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Columbia: 4:3 in the US yet 16:9 in Europe

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Stone, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Chris Stone

    Chris Stone Agent

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    the following recent Columbia releases were 4:3 full-frame in the US yet great looking anamorphic transfer in Europe - WHY?

    Perfect - 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
    The Principal - 1.85:1 anamorphc widescreen
    Mo Money - 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen

    why do americans have to suffer 4:3 hell why Europe get 16:9?

    anyone know ?
     
  2. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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    Probably because of the predomination (and wider acceptance) of 16:9 TVs and widescreen TV broadcasts in Europe.
    America is most definitely still 4:3-land when it comes to TV [​IMG]
    -- J.
     
  3. Thomas Agermose

    Thomas Agermose Stunt Coordinator

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    Another reason is that most TV stations show movies in
    letteboxed format (at least here in Denmark). People are used to the letterbox format.

    Here in Denmark a public service channel got sued for
    showing Three Days of the Condor in P/S back som years ago.
    Because of that they switched to OAR and even had a small introduction in front of the movies showing why the black bars were there.

    Even the rental videos are mostly in OAR these days.

    So when DVD arrived the public was already used to OAR from TV and VHS. I guess the studios just give people what they want.
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  5. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    If someone can tell me that Europe gets a 16x9 enhanced version of Road to Wellville and Toy Soldiers, I will be getting a multi-region player.
     
  6. Lance Rumbolt

    Lance Rumbolt Stunt Coordinator

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    Especially when you can buy a good 32 in panny tau for under £600 in the UK, all of a sudden you have a massive market.

    Just a quick wander thru a local cuurys and you see widescreen sets 10-1 over 4:3.

    Even Blockbuster are into widescreen over hear!

    Lance UK.
     
  7. Douglas R

    Douglas R Screenwriter

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  8. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    See? See?! It's true! Europeans ARE smarter than Americans! They all accept widescreen, and they all know the black bars aren't covering something up, and aren't annoyed by them! Why is it that the DVD buyers in the U.S. don't understand widescreen, and the ones in Europe do?
     
  9. LarryH

    LarryH Supporting Actor

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    I suppose it's just way too much trouble to put both versions on releases in the US. I guess that would make it possible for some ignoramus to run the widescreen version and just get all tromatized.

    This certainly eliminates the chance that I will ever pre-order any Columbia DVD before I see a review and am assured it is OAR.
     
  10. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Add "84 Charing Cross Road" to that list. I'll be buying this R2 version since this is a favorite of mine. DOWN with PAN & SCAN!!
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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  12. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  13. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Screenwriter

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  14. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Well, I don't have multi-region because I don't need it. All my favorite films are available in great editions in R1. But if I ever need it, I will get an all-region PAL/NTSC-compatible DVD player.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's not surprising that the French support OAR.
    After all, the man who invented CinemaScope was Henri Chrieten (Sic?), which virtually changed aspect ratios for history. Even cooler...he was inspired by the tryptichs of Abel Gance's Napoleon (Gance is a Frenchman as well) to make an anamorphic widescreen process.
    Oh yeah... Georges Melies (again, French) created a few special effects processes which seem to have impacted most cinema since then. [​IMG]
     
  17. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  19. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    As for Three days of the condor, I think I remember the news, and I think the director indeed did have some kind of clause in a contract that the movie should only be shown OAR. So by broadcasting a P&S version the TV channel was actually in breach of their contract, thus they could be sued without problems.
    Which goes to show again that directors can have impact, if the movie is what they care about the most in the end...
     
  20. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    For a nation that has movies as a major part of its culture (I include Canada in this), North America is really backwards in this respect of accepting widescreen. Unfortunately the studios are thinking of their wallets when making marketing decisions.
     

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