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DVD Conference Theme: From Critical Mass to Mass Market

The Sixth Annual DVD Entertainment 2003 conference and showcase, co-produced by Medialine magazine and the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) this coming Aug. 20-21 at the Universal City Hilton & Towers, promises to deliver the latest in the art and science of DVD production.

The conference theme, “From Critical Mass to Mass Market,” reflects the DVD industry’s aim to move to the next level of success. As such, the program seeks to delineate where the prospects for growth will come from.

For example, market researcher Jim Bottoms of Understanding & Solutions will forecast DVD demand for the next five years, and demonstrate how women and children have helped the format pick up steam in the past year.

Consumer behavior researcher Pam Danziger will explain why DVD topped the list of “Why We Buy What We Don’t Need,” and how packaging figures into purchase of packaged media decisions, providing further insight into the home entertainment/luxury goods market.

This year’s program will also feature marketing case studies for several major film releases. “The Making of A DVD Franchise” gives an overview of how DVD figured into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy from the start, and established a benchmark for four-disc deluxe editions of a theatrical movie. New Line Home Entertainment executives responsible for DVD production and marketing will reminisce about the non-stop workflow with its outside partners, including DVD producer Kurtti-Pellerin, authoring house Laser Pacific, menu design company Company Wide Shut and packaging designers 30 Sixty.

A similar panel has been assembled by Lucasfilm to discuss the company’s DVD philosophy for the Star Wars movie franchise.

On the “When to Go All-Out for a DVD” panel a studio executive, a studio DVD production expert, an outside DVD producer and a talent agent outline their various needs in the production process of a special edition.

Renowned film critic Leonard Maltin will return for a third year to engage leading Hollywood filmmakers on how DVD has enhanced their cinematic visions. Already confirmed is David Ellis, the director of Final Destination 2, which New Line is releasing on DVD on July 22.

Television rights holders will explain how in the past year, the number of TV series boxed sets of full seasons have multiplied tremendously.

Similarly, DVD’s crisp picture and surround sound have reinvigorated the longform music video/concert film category-the subject of another panel.

Technicolor’s Paul Scott will make a presentation on DVD supply chain management.

Warner Bros.’ Ned Price and Sony Pictures’ Grover Crisp will demonstrate their latest restoration projects, making vintage films look better on DVD than they did in their day.

The conference will end with a look at the ensuing debate over DVD’s next generation. Already confirmed is Toshiba’s Maciek Brzeski.