|Inside the Bubble with As the World Turns DVD collection’s editorial director, Roger Newcomb -- Part 1|
Newcomb went on to reveal that Soap Classics wanted to do categories and it took some weeks of discussion as to what the categories would be. “We finally settled on The Great Weddings, Secrets and Scandals, Through the Years, and Villains and Vixens,” he shared.
“It was a matter of a classic sampling of all these years,” Newcomb continued. “We wanted it to be representative of that. In ways it is random. In other ways it is not.
The bottom line was Newcomb wanted to show as many different characters as possible. Including episodes that contained weddings and anniversaries was a great way to accomplish that. Many characters are involved in wedding and anniversary scenes and even if a particular fan’s favorite episode is not included in this first batch of DVDs, odds are their favorite characters and couples will be featured in one or two of the episodes included, going back as far as 1979.
“We have an episode from late 1979 and the 2010 episode where Julianne Moore came back,” shared Newcomb. “Because they are weddings and anniversary episodes, you get to see all the cast in these different time periods. It’s one episode but you get to see everyone who was on the show at that time so it’s really cool.”
Soapdom wanted to know what Newcomb projects for Soap Classics going forward.
“I think a lot of things are riding on how this (first installment) does,” Newcomb shared. “They have talked to me about helping out with some publicity. The last day I saw Mark (Yates) in person, he said I’ll see you for volume two. I don’t have a timetable. They want to do a Guiding Light DVD set, and online streaming. When I first walked into their offices, the hallways were stacked and stacked with these giant tapes. Some of the newer episodes were on VHS-like tapes, but most of them are on these round, reel-to reel tapes in a square box container. Imagine 8000 of those for ATWT alone just lining the hallways.”
Bottom line, Soap Classics is not at a loss for content to digitize and repurpose either as a DVD or to stream on the internet.
“When I first talked to Mark (Yates), he said if it did well, we are going to totally -- over the course of time -- no matter how long it takes, we are going to digitize it all,” he said. “It will all be available online.”
According to Newcomb the “dream” is that at some point we may be able to say oh I want to watch the July 1, 1989 episode of As the World Turns and you will be able to do just that with the convenience of point and click.
“The response to this has been 99% positive from the soap fans,” Newcomb stated. “I think that’s a rare thing because people tend to gravitate towards saying what’s wrong other than what’s right, so this is all good. I think soap fans see the potential of this.”
Newcomb and I went on to discuss phenomenon like Family Guy, which was cancelled but DVD sales of old episodes continued to increase to the point that Fox finally re-instated the show.
“The sky’s the limit,” Newcomb said. “We’ve also seen it with Arrested Development. That show never got good ratings but now they are bringing it back in episodes and they are doing a movie. Except for Dark Shadows, they’ve never done a soap in another format.”
Newcomb is a producer himself. If the DVDs do well, would he consider producing new episodes of the P&G soaps?
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