Dorretha Bennem’s position as a production supervisor for Warner Home Video’s Digital Production Management department is one that finds the Media Design Master’s grad “basically producing or project managing our home video Blu-rays and DVDs.”
Dorretha works with several different teams within Warner Home Video. In the pre-production phase of disc creation, she collaborates with the authoring, menu/interactive design, audio, and subtitles and special features teams to “create a production schedule for them [and] gather their assets.” Once those various assets are in place, she then begins working with the “authoring facility, who’ll then build the disc image, then we ship that image off to our operations team, and they manufacture and get the products into stores.”
It’s a complex process, balancing the needs and timelines of various departments in order to make sure the DVDs and Blu-rays are available in stores on time. It’s also one involving a number of technical details that only begins with “compressing the large video master files that we receive from our theatrical department” onto a disc that can be seen, heard, and enjoyed in one’s living room.
Among her notable achievements are her work on the home video release of the film Lake House – which was the first title ever to be released by any studio on both DVD and Blu-ray, both domestically and internationally on the same day – and her production of The Departed, which became the first Blu-ray to sell one million copies domestically. She also recently completed production on the Rock of Ages Blu-ray and DVD.
An additional perk? Dorretha gets to attend screenings of movies before they are released in theaters – her “favorite part,” she says – to note any places in the film that may cause potential issues when converting it to disc.