AV.com Original Compilation Movies?


Mark Nguyen (mnguyen@hotmail.com)
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 10:19:33 PST


I've been wondering about releasing gundam in its entirety. Granted,
there is an audience, but it's not necessarily (yet) a widespread, or
popular one. Thus, I'm concerned about AV,com *never* releasing some
series, because they're unsure about the returns on such an investment.

Coupled with this is the extraneious length of many series. VERY few
long-running anime series are ever released in NA; Viz Video's Ranma 1/2
and Urusei Yatsura come to mind. More recently, Pioneer has set about
releasing Fushigi Yuugi, a 52-episode series, not counting OVAs. Among
many reasons, commercial companies just don't believe that they can keep
the interest of an NA audience over the length of time it takes to
release such a series, especially when is has a long story arc as in
Gundam.

AV.com has a further concern, in that the original Gundam series (and to
an extent, Z and ZZ) have older, somewhat outdated animation. Given the
current market saturation of more recent titles and hence higher (newer)
animation styles and quality, reagardless of genre, AV.com may have
legitimate reason to NOT release long series like these. Just look at
the recent commercial flops Dancougar and Votoms, both long-running
series; incidentally, they still couldn't cut it despite stuffing up to
five episodes a tape! Even Urusei Yatsura, despite being a popular
comedy, was shelved for several years at one point because of sales.

What to do? I'm honestly clueless, but this is worth a shot in the dark:
AV.com original compilation movies. That is, re-editing a Gundam series
into (say) three to five movies, a la original series re-edits. Not to
add more animation or dialogue, but just to skillfully re-edit the a
Gundam series, cutting out fluff episodes and narrowing the scope and
plot of the series into a movie format, just like the original.

All things considered, such a project would be relatively easy to
accomplish and could be made relatively seamless (in production);
editting technologies nowadays, coupled with the fact that most
companies work directly from the master digital tapes and separate
dialogue and music tracks, means that a remix wouldn't look like a
simple cut and paste job.

The only thing theat they'd have to be careful about is preserving the
content and atmosphere of a series. I don't know if I could trust some
business suit to do that sort of thing; rather, in the case of AV.com
they could come to fan info sources for help and suggestions of what to
cut, what to keep, and how to do it; this is actually part of their
original mandate, after all. I certainly think a number of people on
this list alone could be useful in that sort of advisory position.

It's also worth pointing out that this is hardly the first time someone
would re-edit something into something else. Take Robotech for example
<shudder>...

With fewer tapes needed to tell a story, sales of Gundam series would be
easier and potentially more profitable than stringing a series out over
12-14 volumes.

What think ye? Would you prefer to go for re-editted "movies" of a
series, instead of 12-14 tapes? Especially if it means that the series
*would* be released in some way, shape or form? If it were done
responsibly, would it be worth it? Or should it be released as the
original regardless?

Any other thoughts, comments or suggestions? What do you think?

Mark-II

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