Monday, November 12, 2007

One night only: The Menagerie

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Star Trek: The Menagerie

On the 27th November, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace at Cremorne, in Sydney, is screening "The Menagerie", the two-part "Star Trek" episode about Spock trying to save the life of previous captain, Christopher Pike - in High Definition - and with newly-added revised CGI SPFX. There will also be a new "making of" featurette shown, and an introduction (on video?) by Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry Jr.

I'll be at the 6.45pm session, but there's a second screening at 9.30pm if you prefer. Be careful; these one-night-only screenings do book out quickly!

Captain's Log: Supplemental. The reviews are coming in from the US screenings. A few cinema audiences got left in the dark after the show. I think maybe the house lights in the automated cinemas are programmed into the regular projector/computer these days, so if the projectionist isn't actually on duty using the HD machine, the house lights get forgotten.

The TrekBBS reviews are here.

There's also been a lot of debate about the forthcoming DVD-HD Star Trek prices. I recently answered some complaints thusly:

If fans really feel the corporation, writers and CGI FX artists do not deserve to make new profits from their most successful franchise, then they should simply not buy them. ie. If you're happy with your regular DVD sets, then wait a few years or so for HD prices to come down. But CBS is not a charity and they should be allowed to make a profit from something that they have chosen to invest heavily into. Profits are returned for risk, and it's been a risky task to replace old 60s FX with CGI, but they're trying to ensure that TOS stays in popular syndication, and that it won't fall away into the either like b/w TV shows of the 50s.The CBS/Paramount shareholders would expect nothing less.

So-called "early adopters" of new technology always tend to pay premium prices. It's a rule of supply and demand economics. If the product was dirt cheap, they'd never be able to keep up with demand, so they set at least three tiers of marketing targets, and let the early adopters (with lots of disposable income) go first.

Hey, I love a bargain, too, but I do choose to pay full price for my ST novels, too, as I could always wait a few years for the books to get remaindered. Or for hardcovers to be reprinted in MMPB. Or for mini-series to get reprinted as omnibuses. Meanwhile, though, the writers go hungry and receive no royalty at all. It's a price I pay as an early adopter.

I tend to get yelled at for having this view, but CBS has done its market research - and the recommended retail price for the HD DVD sets is what surveyed respondents have named as a fair price. Hardly any retailer will refuse to offer discounts. But if you don't wish to be an early adopter, then refuse to spend with them. What's the other choice? Tiered marketing says that low prices for Tier 1 is just not viable: warehouse space and shop space-wise, especially.

Or they could choose to never release TOS in any other new format - and to let TOS die like any old U-matic or Betamax videotape. Imagine the complaints if CBS said, "We know Blu-Ray and HD DVD are coming, but we are not going to release TOS in those formats because we reckon everyone should hang onto their old VHS tapes instead."

I hope no one takes offence. Just my observations/opinions.

1 comment:

De said...

I'll be posting about this a little later. Short story: it's pretty damn cool.