Is There A Better Way To Create a DVD?

This is a rant I’ve started several times, but never managed to make it good enough for posting. It’s something I want to say, and I’m sure 99% of people agree with me. Those who don’t agree with me on this particular issue have GOT to be VERY, VERY Weird, or they work for a movie studio or the RIAA or MPAA.

Here’s the scenario, which I’ve been through several times. It’s the middle of the night. You’ve got a long string of meetings the next day and desperately need a decent night’s sleep, but your one and a half or two year old is wide awake, screaming. There is only ONE thing in the entire house that will calm him down: Disney/Pixar’s Cars.

You do the honorable thing and reach for Cars. It’s a good movie. I’ve seen it 10,000 times by now and I still enjoy it. It’s a good story with great animation, and who could ever get tired of Tractor Tipping? So you put Cars in, switch the TV over to the DVD player’s input, and fire the DVD player up. Then, you’re greeted with “Coming soon, to a theater near you!” You hit the menu button, because all you want to do is start the darn movie so you can go back to sleep, but you get a warning “That function is not allowed at this time!” You have to wait for the preview to start, then you can hit the menu button. I actually have some DVD’s that won’t allow you to escape to the menu from the previews. I just discovered that DreamWorks’s Madagascar 2 makes you watch all of the previews.

This is probably a great idea the first time you buy or rent the movie. But 10,001 times later, I don’t give a rabbit’s poop pellet what’s coming soon to a theater near me in 2005! I already know. This is idiotic forcing paying customers to go through this stupid process every time they want to put a movie on for their kids, especially in the middle of the night.

OK, you finally get to the menu screen, but there’s a cute little introduction with music that wants to play first. You can skip through it on Cars, but I have several DVD’s that want you to sit through the introduction first before you can hit the button to play the movie. Madagascar 2 is like this, I just discovered.

Then, once you select “Play movie”, you have to sit through two or three “it is illegal to copy this movie. We know you’re a potential criminal because obviously you paid for this disc, and in the entertainment industry, paying customers are all obviously potential thieves.” This is for a little child, and there won’t be any copying, although I’m not very far from ripping all of the movies that we play on a regular basis and creating my own start-up screens so I don’t have to deal with all of this, especially in the middle of the night.

After that, there’s the Disney and Pixar introductions. Duh, I know it’s Disney and Pixar. Actually, I like Pixar, but Disney is about as evil a company as I can imagine. Disney is evil, say it with me. Then there’s that THX animation. Oh, wow, that was so cute in 1987 or so, but really, it’s old. Either get a new one or leave us alone. I can tell by the box and by the disc that it’s got THX. Actually, I assumed that all Pixar movies had it, seeing how Steve Jobs bought the company from George Lucas.

Only after all that BS, can you finally get the movie to start. By that point in our scenario, I’m too ticked off to go back to sleep.

Is there a better way to make and sell DVD’s? Why do the studios and distribution companies assume that 20 years later, I’ll still give a darn what came out in theaters about the time Cars originally sold on DVD? And why do they assume that those pirating warnings are actually going to deter anybody intent on pirating a movie? Really, can you imagine it? Wow, I was going to copy and distribute this movie on a torrent site, but the FBI says that’s wrong. Thank you, FBI, for keeping me honest!

We have a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine DVD’s that literally make you sit through an entire 2 minute long introduction before you can even tell it to play the movie. That’s just begging somebody to rip the files and create their own disc. Is that the only solution? Since the studios don’t respect the customer, if I don’t want to go through all of those annoying introductions and warnings and previews to watch Cars for the 10,002 time, I’ll have to rip and burn my own copy? Note to all entertainment industry lawyers and greedy butthole executives: I have not done this.

I think I’m going to go watch the file sharing episode of South Park to take the edge off my frustration.


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