Response from District Manager of BlockBuster on OAR!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Kim, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    This is pretty sad. Next their going to be telling us that P&S is better because it allows the viewer to focus on the most important part of the picture, and not be bothered by all that wasted space.
    Oddly enough, the Blockbuster near me has only Widescreen Mummy Returns, and I have yet to even see the Fullscreen version anywhere (even the pawn shop I was in yesterday had 2 used copies of the WS version).
     
  2. Ray R

    Ray R Stunt Coordinator

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    Where are the studios? Shouldn't they be educating the retailers?
     
  3. Gavin K

    Gavin K Stunt Coordinator

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    After politely registering my dismay over MR fullscreen only to no avail on the local level, I e-mailed corporate and was told that a field representative would contact me in 3-5 days. It has now been two weeks, and still no reply. They just don't care.
    I would like to boycott BB, but they have such a large consumer base that by letting them pawn fullscreen crap on the public just creates a bigger excuse for studios to head down the FF path.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  5. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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  6. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    quote: When I suggested they get both versions he said that was too confusing to the customer.[/quote]
    Soon I expect that grocery stores will follow suit:
    This just in--
    "Albertson's food stores will no longer carry both chunky and creamy peanut butter. Because of fears that customers who desire creamy will accidentally purchase chunky, Albertson's has elected to only offer creamy peanut butter from this point forward."
    Ugh.
    [​IMG]

    [Edited last by Mark Bendiksen on October 19, 2001 at 02:18 PM]
     
  7. Trace Downing

    Trace Downing Supporting Actor

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    Ick, Chunky Peanut Butter.
    Why pay full price for PB that's only half done? [​IMG]
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  8. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    I interviewed for the position of Manager at Blockbuster about 8 years ago. The person interviewing me, in confidence, told me that I was unhireable because I had a degree in film. They don't want employees talking film with the customers (I guess it's okay to recommend something but you are forbidden from discouraging a customer from renting a piece of shit).
     
  9. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Have you posted the e-mail address for this Ballbuster dude? I think these guys need a MASSIVE influx of OAR concerned customer e-mail.
    I checked Peter's posts but did not see it. I would really like to give my 2 cents as well as a little education to this dude. Hope we all follow suit.
    What do you say?
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    Rolando Avendano
     
  10. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    What he's saying about DVD players having the ability to show Pan and Scan and OAR is for the most part correct. But the factor depends not on the player but on the disc. IF the DVD is not encoded with on-the-fly pan and scan flags, then it won't be shown in Pan and Scan. That's where he's getting his facts wrong. Like the other posters have been saying, only a hnadful of titles have this.
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Well, if it's any small consolation. . .
    My cousin is a Blockbuster district manager in Connecticut. You can be sure that he is a true movie buff and understands the difference between P&S and OAR!
    Unfortunately, I don't live in CT. I haven't noticed the stocking at my local BB 'cause I don't go there too often. But I may take advantage of their new Shrek deal to check out their selection. I have noticed that they have some anime titles that I was VERY surprised to see there! And they keep expanding the DVD section of the store- I remember back when they told me that they'd NEVER have a DVD section, because the store wasn't big enough to support it! [​IMG]
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Andy,
    Trust me when I say that if you tried to explain what the DVD settings for 4x3 P&S, 4x3 LBX, and 16x9 really mean, this guy's head would spin. I guarantee he doesn't even know about "on the fly P&S".
    Keep in mind that he also thought that widescreen VHS was made for 16x9 TVs.
    There is a MASSIVE public misunderstanding between anamorphic enhancement and widescreen/OAR.
    And I can sadly say that I have seen this quite a bit within a major TV manufacturer as well. It's the general public, and they are everywhere including these companies.
    But Dilbert is all about how people running the show know much less than the people who are told what to do. It happens in lots of other industries as well.
     
  13. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Second Unit

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    Ugh... this is all VERY discouraging. I have some suggestions...
    1) Educate your friends and family. World of mouth about why OAR is good, even for those with 4x3 TVs, is the most important thing. I wouldn't get into the nuances of anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic with the ignorant masses... just OAR. I think saying "original aspect ratio" is better than "widescreen". We want OAR, right? Most of the time that's widescreen, but not always. I think J6P's will understand the "concept" of OAR.
    2) Write letters, call, and send faxes to movie studios (WB, Fox, etc), rental places (Blockbuster, etc), and retail stores (Walmart, Best Buy, etc.). Addresses are generally very easy to get. Here's a few (these took all of 5 minutes to find on the web... there's ZERO excuse for not contacting these folks. I know I have. Right now media companies might be a bit panicky about letters, so probably best to contact them by email and/or fax. Be nice when you contact them. Don't complain. Offer constructive suggestions.
    Blockbuster - McKinney Headquarters
    Customer Service
    3000 Redbud Boulevard
    McKinney, Texas 75069
    1-972-683-5959
    mailto:Customercare@shop.blockbuster.com Home Theater Gear
     
  14. Mike~C

    Mike~C Auditioning

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    So correct me if Ime wrong, my normal setting in the dvd menu is 16*9, but my tv is 4*3 so on dvd movies with both i dont see true 16*9(true meaning 16*9 by 4*3 standards)?
     
  15. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Second Unit

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    Mike, the only time you'd want to use the 16x9 setting on your DVD player with a 4x3 TV is if that TV is capable of "anamorphic squeeze". Otherwise what you'll see is a stretched out picture when viewing anamorphic DVDs.
    -Steve
     
  16. BrandonG

    BrandonG Agent

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    I don't get all this talk about Best Buy and not suppporting OAR. I am not a spokesman for the company, but I can say that we greatly support DVD and OAR. I can't give out specific sales data on Mummy Returns, but I can tell you with great certainty that the OAR version massively out sold the fullscreen version. Willy Wonka hasn't sold well( at least in my area) I think because of the lack of OAR. I can't remember exactly all the titles that came in 2 separate versions, but OAR has always sold more than full screen.
    The reason some stores might only have the full screen version out on display is because they may not know there are 2 versions. It's unfortunate, but it can happen. If this is the case in your area Best Buy, kindly talk to someone in the media department, preferrably the supervisor, and educate them. As of today, we still do not have a listing for the OAR Cats & Dogs, but I am positive we will sell it.
     
  17. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    quote: Does anyone else think this is not really a threat?[/quote]
    Scott;
    I wouldn't say that it isn't a threat, period, but I am very concerned about what's happening with widescreen on DVD. I think film/home theater enthusiasts need to be on guard and keep an eye on how things develop on this front, but I agree that everyone here is panicking when there is no need to... yet.
    Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying that we shouldn’t worry about this! I’m just saying that things aren’t as bad as everyone here is making them out to be!
    Let’s think about this for a minute: Most every film that has been released on DVD thus far (more than four years into the format’s life) has been released in its proper aspect ratio. Near as I can tell, almost every title on the release slate for every major studio will see a widescreen release (where appropriate of course). In addition, P&S-only titles like Willy Wonka haven't sold very well, and the widescreen releases of films like The Mummy Returns still outsell the P&S, despite the fact that many places won't even carry the widescreen version. Quite frankly, widescreen is kicking P&S's pathetic ass in this battle.
    Yes, we are seeing more dual P&S and widescreen releases. Yes, some retailers are choosing to not order any widescreen copies at all. But you know what? The studios are not abandoning widescreen completely. In fact, they’re supporting it as much as they ever have. Not only that, but we now have popular television shows being presented in widescreen, in spite of how much everyone out there supposedly hates the black bars. Sure, there was that close call with the Warner Family Division, but at least we were able to convince them to continue to support OAR, if only on a title-by-title basis.
    When this topic comes up, I always remind myself that even the lowly VHS format saw a substantial number of widescreen releases, readily available at many stores, including Target. I mean, if the studios could release widescreen films on VHS, the format of the non-enthusiast, then that must mean the studios recognize that a demand for widescreen exists. This is why I do not believe that we will see widescreen wiped out completely. We may have to fight for it more often, but I’m confident that film enthusiasts will still be able to see movies the way we want to see them, which just so happens to be the right way to see them.
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    [Edited last by Jeffrey Forner on October 20, 2001 at 06:56 AM]
     
  18. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  19. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    The guy is correct when it comes to anamorphic DVD's. All DVD's players have aspect ratio settings so the player knows what type of display it is transferring the signal to, 4 x 3 or 16 x 9. By setting the player to 16 x 9 the signal sent to a 4 x 3 TV will result in the picture filling the screen or small black bars. This is a great solution for those that hate black letterbox bars.
    Players with a "Zoom" feature can be used to eliminate the bars on letterbox DVD's. Neither solution is perfect, but both are better than pan'n scan.
    I think there is more to this than J6P problem. I would think deep down the studios like pan'n scan because eventually when J6P buys a 16 x 9 TV they have to re-buy their DVD's. The studios like releasing DVD's that leave something to be desired so they can re-visit them at a later date.
    The studios are under pressure to release titles in anamorphic, electroinic industry as an incentive to buy 16 x 9 TV's, and pan'n scan from the discount stores. We are caught in the middle and only money talks. Our power only comes if we refuse to by titles that are not anamorphic / letterbox.
    As a result of this business practice many of us early adopters are faced with the prospect of re-buying Goodfellas, Robin Hood,Tombstone and other letterbox, flipper titles. This becomes expensive and I for one have no intention of re-buying titles that are already in the anamorphic format. I am not interested in "super-bits".
     
  20. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    This is truly discouraging and appalling. My jaw dropped when the Best Buy rep claimed that full screen versions "preserve the original" version of the film..........huh!??? How could they be this misinformed. There must be conspiracy at work here.
    I think we need to mount a massive web and flyer campaign for OAR (drop flyers from a plane over area Best Buys, or something ;-)). PEOPLE NEED TO BE EDUCATED. This could signal the beginning of the end for widely available widescreen DVD. I don't think studios will stop producing them at this point, but they will surely become more scarce (as widescreen VHS became) if this continues.
    BOTTOM LINE, RETAILERS: NO WIDESCREEN = NO SALE!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S. If anyone shows examples of widescreen vs. p&s, don't show a Super 35 film.....it may give the pro-full screen folks some level of justification for butchering the OAR!
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