The message board will be down for a short time (and only a short time, we hope) probably Wedneday, May 6. This is to repair some underlying data inconsistencies that caused the problems at the end of March. Unfortunately we won’t be able to retrieve the “lost” information from that period but this will straighten out the underlying funkiness that caused it. (What do you think of our novel approach of informing people before an outage, rather than after it?)
Two things regarding our May 30th get-together at Private Island Trax.
1) Some people are planning to go to another L.A. event afterwards and asked if we could move the start time. So we’ll now plan on having “open doors” from 1-4pm at Trax—anything longer than three hours, by the way, and all of us will feel cuckoo. Plan on arrivals at 1pm, mingling, then getting underway with our “talk” (in which we’ll answer questions about FSM, SAE, upcoming plans, talk to special guests) when the time feels right. And if people need to leave early, no problem!
2) We are once again offering a “no shipping” deal to attendees who buy CDs from Screen Archives and pick them up PERSONALLY from Craig and Ed (wow! like Santa Claus!) at the event. Craig sez: “Order from SAE starting now through the end of day on May 18th and we will ship your orders to the gathering for you to pick up and the shipping is FREE. Just order at the SAE web site and make a note in the notes field you are going to be there. If you have any pre-orders or in print titles in your order that are not in stock by the 18th, SAE will remove them and send the rest. If you find other titles after you ordered please re-order with the same note in the notes field.” So don’t delay!
Now the exciting news in the soundtrack collecting world… Paramount!
Congrats to La La Land Records on their release of Airplane! which I, like many fans, have wanted forever.
Paramount Pictures has, over the years, never allowed their catalog titles to be issued by specialty labels. This was not some nefarious plot, it was just never a part of their corporate mindset to deal with the clearances involved for what is, in most cases, small-market items. A corporation is not a person, but nothing happens at a corporation without the people who work there. After many years, Paramount is changing but—without giving anything away—I want to caution collectors not to expect everything on CD, and especially not overnight.
There are two practical reasons. Like all the film studios, Paramount did have many of its scores issued on CD and LP at the times of the respective films, and the album rights to those titles are often with the record companies involved. Almost all of those Dot, ABC and Paramount Records releases are now part of Universal Music Group today. For other corporate reasons, almost all of the television properties (like Star Trek) and now administered by CBS. Also, like all the film studios, Paramount went through different periods of saving things (or not) and moving elements around, and while they have the scoring masters to many of their movies, they do not have the elements to many others.
A new day has dawned and the executives and staff at Paramount today are open-minded and working hard to make some collector dreams come true—witness Airplane!, and congrats again to La La Land for being first out the door with that. But there are a few things that could happen that would be guaranteed to be unhelpful. One would be if a label was lazy and put out a crappy album that ended up with a copyright claim on it (from a publisher, union, financing entity, performer, etc.). That would be bad news. So we’ll take care of our side of things.
But the other, non-constructive thing would be if somehow word filtered back to the executives that the fans were a bunch of ungrateful, demanding, crazy lunatics. (Did someone really suggest sending a thank-you gift to the home address of one of the executives? Please do not do that.) Not to say you shouldn’t continue to ask for what you want, and evaluate the CDs and their scores on their merits. I think it’s more of a “vibe” that the studios get from the fans that the studios work hard to make these CDs happen and are on our side. Remember, the employees' environment there has never been more demanding than today, in which cut-backs are happening throughout the entertainment industry.
Remember Dune (not a Paramount movie): “The slow blade penetrates the shield.”
I know I’m skirting the question: are we working on things? Yes, we are, but I won’t say what. It’s a real deliberate process by which we are meeting the executives and learning how they want to do things as far as masters, contracts, approvals, artwork, etc. I can’t stress enough that it is a privilege to be involved with the film library and it is by no means something that we or anyone one should think of as an entitlement. Be passionate—but be patient.
So thank you to the staff at Paramount and you the collectors who support these projects, and hopefully we’ll get some goodies out in the months ahead—and hopefully it will continue for years to come.