Paramount made a very bad decision earlier this week when it was announced an exclusive partnership with HD-DVD. HD-DVD is clearly the losing format at this point in the next gen format war. Most of the other studios have decided to support Blu-Ray. Nikki Finke is reporting that the HD-DVD camp is paying over $150 million for the “promotional consideration” exclusivity.

A fallout is starting to occur, not from consumers, but from the creative side. After the Paramount announcement, long-time Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy told High Def Digest:

 “It was important to Steven that if any of his films were to be released [first] on high-definition, that it would be a classic. Steven is big supporter of Blu-ray, and chose ‘Close Encounters’ to be the first of his films on either format.”

And now Michael Bay has issued an angry statement on his official website forums:

“I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For them to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks! They were progressive by having two formats. No Transformers 2 for me!”

No Transformers 2? Isn’t that a bit harsh? I mean, I agree that consumers should have the choice, but I’m not sure if I would quit a successful franchise over it. The fan outcry came down and Michael Bay removed his previous statement and put up the following:

Last night at dinner I was having dinner with three blu-ray owners, they were pissed about no Transformers Blu-ray and I drank the kool aid hook line and sinker. So at 1:30 in the morning I posted – nothing good ever comes out of early am posts mind you – I over reacted. I heard where Paramount is coming from and the future of HD and players that will be close to the $200 mark which is the magic number. I like what I heard.

As a director, I’m all about people seeing films in the best quality possible, and I saw and heard firsthand people upset about a corporate decision.

So today I saw 300 on HD, it rocks!

So I think I might be back on to do Transformers 2!

Michael Bay

My bottom line opinion: Paramount should find a way to pull out of this deal. Consumers should have the right to choose. A big money deal like this sends the wrong kind of message to the many millions of people who have chosen to support the  studio over the years.

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