Friday, November 16, 2012

I can't put the storyline stuff on a DVD

Many people have been asking in the comments section for the State of the Wall post about putting the storylines of the show onto DVD. Since this has also been suggested elsewhere when people have wanted to see the storyline stuff together, I figured it's probably worth a longer explanation.

While putting together a compilation video of the storyline stuff might be a good idea, it's just not possible to do for DVDs. Why? Well, here are a few reasons:

1. I don't have the original files. That isn't the case for ALL the storyline bits, especially more recent ones, but that's only because I have the hard drive space now to allow me to save backups of the original raw files. However, during the Mechakara storyline? I don't have any of the original raws from those. Sorry, but I needed the hard drive space and the idea of putting any of this stuff on DVD was not something I considered.

Now, some might wonder why I don't just put the clips from the episodes themselves, but you've got to understand - I didn't save those episodes in HD. They were widescreen, yes, but they were saved at 960 x 540. That means that if they were put on a DVD, they would look like crap. One could say they ALREADY look like crap, but I mean they'd look like bootleg quality. See, if it's just some flash video on the web, the quality isn't really all THAT important, but for a DVD release? Yeah, no. These days I save in 1280 x 720 - not great, but closer to DVD quality than the older episodes.

But the lack of the original raw files also has another problem with it...

2. I use copyrighted music in A LOT of the early storyline bits. Hell, I'm STILL using it. The Thing-inspired storyline? Used bits of Ennio Morricone's score. See, here's the thing - most movies companies don't really give a damn about us. We're not SELLING anything that uses their material - it's a video on the web and a lot of the time it actually gets people to go out and buy movies or comics or etc. that we've talked about, since there is a market out there for crappy b-movies or the like.

But the thing is that the instant you start using their clips without permission in something that's actually SOLD? Yeah, we'd get slapped with a cease and desist pretty damn quickly. You'll notice on the Angry Video Game Nerd DVDs that any time he used a clip from a movie in one of the episodes, it's been edited out for the DVD release.

And by that same token, A LOT of the music I've used in storylines DOES NOT BELONG TO ME. The Power Rangers theme? I've used that TONS of times and you can be damn certain that if I tried to sell a DVD that had it in there Saban would destroy me. And because I don't have the original raw files for the episodes, I can't put in different music. The only way I could do that is if I redubbed all the dialogue. The good news is that you may have noticed that I AM moving away from copyrighted music from the storyline segments and using stuff from MusicLoops more, which I AM allowed to use in movies or the like sold on DVDs (it's part of the licensing agreement for the music), but that only means I could use more recent storyline stuff where I still have the original files and it's a pain in the ass to replace a lot of that music so it still fits the mood of the video.

3. This is less important than the technical or legal stuff in the previous 2 reasons, but it goes to a thing about the show. See, for the longest time, many people asked why I don't just separate the storyline stuff from the reviews. Most people don't ask that anymore either because they've accepted that after 200 episodes it's part of the show or because most of the time it's only at the end of the video, they can just shut it off and not care about it anymore.

However, there is a reason why I didn't do it to begin with. The simple fact is that the storylines are really meant to be an homage to the rather ludicrous and awesome nature of superhero comics, with robots and time travel and alternate universes and villanis and etc. They go hand in hand WITH comics. Devoid of the reviews, they're just me playing around in different costumes with toy phasers and a cardboard robot. While I haven't always matched the storylines to the comics I've reviewed (I still praise the Dark Nella Saga on the Nostalgia Chick for having the events in that story match up to the things she's reviewing), I do TRY to do that and they go hand in hand. I don't feel the conclusion to the Mechakara arc has as much substance if I don't have me talking about Power Rangers. I don't think the Entity arc's conclusion works as well without an explanation of MissingNo. (though that one IS arguable, since the story WAS more about horror than it was the Pokémon connection), but the Star Trek 2 or 3 storylines, in my opinion, don't work as well without the context of what they're homaging. And while the current storyline is a bit more vague with what it's referencing, I think people WILL get it once we reach the end of this arc and you see the franchise it's tied to in February.

Separated from the reviews, the storyline doesn't work as effectively, in my opinion. From a technical standpoint, the pacing doesn't work as well when you just cram them all together and not spread them out like I try to do.

And that's pretty much it. If I do make a DVD where I review some public domain comics, I'll probably put in its own DVD-exclusive storyline, but for now, that's why I'm not going to put the storyline from the regular show on DVD. And if you're just lost on the storyline, fortunately there are people who can help. I recommend checking the AT4W Plot Guide to show what episodes have plot-relevant material. ‎

29 comments:

Artman--yup2U said...

It's hard to believe that so many people had a hard time understanding.

And I don't think people realize that with the Power Rangers music, Saban would destroy you in more ways than "usual". They could revoke Power Force membership...

Artman--yup2U said...

mhm

Sage Saria said...

I wouldn't object to a DVD storyline, if anything. :)

E. Wilson said...

Regarding legal complications, I've been wondering about Turell and Zod in "To Boldly Flee". Do you happen to know how/why those characters were fair game for a DVD release?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Regarding legal complications, I've been wondering about Turell and Zod in "To Boldly Flee". Do you happen to know how/why those characters were fair game for a DVD release?"

Spelled differently and they're parodies. Parody falls under fair use, and it's not like we're using clips from the movies or claiming ownership on the originals.

Jake said...

Freeplaymusic.com is a great resource, so much so that I can recognize when cable and network shows use some of the songs from the website. Check it out!

BeijingSchwartz said...

Lewis, regarding resolution: DVD is 720 X 480 at max, which is lower than your supposedly low res clip. It's either squished or stretched to 16:9 or 4:3, depending on the intended aspect ratio. Regardless, you're better off than you need to be as far as that's concerned.

Toby said...

"Parody falls under fair use, and it's not like we're using clips from the movies or claiming ownership on the originals. "
Actually, I hate to be 'that guy', but Manos: The Hands of Fate isn't in the public domain, contrary to popular belief. Someone does own the rights to that movie, and I saw no credit for the rights owner in the TBF credits.

Anonymous said...

DVD exclusive storylines.

That's all I was asking for in the first place. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad that small producers get screwed because of so much copyright redtape. Anyway, keep up the great job, Linkara.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Actually, I hate to be 'that guy', but Manos: The Hands of Fate isn't in the public domain, contrary to popular belief. Someone does own the rights to that movie, and I saw no credit for the rights owner in the TBF credits."

I'd love to know who the rights holders are supposed to be, considering it's listed on SEVERAL websites as being in the public domain, it's available for free from Archive.org (a website that has MANY public doman movies and shorts and etc. available for free download), and the reason behind that is apparently because the film never had a copyright notice on it so it immediately fell into the public domain upon release.

Daniel T. Stack said...

I still feel doing a graphic novel of the story line elements with as much of the reviews as is needed might be the best compromise for something that could be sold to let people quickly catch up on story line? Especially with the crossover parts that become part of Story line but are a bit harder to keep track of to find and add in the right place.

BTW I made a video and put my name and "©never" on it deliberately stating that I am not claiming creative rights and copy restrictions. Its not like everyone making something keeps ownership of it.

Cat C said...

I completely see how the story line bits are tied to the reviews, hell, I think the Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan story elements are way more impactful with them sort of mirroring (but not copying, did that make sense?) the actually events in the comic & movie.

I don't think I realized just how complicated and unrealistic it would be to try and make a DVD, also wasn't aware that the older files are no longer around, though completely understand why you deleted them.

Out of curiosity, how big of a file is an average episode these days?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Out of curiosity, how big of a file is an average episode these days?"

The camera automatically makes a new file after a certain amount of time, so usually an individual file is about 14-16 minutes long, and that's about 4.5 gigs per file, with about 4 or 5 files per episode.

Sophie said...

I actually applaud you for having the reviews (typically) match up to the stories you're reviewing. I really got a smile out of the Power Rangers and Missing no. conclusions. ^_^

While it would be nice to see the storylines on DVD, I completely understand your reasons not to do so.

I enjoy both your reviews and the storylines, and I do like the stories at the end with sometimes a precursor or hint in mid comic review. They are lovingly ludicrous :)

Cat C said...

"The camera automatically makes a new file after a certain amount of time, so usually an individual file is about 14-16 minutes long, and that's about 4.5 gigs per file, with about 4 or 5 files per episode."

! Good grief, you must need over a Terabyte a year just for the review portion? (If I'm remembering how much gigs go into a TB correctly.)

Strangely the very first computer I owned in college had less than 10 gigs of storage, how much things have changed in 10 or so years.

Seriously though, that's a ton of stuff to keep track of, I do not envy the space juggling you must need to do.

Jarkes said...

Actually, this talk about storylines reminds me: Are you ever going to have a review of a Youngblood comic that ISN'T part of a double feature that concludes one of your storylines?

Frosty said...

I don't know if it's just me, but even if you did edit the storylines so they wouldn't have copyrighted material to release them, they just wouldn't feel the same. I just can't imagine for example the Power Rangers #1 review without that perfectly unnerving music you used for Mechakara. :)

Pat said...

I totally understand why you won't do any of that storyline compilation stuff, but I hope you'll consider maybe putting together a guide for new viewers so they can know which episodes are story-relevant. It can take days to watch all of your videos.

Tori said...

Hmmm... I'm guessing the Gunslinger's franchise to be Highlander. There can only be one with the magic gun! Nyeh? Nyeh?

Bellarius said...

That's unfortuntate but understandable. Thank you for explaining in detail why a major aspect of your series won't be on a DVD.

Cat C said...

@Pat

There's actually a fan-run tumblr that's pretty extensive as far as keeping track of the storyline.

http://at4wplotguide.tumblr.com/

DMaster said...

" @Pat

There's actually a fan-run tumblr that's pretty extensive as far as keeping track of the storyline.

http://at4wplotguide.tumblr.com"

...said Cat C on 20121117 17:32

I also made a long list of the full storyline videos and stuff that feeds into them in the following link:

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=42440

...though I admit I haven't updated it recently.

Some Gamer Dude said...

Fans could always do your work for you, compile them and distribute it. Fans tend to be a smart and technically minded lot.

Mitchell said...

To be fair I'd feel that the stories based off Star Trek 2 and 3 you did are much better then the stuff they are based off however I'm a man set in his ways and can't stand Star Trek. No real reason guess it just might be the actors who I bet are all fine people but I don't know made me unable to watch the shows, unable to watch the movies and I see you oddly as a far better actor then them. That said yeah seeing as how you don't have the raw files anymore redoing the early stuff would be hard and a redub would come across jarring. A dvd storyline would be great and your point about them going hand in hand with the current comic is why I still watch your shows. I'd still buy a DVD.

Arianne said...

I'll just check out the Atop the 4th Wall plot tumblr and rewatch the older episodes for the pre and post review plotlines as they unfold. I think the reviews and the plotline go hand and hand sometimes. "MissingNo"/ The Entity plotline needed that Pokemon comic review in my opinion to be the last piece of the storyline plot puzzle for me . You're reasons are understandable for no plotline Dvd

Fusionater said...

Being one of the people that suggested you do that...yeah...I could have put more thought into it, it sucks that you don't have the original files for anything. One of the main reasons I would think anyone would ask for you to put the storylines together(be it in a dvd or on the web), is that if I want to rewatch the storyline stuff, it's annoying as hell to sift through every single review that had the storyline bits to get to the end of the video for each one. Sort of how like a comic series might be released as a graphic novel after it's run has ended, I think a lot of people would heavily appreciate a compiled version of your finished storylines so they can actually sit down and watch it as a whole after the storyline has been finished on AT4W.

Eco Disc said...

its sad that some producers facing these problems. This problem just be removed so that the producers can produce the good qwality product . Really nice one.

Anonymous said...

I understand how you can't put it straight onto DVD, but perhaps you could do a big recap of the storylines, showing only important bits that are legal, maybe even screenshots with voiceover narration, and you can play whatever music you can over certain parts.