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GUEST POST: What Every Box Set Should Include

Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast and owner of and writer of movie reviews about movies such as Saving Private Ryan. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.
In the DVD packaging world, aesthetic and innovation mean everything. Gone are the days of the simple 7’’ by 5” cases slipped in a plastic slipcovers. With the average price of box-sets nesting somewhere between 40 and 90 dollars, content extras and packaging perks aren’t an added bonus anymore, they are expected. As innovation and creativity increase, fresh and original ways of delivering a product are put into play. The packaging itself becomes a new and exciting medium to further the themes, ideas and storytelling that take place within the contents of the DVD.
What’s it Saying?
From the outset, the exterior design of the packaging should be speaking to some aspect of the film or TV show. A fine example of creativity meeting story is in the packaging of the HellRaiser Blu-Ray box-set. Created to emulate the “Lament Cube” from the films, the cube is disassembled to reveal the DVDs inside. This packaging presents a unique memento for fans of the films to display on their shelves or bookcases.
Creative DVD packaging

Less is More
A more minimalistic approach is achieved by Mikael Lekstrom’s boxed set, “Pause”. Housing, “Citizen Kane”, “Clockwork Orange”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Matrix” and “Sin City”, two bone white rectangles sandwich a small strip of black to imitate the iconic pause symbol. If you’re looking to pick up one of these sets for yourself, don’t hold your breath as Lekstrom personally crafted only 200.

It’s What’s Inside that Counts
After the initial first glance, a great box-set should come packed with additional surprises that stay in the vein of the product. For The Sound of Music’s 45th anniversary, 20th Century Fox treats fans to a vast array of movie related goodies. These include a hand-crafted music box which opens to play “Edelweiss”, several books full of pictures and information as well as numerous postcards featuring celebrated moments from the film. These little extras are both artistically interesting and exciting for die-hard fans of the film. Creativity International thought so too and awarded the packing of this edition one of the top honors at its 41st ceremony for excellence in video/CD/DVD packaging.

When it All Comes Together
Perhaps the finest example of packaging and extras is in, “Lost, the Complete Collection”. Containing all 121 episodes of the series, the DVDs come placed inside a unique trapezoidal box inscribed with various runes and etchings, characteristic to the franchise. From the outset, it looks as though it could have been dug-up right on the island itself. Included in the set is a unique penlight that encourages you to sleuth around the contents of the box-set in order to uncover clues that further the mystery of the “Lost” universe. Fans will also be delighted to find a replica of the notorious “Senet” game made famous in season six of the show.

When it comes down to it, packaging and extras are what are ultimately going to finalize a sale to a potential consumer. Every great box set should present itself in a unique way. Creative firms are constantly asking themselves what can be done to really give a particular collection the “wow” factor. As innovations in packaging continue to grow and flourish, we can rest quite comfortably that the best is truly, yet to come.
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