Few people understand the homevid business better than Quentin Tarantino, who was inducted into the Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame on December 12 at the Beverly Wilshire .
The director credited his early days working in the “trenches,” behind the counter of a video store, with giving him insight into the distribution biz once he started making movies. He used that knowledge, he said, to strategize release windows for his pics.
“I said we should hold off (on the homevid release of ‘Pulp Fiction’) for nine months,” he recalled. “The easiest way to kill a cult is to make that cult accessible.”
Tarantino added he was surprised to find himself in the company of such honorees as Steven Spielberg and Cubby Broccoli, previous Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame inductees. “They produced movies that made a lot of money. I figure I’m getting this this because I’m a video store guy.”
Several Tarantino collaborators paid tribute on a reel projected at the ceremony, including producer Lawrence Bender, Weinstein Co. toppers Bob and Harvey Weinstein (the latter was also present at the event), Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal, and thesps Samuel Jackson (“Quentin and I share a love for Asian cinema”) and Rosario Dawson (“Watching ‘Reservoir Dogs’ over and over was like Acting 101 for me”).
Producer/director Eli Roth, who introduced the honoree, noted that homevid versions of Tarantino pics contain few bonus features or extras. “People buy your videos for the movies themselves. You love to preserve the mystery of the film.”
In addition to Tarantino, the Hall of Fame inducted two veteran Disney home entertainment execs: Janice Marinelli and Lori MacPherson. Comcast Cable and retailer Target were also honored.
Nearly 500 industry pros attended the event, which benefited City Year, a nonprofit that partners with schools to keep at-risk students from dropping out. The L.A. chapter receives considerable support from showiz contributors and produces “undeniable results,” said board member Hannah Minghella, production prexy at Colombia Pictures.