Cult Times Special #45. And guess what ad appears on page 23? (Clue: it’s for Red Dwarf.)

Magazine ad for Bodysnatcher

Click on the image for a larger version, and apologies for my slightly crap scanner. A few points, then:

  • “The Final Red Dwarf DVD Collection” brings a tear to my eye – but then, I suppose the argument would be that it means “final… for now, anyway”. Although actually, the Just The Smegs release a week later is the “final” one. Either way, it reads slightly weirdly for us lot, considering all the talk of the future of Dwarf at the moment… but for the people the ad is aimed at, it makes sense. And to be honest, if we get more Dwarf, who’s going to be quibbling over ad text?
  • “Voted most popular sci-fi show of all time by the Radio Times” is rather misleading, though – the poll excluded Doctor Who. True, putting that as a disclaimer wouldn’t read very well, and I know they’re just trying to push the release… but that doesn’t stop it being wrong.
  • The ad does use the nice version of the cover picture though, and it does look at its best. You’ll never convince me that the cover isn’t over-complicated and a bit messy, but it doesn’t look that bad in the advert.
  • BTW, does the underline on the “Productions” in the Grant Naylor logo (used both here and elsewhere) annoy anyone else? No? Just me, then…
  • The ad does a good job of setting out what the release is, though – the Remastered series gets a prominent mention, which is fair enough, but Bodysnatcher, the Rob and Doug commentaries (excellent move to single those out), and the doccos get a look-in. It would perhaps have been nice to have more information on Bodysnatcher itself, or more details about the doccos… but I suppose the idea is that this release is a complicated thing to get across, and so the less words you use, the clearer it is. I wouldn’t have gone as far as they have down that road myself, but I can see why they’ve done it. And there’s always the website for the in-depth stuff.

Ah yes, the website – Unfortunately, all that’s there at the moment (apart from the compo – see below) is a list of contents taken from TOS, and ordering information – but EXCITINGLY, we are promised a video and transcript of a Rob and Doug interview soon! Fantastic. It’s just a shame that this major piece of content wasn’t present before the site was advertised, especially seeing as it’s mentioned on the front page – but perhaps we can blame uncertainty over the delay for that; magazine schedules have to be planned well in advance. (It’s interesting to note, however, that no release date is mentioned on the ad itself – so either they were just playing it safe in case of a delay, or they were worried that there might be a delay a while ago.) Still – “comming”? Ouch.

Also: sorry, but I hate the Flash. It’s fine for some sites, but for this kind of thing, it’s just not needed, or appropriate – you could have done a more graphically pleasing and usable site without the Flash.

What is news, however, is the competition announcement – and confirmation of something we mentioned a while back:

“Robert Llelwellyn hosts BBC Worldwide’s Red Dwarf competition. A chance to win The Bodysnatcher Collection and Just the Smegs on DVD – plus a special crew prop from Red Dwarf: Remastered.

Upload a video review of your favourite Red Dwarf episode, series, DVD or DVD extra to enter. More details on how to enter coming soon.

Competition closes November 12th.”

What a fantastic idea for a compo. Go on – get planning…

For all my whinging (and have you all missed my in-depth slaggings off of things that don’t really deserve it? No? Fuck you, then) – it’s clear that a proper marketing push is being done on this release. And it really, really deserves it – it deserves to be a huge success, and sell shitloads. Because what they’ve managed to come up with – and we saw a bit of it at DJ – is an absolutely stunning release. And it’s a lesson to all DVD producers with a bit of budget behind them – this is the standard you should be aiming at.

18 comments on “Bodysnatcher Ad!

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  • Yeah, it’s very tantalising. Should have made far more of it in the article, really, as it’s the major piece of news here, apart from the compo. I wonder if it’s a clip from the DVD or not…

  • The compo is a lovely idea.

    I have to say, I can completely see the rationale behind using “This is the last DVD release” as a marketing push. All along, I’ve wondered just how they’re going to actually sell it to people beyond the hardcore fans that are still around. Answer : this is how, clearly. “This is the last release, folks – we’re cramming everything that’s left to find in the archive onto it!” Works for me.

  • I like the Comp idea too, should have my mac to edit on next week…How I miss my mac *sigh*

    I think the DVD site is quite nice and I like the way that it doesn’t exclude people from other counties by having a thing to translate the site to different languages.

    The be Buy-Bye sort of wounds you a bit when there’s all this talk of maybe get Red Dwarf back on telly and I should also include the stage version too.

    Very much looking forward for this release…just a shame I can’t buy it as I have to wait for it as a birthday present in Dec :(

  • I’m loking forward ot it although that tag line does make mea little sad (true or not). The bodysnatcher site looks like they have let a person with 2 weeks 3d experience loose on it…sorry but couldn’t they have gotten someone in good to do it?

    (Before anyone has a go…yes I do now of what I speak.) If this was done 5 uyears ago it would have loked nice enough but not these days. To my mind it lets the whole release down quite a bit.

  • Oh, I love the actual *image* of the bunkroom itself. I think it’s lovely.

    The site though is craply designed and implemented in all kinds of ways – and I don’t think the use of the bunkroom image works on it, no.

  • > The bodysnatcher site looks like they have let a person with 2 weeks 3d experience loose on it

    Well, the pipes and stuff are just taken from the Bodysnatcher main art. It’s only intended to be a microsite, not a huge all-dancing thing. It’s really a place for us to clarify the absolute nature of the DVD (which can confuse people), and to show Rob and Doug’s thoughts on Bodysnatcher.

    The ads, obviously, have got away from us as the release date moved. We’re still a month from release and the video will be there in plenty of time for the main push.

  • I apretiatte that it’ sonly microsite , and thanks for the reply Andrew, but I do feel that the background lets the side down a bit. But at the end of it all its there to fulfill a certain role. Would have been nice to see something great in the background though. (Who ever did it should have put a lot more work into the lighting, turned the bump map down and spent more than half an hour on the textures.)

  • @Wayne, I had assumed that the over use of bump mapping and simple lighting was more due to the fact that it was a background for a piece of print work.

    I know from experience that subtle mapping and advanced lighting solutions are usually pointless for anything that’s going to go off and be messed around by someone else in photoshop and printed as a darkened background image.

    Personally if I was producing something solely for the use of a dvd cover background knowing that 75-80% of the image would be covered by other parts of the design I would probably have made a similar lack of effort.

    I would guess that the author of this piece (who is more than likely a multimedia type person with just a basic to intermediate knowledge of many random bits of software) never in a million years intended it to appear as a web page background.

    I will also put money on the fact that it will look 1000% better in print on the dvd cover.

    At the end of the day I have seen much, much, MUCH worse CG artwork featured on much more prominent DVD releases.

  • Oh I agree with you Mick, on the DVD it wil look fine no question about it. But whne they realised it would be used for a background on a site they should have at least give the artist a chance to upgrade it.It wouldn’t have taken to much longer to tighten that image up a whole lot more and make it look special. If it was a matter of cost there are plenty of very talented young artists who would have done it for free and given a better result.

    But at the end of the day its a mute point now as the site is live, I just feel a little more time could have been put into it…not a lot, just a little that would have paid dividends. As its what I do, its sort of a big thing to me, but probably not as much for other people. One of the 1st things none dwarf fans moan about to me is the ‘ropey CG’. They forget how many years back it was done, but I hate to see these people being given an excuse for a rant at dwarf fans expense again…I shouldn’t be bothered about it I know, but I am. :)

  • > I would guess that the author of this piece (who is more than likely a multimedia type person with just a basic to intermediate knowledge of many random bits of software) never in a million years intended it to appear as a web page background.

    The image itself was created for the DVD, never intended to be blown up so huge. But the web guys liked it for the microsite, so why not? The author of the original art is Chris Veale, as with every series DVD. And personally it’s one of my favourite backgrounds.

    I remember reading once a do-it-for-a-living animator complaining about the Casino Royale title sequence on the grounds that it used really obvious Flash plug-ins to do stuff, how it was just sooo obvious.

    Thing is, if it works, it works. You do the job. Going out to impress the 0.2% who’ll recognise the technique is a redundant exercise. (Which is before we go into the whacky world of time, money and logistics.)

    Still, to each his own.

  • The background concept itself is a great one I admit. But simply not suitable for reproducing at that size. Its not about recognising techniques but about the quality of the image whe shown at that size. On a DVD there will be no problem at all for it. Put this this along side another image with for example an extra hour spent on it and the difference would be clear to anyone.

    But I’m not going to go about it forever as I’ve made the point I was wishing to initially. If you want to know the technical facts why it isn’t suitable for that size reproduction feel free to contact me.

  • It makes me smile thinking this is a Grant Naylor Production where both Grant and Naylor have been involved in its production. We are not worthy!

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