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THE MORNING BUZZ: DVD@5 Was A Family Reunion

4 Jul, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

By all accounts the recent “DVD at 5: A Conference Commemorating DVD's Fifth Anniversary” was a real family reunion. It was two days of celebration, good vibes and, as at any family gathering, moments of candor and encouragement to avoid the mistakes of the past and move on.

The event was presented by the DVD Forum and produced by Video Store Magazine and the DVD Entertainment Group (DEG).

The awards dinner on the first night was emblematic of the whole event, bringing together the home video presidents (and other senior executives) from most of the major studios and independents, senior executives from hardware manufacturers and members of the creative community to recognize those who pioneered the way for what was the most successful consumer electronics hardware and software launch in history.

There was even a newly honored patrician of the family, Warren Lieberfarb, president of Warner Home Video, who unfortunately was out of the country and could not attend the conference. Honored as “the father of DVD” for his leadership in bringing DVD to market, Lieberfarb sent a video message to the gathering, congratulating not only his own staff and industry colleagues, but the creative community “who embraced the vision of the product,” and saw its potential for extending their theatrical creative visions into the home. “It is truly everyone's success and everyone's contribution,” Lieberfarb said.

Fellow pioneer Ben Feingold, president of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, also was honored for taking DVD global, and he, too, made a point of thanking many of his staff and others in the industry. Others were recognized for their leadership, including Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, for bringing family entertainment giant Disney into DVD in a big way; and Emiel Petrone, for his leadership as the founding chairman of DEG.

Others hoisting honors for their companies' early support of DVD were: Steve Beeks, Artisan Home Entertainment; Kelly Sooter, DreamWorks Home Entertainment; Peter Staddon, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; Garrett Lee, Image Entertainment; Susan Marble, MGM Home Entertainment; Steve Einhorn, New Line Home Entertainment; Eric Doctorow, Paramount Home Entertainment; Ken Graffeo, Universal Studios Home Entertainment; and John Beug, Warner Bros. Records.

In this and next week's issues of Video Store Magazine, you'll read about many of the “DVD at 5” panel sessions, which all looked closely at the challenges and opportunities confronting the DVD format in the next five years.

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