No mp4 of ‘Crucible’ or other plays

We can bury the dream of a ‘hard copy’ of The Crucible or any other plays that are viewable via Digital Theatre. R, the friendly professional support lady from Digital Theatre, got back to me very promptly after my e-mail to her yesterday. Here is what she said:


Good Afternoon Esther, 

You are most welcome! I’m glad to hear that you are feeling better. Our backlog certainly is dropping, so I’m relieved to say that we can once again give our customers the level of care and attention you deserve.

Unfortunately we cannot offer mp4 downloads at this time due to our agreements with the creative owners of the productions and the theatres. However, we would certainly like to offer offline downloads again in the future. 

All the best, 
R.


I’m glad their backlog is dropping, which means that more fans are getting answers; that is a great thing! The “offline downloads in the future” are a bit of a sticky point, however, and I mentioned that to her in my reply. Other than that, this long-term ‘rental’ thing is the best we can hope for, for now. I sincerely hope our trust will not be betrayed in the future. Time will tell.

In the mean time, I am happy that I can still enjoy Richard Armitage in this…

And I still have the stage production of Much Ado About Nothing to enjoy as well…

Now, if only they made actual mp4 downloads or DVDs/BluRays available of these theatre productions, I would totally buy them in the future! For instance, I would love a copy of The National Theatre’s Jane Eyre play as well…

There really is a market for this, if only the theatres, producers and companies would work together and take into account that customers like options and freedom to choose how they want to view and acquire these plays! Of course, I get the need to keep control and to combat pirating, but once it’s out there, you won’t be able to stop that anyhow. Maybe it’s time for some new earning models (don’t know what kind yet) to assure that creative owners and theatres get the revenue they deserve while still giving the audience easier & affordable access to productions that they can actually really keep if they want to. I guess we are all pioneers in a digital world, trying to figure this stuff out.

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A Crucible decade ahead of me

So, yes, Digital Theatre finally got back to me! I’m not sure whether it was because of this tweet I sent to @DTHelp yesterday evening…

… or whether they finally got around to my e-mails that I had sent. In any case, the response was connected to my ticket number and here is what it said:


Good Afternoon,

First of all I would like to offer my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. There has been quite the backlog of requests with the introduction of the new website, but we have some good news for you.

If you log into your account, you will now see that you have access to your previously purchased productions. To access them, please navigate to Account > Purchase History and click on the title of the production you wish to view.

You may notice that your productions are listed as rentals in your purchase history, but please do not worry. They are available for you to watch for the foreseeable future will be automatically renewed by us when they expire in 10 years time.

I am sorry for any confusion caused. I hope you enjoy watching your purchases again!

All the best,

Name of Support Officer
DigitalTheatre.com


I checked my account, and yes, I can indeed access my purchases now! The expiry date is 10 years from now, which Digital Theatre assures me should automatically renew then.

DT purchases

I am very happy with this, at least I can access my productions again! However, this doesn’t solve the problem I have with not owning a hard copy of my purchase. I have replied the following:


Good afternoon!
I am very happy to have received a response from you. I have checked and I can indeed access my purchases now! That is a huge relief, thank you!
Is it possible to make my purchase also available as an mp4 download? I would very much like a hard copy of the productions as well, as I am a little wary of future policy decisions that could impact my enjoyment of these purchases.
In any case, thank you for getting back to me and I hope for you that the backlog of requests is getting smaller.
Kind regards,
Esther

I don’t expect them to do anything about that hard copy, but a girl’s gotta try, right? For now, I am just happy that I ‘have’ my purchases back. 🙂

MTA: Zan also got a response from DT two days ago, and in the comments section of my previous post about this issue people have been saying that they have also heard back from them. Not all problems solved yet, but at least something’s happening! It looks like they are slowly starting to get through their backlog… I sincerely hope so.

Yes you can, Digital Theatre!

I haven’t heard back from Digital Theatre after the e-mail I sent two weeks ago and a second reminder e-mail I sent last weekend. The reminder e-mail was sent on September 3rd but the automated reply I received stated they’d be closed for the Bank Holiday on August 28th. Another Digital Theatre whoopsie…

What’s even sadder is that e-mailing them doesn’t get a response; maybe tweeting at them will? As Perry suggested here on her blog, a tweet storm at them might be good! I’ll just go ahead and do my little part, I’m tired of waiting for DT to respond adequately! I will include this blog post in a tweet at them. Should anyone care to tweet as well, I suggest that the line “@DigitalTheatre #TheCrucible #fixit!” and also #RichardArmitage be included in any tweet and then add whatever message of your own that you wish to include.

So, Digital Theatre, let me reiterate the point YET AGAIN:

For me, The Crucible is one of the best things Richard Armitage has ever done. I saw it in the theatre, was blown away by it, and was so pleased that it was filmed for Digital Theatre! As an Armitage fan I was so happy to be able to get back to it again and again, the very reason why I purchased it for life in the first place. Oh, and I didn’t just purchase it, I also paid to see it again in the cinema; I took my mother to see it as well, so that’s another extra ticket sold (and the painting she made in tribute is now my blog’s header image)! I think I have paid more than my fair share for The Crucible to Digital Theatre by now.

Crucible posters

I was promised free access to my property forever after purchase. When after only 2.5 years this promise is changed (after offline viewing has also been made impossible earlier this year), my trust in Digital Theatre as a keeper of my property goes down the drain. I see on your support site a message that gives these two options:

DT 'offer'

On the one hand a free subscription is offered but how long will it be free? Just for the initial 6 month period that was originally advertised or is it free for life? What guarantees are there that the subscription will indeed be free for life?

The second option is to “manually apply the previous purchases to your account”. How does that work? So, I still need a Digital Theatre account to access my purchase? Is this what is meant by the long-term rental option you had mentioned in an earlier statement that I now can not seem to find anymore? Let me just say that ‘Long-term rental’ doesn’t do it for me! Rental, long-term or not, suggests I don’t own it anymore.

So, when in the near (2.5. years) or far (25 years) future some new policy is made, for example my free membership is revoked or my account is blocked for some reason or if Digital Theatre unexpectedly should go bust, how will I then be able to access my purchased copy of The Crucible? I hope, you can understand my hesitation in accepting these solutions you offer? I therefore ask you, Digital Theatre Support, to please support me as your customer and send me my own HD copy of The Crucible (mp4 download or a DVD/Bluray would be fine).

I’m only asking for something that is already supposed to be mine… And while you’re at it, please send me my copy of Much Ado About Nothing as well, with David Tennant and Catherine Tate; I had purchased that as well 2 years ago…

I’m counting on you to do what’s right, not only for me but also for all the other Richard Armitage fans out there who have purchased The Crucible  (and/or other productions) so they can see it forever as well. I’m sure there must be a way, Digital Theatre… yes, you can!

To Digital Theatre re. ‘The Crucible’

Dear Digital Theatre Customer Service,

On the 18th of March 2015 I PURCHASED an HD copy of ‘The Crucible’ via Digital Theatre (I still have the e-mail receipt, see attached PDF file).

657000936

At the time I was very disappointed that I wouldn’t actually be getting my own download copy (e.g. in mp4 format) for something I have purchased. I always fear buying something that can only be viewed on a certain website as I always wonder, “what happens if the website closes, how will I then access my property?” I was willing to take the risk with Digital Theatre because:

  • as an avid Richard Armitage fan, I so very much wanted to be able to access ‘The Crucible’ whenever I wanted to!
  • I had also paid to see the play live in London at The Old Vic in July 2014 and I was so very impressed by it, I wanted to own a copy of the play to re-capture the feeling I had had after seeing the play live.
  • This purchase also has a very personal meaning to me. It was something I know my father would also have enjoyed and it was a small consolation gift to myself just after my beloved father had died.

Now, to my surprise, I find that I will have to start paying a monthly subscription fee for Digital Theatre if I want to be able to continue watching ‘The Crucible’! I am flabbergasted by this suggestion! I bought something so I could own it forever, much like all the books and DVDs I have bought over the years. I could have chosen to not buy those books and DVDs and borrow them from a library, but my choices to purchase have been deliberate, just as my choice to purchase ‘The Crucible’ has been deliberate. I want to own my own personal library, so that I don’t have to depend on outsiders when I want to view or read something that has meaning to me.

A library or an online subscription service such as Netflix can chose to not carry a certain title anymore in their collection. That is why I don’t ever want to depend on them for my own collection, just as I had not wanted to depend on Digital Theatre for my own collection. Netflix or libraries never promised me ownership of titles and I am aware of that when I subscribe to them. Digital Theatre, however, has promised me ownership of ‘The Crucible’ and I chose to trust them with the assurance that I would forever be able to access my ‘The Crucible’ copy for free after purchase! I now see I was wrong to place my trust in Digital Theatre and it is a huge disappointment to me!

I take it that Digital Theatre wants to be the Netflix of theatre and it is a lovely gesture that the first 6 months of DT subscription are free for me as a previous customer, but I can’t afford to (and don’t want to) pay a monthly fee of 8 pounds after those 6 months to access my own property!

An easy solution would be to refund my money but that doesn’t solve anything for me! What I am instead requesting is that you make an mp4 download available of my HD “The Crucible” purchase so that I won’t have to worry anymore about being able to enjoy what I have actually bought!

I await your positive reply!

Esther

The RA Challenge, part 4

And it’s the final part too (following on from parts 1, 2 and 3) of Guylty’s RA Challenge! Questions 25 to 31…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

#25 Favourite Object/Prop in Context with a Character

The only object/prop that has prompted its own blog post on here was Daniel Miller’s bike on Berlin Station! Loved seeing Richard speed around on that bike. I felt it wasn’t featured enough on the show…

#26 Favourite Costume worn by RA

While researching this, I came to the conclusion that I like Richard to look grungy and scruffy in his roles! I first thought I’d answer Thorin Oakenshield here…

Thorin Oakenshield

…because I find that, although he looks fierce and magnificent, there is a huggable quality there as well! But in researching pictures of Richard in different roles (oh the chore!), I find that the costume that does something to my insides is Richard as John Proctor! I love him in that black coat with the collar standing up…

…or when he is seen without coat but with the linen shirt…

…or with no shirt at all (I even like the boots!)…

armitage proctor @washbasin

I also really liked him in civilian clothes as John Porter in Strike Back, especially in the first two episodes where he wore a scarf as well…

… and when his jacket came off, he then showed himself quite nicely in just jeans and a dirty, grungy t-shirt. The flimsy t-shirt shows off his physique and arms very well…

#27 Favourite Quote by a Character or RA

I don’t think I have a favourite Richard-quote, I’m not really one to remember quotes off the top of my head. Having said that, a few do spring to mind: “Look back at me”, or “You’ll not guess where I have been”, or “You don’t need Henry to explain”, or “You coming home with me?”, all of them from North and South. Yeah, I may have watched it too often…

Another quote that springs to mind is something he was quoted as saying in an interview once: “I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into.”

#28 Favourite Climax (i.e. series finale, battle, conclusion of a subplot, etc.)

Well, I guess I just referenced it in the previous question. There are many climaxes that I liked that hit home with me, like the ending of The Crucible or Thorin dying in The Hobbit, John Porter rescuing the journalist in Strike Back or Harry proposing to Geraldine on The Vicar of Dibley. However, the climax I have watched most, hands down, is that train station finale of North and South. I really can’t count how often I have seen that, more than anything else in my life, I think! And it never gets old!

#29 A Moment That Made You Question Whether You Could Continue Fangirling For RA.

I was on a high when I discovered Richard in North and South and soon after I became very aware him, he also did Dibley and The Impressionists. I was Richard-obsessed at the time! But then he also did Guy of Gisborne on Robin Hood and Lucas North in Spooks and those characters really couldn’t entice me! I saw bits to start with but didn’t enjoy the shows and bailed. I postponed watching them for the longest time (even longer than I postponed watching the last 4 episodes of Berlin Station). I did later see things in Guy and Lucas that I found appealing, bits of Richard shining through, perhaps, but in those years (2008-2010 or so) I thought my Richard-obsessed days might be over. He was my fave (I’d still watch every interview and read every article and Christmas message) but not more or less so than my other fave Colin Firth. Then he did Strike Back and my attention was back into full-blown force. So much so, that he overtook Firth in my attention yet again and he has remained firmly in first place ever since!

#30 Will Anything Ever Replace RA in your Admiration?

When I was 15 I thought no one could surpass Gregory Peck…

When I was 30, I thought no one could surpass Colin Firth…

Now in my mid-forties, I think no one can surpass Richard Armitage!

richard_2a-20161016

But who knows what the future may bring? Never say never, but I can’t imagine surpassing feeling this level of involvement that I feel with Richard.

#31 What Would You Like to Say to RA Right Now?

I saw your latest tweet…

Armitage Farber tweets

Does this mean the London stage Oedipus and Antigone is happening at the beginning of 2018? I’ll so be there!

The End!

This challenge certainly deserved its name, finding answers to the questions was not always easy but it was always fun. Thanks Guylty! 🙂