Home Media Research – new publications!

Finally – some big news!

Please find below details of two edited collections that will be published towards the end of November/beginning of December 2017. Both provide insights into various home media platforms. They are edited by Jonathan Wroot and Andy Willis.

Cult Media: Re-packaged, Re-released and Restored

DVD, Blu-ray and Beyond: Navigating Formats and Platforms within Media Consumption

https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319636788

https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319627571

 

Cult Media summary and endorsements:

This volume brings together writing on the topic of home media, and in particular releases described as appealing to ‘cult’ fans and audiences. Despite popular assumptions to the contrary, the distributors of physical media maintain a vivid presence in the digital age. Perhaps more so than any other category of film or media, this is especially the case with titles considered ‘cult’ and its related processes of distribution and exhibition. The chapters in this collection chart such uses and definitions of ‘cult’, ranging from home media re-releases to promotional events, film screenings, file-sharing and the exploitation of established fan communities. This book will be of interest to the ever-growing number of academics and research students that are specializing in studies of cult cinema and fan practices, as well as professionals (filmmakers, journalists, promoters) who are familiar with these types of films.

“Through a range of illuminating case studies, this collection develops our understanding of cult media, an increasingly widespread and prominent term both culturally and commercially. Covering film and television, formal and informal distribution and public and private forms of exhibition, this collection maps the vital role cult plays in contemporary media culture, in categorising forms of media, in articulating audience taste and identity, and in complicating our conceptions of the media text and media ownership.” (Kate Egan, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, Aberystwyth University, UK)

“Wroot and Willis have assembled a terrific line up of scholars to interrogate the intricacies of cult media distribution and reception, from the VHS era to the digital age. Covering areas as diverse as Japanese horror, Nordic Noir, Brucesploitation and Bollywood from a range of methodological perspectives, Cult Media: Re-packaged, Re-released and Re-stored provides a lucid and engaging assessment of the afterlives of cult movies beyond the move theatre.” (Johnny Walker, Senior Lecturer in Media, Northumbria University, UK)

“Cult Media: Re-packaged, Re-released and Restored is an illuminating collection of essays on the relations between cult media, new technologies, and the repackaging of older media content. This diverse collection – covering media texts, business operations, piracy, the formation of canons and more – provides a range of perspectives on cult media and is recommended to students and scholars alike.” (Jamie Sexton, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, Northumbria University, UK)

“Cult scholarship has often focused on the semi-mythologised historical contexts of the grindhouse and the midnight movie. This groundbreaking new collection shifts attention to home media and the ways in which VHS, DVD and Blu-ray releases have transformed cult practices. With chapters on everything from distribution companies like Arrow and Criterion through to filesharing and fan vidding communities, Wroot and Willis’s book is essential reading for everyone interested in the changing nature of cult.” (Iain Robert Smith, Lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College London, UK)

DVD, Blu-Ray and Beyond summary and endorsements:

This book demonstrates, in contrast to statistics that show declining consumption of physical formats, that there has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media. Physical releases such as special editions, DVD box-sets and Blu-Rays are frequently promoted and sought out by consumers. And that past formats such as VHS, Laserdisc and HD-DVD make for sought-after collectible items. These trends are also found within particular genres and niche categories, such as documentary, education and independent film distribution. Through its case studies, this collection makes a distinctive and significant intervention in highlighting the ways in which the film industry has responded to rapidly changing markets. This volume, global in scope, will prove useful to those studying the distribution and exhibition of films, and the economics of the film industry around the world.

“The volume makes a great addition to the important investigation that reveals how the medium that carries the film to the consumer plays as important a role as the aesthetic features of the film text.” (Dina Iordanova FRSA, Professor of Global Cinema and Creative Cultures, University of St Andrews, Scotland)

“As the digital distribution revolution rolls on, it is easy to overlook the importance of optical disc formats and the role they have played — and continue to play — in media distribution. This thought-provoking collection provides a timely exploration of the cultural and industrial legacies of the DVD, and the ongoing interplay between physical and digital media formats. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of home entertainment.” (Ramon Lobato, RMIT University, author of Shadow Economies of Cinema)

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Home Media Formats – Research Coverage and Networking

Home Media Formats – Mainstream, Cult, and Everything In Between

It has been a while since there was an update on this website. One thing I can now announce is that the edited collections resulting from the DDD Symposium in May 2015 – one on ‘mainstream’ media, the other on ‘cult’ – have been issued contracts from Palgrave Macmillan.

Following this development, I have decided to establish networking related to home media formats. Specifically this will involve circulating research and news about related industries and topics of interest.

Home media formats are not given enough discussion currently within academia or journalism. They are still a huge source of revenue for media industries. This is especially the case for physical media, such as DVDs and Blu-Rays. Sources referred to at the DDD Symposium – the British Video Association, Home Media Magazine, The Raygun – confirm these figures. This information contrasts with discourses circulating about large-scale shifts towards digital media distribution, exhibition and consumption. While such shifts are occurring, physical media is still maintaining a huge presence in the UK and numerous countries around the world (see link below).

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/distributors-discs-and-disciples-exploring-the-home-media-renaissance-2015-papers/

The forthcoming edited collections will address these points, but home media is constantly being reported on, written about, and developing while this research is being published. This webpage and related posts on this WordPress site are intended to be a touchstone for news articles, academic writings, blogs, and other online sources that can help give insights into the media industries and the use of home media. Anyone is welcome to add to these pages, by requesting to post up a link, piece of writing, or other content – via an email to jlwroot@googlemail.com. Alternatively, content can be circulated via Facebook and Twitter.

#homemediaformats

Facebook Group (to be established): Home Media Forrmats

Hopefully, this will be the beginning of home media being given the attention it deserves. Alongside future possible publications and research events, this digital network is intended to help kick-start discussions and debates.

Dr Jonathan Wroot

2015 Home Media Sales Figures

Hi – sorry it’s been a while, but I have been busy with teaching duties, as well as working to get two edited collections published, following last year’s symposium.

I wanted to provide links to the 2015 figures from the British Video Association, concerning home media sales. The 2015 figures are interesting, as much is being made of the fact that both digital and physical revenues are now earning over £1 billion annually. This could be the start of a shift towards digital, but many UK consumers are still seeking out physical copies of media for ownership at home. The global position of physical media sales also seems to support this viewpoint – meaning physical media is not going away anytime soon. For example, over $6 billion is still spent on discs in the USA.

More updates on the book volumes, and other news, as and when it comes!

Jonathan

2015 BVA figures, for the UK:

http://www.theraygun.co.uk/?p=6997

2015 DEG figures, for the USA:

http://www.homemediamagazine.com/research/svod-contributed-1-rise-consumer-home-entertainment-spending-2015-deg-reports-37328

Articles on changes to the remit of the BBFC and content that is classified

These links are a bit older than some others – but this matter is still very significant to independent home media companies, whose finances could be seriously impacted by these changes to what the BBFC has decided to classify. Music videos may just be the beginning – DVD extras and other bonus material could be next.

http://www.moviemail.com/blog/news/1974-BBFC-changes-A-major-threat-to-indie-DVD-labels/

http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/bw.htm

http://www.bbfc.co.uk/what-classification/online-music-videos

#homemediaformats

Home Media Formats Group

Sam Ward – Blog on The Digital Single Market

Sam Ward – Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton – discusses the implications of the EU’s planned initiative to phase out geo-blocking and allow consumers access to digital media content across national borders.

http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2015/06/04/streaming-across-borders-the-digital-single-market-web-based-television-and-the-global-viewer/

#homemediaformats

Home Media Formats

30 Years of Home Media

A link to a featured article on The Raygun website. The Video Collection brand is 30 years old this year, and one of its founders, Steve Ayres, reminisces on how the UK home media industry was transformed from a rental model to a sell-through one.

http://www.theraygun.co.uk/?p=6939

This and lots more related stories and interviews can be found on Tim Murray’s great website. Sign up for his newsletter!

#homemediaformats

Home Media Formats

Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring The Home Media Renaissance

Coverage will be provided on Twitter – #dddhmr2015

 

Late registration is now open for this one-day symposium at the University of Worcester on 23rd May 2015. A limited number of seats are still available. Please email jlwroot@googlemail.com if you wish to book a place. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is necessary to confirm seats and numbers. Drinks will be made available, but not lunch. Please email if you have any queries.

Late registration will be open until 22nd May 2015.

The rationale behind the event can be found below, as can details of the event itself:

Distribution is often been seen as the “invisible link” in the media industry, in terms of facilitating how films, television shows and other texts reach audiences. The rise of digital platforms, such as online rental services and bit torrents, recently changed this view and digital distribution is the focus of several recent publications. However, there has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media, and physical media releases are still sought out by fans and consumers. Special editions and box-sets for DVDs and Blu-Rays are frequently hyped up on social media, and from many countries around the world. Past formats also make for collectible items, such as VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD. Terminology related to physical media hugely affects perceptions of exhibition and consumption, such as ‘box-sets’, ‘binge-watching’, and ‘marathon’.

Distributors have been recognised as the ones making all this possible. Media distribution labels often promote their own actions; or their actions are reported on by critics and journalists; or fans and consumers directly respond to their releases and related activities. Such activity takes place within a variety of contexts – from film festivals to conventions and Q&A sessions; from social media, to dedicated websites and themed public attractions. This also occurs in relation to a variety of media texts – from newer releases to older titles; from films previously unavailable, to those regularly watched and celebrated by many.

The result of the raising of the profile of distributors has been a Home Media Renaissance. This exists not only as an alternative to online digital media exhibition options, but as one that occurs alongside them. In addition to the recent academic study of legitimate and illegitimate methods of online downloading and streaming, the simultaneous desire to own physical media is prevalent.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss and debate how and why distributors are becoming so prolific in an increasingly digital age. Is this activity a reaction to shifts towards downloading and streaming? Are consumers increasingly attracted to these forms of media, or are distributors desperate to maintain their interest? Can it last?

 

Details on getting to Worcester and the appropriate venue can be found in the attached files.

DDD Schedule 230515 Updated 180415

DDD2015 Abstracts

DDD2015 Delegates and Speakers Updated 120415

DDD2015 Directions and Local Services

University directions and map: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/university-arena-riverside-find-us.html

 

Please also email jlwroot@googlemail.com if you cannot access any of the attachments.

 

Dr Jonathan Wroot

Sessional Lecturer, Film Studies,

Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts,

University of Worcester.

PhD awarded by UEA

http://worc.academia.edu/JonathanWroot

Details of my upcoming symposium…

… in addition to my forthcoming reminders:

The deadline for the following CFP is 30th January 2015.

Informal queries and questions are welcomed prior to proposal submission.

Attendance will be free of charge.

Interest is particularly high in the subsequent edited collection. The proposals for this symposium will shape the official proposal to the publishers. Further proposals – for both the conference and the edited collection – are welcome.

 

Dr Jonathan Wroot

Sessional Lecturer, Film Studies,

Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts,

University of Worcester.

PhD awarded by UEA Email: jlwroot@googlemail.com

http://worc.academia.edu/JonathanWroot

 

……………………………………………..

Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance

23rd May 2015, University of Worcester

Rationale:

Distribution is often been seen as the “invisible link” in the media industry, in terms of facilitating how films, television shows and other texts reach audiences. The rise of digital platforms, such as online rental services and bit torrents, recently changed this view and digital distribution is the focus of several recent publications. However, there has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media, and physical media releases are still sought out by fans and consumers. Special editions and box-sets for DVDs and Blu-Rays are frequently hyped up on social media, and from many countries around the world. Past formats also make for collectible items, such as VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD. Terminology related to physical media hugely affects perceptions of exhibition and consumption, such as ‘box-sets’, ‘binge-watching’, and ‘marathon’.

Distributors have been recognised as the ones making all this possible. Media distribution labels often promote their own actions; or their actions are reported on by critics and journalists; or fans and consumers directly respond to their releases and related activities. Such activity takes place within a variety of contexts – from film festivals to conventions and Q&A sessions; from social media, to dedicated websites and themed public attractions. This also occurs in relation to a variety of media texts – from newer releases to older titles; from films previously unavailable, to those regularly watched and celebrated by many.

The result of the raising of the profile of distributors has been a Home Media Renaissance. This exists not only as an alternative to online digital media exhibition options, but as one that occurs alongside them. In addition to the recent academic study of legitimate and illegitimate methods of online downloading and streaming, the simultaneous desire to own physical media is prevalent.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss and debate how and why distributors are becoming so prolific in an increasingly digital age. Is this activity a reaction to shifts towards downloading and streaming? Are consumers increasingly attracted to these forms of media, or are distributors desperate to maintain their interest? Can it last?

Case studies and observations of particular titles are encouraged – whether they are films, television shows, or other media – and concern a particular genre, national context, authorship figure, or other categorisation. This can take the shape of a 20 minute paper, or a shorter presentation – for example, as part of a panel of lightning talks or speed-geeking.

Other potential topics could cover, but are not limited to:
Distribution Labels

Home Media Formats

Exhibition Methods

Consumption Habits

Fandom (e.g. social media, blogs, communities and groups, etc)

Marketing and Promotion

Creativity and Production within Distribution and Marketing

Critical Reception and Other Reactions

Awards and Recognition

 

Any particular case study is welcomed – whether it relates to a particular distributor, film, genre, national cinema, or other category.

Any research perspective is welcomed – whether it is from academics already published in these areas, or early career researchers.

All topics proposed will also be eligible for inclusion within an edited collection. The subject of the symposium has already gained early interest from some publishers.

Proposals should be sent via email to jlwroot@googlemail.com. Proposals should be no more than 200 words, with a brief biographical statement (100 words) attached. The deadline for these is 30th January 2015. Decisions of acceptance will be sent out by the end of February/early March. There will be the opportunity to extend the length of the symposium, and potentially host it at a different location, depending on the number of proposals.

 

 

 

A Few Updates…

Apologies to any visitors to this site – recent or not – for the lack of updates.

 

This will hopefully change in the near future. I have recently acquired copies of the Zatoichi TV series episodes. They are on on YouTube as well. When I find the time to write mini-reviews for them, they will appear on this site.

 

In relation to Zatoichi – the episodes, the films, their DVD releases, and other research materials, will also hopefully amount to a book publication from myself in the future. No, this will not be a reprint of the reviews posted here – but will be new and original material. More news on that if the book proposal is successful.

 

Hopefully some of you will have seen that I now write reviews of other Asian films for VCinema. Please keep an eye out for these through the VCinema Twitter and Facebook feeds – as well as through the following link: http://www.vcinemashow.com/film-reviews/

 

That’s all for now – but please also stay tuned to my academia.edu page for updates to my research: http://worc.academia.edu/JonathanWroot

 

Jonathan

Links to my 30 Days of Zatoichi Posts

WordPress may not be the best blogging site – as before this post, all my previous ones had to be scrolled through.

However, here are some links to make my Zatoichi blogs more easily navigable for current and new readers:

 

The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/the-tale-of-zatoichi-dir-kenji-misumi-1962/

The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/the-tale-of-zatoichi-continues-dir-kazuo-mori-1962/

New Tale of Zatoichi (1963)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/new-tale-of-zatoichi-dir-tokuzo-tanaka-1963/

Zatoichi The Fugitive (1963)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/zatoichi-the-fugitive-dir-tokuzo-tanaka-1963/

Zatoichi On The Road (1963)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/zatoichi-on-the-road-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1963/

Zatoichi and The Chest of Gold (1964)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/zatoichi-and-the-chest-of-gold-dir-kazuo-ikehiro-1964/

Zatoichi’s Flashing Sword (1964)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/zatoichis-flashing-sword-dir-kazuo-ikehiro-1964/

Fight, Zatoichi, Fight (1964)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/fight-zatoichi-fight-dir-kenji-misumi-1964/

Adventures of Zatoichi (1964)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/adventures-of-zatoichi-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1964/

Zatoichi’s Revenge (1965)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/zatoichis-revenge-dir-akira-inoue-1965/

Zatoichi and The Doomed Man (1965)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/zatoichi-and-the-doomed-man-dir-kazuo-mori-1965/

Zatoichi and The Chess Expert (1965)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/zatoichi-and-the-chess-expert-dir-kenji-misumi-1965/

Zatoichi’s Vengeance (1966)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/zatoichis-vengeance-dir-tokuzo-tanaka-1966/

Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage (1966)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/zatoichis-pilgrimage-dir-kazuo-ikehiro-1966/

Zatoichi’s Cane Sword (1967)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/zatoichis-cane-sword-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1967/

Zatoichi The Outlaw (1967)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/zatoichi-the-outlaw-dir-satsuo-yamamoto-1967/

Zatoichi Challenged (1967)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/zatoichi-challenged-dir-kenji-misumi-1967/

Zatoichi and The Fugitives (1968)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/zatoichi-and-the-fugitives-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1968/

Samaritan Zatoichi (1968)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/samaritan-zatoichi-dir-kenji-misumi-1968/

Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/zatoichi-meets-yojimbo-dir-kikachi-okamoto-1970/

Zatoichi Goes To The Fire Festival (1970)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/zatoichi-goes-to-the-fire-festival-dir-kenji-misumi-1970/

Zatoichi Meets The One-Armed Swordsman (1971)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/zatoichi-meets-the-one-armed-swordsman-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1971/

Zatoichi At Large (1972)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/zatoichi-at-large-dir-kazuo-mori-1972/

Zatoichi in Desperation (1972)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/zatoichi-in-desperation-dir-shintaro-katsu-1972/

Zatoichi’s Conspiracy (1973)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/zatoichis-conspiracy-dir-kimiyoshi-yasuda-1973/

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (1989)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/zatoichi-the-blind-swordsman-dir-shintaro-katsu-1989/

Zatoichi (2003)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/zatoichi-dir-takeshi-kitano-2003/

Ichi (2008)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/ichi-dir-fumihiko-sori-2008/

Zatoichi: The Last (2010)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/zatoichi-the-last-dir-junji-sakamoto-2010/

Blind Fury (1989)

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/blind-fury-dir-philip-noyce-1989/

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From Best To Worst – My Opinions on the Zatoichi films

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/from-best-to-worst-my-opinions-on-the-zatoichi-films/

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Retreading Ichi’s Footsteps: The DVD Extras

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/retreading-ichis-footsteps-the-dvd-extras/

Retreading Ichi’s Footsteps: The DVD Extras – The Criterion Box Set

https://jlwroot.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/retreading-ichis-footsteps-the-dvd-extras-the-criterion-box-set/