DVD New HD DVD - Zombie film limited to 500

You heard that correctly. Anthem Films is bringing Gary Ugarek's indie zombie film to the defunct format in a limited edition.

'Deadlands 2: Trapped' will be released on HD-DVD on October 27. What makes the release special is that it will come with a numbered certificate of authenticity and will be limited to 500 copies.
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This not only makes the release the last title to make its way to the deceased format, but will also make it a highly sought-after collectible.

Gary Ugarek has this to say about his release:

“Over the last 18 months, since HD DVD’s demise, I and a small group of HD DVD enthusiasts have scoured every part of the planet trying to obtain the left over releases of HD DVD material. We were early adopters of the format and still feel to this day the format shouldn’t have been left to die off. So I set out to do some research and realized the following:

During HD DVD’s release, over 1,000,000 player units were sold and over 800 titles were released for the format. At the end of its tenure the market penetration still remained strong, and the format built a dedicated fan base."

"So I set out to see if these HD DVD owners would be interested in a brand new release. I presented all the information about the film, gave them access and links to trailers, the press kit and the technical aspects… and you know what… THEY LOVED THE IDEA. The feedback was unbelievable. Within 36 hours of putting the question out there, I received over 200+ emails, within 96 hours 380+ requests from HD DVD fans asking me to make this happen."

"I presented the idea to Anthem Pictures, the distributor, and they liked it, and immediately jumped behind it.”

“Some people thought I was flat out nuts and were asking, why HD DVD? Are you not a Blu-Ray supporter? I answered I am, but when you have a dedicated fan base for a format, like HD-DVD does, and you see the passion of its supporters I immediately knew I wanted to do this for the fans. I want to give them something special.”

“I had been asked by the fans to include something about how I made a micro/low budget zombie film, and what my experiences were, what hoops and hurdles I had to overcome, and I though sure, why not.”

“I know it’s a gamble with HD DVD having lost out on the format war, but based on feedback from HD DVD fans we expect this to be a huge moment for them, the film and HD DVD. Kind of ironic that a zombie film would be helping HD DVD try to come back from the dead, even if for a short period of time, but who knows, if the program is a success maybe other indie filmmakers and distributors can do something similar for the HD DVD fans and keep it alive for the hard core.”

Specs are still unknown for the HD-DVD, but supplements include both the Unrated & Original Work Print versions, director's commentary, work print commentary, featurette on indie filmmaking from the director's POV, featurette on the theatre cineplex location, and more!

Most of the supplements will be exclusive to the HD-DVD version as well.

Suggested price for the HD-DVD has been set at $29.95 plus shipping and handling, and it can be pre-ordered here.

You can find the latest specs for 'Deadlands 2: Trapped' linked from our HD-DVD Release Schedule, where it's indexed under October 27.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Apr 17, 2009
7,731
San Diego, CA
it IS coming to BD... but the special features are HDud exclusive... so I'll pass on principle.

If you're telling be before hand that i'm being screwed on features I don't want your crap... I mean product.
 

Illiciter

Premium Supporter
Apr 28, 2009
1,864
morons, all morons.


What is he trying to do, spark a rebellion and kick up the Hdud dust?

re taw dead
 
Sep 16, 2009
14
Hi,

Don't mind me just reading through the threads about the HD DVD release. For anyone who cares I am the films director and would be than happy to answer anyones questions in regards to this rather bizarre move, but if I could take a moment to explain a few things it would help clear a lot of things up.

WHile Toshiba did leave the format to die, many mfg companies have an overstock of HD DVD discs they need to use up, and since there are tons of HD DVD players still floating out there and a dedicated fan base for the format is the reason I chose to this release.

This isn't by any means an attempt to resurrect HD DVD, this is just for the hard core fans of HD DVD. Before I talked the studio into doing it, I made sure enough interest was there to proceed with the expense of the release. Because there was enough to justify 500 discs being printed and sold we went ahead with it. At this point 60% of the 500 discs to be made have already been pre-sold.

Will the film come out on Blu-Ray? Eventually, maybe in 2010. Will it have the features that are on the HD DVD... no. What I did for the HD DVD fans was gave them an oppurtunity to be a part of how the disc came together. Something studios and filmmaker never do.

I asked them for what content they would like, how I should master the film for the release, and made them aware the film is an upconvert, much like 28 Days Laters is on the Blu-ray release.

Yes the film is low budget, $6,000.00 to be exact, but all information was put out there for them to make the decision before anyone moved ahead with the program.

In essence I gave the fans a chance to build an HD DVD disc, by asking what extra content they would like. In that we filmed two extra special features where they got to ask they questions about indie filmmaking and we answered them through various low budget filmmakers in the MD/DC/VA area.

Fan input was very crucial to me doing this I even let fans design the artwork for the HD DVD. We have 3 box art concepts submitted and the winner will be chosen shortly.

The idea behind this is for other indie filmmakers to make the end user (you the audience) as much a part of the process as we are in making films.

Since their is a vast amount of HD DVD material left over to be made into discs, it gives indie filmmakers a chance to also release a niche item.

You might ask yourself... did I walk into this expecting to resurrect HD DVD? Hell No, everyone knew that would never happen, again it was for the fans.

Do I have something against Blu-Ray? Yes and No. Yes in that Sony made it cost prohibited for most indie films to be released, but NO, in that I own several Blu-Ray films and two Blu-Ray players (both PS3 units). I also enjoy the HD experience no matter what the medium (Blu, HD DVD, whatever) I am an HD-o-phile.

Anyway, I just wanted to clarify my position on this and please feel free to ask any question. However, please note I will not get into a red vs blu debate because i myself am purple. :scat:
 
Sep 16, 2009
14
No worries on the Blu pride thing. Before I went purple in 2007 I had red pride. So I know how it is, and I understand.

In regards to the marketing aspect. It is acheiving what I expected it to do which is to get the film out to people who may not have found it otherwise.

If you get into indie filmmaking believe me don't rely on the studios to market you... you have to do that yourself. :D
 

Glen-BoB

Grampie Blu-Clan
Jan 28, 2009
3,641
Dartmouth, NS, CaNaDa
don't know if you're for real or not DjFunk but I love horror movies and I must have this movie but will not be buying it on SD or HD-DVD. I would think there would be alot more money in it for you if you released Blu.
 
I kind of had that idea when the OP posted this, I know a lot of distributors and some studios had a left over surplus of HD-DVDs they had to burn through. I can't say I am a fan of Indie films, but every once in a while you might find yourself surprised. It's also nice to see the filmmakers listen to the fans and let them be a part of the final product! Fantastic idea. I respect your thoughts on this and nice to have you around.
 
Sep 16, 2009
14
don't know if you're for real or not DjFunk but I love horror movies and I must have this movie but will not be buying it on SD or HD-DVD. I would think there would be alot more money in it for you if you released Blu.

I am 150% for real. My real name is Gary Ugarek and I have directed and produced two indie zombie flicks, as well as have worked on many shorter indie projects throughout Virginia and MD.

Believe it or not, it is not about the money. Whether it Blu or Red I make bupkiss. The overhead for pressing either fomat is extremely expensive, and once the 500 copies are sold it will break even... when you consider mfg. costs, mastering time, shooting new material, editing new material... etc.

These are items a lot of people do not take into account, and they are the most expesnsive item. Had we done a Blu-Ray run we would have needed to sell over 1500 copies just to recoup mfg cost and mastering costs. 2500 copies to break even on everything else.

I just don't see 2500 copies of Deadlands 2 on Blu selling, but for red breaking even was good enough for everyone involved.

I kind of had that idea when the OP posted this, I know a lot of distributors and some studios had a left over surplus of HD-DVDs they had to burn through. I can't say I am a fan of Indie films, but every once in a while you might find yourself surprised. It's also nice to see the filmmakers listen to the fans and let them be a part of the final product! Fantastic idea. I respect your thoughts on this and nice to have you around.

Thanks for the welcome. Yep there is a lot of material left to burn through, but the costs aren't being adjusted to unload this stuff. If it were I would be selling the discs for a lot less, but as I noted above the price is basically covering all expenses.

DVD is still the cheapest medium to produce anything in, and the most profitable. This movie will turn profit off the DVD release, but not from HD DVD or a blu-ray version simply because of the costs involved.

Just to prepare the HD DVD version of the film I had to spend over 200 hours re-editing, mixing and rendering the film... especially since it is an upconvert. Each render takes 18 hours, then if I find an error I have to go back in, fix it and render it again.

The special features alone have cost double because I lost a hard drive on the NLE and had to re-edit everything again. So an additional 15 hours went into that. All the new features were shot in HD, most of the film was shot SD except for 2 of the zombie attack sequences which were shot HD.

Like I said I am here to give you guys any insight you would like because I want to make the fans apart of the process.

If I don't reply right away I apologize, I am monitoring over 22 different forum in regards to this HD DVD release, but I try to reply within 24 hours. If I don't youc an email me through the films official website.
 

Illiciter

Premium Supporter
Apr 28, 2009
1,864
First of all, Welcome to the forum!

I sure am glad you'll turn a profit off the DVD release. It's too bad the rest of the movie was shot in SD aside from two scenes which are in HD.


I still don't think it was a wise position, but I'm sure the HD-DVD fans appreciate it. It's just too bad I don't buy DVD's anymore.


And it's not about blu-pride, it's that I like my movies in HD, it's why I purchased an HDTV. Not to watch SD content, but to watch HD content.

I'll redirect my original comments towards you, since you are on the forum. I think breaking even is fine and all, but when it comes to business it's ALL about the money, and this gesture (while applaudible in some respects like cheering on the underdog that has already lost) is a moronic business proposition. It's limited in scope, tailors to a market that is for all intent and purpose, dead, and will never bring more than a flicker of attention to the movie itself as "That zombie movie with that guy who released 500 copies on HD-DVD for some weird reason"

I, myself, am a horror fan much like Glen-Bob, but you have isolated your film from an already small market pool, and also isolated it from receiving money from me by not releasing it on Blu-ray. I'm not going to kick and scream, I'm just going to show you how poor your decision was by not purchasing or viewing your film in the first place. I could care less if it's on DVD, that's not why I bought a blu-ray player and HDTV.


Respectfully, I wish you luck, you will need as much of it as you can get. Your journey into this market is a steep and dangerous one and you're already throwing rocks at the 800lb gorilla in the room.


EDIT:

I'd just like to add that I totally get your justification to put it on HD-DVD, I just think you're wrong.
 
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Sep 16, 2009
14
First of all, Welcome to the forum!

Thanks

I sure am glad you'll turn a profit off the DVD release. It's too bad the rest of the movie was shot in SD aside from two scenes which are in HD.

Well it is a budget constraint, and other factors include that most indie distributors will not do HD releases. In fact this is Anthems first.

I still don't think it was a wise position, but I'm sure the HD-DVD fans appreciate it. It's just too bad I don't buy DVD's anymore.

Actually it was a very wise decision, from a marketing stand point it has garnered a lot of press attention, there are a lot HD forums talking about, and remember the only bad press is no press. As an indie filmmaker you have to think outside of the conventional realms. Remember I am not Michael Bay and I am not Warner Brothers so I have to go above and beyond when it comes to marketing the product. The simple fact enough people are talking about raises eyebrows.

While the purpose was to include fans the other purpose is to raise awareness. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Had I put it on blu... it would have been lost in the shuffle. When you do something out of the ordinary it becomes extrodinary.

And it's not about blu-pride, it's that I like my movies in HD, it's why I purchased an HDTV. Not to watch SD content, but to watch HD content.

Believe me its nothing personal and shouldn't be taken as such. The forum owner made a comment and based on the post threads I have read I would say his assessment is pretty accurate, but hey even I don't buy anything SD anymore. However, the market for indie films statistically is for people with a median income range of $25,000 a year or less and most of them do not own HD TV's hence why most of these films are only put out on SD.

I'll redirect my original comments towards you, since you are on the forum. I think breaking even is fine and all, but when it comes to business it's ALL about the money, and this gesture (while applaudible in some respects like cheering on the underdog that has already lost) is a moronic business proposition. It's limited in scope, tailors to a market that is for all intent and purpose, dead, and will never bring more than a flicker of attention to the movie itself as "That zombie movie with that guy who released 500 copies on HD-DVD for some weird reason"

Again, for the purposes of bringing a virtually unknown low budget title like this out to even more people, the mission was accomplished. Google Deadlands 2 HD DVD and see how much attention this has received. Once you understand marketing from an indie stand point you can see how this was a very successful, yet risky move.

The fact that people will remember it as that movie that had a limited edition HD DVD run is positive for the film itself because any HD fan will remember it because it had been so long since an HD DVD was released. (Remember this isn;t major studio marketing this is indie marketing.)

I, myself, am a horror fan much like Glen-Bob, but you have isolated your film from an already small market pool, and also isolated it from receiving money from me by not releasing it on Blu-ray. I'm not going to kick and scream, I'm just going to show you how poor your decision was by not purchasing or viewing your film in the first place. I could care less if it's on DVD, that's not why I bought a blu-ray player and HDTV.

While I may have lost a sale with you, it is not a total loss, and I don't mean that in a snide way. I will explain. Again the film is indie in nature, low budget, and fairly unknown, but it is in a genre that has a very large fan base... ZOMBIES. Not too mention one of the actors appeared in the original DAWN of the DEAD, which helps open it up to more fans of the Zombie Genre. The loss of Blu-Rays sales is minor, and I say that because cost versus potential sale would have made it cost prohibitied until the film sold in the league of 2500 copies, with HD DVD we break even at 500.

You yourself showing me my decision is poor by not purchasing it doesn't affect me as I have already sold 60% of the stock available through pre-order of the HD DVD and it doesn't street until October 27th. However, again the move accomplished the core thing... getting people to talk about it, and when people talk it spreads and spreads and spreads.... you may know this as VIRAL MARKETING... again Mission Accomplished.

What you view as a poor business decision is incorrect, it was actually a very successful business decision. The HD DVD fans get one more disc, they get to be apart of the release and the films gets coverage on forums they may have never talked about it.

Respectfully, I wish you luck, you will need as much of it as you can get. Your journey into this market is a steep and dangerous one and you're already throwing rocks at the 800lb gorilla in the room.

Thanks, but I think it has paid itself off. Seriously remember the key to marketing is doing something that wakes people up out of apathy. With Blu the clear winner any new release is just everyday news... a title coming to HD DVD after 18 months of the format ending is WTF Bizarre type news that gets people talking. Even if they laugh at it they are still talking about it and that is what makes people want to check things out more.

Since the announcement the trailer on you tube has received an additional 2000+ hits, the website for the film has seen triple traffic and even DVD pre-orders increased from Netflix and Blockbuster.. so this move has really brought in tons of great things for the flick.

For me though... I didn't get into indie films to make money, if I did I might as well quit while I am ahead. I got into it because I love zombie films, and hope that with enough word of mouth about marketing etc... that I can someday make the zombie film I still feel needs to be made. The ultimate end of the world zombie flick.

EDIT:

I'd just like to add that I totally get your justification to put it on HD-DVD, I just think you're wrong.

Appreciate your feedback, but based on the research... I was right. :scat:
 
Apr 17, 2009
7,731
San Diego, CA
i'm sure it's cool, and I love all things zombie... but like I said. Putting special features on a HDdvd and dissing the blu-ray community isn't cool. I'll definitely pass.
 

Illiciter

Premium Supporter
Apr 28, 2009
1,864
Thanks



Well it is a budget constraint, and other factors include that most indie distributors will not do HD releases. In fact this is Anthems first.



Actually it was a very wise decision, from a marketing stand point it has garnered a lot of press attention, there are a lot HD forums talking about, and remember the only bad press is no press. As an indie filmmaker you have to think outside of the conventional realms. Remember I am not Michael Bay and I am not Warner Brothers so I have to go above and beyond when it comes to marketing the product. The simple fact enough people are talking about raises eyebrows.

While the purpose was to include fans the other purpose is to raise awareness. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Had I put it on blu... it would have been lost in the shuffle. When you do something out of the ordinary it becomes extrodinary.



Believe me its nothing personal and shouldn't be taken as such. The forum owner made a comment and based on the post threads I have read I would say his assessment is pretty accurate, but hey even I don't buy anything SD anymore. However, the market for indie films statistically is for people with a median income range of $25,000 a year or less and most of them do not own HD TV's hence why most of these films are only put out on SD.



Again, for the purposes of bringing a virtually unknown low budget title like this out to even more people, the mission was accomplished. Google Deadlands 2 HD DVD and see how much attention this has received. Once you understand marketing from an indie stand point you can see how this was a very successful, yet risky move.

The fact that people will remember it as that movie that had a limited edition HD DVD run is positive for the film itself because any HD fan will remember it because it had been so long since an HD DVD was released. (Remember this isn;t major studio marketing this is indie marketing.)



While I may have lost a sale with you, it is not a total loss, and I don't mean that in a snide way. I will explain. Again the film is indie in nature, low budget, and fairly unknown, but it is in a genre that has a very large fan base... ZOMBIES. Not too mention one of the actors appeared in the original DAWN of the DEAD, which helps open it up to more fans of the Zombie Genre. The loss of Blu-Rays sales is minor, and I say that because cost versus potential sale would have made it cost prohibitied until the film sold in the league of 2500 copies, with HD DVD we break even at 500.

You yourself showing me my decision is poor by not purchasing it doesn't affect me as I have already sold 60% of the stock available through pre-order of the HD DVD and it doesn't street until October 27th. However, again the move accomplished the core thing... getting people to talk about it, and when people talk it spreads and spreads and spreads.... you may know this as VIRAL MARKETING... again Mission Accomplished.

What you view as a poor business decision is incorrect, it was actually a very successful business decision. The HD DVD fans get one more disc, they get to be apart of the release and the films gets coverage on forums they may have never talked about it.



Thanks, but I think it has paid itself off. Seriously remember the key to marketing is doing something that wakes people up out of apathy. With Blu the clear winner any new release is just everyday news... a title coming to HD DVD after 18 months of the format ending is WTF Bizarre type news that gets people talking. Even if they laugh at it they are still talking about it and that is what makes people want to check things out more.

Since the announcement the trailer on you tube has received an additional 2000+ hits, the website for the film has seen triple traffic and even DVD pre-orders increased from Netflix and Blockbuster.. so this move has really brought in tons of great things for the flick.

For me though... I didn't get into indie films to make money, if I did I might as well quit while I am ahead. I got into it because I love zombie films, and hope that with enough word of mouth about marketing etc... that I can someday make the zombie film I still feel needs to be made. The ultimate end of the world zombie flick.



Appreciate your feedback, but based on the research... I was right. :scat:



Well put, I'll concede to a majority there. I guess the only thing I can say is time will tell. I agree that bad press is no press, but a flicker on the radar that generates a lot of attention doesn't necessarily mean sustained income (or attention). Viral marketing is definitely risky and can win short term gains as you mentioned above, but generates more fads than any real substantial gain in the long term. I guess our real difference of opinion here lies in short term outlook and long term outlook. Once you break even on the 500 copies and have turned your profit off DVD and still see that demand, what do you do then? Churn out more HD-DVDs or switch to Blu-ray? Neither, and stick to DVD sales alone? You still are isolating those extra sales that could push the bar, but it's your movie, obviously, do what you want.

You've seen already that it's actually 3 people saying they won't buy your movie from this forum because of your decision, and as you say there's a pool of zombie fans out there that love their zombie films. What if they have the same feelings we have? My point, largely ignored for your "benefit", is that you're isolating folks who appreciate their content delivered in HD, such as yourself, and that includes their zombie flicks. But, they won't purchase dead technology just to get your movie in HD.

Appreciate the candid debate! Hope you come around for more than just promoting your movie as we have great fun here in other topics of interest!
 
Last edited:
Sep 16, 2009
14
Well put, I'll concede to a majority there. I guess the only thing I can say is time will tell. I agree that bad press is no press, but a flicker on the radar that generates a lot of attention doesn't necessarily mean sustained income (or attention). Viral marketing is definitely risky and can win short term gains as you mentioned above, but generates more fads than any real substantial gain in the long term. I guess our real difference of opinion here lies in short term outlook and long term outlook. Once you break even on the 500 copies and have turned your profit off DVD and still see that demand, what do you do then? Churn out more HD-DVDs or switch to Blu-ray? Neither, and stick to DVD sales alone? You still are isolating those extra sales that could push the bar, but it's your movie, obviously, do what you want.

You've seen already that it's actually 3 people saying they won't buy your movie from this forum because of your decision, and as you say there's a pool of zombie fans out there that love their zombie films. What if they have the same feelings we have? My point, largely ignored for your "benefit", is that you're isolating folks who appreciate their content delivered in HD, such as yourself, and that includes their zombie flicks. But, they won't purchase dead technology just to get your movie in HD.

Appreciate the candid debate! Hope you come around for more than just promoting your movie as we have great fun here in other topics of interest!

Oh I love having good deep discussions. And I hope I can come and talk other stuff... this has been such a hectic time especially since the HD DVD master files are still sitting on my PC and I am still working on the rendering as we speak... in fact a 5th render is currently going on the PC next to me.

However, when it comes to discussions, and not to change topics for a whole bit here, would be my gripe with current Blu-Ray releases that are subpar. But that is a whole other debate for a different forum thread.

Just so you guys know I was actually against any HD release of the film simply because of the fact the majority of it was shot SD, but after talking with HD DVD fans, and the thought of a limited production amount it seemed like the thing to do, but again, I am not for upres'd content. Hence why I warned everyone that is what they would be getting.

The third film, set to start shooting in May 2010 will be shot entirely HD. Aiming for a Red, and have access to one, but I am also holding out for the possibility of a bigger budget in which I could shoot 35mm.

If a Blu release does come down the road though You guys would actually get a little something exclusive for that as I would have to once again re-record the directors commentary for the film. The DVD and HD DVD version have their own separate commentaries, and it would be messed up porting the HD commentary to a blu-ray and using the SD DVD commentary would be pointless because it is aimed strictly at SD DVD specs, in terms of what I talk about in the commentary.

Just something to think about.
 
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Glen-BoB

Grampie Blu-Clan
Jan 28, 2009
3,641
Dartmouth, NS, CaNaDa
These are items a lot of people do not take into account, and they are the most expesnsive item. Had we done a Blu-Ray run we would have needed to sell over 1500 copies just to recoup mfg cost and mastering costs. 2500 copies to break even on everything else.

I just don't see 2500 copies of Deadlands 2 on Blu selling, but for red breaking even was good enough for everyone involved.

I think you might find that there is a pretty big community around that are starving for interesting BD titles, especially in the horror genre. Hell, I used to be in a band that sold 1500 copies of a CD we made and I'm from a very small town and we also sold them all without the internet's help. If the PQ is nice I would blind buy it. Just a thought.
 
Sep 16, 2009
14
Hi Everyone,

I have been informed that Anthem Pictures has pushed back the release date of Deadlands 2: Trapped the HD DVD edition until November 24th 2009. This is due to the extended amount of Mastering it will take to include the absorbant amount of material supplied for the HD DVD release.

"While we understand the delay is a bit disappointing we want HD DVD fans to know we want to give them the best possible release of Deadlands 2 on HD DVD they can get. This extra time will be used to make sure the HD DVD edition is packed to the brim and something the hard core collectors can be proud of to own in their collection."

Gary Ugarek

For anyone who pre-ordered the HD DVD edition Anthem will provide a little extra for the delay. Anyone who pre-ordered Deadlands 2 on HD DVD will be given a free copy of the regular DVD release, which still streets on October 27th 2009, or you can take a $10.00 gift certificate to use in their store towards any other DVD release, such as the forth coming DEAD AIR, the Corbin Bersen directed zombie flick.

If you did a pre-order with Anthem on the Deadlands 2 HD DVD, contact the Alexandra, the production coordinator at 818-597-2346x114 or email her at Alex@anthemdvd.com to let her know whether you would like the Free DVD copy or the $10.00 gift certificate.