Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 20th, 2005
Recently I had a chance to sit down with Ventura/Selects Cliff Macmillan and had a chance to ask him a few questions about The Sonny Chiba collection and other titles to except in the near future.
What are the main criteria involved deciding which titles to release?
CM: Mainly, If the film or cast members have a fan base. If fans haven’t heard of a particular title, sales are low. Asian Cinema fans have a lot of titles to choose from these days, so buyers have to be selective. I know I am when I’m shopping.
So far you have released a diverse selection of films from Japan. Are there any plans in the future to release any Asian’s films from other countries like Korea and China?
CM: I have two lines of martial arts films from Hong Kong – VideoAsia and Fortune 5. For the most part, they are both budget lines….but not the supposed PD films that many budget labels release…they are all licensed titles from a large library owned by both companies. We have titles with Gordon Liu, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and many more. We will also have a line of martial arts films jammed with bonus features (like HONG KONG LEGENDS in the UK) coming in late 2005.
Which of the Adness titles released so far are you most satisfied with and why?
CM: I would have to say the Sonny Chiba Collection. I am happy to be able to finally deliver to the fans uncut versions of his films in anamorphic widescreen editions….and as a fan, I’m happy to have them in my own collection. All of the supposed PD versions are dreadful to watch.
Have there been any titles so far that you thought would do better then they have?
CM: Well, I thought the Chiba line would have been more successful, but sales have been slow. I think most people are use to paying a low price for Chiba’s films due to the PD titles in the stores…but that is because those companies do not license the films or do new transfers…they all use the same low grade masters.
Your company has almost single handedly resurrected the films of Sonny Chiba via your Sonny Chiba Collection. Can we expect more Sonny Chiba titles in the future from Adness?
CM: Yes, there are some more coming, but I’m not sure how many more there will be in the future due to the slow sales. We need all those Chiba fans to pick them up as soon as possible (laughs).
What titles are you currently working that you can tell us about today,but plan on releasing in the near future?
CM: SHOGUN’S SHADOW is July, SWORDS OF VENGEANCE (aka FALL OF AKO CASTLE) is August, SHOGUN’S NINJA is coming in September and the two EXECUTIONER films will be coming in October.
Finally what would your dream project?
CM: Good question… there are too many to name….but if I had to pick one… probably BATTLE ROYALE, but I’m sure that will never happen.
A special thanks to Cliff Macmillan for taking time out of his busy schedule and sitting down for a quick Q&A.