I met Joe Sixpack yesterday at Wal-Mart

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Pasant, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Matt Pasant

    Matt Pasant Second Unit

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    As I was walking though Wal-Mart, I went and picked up the High School Reunion collection. And did some general browsing before I left.

    Well a guy next to me, fairly educated, knowledgeable about electronics, came up to me with a copy of 2001 in his hands and asked me if I knew whether it was Widescreen or not. Thinking he was a serious letterboxer like myself I point out to him that it was. At which point he launches into a rampage how these damn studios are not giving consumers choice and how he wanted his damn full screen filled.

    To which he informed me, he is so adament about being anti-letterbox that he bought a Panasonic dvd-r recorder so he can have his pan and scan VHS tapes on dvd. Talk about committed to the cause.

    I have been into dvd since March of 1997, and this is my first encounter with the enemy. May it be another 6 1/2 years before I do.

    PS... everytime I am in Wal-Mart, I go to great extents to hide the P/S dvds behind their Widescreen brothers.
     
  2. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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  3. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I must say, Matt, he makes a good point about the studios not giving consumers choice, regardless of whether we consider his personal decision artistically sound or not (would now be a good time to point out you yourself bought three DVDs of which none had the original director-approved soundtrack? [​IMG]).

    I certainly will advocate the availability of both widescreen and re-formatted discs, because why the hell shouldn't someone watch what they like in their own home? You might as well campaign to have certain movies you don't like to be taken off the shelves simply because the idea of other people buying or renting them offends you.

    Face facts - most people just don't see movies as an art form. They're time-fillers, or a slightly livelier alternative to a book. Making everyone watch their movies with black bars at the top and bottom isn't suddenly going to produce a nation of cultured art lovers.

    And they're not the enemy - do you think we'd have the sheer quantity of discs at the low prices we're getting nowadays if it hadn't been for the mainstream embrace of the format? I think about what the DVD marketplace might now be like if it hadn't been for the so-called "Joe Sixpack" factor, and I shudder.
     
  4. Matt Pasant

    Matt Pasant Second Unit

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    Well Jon, consumers like myself are losing our ability to chose. When chains like Wal-Mart carry p/s only copies because people want their screen filled and I have to drive from store to store to find a dvd, then yes I object.
     
  5. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Besides, I don't care if the soccer mom says "I like full-screen." but when a fairly educated person, who also views films as ART says they only watch p/s. Then it becomes stupid.
     
  6. Gregg Shiu

    Gregg Shiu Second Unit

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  7. Scott D S

    Scott D S Supporting Actor

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    When I worked at Best Buy (technically, I still do but I'm on leave for school), I printed a widescreen/fullscreen comparison chart from one of the widescreen advocacy websites. I kept a few copies in our binder at the kiosk. And wouldn't you know it, it actually worked a few times! Even the people who saw it but still chose fullscreen walked away with their new knowledge.

    A few co-workers as well as my supervisor even used it to educate people who were either confused about the whole thing or didn't speak English very well and didn't understand the packaging.
     
  8. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    Next time you come across someone who wants P'n'S and there's only a widescreen version, feel free to tell them that their DVD player probably has a zoom option which will allow them to fill their screen no matter what.

    (Who cares if buying the WS version futhers our cause as well... MUAHAHAHAHAHA!)
     
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Maybe we should tell them that prolonged exposure to fullscreen discs has been found to cause stupidity in lab rats. [​IMG]
     
  10. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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  11. WillG

    WillG Producer

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  12. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    Not certain if I agree with the "choice" argument or not. Personally, it's like sating that you don't want to by the Mona Lisa, because it isn't avaialbe done in Crayola Crayons.

    Directors, and DPs go though a LOT of work to frame each shot the way they want it, to give each and every film it's own perspective. Why mess with it?

    Peronally, all DVDs should be OAR, 16x9 enhanced (where applicable) with a flag to do on the fly MARing if the user wants "fullscreen".
     
  13. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  14. Chad A Wright

    Chad A Wright Supporting Actor

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    On the opposite side of the spectrum, I actually met a Wal-Mart worker at my local store that is very pro oar. He does his best to educate the customers.
     
  15. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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  16. Joe_Pinney

    Joe_Pinney Stunt Coordinator

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    That guy isn't "Joe Sixpack", he's Harry Nimrod, the kind of guy who THINKS he's a knowledgable geek but really isn't.

    Considering that 16x9 TVs are essentially eliminating this entire argument (except for films or TV shows with OARs of LESS than 1.78:1, when they will whine about the "black bars on the sides of the screen"), it's due to become a very moot point within a generation anyway.

    It's like asserting your "right" to watch movies in the theater upside while sitting on your head. There's choice, and then there's the choice between smart and stupid.
     
  17. Travis_W

    Travis_W Supporting Actor

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    I just helped the cause at Wal-Mart the other day. A guy asked the clerk for 'Chicago' on DVD, the clerk says he has some at his desk, thinking quick I grab the widescreen version and hand it to the man. I get a thanks and he purchases the widescreen version. I look back at the clerk and he's putting back the fullscreen version which he was about to give to the customer. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

    Oh yeah, and I also put the widescreen versions in front of their lesser editions here...as well as Best Buy, Circuit City, and Suncoast everytime I go [​IMG].
     
  18. Jim Williams

    Jim Williams Second Unit

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    What is Joe Sixpack going to say when he goes to buy a new TV and the only TV choice he has is a 16:9. His precious "full-screen" DVDs will no longer fill the screen anymore.
     
  19. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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  20. Matt Pasant

    Matt Pasant Second Unit

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