Why are most DVD covers so rubbish?

I remember when films would come out on VHS with glorious original poster art. So why is it for DVD that the majority of films released now have shoddy Photoshop art that looks crud? Don't get me wrong, there are some fine examples out there of art done well. Of all, Criterion produce the most beautiful covers I've seen. They know what their market wants and they provide it, they don't have to as their products will sell anyway but it's that kind of dedication and professionalism that goes credited when credit's due. But then we have the major studios such as Fox. While their DVDs are great I don't see why we can't have original poster art. Take the Star Wars films for example. These have had wonderful poster art in the past, used for their VHS releases but now we get these poorer efforts which just make them look cheap, whereas other times the studio has released great covers. But then that's perhaps the point from the marketing perspective, it's Star Wars, it would still sell millions if the covers had daisies on them so is it that they just don't care? The same can be said for others, it's a thing that seems to be growing and it's as if it no longer matters anymore.

The other thing that really bothers me is the sheer amount of overly keen appraisal that features heavily on certain releases. Let's look at EIV for example. EIV have put out some very nice releases but in order to sell their copies they place in abundance a slew of quotes from major UK critics and magazines. OK sure, most companies do this but they keep it to a minimum. Let's not forget that art sells and if I want to pick up a film that I love then I'd like it to have a nice cover, not one that tells me the film is good with five-star ratings when I know that already. I often find that these quotes are also insulting, especially if I have little respect from the source it comes from. It's an eye sore and one which needs to be corrected. After all, EIV did release The Lord of the Rings and came away unscathed. Why is this so? The more elegant the film? I can't say I understand. A lot of the time it'll be a simple "EXCELLENT!" - Five Stars but the font will take up an 1x5 inches of space, and what kind of quote is that anyway? If people want to know how good a film is then they'll go and read a magazine or read a review online, or its reputation would have preceded it in box office sales to give any kind of indication. We don't need to see a quarter of the cover bogged down in this sort of nonsense.

Then there's the action market which likes to follow the same trend of "From the action director of Kill Bill" or "Matrix Style FX". Come on, we don't need this every time. Granted it's geared toward people who might not be familiar with the name Yuen Woo Ping but that doesn't matter. By now a lot of folk should be familiar and besides a lot of us who enjoy Asian cinema already know this and will already front up the money. I do wonder just how many more sales a lot of these martial arts flicks manage on the strength of using The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill as examples? Have they managed to convert people whole heartedly? I'm not sure, though show me some stats and I'd take great interest.

And should we forget the awards? No we shall not. Gladiator and TITANIC will surely sell much better if we repackage them and say they won like twelve Oscars. Who gives a damn? I'm not going to suddenly change my mind and buy a film if half of its cover is plastered with things like "A million times Oscar winner", "Best Bafta Actress" or "Greatest wig in history - Wig awards". If a film is genuinly good in my opinion then I'll pick it up but I'm still lumbered with defaced artwork. Tone it down, man. Save it for those who care - the snooty bods who hand down said awards. Cheap marketing ploys that play on a preconceived notion that a film should be deemed watchable if a certain high community considers it as such, yet usually these quotes and awards can often damage a film's reputation prematurely, resulting in what is know as over hyping.

That's just a few examples listed but I think you get my point.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 09:48:52

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