Twilight Time (DVD label)
|Products||DVDs and Blu-rays|
|Owner(s)||RED JAM, LLC.|
|Website||Twilight Time at screenarchives.com|
Twilight Time began in 2011 as the brainchild of Brian Jamieson and Nick Redman, both veterans of the motion picture and music industry. Both founded the company as a way to release vintage films for the classic DVD collector. Initially, Twilight Time licensed 20 films from 20th Century Fox's vast catalog to release on DVD and, when possible, in high definition on Blu-ray. The goal was to release films of varying genres that had never been released on home video in the United States. Twilight Time's initial focus was on films of the 50s and 60s in what Redman called "the Cinemascope period, those gorgeous widescreen entertainments that had it all—beauty, glamour, drama." But, he added, "We will also be selectively tackling the earlier years—the 1930s and 40s—and sampling every genre, presenting, hopefully, something for everyone." Ultimately, according to Jamieson, "Twilight Time will be serving both the collectible drive of film enthusiasts, and, in a larger sense, the cause of cinema literacy." Their first title, The Kremlin Letter, was scheduled to be release on January 25, 2011, but for unknown reasons, the release was pushed back by two months.
On September 1, 2011, Twilight Time announced a deal with their second movie studio, Sony Pictures, to license and release titles from the Columbia Pictures library beginning in November 2011. The first titles to be released under this partnership included Ray Harryhausen's 1961 science fiction/fantasy classic, Mysterious Island, followed by the original Fright Night, the horror/comedy cult favorite written and directed by Tom Holland.  Twilight Time will only be releasing Columbia Pictures on Blu-ray if a previous Sony DVD version is already available.
While initially limiting their releases to one title per month, Twilight Time later announced that beginning in November 2011, they would begin releasing two titles per month. Towards the end of 2013, releases began to see an output of three titles per month. In an interview with NixPix, Nick Redman confirmed that Twilight Time's monthly output would continue to increase, stating, "2014 is already shaping into a significant commitment of 50 to 60 titles," which means an average of four to five titles per month.
Twilight Time announced two new studio deals in 2013. Nick Redman confirmed a deal with MGM in September 2013. The deal includes all the United Artists catalog, MGM titles from 1986 to the present, and all of the titles released through Cannon, Polygram, and Orion. As well, Twilight Time announced its first international deal in October 2013 with Protagonist Pictures. The deal gave Twilight Time the US distribution rights to movies from the Film4 library, including films from directors Ken Loach, Neil Jordan, and Paul Greengrass.
Due to the declining home video market for older and little-known films, most major film studios have opted to stop releasing those titles via conventional retail methods. Instead, studios like Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, and MGM have gone the manufacture-on-demand (MOD) route, releasing these titles on DVD-R, often without any kind of restoration or remastering, or any kind of extras.
Unlike MOD, all Twilight Time titles are fully pressed DVDs and/or Blu-rays from a restored transfer. All titles are limited editions with only 3000 units of each format created, and will not be repressed once they are sold out. As these releases are geared toward the music aficionado, all releases will feature an isolated music score. As well, all releases will include an 8-page booklet on the movie featuring original essays, movie stills, and poster art. Other extras will be made available whenever possible.
Due to the self imposed limited edition status of all their releases, all Twilight Time titles see a normal-than-higher price range for their products. All DVDs are priced at $19.95, while all Blu-rays are priced between 10 and 20 dollars more than their DVD counterpart.
Near the end of September 2012, customers who had received their orders early for the Night of the Living Dead (1990) Blu-ray complained about the radical difference in video quality when compared to the theatrical and previous DVD releases of the movie. It was noted that the picture was now much darker and exhibited a blue hue, making day scenes appear as if they had been shot at night. Side-by-side comparisons posted by customers to Facebook and YouTube backed up these claims. Others also noticed that some of the sound effects had been removed, such as the camera snapshot sound that should play over the end credits between photograph transitions.
Twilight Time consulted with Sony Pictures Entertainment's Mastering Department regarding the issue, and Sony confirmed that the changes were made for the remakes 20th anniversary, done in consultation with Frank Prinzi, the film's director of photography. Director Tom Savini, who was initially unaware of the changes made, later had a chance to view the Blu-ray, and in a message to actress Patricia Tallman, gave the new video transfer his approval, calling it "fantastic."
After the controversy regarding the release of Night of the Living Dead (1990), Twilight Time promised that, going forward, should a new video transfer differ greatly from the old transfer, they would bring it to the customer's attention. In April 2013, they announced that their release for Body Double had been subject to some changes. Cinematographer Stephen H. Burum supervised a new transfer and changed the color timing of certain scenes.
List of releases
- The Criterion Collection
- Blue Underground
- Severin Films
- Scream Factory
- Shout! Factory
- Synapse Films
- Warner Archive Collection
- Film Score Monthly
- Varèse Sarabande
- La-La Land Records
- Intrada Records
- Twilight Time label will appeal to '50s, '60s film buffs
- Twilight Time's Facebook Info page
- Classic Columbia Blu-rays from TWILIGHT TIME!
- Twilight Time Release Schedule
- Conversations with Nick Redman
- First Lumiere Classic Films Market Hits Mark
- Coming soon! New Twilight Time DVD's announcement!
- Why such an extreme change?
- 1990 NOTLD DVD vs Bluray Comparison
- Blu-ray Review: Night of the Living Dead (1990)
- Twilight Time NOTLD90 Update
- Note from Tom Savini
- Body Double Changes
- Hasan, Mark R. "Twilight Time's Nick Redman". KQEK. March 2012.
- Hasan, Mark R. "Twilight Time's Julie Kirgo". KQEK. March 2012.