Would (some)people like letterboxing if it was done differently? done

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rachael B, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I have a copy of THE LONGEST DAY on LD that is letter-boxed with all the blacked-out area on the bottom of the image. So, the image starts about one-third up the screen and goes all the way to the top. I find this rather appealing. I can't recall seeing another film done this way, are there any more out there? Would the average widesceen hater be more accepting of this? Should more/any films be done this way?
     
  2. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I think people would like letterboxing more it the videos were called "Theatrical Version" and Pan and Scan copies were called "Television Version"
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Centering is easier to look at.
     
  4. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw a version of "The Last Tango In Paris" that was done that way. I found it to be a little irritating, myself. I much prefer the standard center of screen method of letter boxing.
     
  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I don't think so. People would still think the "black bars" are covering up the image. And by it being off-center, they would think there is something wrong with their TV.

    There are a couple of others like this, THE INSIDER is the only one that comes to mind, however. It's not as extreme as The Longest Day; it's up from center just a little bit.
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I doubt it too, Joe and Jane just plain hate the black area's. I don't think they would care where or how much black area their is, they just want it gone.
    Greg,
    sometimes the simplest statements are the most brilliant. I love that idea. [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    This would be a bad idea, wouldn't it ruin the anamorphic squeeze function for people with 4:3 TV's? They would have to settle for less resolution.
     
  8. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I would like it if my DVD Player would let me adjust the vertical position. For Downconverted Anamorphic movies, since the black bars (Or at least a portion of them in cases of 2:35) are generated by the player, I would much rather watch Metropolis with no black bar at the top and the bottom black bar big enough to contain the subtitles. Whether the subs are in the picture or in the lower black bar is all the same to me (I matte my screen but for foreign films, I only use the top matte) but when the subs are in between I find it distracting.
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I've always depised that practice of placing sub titles in the black area. [​IMG] It's a violation of the theatrical exhibition. I don't matte (i'd like to), but it still get's under my skin, especially those ugly yellow player generated one's. Aaarrrggg!
     
  10. Jean Paul Villeneuve

    Jean Paul Villeneuve Second Unit

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    You'd also be missing the top portion of the widescreen image due to the overscan on most TV's. We already lose a little on the sides as it is, unless you have your set calibrated to 0% overscan.
    No thanks [​IMG]
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    On THE LONGEST DAY the subtitles are indeed in the black bar. I know that's not how it showed theatrically, but let's forget that for debate's sake. I stille find it appealling to have the image go all the way to the top. I don't know if it's possible to author anamorphic DVD's to play this way. Surely it's possible? is one black bar better than two, hmnnnn... I'd like to see a few other examples. BTW, the DVD is not presented this way for those who haven't seen it.

    Vic, was it an LD? Sub's on the bottom?
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ms. B:
    You're attracted to the different presentation. Not expecting it, you were surprised. So, you enjoyed the film in a novel way. That's why it was appealing, I think. And knowing you by your posts, I'm willing to bet you'll position the video image to "where it once belonged." [​IMG]
    JB
     
  13. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Was not Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country like this as well? Only thing is the subtitles were partially cut off when viewing in 16x9 mode. Not good.
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I have to agree with Patrick - centering the letterboxed image is still the best way to go.
     
  15. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jack, I'd seen the LD before but just forgotten about it. I had it out and played it recently. If anamorphic DVD's could be properly presented this way I'd like it, I think...?

    Neil, was that TREK disc a DVD or LD?
     
  17. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The letterboxed VHS of Return of the Jedi is like that too.
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Yeah, the big point would be that whatever style is used to present OAR, that it work just as well (if not better) on a 16x9 display as it does on a 4x3 display.

    Of course...some people with projection gear go as far as to completely *mask* the letterboxing bars in *any* presentation (so 2.35:1 films don't appear with black bars at all). In this case, subtitle placement becomes even more of a problem.

    At the very least, video encoding and subtitle placement should be designed to work effectively on both 4x3 and 16x9 displays.

    -dave
     
  20. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    To answer the original question, I suspect that people who don't like black bars just plain don't like black bars. If their screen isn't filled, they're going to complain.
     

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