Blu-ray now an option for local distributors

By Simon de Bruyn

Australian filmmakers will be able to tap into the enhanced content of Blu-ray for future DVD releases, with Australia’s top Blu-ray authoring company about to begin initial talks with independent distributors about using the high definition format.

DVD Tech, which has been authoring standard definition DVDs since the mid-1990s, exclusively backed the Blu-ray format three years ago; at a time when competitors were still hedging their bets about which format would win the high def war. In late February, Blu-ray emerged as the clear winner after Toshiba, the last of the major supporters of HD DVD, announced it will no longer manufacture HD DVD players and recorders.

DVD Tech general manager Steve Marler said that while 60 per cent of its work was now international, 40 per cent is still local, and the Blu-ray win provides the opportunity to talk to the independents.

‘There’s a whole lot of new and classic Australian film that should be out there on Blu-ray alongside the Hollywood product. We want to talk with them and figure out what we can do together on Blu-ray. So while Hollywood might be looking at its back catalogue and seeing what they can re-issue, we want to do that with the independents here as well,’ he said.

DVD Tech is one of seven DVD authors worldwide with an exclusive authoring partnership with Warner Bros – a deal which it originally won in 2001 when the DVD that it had done for local comedy The Wog Boy made its way into the hands of Warner executives in Los Angeles.