Well, my movie came out on DVD this past Tuesday. To celebrate, John Whitney had the idea of a DVD release party. So we had one at Scott Spears’ production Partners studio. It was a blast. As per usual, I had no idea how many people to anticipate. You can invite people, but I had no clue how many would actually show up. As someone so eloquently said to me on the phone earlier in the day, “I don’t want to waste my time because I don’t think anyone’s showing up…” and to be honest, I didn’t either. Some people didn’t show up, but a great number of people did. [url=http://www.amazon.com/Horrors-War-Jon-Osbeck/dp/B000UTOKKM/ref=sr_1_24/102-7580935-5920942?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1192985262&sr=1-24][img]http://www.sonnyboo.com/images1/blog/nov07/shelf.jpg[/img][/url]
I saw several people I had not seen in a long while, some since the shoot in 2005. Others, I was really glad they didn’t show up. Not all my memories from HORRORS OF WAR are great ones. We celebrated, but there was one thing in small supply – DVD’s of the movie itself.
I woke up early on Tuesday, anticipating the party, but mostly anxious about the DVD itself. I had not seen a proof copy or had anything to do with the promotion (or lack thereof) for the DVD. I gave them a plethora of extras on DVCPRO to use or not use. It was way more than they could ever fit on a single disc, but I wanted to provide them with options. We recorded a commentary track, which to me was the no brainer.
My single biggest anxiety lied with the audio soundtrack of the whole movie. The DVD specs boasted a commentary track and “5.1 Surround”. The original sound mix, both in stereo and 5.1 are substandard. It’s not Cobblestone Studio’s fault as we were on the same page. Over a disagreement with the Executive producer of the film as to what constitutes a good sound mix, we lost this battle because he believes “If you can’t see it, you shouldn’t hear it…” which is an appalling concept. One of the reasons our original 3.5 minute scene worked so well was because we made up for the small number of people on screen by implying a larger number with sound FX. It worked staggeringly well. In the final sound mix, that same scene plays thin to the point of anorexia. For the final delivery to our distributor, I had added back in several more layers of gun sounds, sound FX, and even some unused incidental music. To my horror, I did this in stereo, but not in Surround sound. This scared me to death that the bad sound mix might be on the DVD without all the extra work I did.
I did order a copy of the movie, but it had not arrived and I wanted to see it. Unfortunately, none of the retail stores in Columbus were carrying the title for sale. Best Buy’s store manager told me they could not allocate the valuable shelf space because they wanted the slots for Spider-Man 3. Thankfully, Blockbuster Video had 4 copies on the shelf. I could at least hold the box in my hand. Doing that forced me to sign up for an account and rent the movie. I had to shell out $4.68 to rent my own damn movie. What a sad, sad world we live in. The clerk at the store told me he watched that movie the night before, so I asked if he liked it. He said it was great. He then went on to tell me he lived in Youngstown and that he recognized the old rubber factory where we shot the ending of the film.
Because I was in a mad rush to finish a big client project BEFORE the party, I could only skim the DVD and its extras. Good news and bad news abound. The bad news? There was no commentary track, even though it was listed as an extra by the distributor. The good news? It does contain my sound mix and that has been remastered in 5.1 surround. As for other extras, they included a nice selection of the web docs (with a weird intro they cut), plus even B-Roll and the Visual FX demo.
The party started at 7:00PM on a Tuesday night. We packed the house. I was relieved. Had a blast, spoke to a ton of people, saw some old friends, and met some new people. It was a party after all. I speak the obvious. Even my parents came to the party.
How does it feel to see your own movie on a shelf and being rented at Blockbuster? It feels great! More people should get to feel this way. I’m on top o’ the world. My movie is out there in the world. Sean Velie emailed me from Hollywood and snapped a pic of 4 copies on the shelf at Blockbuster, all 4 rented out. Someone called Phil Garrett and told him that they had 4 copies at a Blockbuster in some obscure little Florida town, all rented.
Since there wasn’t room, we’ve made the commentary track a free download on the site. [url=http://www.horrorsofwarmovie.com/commentary.zip]CLICK HERE[/url], it’s a 28 meg download of an MP3, so feel free & put on your Ipod or MP3 player, and cue it up with the start of the DVD and enjoy the commentary with directors Peter John Ross & John Whitney with producer Philip R. Garrett.
The review in our local paper, the Columbus Dispatch was very good! Local filmmakers rarely get reviewed or mentioned in that publication, so this is a major coup for us.
[url=http://www.horrorsofwarmovie.com/images/press/dispatch-how.jpg]CLICK HERE TO READ DISPATCH REVIEW[/url]
Not everyone likes the movie. Then again, I don’t know of a single movie that every single person likes, so you get used to it. I like this movie. Hell, I even love it, warts and all. I’m very proud of what WE did. We made this movie and we have come a long way.
Now the movie belongs to everyone else. The Boo sleeps well tonight. The Boo is happy. Have peace my acolytes.
– Peter John Ross
– Co-director, Co-writer, producer of [url=http://www.amazon.com/Horrors-War-Jon-Osbeck/dp/B000UTOKKM/ref=sr_1_24/102-7580935-5920942?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1192985262&sr=1-24]HORRORS OF WAR[/url]