DATELINE -- Tuesday, 17 August 1999

Did Spielberg really say that?: Apparently he did -- at least that's our conclusion after following up with DVD Journal reader and digital die-hard Todd Dupler of Alexandria, Va., who managed to get a brief moment with Steven Spielberg at last Thursday's Smithsonian Tribute and ask him when he will embrace DVD. After receiving a letter from Todd last week on the event, we asked for all of the juicy details. Here's his comments:

  • It happened very quickly. The reception was in the main hall of the Smithsonian Castle (following an award presentation and interview that took place in an auditorium at the Natural Science Museum). There was a mid-size crowd around Mr. Spielberg almost instantly once he arrived at the reception.

    I worked my way in, stuck out my hand, and as he shook it I asked my question: "When will we get more DVDs?" He answered it quickly, saying he was waiting for a platform of three million players, and that it is expected to reach that by the end of the year (I took that to mean he was relying on industry estimates that three million would be sold by the end of the year); and then they would start to release titles early next year, which I interpreted as "if and when three million is reached by end of 1999." He specifically cited Men in Black and Saving Private Ryan as examples -- which I interpreted as "We'll release the more-recent titles first."

    I guess I was a little puzzled knowing that both Spielberg-directed films like 1941 and Spielberg-produced films like The Mask of Zorro have been released to DVD, so it would have been nice to engage in a little bit more Q&A as to why he has released a few but is holding out on the bulk. But alas, my moment with the Master was a brief one. After our exchange (which took all of 10 seconds), I got out of the crowd and enjoyed some food. Mr. Spielberg left the reception about 10 minutes later.

    So there's Todd's detailed account of his Brush With Greatness. And with DVD player sales expected to break three million units any month now, perhaps we all can expect some major Spielberg films in 2000....

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