Not so Great about Gatsby!

Due to a weird new policy that Warner Brothers have implemented, our copy of The Great Gatsby remains at Criterion Pics office in Richmond, BC. 

I’m sure we can all agree that this is frustrating, disappointing, and a bit disheartening. I would go into all the details but it’s complicated in a most ignorant way that I’m sure I can’t explain it without sarcasm, anger, and a wee bit of cynicism.  The policy has to do with the new DVD format – with pin pass security – that apparently are only for colleges and universities.  Our rep, Brent, is trying very hard to get us VHS copies by August 9th.

I’ve gone to their website, WarnerBros.com, and tried to leave a message in customer service :

I just want to let you know that your recent change to pass protected DVDs for pre-release
movies have messed up our showing of the Great Gatsby. We are a charitable organization in a
small isolated town in BC . We hope that in the future there can be better communication on
requirements to our supplier, Criterion Pics, so we can confidently book your movies for our
town.
 

However it won’t send it for some reason. I’ll keep trying.  ****I change category from Other to Legal and my message was sent….

We apologize for this occurrence but such is the nature of Pre-Release movies.

My open letter to Universal because they cancelled Les Miserables

I wrote this letter to Universal because of how they snatched Les Miserables from us this past spring.

We are currently waiting to hear if Paramount has done a similar nasty to us with The Great Gatsby – which is supposed to be playing this Friday.  If they have I will start a social media movement to communicate our concerns. 

 

Dear Universal

I’ve wanted to write to you for months now but have left it in the hope I’d be  calm and reasonable.
I live in a small isolated town on North Vancouver Island called Pt McNeill.  A couple of years ago I started a Not for Profit Organization to help nurture, support, educate and celebrate the arts.  We are located in an old theatre in a strip mall right in the heart of our small town.  We are now a charitable organization and we show second run movies as a social enterprise to help keep our doors open.
Let me describe what it takes for us to get to a ‘real’ theatre.
First –  it’s 200 kilometers away.  Yes, 200 – not 20.
Second – the 200 kms are all mountain, forests and NO CELL coverage.
Third – we’re north of the 50th parallel – that means during the winter our days are much shorter than the 90% of Canadians that live 100 kms from the border.
This adds up to a high percentage of movies released at Christmas time being unavailable for most of us to see at the ‘real’ theatres – even though we drive those big 4 wheel drive diesel trucks that Kyota hates – (sorry – I thought I could write this email without the sarcasm….) black ice, darkness, snow storms, and no cell coverage are a major deterrent.
My point is that our community was very excited to have Les Mis booked for the opening day of the Pre-Release – very excited….but then it evaporated when you decided to NOT release it to the second run theatres but re-release it to the big ones.
Essentially you screwed us.  If you’ve never lived away from the 90% – or have never worked in the resource sector of our country – you have no appreciation for the sacrifices the 10% live with to make the wheels of our country go around.
Look at the GNP – is it Starbucks or the movie industry? No – it’s resources. And we keep getting screwed…..I’m sorry – I really thought I could do this with little to no emotion.
Do you know why I created an organization to encourage, educate and support the ARTS? Because they’re on life support in our schools…because we don’t live in a major centre. Because to get to a symphony or live theatre or an art museum – is a 5 hour drive – and there’s little to no money for field trips.
To have been cut out of the loop for Les Mis was disheartening – not only for our organization – but also for our community.
We would have lost money showing the film (it costs us 250.00 minimum to show your films) as our ticket prices are 5.00 including tax – but we were willing to eat it in order to bring such an important piece of art to our community.
You know there are people – all over the world – who illegally down load and watch movies even when just released – this angers me on many levels – morally, socially, fiscally, artistically – that is why when I started this venture I was – and am – committed to paying the price to legally show movies and submit to timelines and release schedules from the powers that be….however, just like the average person during the days so beautifully portrayed in Les Mis, there are limits to which people can carry on feeling used, abused, ignored, undervalued etc.
At this point I’m steering clear of your movies – I’m that angry.
Respectfully
Terry R Eissfeldt
President