Another belated update – mainly because of my other commitments, and also highlighted by the fact that I am focusing on this trailer – which had some brief edited broadcasts on television, but is available in its entirety online, and was widely circulated earlier this year:
As will be demonstrated by upcoming edited collections (following the home media symposium at Worcester last year), Disney and its subsidiaries are very useful case studies through which home media trends can be illustrated. Yes, the above does demonstrate the slow shift to digital, by The Force Awakens being made available slightly earlier for streaming and downloading. But it also helps to illustrate the audience that is still out there for physical releases, as the dates for DVD and Blu-Ray releases are also mentioned, and a range of Blu-Ray exclusive extras are promoted, alongside the film itself. While this is not wholly original (there are loads of other versions of ‘own it’ or ‘take it home’ trailers, for VHS and DVD releases of titles related to Disney, Star Wars or other big budget franchises), it does help to add further evidence for the argument that home media releases are treated (by both industry and fans) as new texts or commodities (and not just as ancillary texts). This is a point I have emphasised in several earlier research outputs (https://worc.academia.edu/JonathanWroot); last year’s symposium (https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/distributors-discs-and-disciples-exploring-the-home-media-renaissance-2015-papers/); and this blog post: http://www.watchingthetrailer.com/trailers-blog/the-stories-of-arrow-video-as-told-by-trailers-for-their-dvds.
I believe further evidence for these claims – and other perspectives – can be highlighted by examples centred on home media, related to films as well as other media texts. I’m talking industry reports, facts and figures, promotional material, industry/audience discourse, critical reception – anything that anyone can find to be of interest, in terms of illuminating examples and trends. Some really important case studies are going to be outlined by the forthcoming volumes myself and Andy Willis (University of Salford) are editing for next year (currently titled Watching Films at Home, and Cult Media). Though the chapters will vary a lot from the above trailer, that example does help to highlight trends found in many of the other case studies. Alongside the wait for these publications, I hope lots of other like-minded people will consider sharing similar findings more immediately – either through this website, their own (or another platform), or perhaps the Facebook and Twitter feeds particularly linked to these aims:
Whether you are an academic, professional or part-time blogger/opinion broadcaster – it would be great to hear from you – for commentary, shameless promotion, to start a debate, or just to share an interesting link or two.