Video News Briefs, November 15, 2011

Goodbye, Harry: This year saw the conclusion of the Harry Potter films on screen, but in 2012 the young wizard’s adventure will pull a complete disappearing act. On December 29, Warner Bros. will wave its wand and make all the Harry Potter DVDs begin to disappear‚ the studio announced that it will cease shipping to retailers new copies of the series, including complete boxed sets. The decision takes a cue from Disney Studios’ habit of vaulting certain of its numerous classics for years at a time to generate renewed interest in future sales. To date, the Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12 billion for Warner Bros. (For a tidbit relating to Warner’s delay on library sales, see the story at

Super Combo: Look later this month for the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with digital copy of writer/director J.J. Abrams’s sf thriller Super 8 from Paramount Home Entertainment. The $39.99 release includes more than two hours of special features, e.g., eight behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring the origins of the story, the casting, the locations, the music, the impact of 8mm film, and more; an in-depth deconstruction of the train crash; interviews with cast and crew including Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg; deleted scenes; and commentary by Abrams, producer Bryan Burk, and cinematographer Larry Fong. The title will also be available as a single-disc DVD for $29.99, making the combo a deal.

Prize winners: The Film & Media Archive at Washington University in St. Louis, a unit of the University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections, has received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to preserve the 1987 PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954‚ 1965. The six-part program was shot on acetate film, which is highly subject to decay. As part of the procedure, Eyes will be transferred to a more stable polyester-based film stock. The project includes preserving 13,000 feet of both film and soundtrack plus 75 hours of original interview footage recorded on 160,000 feet of picture footage and sound.‚ Mike Rogers

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Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.