stuck to it. I know the main cast of CSI are caught in this predicament. They signed a 7 year contract without any hope for a payraise. While CSI is the #1 show at the moment and surely making good money. I would probably still break my contract with them then. Just to make a point.
Oh well. It's a difficult issue.
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