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Old 21-08-2000, 07:09 PM   #1   [permalink]
eva2000
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Join Date: 23 Jun 2000
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Here's something that Tamachan also mentioned a bit about before:
Quote:
Dear Anime fans,

I write this in reply to the fans who have discovered the lag problem on the Ghost in the Shell Australian DVD release.

Firstly, let me apologise profusely for the error, which should not have been allowed to slip through undetected. Secondly I would like to let all subtitled anime fans know that you are welcome to return your GITS DVD for a full refund. Unfortunately we will not be remastering the title (again), and we will also not be recalling it, since it would not be fair to the dub-lovers out there to do so, especially since the product has had (mostly) excellent reviews.

Fans who are not satisfied with the disc as it stands should return it directly to Madman Entertainment and we will arrange a no questions asked full refund. Please call us on 03-9417-0977 to arrange the details or discuss the matter further and accept our full apology on this matter.

A little history on the title to fill you in:

Madman Entertainment, now managing the Manga Label and continuing to distribute through Siren, took delivery of a master (DLT) for GITS from an authoring house in the UK along with a sample UK copy, which tested well. Upon pressing 3000 units we discovered a slight lag in the English Audio inconsistent with our test sample. With tears in our eyes we were forced to destroy all 3000 copies rather than release a slightly sub-standard product.
This resulted in the permanent cancellation of loads of orders, particularly from major retail chains and resulted in a five figure financial loss. However we were happier to do this than put a sub-standard product onto the market.

We eventually took delivery of a replacement DLT master shortly very shortly before the current month ship deadlines, which we were assured had corrected the faults on the original master. We quickly had some test samples made just to double check for ourselves. These appeared to check out perfectly, however the drift on subtitles was not something we tested for at the time and so unfortunately it passed undetected in the rush to make ship deadlines.

The product shipped on the 8th August and well over one thousand units of this title had been sent to retailers all over Australia before we finally became aware of this problem from one phone call on 17th August. By this time it is now virtually an impossible logistics exercise to recall them all.

Whilst I accept the subtitle flaw is a significant one, the disc has an excellent price point AUD$27.95 (US$16), excellent visual quality and an excellent 5channel Dolby Digital English Audio Soundtrack, with plenty of excellent reviews (on the English version) to date, so we believe there are at least a few redeeming features.

I apologise further for the comments quoted by one of the sales team at our distributor Siren, regarding the 2% of the market who we would be affecting. If this seemed indifferent I am sure it was not meant to. With regard to
our future DVD authoring policies and what we plan to do to look after this “2%” please read on to the next section…


MADMAN’S DVD FUTURE AND SUB VS DUB IN AUSTRALIA:

Madman Entertainment has just invested heavily into setting up a professional high-end DVD authoring studio in Australia in order to create a fantastic new line of anime DVDs.

As you may imagine, authoring DVDs is a time consuming and very expensive procedure. Whilst we all love DVDs and would like to cram every available extra feature on them including subtitles and Japanese audio, we can not promise that this will happen for one simple reason – cost.

Anime is a niche market in Australia – and subtitled anime is a further small niche within this. To give you an example, one of our benchmark video titles “Neon Genesis Evangelion” was released in both sub and dub formats as
a service to the true sub fans because we at Madman loved the title so much. Sales of the dub have been up to around 5,000 copies per title, while sub sales are about 100 units. The former represents an excellent sales result
for anime, while the latter after classification, masters, production, packaging, duplication, etc. represents a huge loss. Release of subs has been attempted by several companies in Australia and the result has always
shown to be not economically viable. When faced with the issue of multilingual vs. dub only on our DVDs we are
faced with the simple question of whether the additional days and machine time required to author such a subtitled product along with increased potential for error, NTSC vs. PAL issues, cost of additional masters, subtitling and materials required is worthwhile. The bottom line is that in
the vast majority of cases it isn’t.

A further problem is that the subtitle fans we would be trying so hard to please are far less likely to buy the end product anyway, having already obtained fan-subs or imported copies from the USA prior to our release date.
As an example, of all the people who have provided negative feedback to Siren over this issue to date only ONE of them had actually purchased the disc!

Despite this, Madman is committed to serving the entire Australian anime community, because it is a genre we love. We will not rule out putting subs on our future DVD titles, but I think our most likely course of action for the near future on most of our releases will be as follows:

1. For the general mass market we will author PAL format dub only DVDs of the highest commercial quality at excellent price points accessible to all.

2. To service sub fans we have already made arrangements to purchase directly from our USA counterparts NTSC multilingual DVDs of the same products. We will market these at competitive price points along the same pricing levels as importing directly from internet discount sites. These will be sold to fans directly from Madman’s web site (www.madman.com.au) or if any specialty stores approach us requesting the multilingual version, these will also be supplied to them.

I believe that in this way we can serve all of Australia’s anime needs and ensure our business will be economically viable and able to continue to serve anime fans down under for many years to come.

Once again, I am sorry for this unfortunate issue. Anyone who wishes to discuss the matter further may feel free to contact me on tim@madman.com.au

Sincerely,
Tim Anderson
Managing Director
Madman Entertainment.
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