DVD menu makers and layout designers: Eat a bag of flaming hell.

I pride myself on having a nice television and a nice DVD player. I have these things because of my nice DVD collection , (of which I am also proud), because I love watching movies at home. I stopped enjoying going to the movies years ago. Too many people, too many people talking, and too expensive. It costs me ~$15.00 to go see a movie, roughly $8.00 for the ticket at the local Uberplex, and $7.00 for a large Coke and popcorn (must haves). Why not just buy a DVD for that price or less?

So I put money into my ‘home theater’. I have 104 DVDs. War movies, comedies, Scifi, fantasy, drama, por-…errr, lots of movies. All sorts. I don’t prefer a genre, I prefer good movies.

When I put in a DVD, hot popcorn and icey-cold Coke at my side, I want to get to the Goddamned menu, quickly, select my Goddamned options, quickly, and start the Goddamned movie, quickly.

I do NOT want:

A fucking mini-prelude to the movie. I am already watching it, (or trying to), for fucks sake. I don’t need a teaser. I don’t need to be tricked into not ripping the DVD out. I don’t need to be cajoled into inactivity for a few seconds. I have, of my own free will, decided to pop in whatever movie. SO GET TO THE GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING PUPPYRAPING SHITEATING MOVIE!!! More precisely, get to the menu. There couldn’t be anything wrong with the menu, could there?..
Well, I want to select ‘Dolby 5.1’ and ‘Play Movie’. But because DVD layout designers are learn their trade while suckling on the teat of Satan, I have to put up with FUCKING POOPSHIT FROOFY EYECANDY MENUS!!!. Goddamned motherfuckers! Just give me the menu! It adds no value to the movie to have a cute menu layout, and it detract value from their lives, since I will ram my copy of Simple Web Sites: Organizing Content-Rich Web Sites into Simple Structures down their fucking throats.
Quick and easy to navigate. That all I am asking for at the beginning of a DVD-watching experience. Only Dogma has a moderately interesting DVD ‘froofy factor’ in the menu; 103 others can fuck off and die.
:sigh: I suppose I’m off to grab a copy of Serpico. At least the old tranferred-media flicks tend to have better (simpler and faster) layouts.

Spinal Tap has as great intro. Aside from that I agree 98% (the other 2% was lost on the whole puppy raping thing - I don’t think I’ve seen that movie).

Wow, they’ve really improved the DVD quality of puppy-raping, shit-eating movies since the last time I rented one. Mine was all grainy and on VHS.

I hate the crap in the beginning they don’t let you fast forward past.

Animals they are.

I don’t know how many DVD menues I’ve gone through where it’s almost impossible to tell what item you’re choosing. All they need is a bright yellow arrow or something equally obvious to move from item to item as you use the arrow buttons on the remote, but instead there’s, say, an almost imperceptible change in color from yellow-green to green-yellow. Then I end up choosing the wrong thing.

Also, if you’re going to have music from the soundtrack playing while the menu’s up and I’m salting my popcorn in the kitchen, why not just play the whole soundtrack, instead of a ten-second loop that keeps repeating?

A fine, valid OP.

And why the hell couldn’t they have standardized it, so old non-english-speaking people could also enjoy a DVD or two without having to call their son to start it up for them.

The funny thing is, some DVD’s in Europe even have a French menu. Yeah, that will help the old folks. Finally we have a device which is easily accesible and usable (menu-controlled) and then they make a different menu for every DVD. On this on it’s called setup, on that one audio and on the other one sound.

Producers, make up your freaking mind!!!

I totally agree, I hate DVD menus. What I usually do is just hit stop as soon as the dvd loads (most let you do this during the stupid Interpol/FBI warning). Then I can hit play which starts the movie right away.

After that, I use the buttons on the remote to change the sound/subtitles/etc.

What REALLY bothers me is when they have FUCKING PREVIEWS on the DVD that play automatically. I think it was the Bourne Identity that did this most recently to me. Luckily I could Stop/Play to get past them. Fuckers.

The whole thing reminds me of the Flash intros of yore. They’re cute… well, a few of them, anyway… the first time you see them. After that, you just get pissed off.

Can I say this is one of the things I love about the Fellowship of the Ring : Extended Edition? The intro is a (very) short pan to a book, which opens and has the menu, with soundtrack music (softly) in the background.

I’m thinking in the future I’ll screen movies (by renting) once before buying–if the menu is too annoying, I simply won’t buy it.

Yeeeargh. I hate those previews. I have a couple of DVD sets from the BBC, and they always have a big long commercial before the menu for other BBC videos. I’ve taken to firing it up, then going to the bathroom and getting food or drink or whatever, and hopefully the show will be ready to go by the time I’m done. But it still sucks. We don’t like boot up times on our computers, what makes them thing we’ll like them on DVDs??

You know, I watched The Patriot again last night and it has a long intro, similar to that described in the OP (Althougb my puppy rape movies tend not to have that) and I was thinking how annoying it was… But… I went and got something to drink and when I got back, the difficult to discern menu was there for me to choose from. I’ll have to try the Stop/Play trick to see if that helps. Incidentally, if anyone has puppy raping videos they are interested in trading, let me know :stuck_out_tongue:

As a DVD menu designer and authoring engineer I have a few comments:

  1. We only create what the client, producer and the art director has asked for.
  2. Every studio is going to want to put their company logo as a splash screen since they have paid for it. If they want us to program restricted user operations then that’s what we do. I know it can be a pain for the viewer to sit through but keep in mind it is not the designer and programmer who made these decisions, it was the producer and the client.
  3. Depending on the DVD title, it can support up to eight different languages for its menus. To determine what language the menus are to be displayed in, one of two things can occur. At the start of the DVD a menu can be shown which allows the user to select the language of choice. This selection can also set the audio track that is to be played as well as subtitle tracks if they are present. Typically, if the DVD does in fact contain menus in different languages, we can program the disc to ask the DVD PLAYER what the SPRM_0 is set to. This system parameter stores the value of what language the DVD should default to. So if you are in the US it is most likely set to English unless you set it to something else in your DVD player’s language selection options. Also, the DVD producer has the option of setting language options based on the region coding of the disc.

Not all disc exploit the language features available because of the expense involved in preparing audio and subtitle tracks. This is especially true of audio if you play on providing a 5.1 and/or DTS mix in different languages. It can also be a space consideration depending on the length of the movie and the number or alternate languages that need to be included. I can just here the bitching now. Sure it offers the language options but the movie is now broken across two DVD-9’s to make it happen.

  1. Different titles can be set to have their user operations disabled or not. There are reasons why the authoring engineer would elect to prevent the user from performing certain tasks. An example is in these motion menus. These are basically simple MENU presentation objects that have a BUTTON ON command issued at some point in the video. This makes the buttons active for the user to select what they want to see, Typically, we will disable the use of the fast forward function because if a user was to use fast forward, it could make the button useless by turning off the subpicture overlay that allows the user to see what they are selecting.
    They whole concept of fancy motion menus and menu transisitions was to have a value added effect that would allow for greater creativity in the creation of a given title. I am sorry you do not value the hard work that goes into creating these segments and/or discs. They are only there to make the disc more interesting not to piss you off. If you like, I will suggest to my clients a simple static monochromatic color scheme so you can make your selection in a jiffy.

There you go, see. While you’re yelling “START THE GODDAMN MOVIE ALREADY” just stop and realize that value has been added to the DVD. As we all know, the creator of something determines its value, not the user.

Congress should consider a law requiring each DVD to have an optional command line interface. If nothing else, the liberals could make stirring speeches about equal access for the mechanically impaired, the pubbies could figure out a clever way of paying for it with increased government kickbacks to conservative media moguls, and the libertarians could run about screaming about how coercive the whole idea is.

Congress should disband. And the OP is myopic.

I agree. I hate the transition sequences. I would be much happier with a black static screen that had the menu choices. An example of a bad transitions is in “The Grinch” movie with Jim Carry. The transition is like a 10 second clip. My daughter likes to watch different bonus features and it gets real old seeing that clip each time. And when you want to pop out of a feature and go back to the menu, you have to see that stupid clip again. Oh, and it’s pretty hard to see which item is selected which means it’s very easy to select the wrong thing, have to watch a long transition, go back to the previous menu, watch a long transition, and try to figure out where the selector is located.

Or how about when you pop in a kids DVD. God! Talk about intro clips. Previews, previews, Disney game demos, etc. I just want to get the movie started and I have to go stop-skip-stop-skip-menu-skip. I hate it. I thought it’d be nicer to have kids movies on dvd instead of video. It’s not. Video is a lot easier. Just pop it in and go. If I can make a suggestion to anyone listening, have the DVD go right to the play menu and have two menu choices: “Play” and “Play with Previews”. I skip all the intro everything because I’m trying to get it to a place I can hit play and my kid can watch the movie.

Did anyone ever see the movie “Innerspace”? There’s one scene at the end where they have to get some chip inserted into a board and a robot arm is supposed to do the insertion. The robot is moving around elaborately for several seconds as it tries to get into the right position for the insertion. Finally an exhasperated technician grabs the chip and slams it into the board. That’s how I feel when watching the transitional clips on a DVD. I just want to slam the goddamn chip into the board.

I would rather any money spent on making the menus and transitions “fancy” be spent instead on additional bonus features. I don’t perceive the fancy menus and transitions as adding value to a dvd. The length of time it takes me to get to the thing I want to watch is inversely proportional to how much I appreciate what I had to go through to get there. If I can get there fast, I’ll enjoy your work more.

I think “flaming hell” is redundant.
But I agree with the OP. I do not want to be forced to watch previews of other movies before I can watch the movie I actually CHOSE to purchase.

So those are the people my fury is directed at.

You know, if I were you, I’d look at this thread and think, “Golly. Here’s some real-life honest-to-goodness unsolicited unbiased customer feedback. Seems they don’t particularly like all this frippery we’ve been adding.” Perhaps you should actually listen to your customers and what they want instead of trying to tell us that these features should really be making us happy. It’s typical of customer service these days that if we don’t like something a company does, it’s somehow OUR fault.

But that’s just me.