For my final project, I explored DVD magazines and other aspects of the DVD format. I briefly mentioned some films I watched from DVD magazines earlier, but I will now look more in depth at the magazines themselves as opposed to the films on them. With the decline of short film in the United States, new ways of packaging and distributing short film have been created.
A DVD magazine is a series of pieces that are tied together on a DVD. These pieces can be short films, interview or news pieces or instructional. DVD’s have also come to be useful in distributing short film with the special feature disk. Disney is notable for using their special feature disk and adding short films to them.
Also exploring a similar concept, my classmate Lori Dalrymple studies anthology film, which is another way that short films are brought together on a DVD for distribution, Cinema 16, which I spoke about in earlier posts, is an example of a series of anthologies.
In my journey of learning about DVD magazines I found multiple that I will speak briefly about. This semester I also created a DVD magazine as my senior thesis.
Aspect is a DVD Magazine that is distributed biannually. It focuses on experimental and new media and art. The website describes new media as “anything, better documented with a video camera but always in flux.” The DVD is always accepting submissions from students and other experimental artists and is meant to keep those involved in new media in touch with their peers. A single copy of Aspect runs for $25.
Wholphin is a DVD magazine that is distributed quarterly. It is a collection of various types of film, that in the words of its creators “[are] worth seeing on an expensive TV”. These pieces have more flexibility than those on Aspect, and unlike Aspect, they post films online that can be watched for free. One film that I viewed was, The Adventures of Ledo and IX which uses 8bit video game animation. It was created with Photoshop by Emily Jane Carmichael. This film follows a pair on an adventure, and is much like a video game. Beneath each film featured online there is a brief interview with the director. This DVD magazine also accepts submissions and must be obtained through subscription.
Film Movement is a DVD collection that is distributed monthly. For this reason, Film Movement functions more like a magazine than the other two DVD magazines discussed. Unlike the previous two DVD magazines discussed, Film Movement only features the works of award winning short films. All of the films are foreign or independent.
Stash is a DVD magazine that only features only animated films. This DVD magazine differs because it is available online as well as through a subscription.
Other DVD Magazines
There are also DVD magazines that are simply DVD versions of print magazines. One example of these is XXL a Hip Hop magazine, which has a DVD version. There is also, Guitar World which features interviews with guitarists and reviews on different acts.
The Sparkle Experiment
For my senior thesis I created my own DVD magazine called Sparkle. When creating Sparkle, I played on the word magazine and modeled all of the short pieces after sections of a popular women’s magazine (Cosmopolitan and Glamour for example). There were some copies available on campus in DVD format and the pieces are available electronically.
Most people are familiar with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. They are both series’ of short films that are set to famous classical pieces. The films are named after the classical compositions, but each has a special take on them that is different from any original show they were featured in. The Nutcracker Suite is one example, where a ballet of nature and the seasons is portrayed rather than a Christmas story.
Fantasia is important to the DVD format, because since the creation of the film, Disney has added similar short films to the special features disks on popular Disney films. They have also taken many short pieces that were not added to Fantasia, and distributed them elsewhere. My favorite example is “The Little Match Girl”, which is on the special features disk of “The Little Mermaid”. Both “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl” were fairytales written by Hans Christian Andersen. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and expertly blends “Nocturne for String Quartet” by Alexander Borodin with this heartbreaking film.
All of these examples show that the DVD format is important and growing. DVDs have become one of the major vessels for the distribution of short film.