Pause For ‘Breath’

Wednesday, September 15 2010
Pause For ‘Breath’

Optimum Releasing has, thanks to its parent company Studio Canal, a library that is the envy of most of the major studios and is almost certainly one of the biggest in the UK.

With a catalogue that size, it’d be easy to take one’s eye off the ball, but its efforts in this sector must be applauded.

It has already stated its aim of protecting the heritage of its catalogue and ensuring the quality never dips (witness its sterling efforts earlier this year on The Railway Children). And as it brings some of its wealth of titles to Blu-ray, the company doesn’t appear to be skimping on its investment in the newer format. What’s more, it is also keeping its eye on commercial factors too, spotting opportunities to breathe new life into titles, as well as finding the most efficient, and smartest ways of marketing them.

We at The Raygun have just been working our way through its latest batch of titles, released this week, the bulk under the banner of its Studio Canal Collection, and all the elements outlined above are in evidence.

Breathless celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and it has put togther a new anniversary edition for the DVD release of Godard’s classic. This means new extras (such as a rarely seen 1960s documenrary on Godard, the hilarious spoof short Je T’Aime John Wayne, a newly-filmed introduction by Dazed And Confused publisher Jefferson Hack, helping make it relevant to a newer, younger audience and a featurette on star Jean Seberg).

That title is also coming out on DVD alongside a batch of Blu-ray titles from the catalogue, highlighting both its strength and breadth. The newest additions include The Third Man, Mulholland Drive, Delicatessen, The Pianist, The Graduate and Le Cercle Rouge.

As noted on our weekly email newsletter it has done some smart marketing too, aimed at reaching as many people as possible.

As Optimum’s Nick Tay said:Rather than solely promote this new set using traditional advertising we wanted to make a concerted marketing push to elevate the identity of the Collection and position the series as a highly desirable, premium quality film brand.”

To this effect, and to take it beyond the traditional Sight And Sound audience, it collaborated with The Guardian, getting the most web-savvy British newspaper to build a microsite for the Studio Canal Collection – you can see it here.

Tay added: “The Guardian will advertise the microsite across their main site ensuring a high level of traffic throughout the five week campaign and has come on board as the official retail partner which has secured increased onsite and newsletter promotional activity with them in the run up to the next set of releases.”

Here’s a trailer for Breathless, followed by a clip from The Third Man audio commentary, and the Mulholland Drive extras…

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