Shane Blu-ray... in 1:66?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by PaulaJ, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    As I said in the aspect ratio thread, you're seeing a revision on most films in high-def. Let's not even go about the soundmixes. The simple idea of Blu-ray is a revision of cinema already (for films made before HD existed).

    All films are their framing content thinkered when newly transfered. It's a fact of the industry.

    No one sane is going to release a badly framed looking movie just because "it's not a revision".

    Audiences might have enjoyed the original 1.66 release without noticing anything about the framing, but today's audiences are more savvy.

    The job of anyone in charge of a transfer is to make the best presentation possible. If they judged that some Tilt & Scan would improve the feature presentation, they were probably right to go for it.

    Unlike the reverse, no one will notice anything wrong with the framing, if they have done their job right. Except for Jeffrey Well maybe.
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I saw the 1967 widescreen Gone With the Wind. Paid roadshow prices, and my most vivid memory wasn't/isn't of the horrendous framing but how marvelous the score sounded piped through the theater's sound system. Rushed right out and bought the stereo soundtrack LP to relive that sound experience.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Nobody is. But the 1.66:1 presentation they are proposing will never have been seen theatrically. There's no denying that.

    The film was shot in Academy. There's no denying that.

    I've seen you make the same argument before, but I'm afraid I can't subscribe to a belief that these films have been digitised and therefore anything, any retroactive revision, goes without the unmolested film being made available on the same format.
     
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  4. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    I've been reading this thread and I can't for the life of me figure out why you are so stubbornly defending this as having some historical significance. We do NOT have the historical aspect ratio even though it's the same shape. We can either have something that follows the director's original intent (Academy ratio) or something that is historically accurate (1.66:1 with the 1953 framing) but this version is neither fish nor fowl. It is NOT the director's intent and it is NOT historically accurate, it is re-imagined.
     
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  5. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    But the ONLY reason to use the 1.66:1 aspect ratio at ALL is because that's the way the studio decided to release it in 1953. If you don't care to replicate the historical framing then why bother using that ratio anyway? 1.66:1 wasn't chosen for it's artistic merit in the first place, it was a purely commercial decision so, as I said in the other thread, you can either honor the original intent (Academy) or honor the historical context (faux wide screen with original framing) but WHY revise the film to fit NEITHER criteria?

    Furthermore, why the need to defend it so pasionately?
     
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  6. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Quite agree.

    Steve W
     
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  7. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    John, I think this is a very tough one. I agree with your general point, but...

    The 1.33:1 DVD release of Shane is also 'wrong' in many respects. This will look more like film (we're all hoping - it might look crap as well, I suppose). But you bought it (I'm guessing).

    So the DVD was deficient in some ways, but it didn't stop us buying it. This Blu-ray Disc will be deficient in all of the ways you correctly note.

    So what's the difference? Well, the difference is of course that this could be correct, whilst for the SD DVD that was impossible.

    So now we're not going to buy it, not because it's deficiences, but because those deficiencies were unnecessary. For me (and I want to stress, that's for me) that would be cutting my nose off to spite my face.

    I suppose I feel like this. I've seen some absolute crap over the years. NTSC-to-PAL P&S abominations, 5th generation, just to get a film that was banned in the UK (even if this new VHS version was cut anyway).

    I've seen VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc, re-issues, special editions, well you get the picture. And the one thing I've learned is that we're either going to have to put up with some deficiencies from time-to-time, or just not watch a whole load of our favourite films.

    Waiting for the day when every one of you films looks perfect on Blu-ray Disc? Be prepared to wait forever, because it's never going to happen.

    You're right to be angry - I sign up to all of your complaints on this one. But I've got to a stage in my film-viewing, home media-buying life where I'm afraid a product has to be a fair way off the mark for me to boycott it.

    Life's just too short.

    But if you just wouldn't be able to enjoy it knowing what was cropped, then I appreciate that.

    I can't defend the decisions made on this release, but I just about understand the rationale (it was originally shown in, and presumably won an OSCAR for the 1.66:1 version, and this will be a better 1.66:1 version) and I can just about put up with that without it ruining my enjoyment.

    Steve W
     
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  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I hope those on both sides of the 1.33:1 versus 1.66:1 argument regarding Shane and this upcoming BD voice their opinions here so that the studios can view your opinion. It might be too late since it's been announced for a June 4th release, but we should at least tell them how you feel because we never know what may happen or how it affects other titles not yet on BD with similar circumstances because of their original theatrical run in the early 1950s.
     
  9. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    I would love to see a release featuring the originally-intended 1.37:1 framing and the historically theatrically-screened 1.66:1 framing. This revised version, however carefully and skillfully it may have been done, serves neither the artistic intent nor historic accuracy and I have no use for it.
     
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  10. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    My opinion is that John Hodson and others got it right when they suggested that both versions of the film should be on the BRD. I don't understand why this hasn't been done. Remember, Universal did this a few years ago with their DVD of Touch of Evil and Criterion and Eureka have since followed suit, so it's not some new revolutionary idea.
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    My feeling is that this is a done deal. Sadly.

    In the history of bad home video ideas - the eradicating of that nasty film grain, terrible fake surround mixes, CGI 'fixes' - this is right up there. Warner / Paramount - no matter how well this sells, just think how many more you would have sold had you simply given us what we wanted.

    My DVD will suffice for the forseeable.
     
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  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Thank you for suggesting this, Robert.

    Unless the 1.37 version is included on this Blu-ray, I do not plan to buy it. Please offer both versions.
     
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  13. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The historical framing is replicated, it's 1.66. What's inside it, will not be more adjusted than the 1.33 was adjusted (in regards to the academy 1.37 it should have been). I can't count the number of 1.33 transfers ever issued which are zoomboxed because it was common to make the details and faces and expressions stand out more on then tube TV sets. They were all compromises of whatever was shown in theaters (that would have been compromised too if the projectionist had his kinks).

    I agree with everyone that there should have been an extra academy version on the Blu-ray. But I also agree with the decision to go 1.66 and adjust the framings whenever necessary, to make the best presentation of the movie in that format that can be.

    Again, frame adjustment are very common when doing new transfers. No one complains about frame adjustment or flopped shots in the Terminator thread, so I can't understand why it such an outrage here.
     
  14. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen SHANE many times over the years, not only on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD, but also on 16mm and 35mm film. Even in previous 35mm screening held here in Los Angeles, I've never seen the film shown in a 1.66 aspect ratio. Never.

    As has been discussed, the only reason the film was ever shown in 1.66 was to satisfy the marketing department at Paramount in 1953. And except for screenings around that time (and only in certain venues) was the film ever shown publically in that ratio.

    The film all of us know and love has primarily been shown in 1.37. That's also how the original creators of the film wanted it shown.

    1.37 should be a no-brainer.

    The argument for modifying the film to a 1.66 ratio are more to satisfy the folks who want every inch (or almost every inch) of their 16x9 hi-def television screens filled. It's this same lunacy that's ruined the presentation of many CinemaScope ratio films. Warner Bros especially loves to take both their new and old scope films and modify them to 1.78, ruining the original screen compositions. Try watching EAST OF EDEN on Netlix or Amazon streaming. After the widescreen opening credits at 2.55 they zoom in to 1.78, thus making the film about as unwatchable as those old 1.33 pan and scan jobs from decades earlier.

    Now they want to modify SHANE, only cropping off the top and bottom instead of the sides.

    The whole point of of letterboxing in the past has been to preserve the original intent of the filmmakers. This upcoming pillarboxing of SHANE goes against what the filmmakers intended. It was only what the pencil pushers in the front office at Paramount intended in 1953. I would no more think of purchasing a 1.66 version of SHANE than I would a 2.1 version of GONE WITH THE WIND, but that's how that film was released to theaters in the 1960's.

    At the very least, both a 1.37 and the 1.66 presentations of SHANE should be offered on the Blu-ray. The studios love to give us newer films with a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital copy in the same package. Having two presentations of SHANE shouldn't be too difficult.
     
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  15. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    That's the historical ratio. The historical framing is not being replicated.
     
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  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    If anybody from Paramount is reading this, I share the following information.

    Paramount, as a matter of studio policy, switched to widescreen cinematography on March 21, 1953 with the production of THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE. From that point forward, all studio films were composed for widescreen. 1.66:1 was the house ratio until the start of VistaVision production on September 21, 1953. The early VistaVision films were recommended for exhibition in 1.85:1. On February 13, 1954, Paramount officially announced 1.85:1 as their new studio ratio.

    Republic began composing for widescreen on May 15, 1953 with the filming of FLIGHT NURSE. They officially announced their 100% widescreen policy on August 8, 1953. 1.66:1 was their house ratio.

    More information can be found on these pages (Myth #7) http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/top-10-3-d-myths

    and: http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/top-10-3-d-myths/early-widescreen

    Many of the early non-anamorphic widescreen films from Paramount and Republic (LIVING IT UP, SABRINA, JOHNNY GUITAR, RED GARTERS, TOBOR THE GREAT, etc) have been released 1.37:1 on DVD and Blu-ray. I have documentation on the correct aspect ratios in the files and will be glad to help.

    I hope this information will insure that future releases will be presented in the correct, director-intended ratio.

    Bob Furmanek
    www.3dfilmarchive.com
     
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  17. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Edit
    Article coming soon...
     
  18. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    I didn't know there had been an official announcement yet, with date. Do you have a link? (I love reading these things.)

    I have seen Shane in 35mm, at the Plaza Theatre here in Atlanta. It was a beat-up print, but it was still wonderful to see it on the big screen -- in 1:37.

    I cannot fathom the thinking behind releasing this on Blu-ray only in 1:66, no matter how carefully they prepared the new version. I certainly have no interest in buying it in 1:66.

    By the way, Shane is going to be screened at the TCM classic film festival in April. Presumably this will be the debut of the new 1:66 version. Of course, this would be the first year I decided to skip the festival -- I would have liked to have seen the 1:66 version on the big screen, as a curiosity. As a permanent Blu-ray addition to my collection, I would absolutely want it in 1:37.

    (Now awaiting the video spoof where Bruno Ganz's Hitler learns that Shane is going to be released on Blu-ray in 1:66.) :)
     
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  19. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    That's what I am wondering.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've been wondering about such too as I can't believe the founder of the American Film Institute would do anything to counter what that fine institution stands for.
     

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