Industry executives discussed the future of Blu-ray yesterday at the Blu-Con 2.0
conference in Beverly Hills…and the horizon is looking Blu-er by the minute. One of the stats mentioned at the now-annual event is that, for the first time, Blu-ray is one of the top 10 consumer electronic products wanted by adults for this holiday season. It took the format four years to make this list, the same amount of time it took DVD. The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) also announced that player sales are up 112% over last year and that the discs themselves are up 83% so far this year.
The biggest cheerleader (and biggest name) at the conference was Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese
, who spoke via satellite from his home in New York. “Blu-ray Disc offers viewers the chance to see the film as it was meant to be seen,” said Scorsese. “It’s impossible to fully re-create the experience of seeing a movie in the theater, but Blu-ray is as close as you’re going to get.” The celebrated director went on to say that Blu-ray will extend the life of movies. “I have a daughter who’s 10, and she can’t tell the difference between old films and new films.” When someone in the audience asked Scorsese about his favorite movie on Blu-ray, he paused for a moment and then answered, “The Searchers.
The Blu-ray of that picture is incredible. Something about the beauty of the landscape and the nature of the faces — you put it on just to check something out, and you can’t take it off.”
Currently a number of Scorsese’s films have received the royal Blu treatment, including Shine a Light, The Aviator, Gangs of New York, Casino, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Last Waltz
and the film that finally won him an Oscar for Best Director, The Departed
. Fans are still waiting for some of his other best titles on the high-def format, including Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, The Last Temptation of Christ
and Taxi Driver
, the latter of which was supposed to come out earlier this year. Maybe Scorsese can send Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Jack Nicholson over to the studio to see what is holding things up.