yes he made an horrible end if I remember well....his head was smashed by a brick felt from a roof. I can't be 100% sure if it was him or somebody else but Ali Murat Guven told me he was "another victim of Turkish movies curse" and - laughing - he told me he'll be the next one....
anyway....back to the sales of these new titles
I was reading on some italian forums that some italian labels print even 200 copies per some specific title and sales of other titles hardly reach 50-100 (!) copies
Now...as I work in CD production, I saw how smaller and smaller is becoming the "disk" market nowadays. Back in the 90's thousand of copies were considered unsatisfying for a business. Now there are more and more new labels coming out which print 200-500 copies and they hardly sell them all. At least not in a blink of an eye.
Ok, the market is smaller and smaller. But if I print 500 copies and I sell them all, didn't I reach my target?
500 people or 1000 people on a population of over 6 billions on earth doesnt make much difference.
When we work on some very specific products - and turkish cinema undoubtely is, as well as some music generes - we should be aware that our potential customers are a very restricted, limited, small audience.
I don't think Bill's target was to expand the knowledge of turkish cinema to big audience but simply to preserve or dig out from oblivion a wonderful and imaginary cinema for those who could be interested. And considering that most of those releases are now sold out, I think the target was reached. Of course it takes time - 500 copies are few but it's utopistic to sell them in one year...it can take more and usually this kind of products are a sort of "evergreen": I mean, they will always sell in the future, there will always be somebody - not here, not now - who in the future will search for a personal copy of Cellat or Kilink Istanbul'da...if so, if the interest keeps alive, then it's just a matter of time. And time proved that almost all release has centered the target. And you cover the costs and you can go on with a new releases, may it take one month or 6 months or 3 years.
Then, as I told you, I don't think Bill's choice was determined by a strict selection of exclusive and rare-at-any cost titles. That modern horror movie (I forgot the name) can't be considered anti-commercial and elitist, some titles had already a DVD release before (Captain Swing and the announced two Zagors) and others were already spreaded through youtube or other channels. So, I can not understand why a "Cellat" was a specific title and these "Drakula Istanbul'da" or "Turkish Star Trek" not....in both cases tere were (are) people who try to make the best edition possible, with english subtitles and interesting extra materials, excellent artwork and a possible worldwide distribution.
Because even "Drakula Istanbul'da" is very hard to find in Turkey - I tried for months to put my hands on the first DVD release (with no enslish subtitles, no bonus material, no extra at all) and I never came across it...so more than welcome a new DVD release as it is hard to find for any potential international customer. Same for "Turkish Star Trek" and others. But as I've seen from the list posted I can't say these titles submitted are "commercial", compared to the ones printed by Bill. Titles like "Kiling vs Mandrake" or "Ringo vs Gestapo" can't be considered easy to find.
And in any case - whenever there's a youtube version, now we have the chance to get a proper DVD release with subtitles and lots of extra. This is the point.
Otherwise - by paradox - there's no title that can be defined as "rare" and worthy of a DVD edition, because sooner or later they would be available on youtube and who cares of a DVD edition.
I think the team Guven-Tulgar-Cakir made a really interesting selection of rare, not too rare and sought-after titles, following the same guidelines as Bill's: restoration, extra material, proper subtitles.... in this and because of the people involved in it, I can see a follow up to Onar, I think there's nothing bad in it.
Then, if you say they never had part in it, I believe you. But they told me they made the restoration of Onar's titles, so a little part in it they probably would had.
In any case...if they press 500 titles and they slowly sell all of them, I think the target is reached