A Few Words About A few words about...™ To Kill a Mockingbird -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Thank you for the kind words. The audience was indeed very heterogeneous, which was a big part of what made it the least homogeneous.:)
     
  2. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Thank you.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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  4. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    What is a "field enlargement"? Does it relate to the difference between 16mm and 35mm?
     
  5. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Robert, please correct me if I misstate this:

    A field enlargement is a way of turning a wider angle shot into a close-up. This can be done by either blowing up the image in a static way (as I've seen happen in post production) or by creating what appears to be a zoom-in on one part of the image. In the case of To Kill A Mockingbird, there are several shots where post-production zoom-ins were done on wider angle shots. The one usually discussed (and shown in the "Restoring the Classics" featurette) is Mayella's most dramatic moment on the witness stand. As we watch, the shot changes from a wider shot to a close-up of her face. The picture quality goes down as her face gets bigger and bigger in the frame.

    For me, this is the same kind of idea as if I have a small jpeg image and I blow it up. I can make it bigger, but there's a drop in picture quality.

    Hope I didn't just mangle the description...
     
  6. Guest

    Another example is in "It's a Wonderful Life" when George is at the bar praying.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Or how about in Fantasia, in the Pastoral Symphony, when they do it to cut little Sunbeam out of the picture.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Generally correct. But not necessarily turning a wide shot into a close-up. One can move in on any part of the frame. As I believe I stated earlier in the thread, there should be a mechanism of digitally resolving more of the image as we move in, while concurrently equalizing grain. This was one of John Lowry's concepts, and as far as I have seen, Lowry Digital, now Reliance, is the only facility that can do this well.

    RAH
     
  9. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    The documentary on the Blu-Ray showed what that scene looked like before and after the process, which was interesting to see.
    The grain became enlarged and overly obvious in the "push-in," appearing as "crawly" as tiny bugs swarming over a piece of toast. After equalizing the grain, the effect was greatly diminished but it looked weird in a different way, probably because I'm so used to what that scene always looked like. I don't know if that's crossing some kind of line or not, since you basically subtracted something from the original look that's been there since release. It would like like digitally recompositing The Birds from the original VFX elements to remove the sometimes dodgy matte lines and printed-in dirt, grain and artifacts. Yeah, it would look awesome but it would somehow diminish the original look of the film presentation. Or am I nuts?
     
  10. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    Considering that most theatres never got prints as close as "second generation", if this Blu-ray looks that good, I don't think anyone has anything to complain about.
    I've had a 16mm print of "To Kill A Mockingbird" since about 1964 (I only hope it hasn't gone vinegar). It's a very sharp print with below average grain for a 16mm B&W print. From the description of this Blu-ray, I'm sure it will look better then my 16mm print and probably as good on my digital projector, as a 35mm release print looked in the theatre when it originally came out.
    I have the first DVD that they released of "Mockingbird"(1998), which was pretty soft and blurry. The second DVD release (2005), an anamorphic 1.85:1 DVD, was only slightly better. However, for some strange reason they felt it necessary to electronically "zoom out" on the titles, leaving black lines on the sides, which disappear and return to full width after the titles. Since the titles were safe and in no danger of being cropped, I can't understand why they've done this. This miserable practice has also been done by Disney on their animated classics, which also would have had safe titles without it. Since I haven't seen this Blu-ray yet, I hope they haven't done the same thing again.
     
  11. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I don't think that was done here, but I wasn't looking for it.

    A similar thing happens on the Bond films - I believe to make sure that all of the credits fit on the screen. (And thankfully the Bond Blus include textless credit sequences as a bonus)
     
  12. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    It started as a way to prevent titles being clipped by overscan, but today's fixed-pixel displays don't have much overscan so the practice should be abolished.
     
  13. nealg

    nealg Stunt Coordinator

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    Much agreed. The worst offender I have seen is Star Trek III: The Search for Spock on Blu-ray. The frame for the opening titles is shrunk way down. I was baffled when I saw it, especially since none of the credits come anywhere near the edge of the frame. I really hate it. The dvd version was fine.
     
  14. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    I wouldn't have a problem if they did it because the original title design was outside the SMPTE RP safe area and was in REAL danger of being cropped on a normal consumer TV. While in "rare" instances it could even be necessary to prevent titles on the top or bottom of the screen from being cropped. However, whether with the Disney animations or any of the 007 films, there's been absolutely NO valid reason to do it. I believe they just don't want anyone to have a copy that is ACTUALLY IDENTICAL to what the theatrical release looks like.
    You can look at any of the Disney films I refer to and see the titles would have been no problem if done normally. Besides, everyone knows that if there WAS a "slight" problem, they could have squeezed the picture slightly, which would be totally unnoticeable to most people and virtually imperceptible to all but the craziest of film buffs.:rolleyes:
    I believe there's some other EVIL purpose behind it, but, even I can't imagine what it is.:)
     
  15. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Actually there is some truth to that. Studios will not release the master version - basically for that very reason. They always take it down a step (for Copy protection/illegal bootlegs)
    and, well you know - you never give the original away

    Although I do not believe titles are windowboxed for that reason. Windowboxing is done to please all the screaming Walmart Shoppers who complain their sets cut off the words - basically these people do not know how to calibrate their sets (or that they even have the ability to do it)

    Yet the end titles are usually Not window Boxed???

    The biggest irony - when the studios do not cut off the picture image the Walmart shoppers also scream! And so Pan and Scan versions are released


    As the Hayes Code Believed: People need to be protected from themselves

    Maybe we should have a Hayes Code for Home Video with regulations required for properly presenting films and limiting the amount of advertising when a disc starts up
     
  16. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    RE: Window boxing titles. The main reason for doing it is because they are legally obligated to put all text in the "title safe" area per agreements with the various Guilds/Societies.
     
  17. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Which begs the question of how TV networks can get away with shrinking end credits of TV shows and movies down to unreadable size during TV airings to make room for more annoying commercials. I've always wondered how the various guilds let them get away with that.
     
  18. Guest

    I agree with that. I thought that the credits had to be a certain size and must remain on screen for at least two seconds.
     
  19. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    I have the same problem with the Blu-ray version of Grease.
     
  20. Guest

    Grease is the worst because when that music starts and it changes to animation, it should be big...and this version just shrinks and lessens the impact.
     

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