Hari's Corner

Humour, comics, tech, law, software, reviews, essays, articles and HOWTOs intermingled with random philosophy now and then

Stupid, annoying VCD/DVD edits

Filed under: Software and Technology by Hari
Posted on Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 17:58 IST (last updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2008 @ 21:13 IST)

If you own a sizable collection of VCD or DVD movies you would understand what I am talking about.

Why do VCD and DVD manufacturers randomly edit portions of the movies they sell? It's not censorship, because there's nothing in censor in the kind of movies I watch. Yet these distributors cut out 2 seconds here, 10 seconds there, half a minute here and two minutes there and before you know it the whole movie experience is ruined.

In one of the movies I bought recently, almost the entire climax scene was cut out! The whole movie fell flat. A 30-second cut can make all the difference between a great movie and a good one. This is exactly what happens when unprofessional idiots decide to take liberties with the video sequence.

Talk about stupidity. They let the whole (entirely useless) credits sequence run in full but decide that they didn't have enough space to fit in the most important part of the movie! One also misses subtle humour sequences because the DVD producers are too thick-headed to understand the importance or value of such scenes. Sometimes it's just a word or two cut out, but that makes all the difference, I say! For instance, in one sequence of a movie I really enjoy, the villain would beg the hero to let him go during a big fight sequence at the end, but that bit was chopped off in the VCD. The scene was flat because the tension really builds up at that time when the hero advances upon him to beat him up in spite of his appeal.

When I pay the full price for a legal DVD or a VCD, I expect the full movie to be available, without cuts. I'm not talking about cuts made by the official censors before the movie got released, but the cuts made by these idiot DVD manufacturers in their studio. If they absolutely have to make edits, at least the fact should be clearly mentioned in the cover. If it's not mentioned, as a consumer I feel cheated out of my money. Why should people have to put up with it? Do these distributors get away with it because most consumers cannot be bothered about lodging a complaint? When the whole movie industry is crying foul about piracy, why should customers stay silent when they're being subtly cheated in this manner?

What is surprising is that this practice of random editing seems to be fairly common in the industry. I've not seen too many unedited movie VCDs or DVDs so far. Almost every single one in my collection has at least one perceptible sequence cut. Most have two or more. I really cannot understand the reason for this practice. Disk space is definitely not a constraint with DVDs and most VCD movies are packaged in sets of two. That should be enough to fit the whole movie intact. What do they gain by wasting so much effort editing?

9 comment(s)

  1. The wrath of papa hari, maybe? :DJust joking... I have no explanation. Although I remember having seen special "unedited" versions of movies being sold on shelves here.

    Comment by Sudipta Chatterjee (visitor) on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 @ 02:32 IST #
  2. To know that some sequence are not there, you should have watched the movie elsewhere earlier, where these scenes were shown. Or once you know that something is not there, you'll go in search of it and find out what is not there. Does this give any clue?

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 @ 09:05 IST #
  3. Sudipta, maybe the "unedited" versions are the uncensored versions? I'm not really sure. Nevertheless, I still see no reason why DVD producers should take up the role of technical editors.Shri, I don't understand, quite frankly. Where would I go looking for the cut sequences and how would it benefit the DVD makers?

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 @ 09:32 IST #
  4. I haven't seen this, all my DVDs are full copies. Which region are you in?

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Fri, Jun 22, 2007 @ 02:07 IST #
  5. Ray, it might be a phenomenon specific to Indian VCD/DVD manufacturers. I've never been in any other region so I really don't know.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Jun 22, 2007 @ 08:07 IST #
  6. Sorry, I meant which DVD region are you in - UK/Japan is Region 2, for example

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Sat, Jun 23, 2007 @ 12:55 IST #
  7. I'm not sure whether the locally made DVDs have any region code in them, Ray. They are usually marked as "All Region". Also VCDs are still very popular in India compared to DVDs.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Jun 23, 2007 @ 14:29 IST #
  8. To say that some scenes have been removed, you should have watched the unedited clips elsewhere, say in cinema hall or in another DVD.Can we say this is a tactic used to force you to see the movie again or buy another copy (even if it is pirated)? Or to discourage you from copying it and making another copy? Or just for fun? Not sure though.

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Sun, Jun 24, 2007 @ 10:48 IST #
  9. Shri, that's an interesting theory, but I don't give these dunderheads the credit for thinking along such lines. :razz:

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Jun 24, 2007 @ 13:29 IST #

Comments closed

The blog owner has closed further commenting on this entry.