[Jandek] Preorders Mailed, also: About the DVD, Answers to Your Questions

Jandek on Corwood mail at jandekoncorwood.com
Wed Nov 10 14:31:55 PST 2004

  <<J. Ronsen>> Record release dates have always seemed pointless to
  me (and I know why International Corporations have
  offical release dates). I'm at the record store, with
  money, the record I want is just over there, but I
  have to wait 10 minutes until after midnight to buy
  it. Luckily I am not faced with this quagmire too
  often. Bureaucracies are nice and all, but I'd prefer
  not to deal with them when going to my local record

I sympathize with you completely, when there's something I want to see or have, there's nothing like having it right then.

Let me tell you a bit about the situation in hopes that you'll come to understand why we're in the position that we're in.

We wanted to have some sort of theatrical distribution, no matter how modest.  Theaters as a whole do not like to compete with a DVD that is in stores (meaning... you have almost no chance of getting a run if you've released product).  So what do we do in this situation?  We arbitrarily pick a day that will give us enough time to play in several theaters, and still get some Christmas orders in.  The day we picked was November 24th.

We did this so we could tell theater people "The DVD won't be out until November 24th."

Being honest, Midwestern folks, we also told you, the film's theatrical and DVD audience that "the DVD won't be out until November 24th."  Furthermore, we plan a course of action that will put the film into as many hands as want it AS SOON AFTER NOV 24 AS POSSIBLE.  

We do the completely responsible thing and get all of the DVDs finished, ordered, proofed, and manufactured with PLENTY of time to spare.  We know that any small glitch in the process could set us back a month, and that a major label-style "sorry, the DVD is being pushed back 2 months" was unacceptable.  We get it out to distributors, so that they can get it out in stores ON THE DAY OF RELEASE (just like the big kids do).  We do everything the right way... then someone starts selling it early and cheaper, and we're complete villains

  <<C. Severson>>I assume pre-orders have all been sent since places like FE have been 
  listing as in stock now for two weeks for 2-3 less?  

Nope... pre orders hadn't been sent.  It said on the website that orders would be sent out around November 16th, and that's what we were planning on doing.  Since then we've decided to ship ASAP because the retailers had jumped the gun and begun selling, and we were unable to put the genie back in the bottle.

  <<C. Severson>>So much for free shipping. 

Shipping is still free.  Regarding the pricing:  We (again arbitrarily) picked what we thought was a totally fair price.  This price was $19.95.  We established this as the "manufacturer's suggested retail price."  When we sold to Forced Exposure, we sold it to them at the wholesale price.  The wholesaler then adds his markup (which would, by the nature of the system, be less than the difference between wholesale and retail, so that the store can make their profit) and the retailer is free follow the manufacturers suggested price, or undercut that, or sell it on eBay for $30.00, or give it away promotionally, or whatever.

We are pleased that the retailers are not gouging, and are offering it at an affordable price.  The fact that they are undercutting us is proof of their benevolence, and not of our treachery.  We fixed a price, they undercut it.  Are we going to reduce our website price?  Not likely (though we have extended the 'free shipping' offer indefinitely).  Why is this?  Well, as soon as we sell for less than the MSRP, then Retailers would be bitching at us for trying to undercut THEM.  We're not big enough to have any clout in this arrangement, and it's very probable that we'd lose a retail outlet by pulling a stunt like this.
   <<C. Severson>>Sorry to sound pissed, but serving retailers first is not really 
  a great way to thank folks for supporting your efforts.

I hope you understand why retailers had to get the DVDs before individual orders were filled.  I also hope that you know that their decision to sell before the date we had agreed on is the source of your frustration.

We are very thankful for people that have supported our film... from the people who made time to be interviewed, to the festival audience, to the people who drove for hours to see the film in theaters, to the people who ordered the DVD.  I don't think you could find a single person who would tell you that he or she was treated harshly or unfairly, or to whom we were less than grateful or accommodating for their effort, patronage, or interest.  We really try to shoot pretty straight on all of this, and we are very sorry that the preorders were usurped by a few stores in NYC.

I completely sympathize with the frustration you feel and know that it's no fun, and apologize for your inconvenience.

Your DVDs should be on the way.

Warmest regards,
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