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DVD Savant


(Note: On January 25, 2001 I'll post a 'Savant Four Year Report' - GE)

March 1, 2000 will mark the third Savant year that has passed since Doug Frisby and Beth Bornhurst of MGM gave the go ahead to launch a weekly column that would offer articles about home video while answering reader questions. The latter proved hard to to when most of the questions of course were after information MGM didn't want published; I'm personally proud of the fact that the old MGM Video Savant managed to walk a thin line between satisfying reader demands and violating MGM confidences. The restoration of the missing ending to Kiss Me Deadly is still Savant's biggest accomplishment, along with the restoration of the Italian scenes to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to DVD ... a politically more difficult task. As a direct result of that work, MGM Technical services is embarking on an effort to restore ALL of Sergio Leone's completed scenes to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and redubbing them with English voices! Here's hoping this quest continues.

Glenn Erickson with A.I. Bezzerides
With Kiss Me Deadly writer A.I. Bezzerides
at its repremiere, May 1997.

After MGM, Steve Tannehill invited Savant to open shop on his DVD Resource Page, one of the first DVD related sites on the web, and certainly one of the most influential. Under Steve's umbrella Savant has had more freedom to write on all subjects - even studio policy, and has recently concentrated on DVD reviews in depth. Always distrusting reviewers whose first aim seems to be self-promotion, I do my best to really give some insight on the films I review. There's no claim to critical infallability: an opinion is just an opinion. Savant's taste runs from snooty art pix all the way to his own brand of sub-culture trash .... but hey, we're all proud of our favorite films. If the reviews are mostly positive, it is because I only review films I like, films I want people to see, that need to be seen.

Slamming a picture proves nothing ... for every movie there's a devoted fan, and having seen plenty of films in production, Savant respects the process enough to know that the last thing a filmmaker needs is for some yahoo to dismiss it out of hand. Film reviewers really ought, as Steven Spielberg once said, to have to make a movie themselves and show it around, before dissing another's work. This is basically why the attitudes of shows like MSTK 3000 leave Savant cold ... I like to inform and excite people about movies, not contribute to the cynical ignorance out there.

DVD Savant has received a number of letters asking biographical-oriented questions. I've been writing on film since 1979 when The Making of 1941 was published, mostly for Filmex brochures and screening handouts. I started out as a film student at UCLA in the early 70's and spent four years in special effects production before starting again as an editor with a family to raise. I've cut most every kind of show except music videos - a handful of features, many more trailers and tons of Home Video promotional videos.

Steven Nielson, 1975
Assistant Camera on an
Erickson UCLA student film, 1975:
Steve Nielson, now a prolific feature editor.

Hoyt Yeatman, 1975
Doing (what else?) special effects on the same student film
is a young Hoyt Yeatman, now an Oscar-winning effects whiz.
Author Glenn Erickson is on right.

Savant has been a terrific experience - I've met many interesting people in the industry and in several foreign countries, and keep contact with about 40 readers who are fairly steady writers .... keeping me on track and helping me correct my frequent errors (no proofreaders on staff here, by golly).

So thanks for the support ... we'll all get a kick out of hearing about Steve building his house with the home theater (obviously working a steady job, he) and I'll try to keep Savant interesting enough to warrant stopping by every week or so ... and don't forget those older articles. You gotta scroll down to find them on the index page, but there's some good stuff down there!

Thanks, Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

Erickson family and old 'Buster Keaton' house, 1983
The family ... in about 1983, before house remodeling.

Text © Copyright 2000, Glenn Erickson

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