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Disney - phone drive is 99.9% in favor of Pan and Scan!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaViD Boulet, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    The "phone drive" I'm speaking of is Disney's toll free number for consumer feedback: 1-800-72-DISNEY
    I just spoke with a Disney consumer rep who told me that I'm the only person who's called to ask for OAR/16x9 for any of their upcoming titles--many of which (Snow Dogs, Muppet Treasure Island) are being released 1.33:1 P/S only. This rep wasn't talking about the calls that they've *personally* received either. They were telling what complaints/requests had been logged into the database.
    The reason they're releasing these titles full frame is because they've received hundreds of calls asking that many of these titles be released "without black bars".
    Disney has received so many calls complaining about "black bars" on their family/B-titles that they're in the process of changing their entire policy regarding OAR as we speak. This is for real. I'm gonna pull a "I can't tell you any more" here but assure you that I know for a fact that Disney is forming their policy about OAR vs Full-frame DVD release strategy based on the customer feedback from this 1-800 number phone line. You want the DVD-marketing-release decision makers to hear and respond to your point of view???
    Go ahead...take a wild guess at how we can directly influence Disney's position on OAR with regard to DVD-family titles...
    You got it:
    1-800-72-DISNEY
    DISNEY has provided a means of directly contacting them with consumer feedback...and proven their responsiveness to this line of communication by honoring the desires of the hundreds of callers who've complained about letterboxing. If we want to effect a change in the pro-OAR direction we should call too.
    Why sit back and let the wall-mart moms and dads of the world convince Disney to release their titles full-frame? Why not join the fight for *our* side?
    Plan:
    1. log-off your dial-up connection rigth now if you can't make a phone call while on-line.
    2. Call 1-800-72-DISNEY
    3. Tell them that you want OAR (and 16x9) for *all* titles, including family and catalog "B" titles. Tell them that if they can only provide one version of a film for space or budget reasons you always want that version to be OAR. Tell them that you feel DVD should provide both versions, when possible, like other studios (Dream Works) do.
    4. log back on your internet connection.
    5. Post here telling people how rather than just complain like some news-group junky, you've actually placed a real and meaningful vote with Disney for our cause.
    6. And when Snow Dogs comes out in 4x3 only...go buy it from Wal-Mart. Then return it saying that "you didn't realize it was only P/S and you only purchase OAR DVDs" and you'd like a refund. Make sure they record the reason for your return. Disney will be informed if enough people do this. Their marketing department will hear you.
    If everyone who read this thread *today* called Disney and said the above, Disney would change their DVD-release policy. I hope you get this--Disney *wants* to do OAR and 16x9 WS...their own artists made these movies. Their decision to go 4x3 full-frame is soley and completely based on the consumer feedback they've been getting from people calling 1-800-72-DISNEY. They're doing exactly what they should to. They're responding to what the consumer has demanded. So why don't YOU call and demand 16x9 OAR.
    Only post to this thread if you've called.
    People, remember how serious we all got With that on-line petition for Warner to release Willy Wonka in widescreen? Well, the 1-800 conduit to Disney is even more effective than an interner petition. Don't complain. Don't whine. And don't get upset when your favorite Disney movie is released full-screen on DVD...unless you first call right now to do something about it.
    Let's do it people. Let's change Disney's mind. Please post your testimonials here and encourage others to call this number.
    1-800-72-DISNEY
    NEW
    Here's the Henson Co. info. contact Henson too and ask them to put pressure on Disney to release 16x9 WS Muppet Treasure Island and Muppet Christmas Carol:
    Brian Henson: bhenson@henson.com
    Michael R. Polis
    The Jim Henson Company
    Senior Vice President of Marketing Worldwide
    1416 N. La Brea Avenue
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    323-802-1500
    mpolis@henson.com
    Debbie McClellan
    The Jim Henson Company
    Vice President of Corporate Communications & Publicity Worldwide
    1416 N. La Brea Avenue
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    323-802-1500
    dmcclellan@henson.com
    Betts Fitzgerald
    The Jim Henson Company
    Sr. Vice President, Licensing
    117 East 69th Street
    New York, NY 10021
    212-794-2400
    bfitzgerald@henson.com
     
  2. LukeB

    LukeB Screenwriter

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    I know DaViD may be posting like a crazy person about this ( [​IMG] just kidding, David), but he's absolutely correct and no one is listening to him.
    Call 1-800-72-DISNEY and request that all DVDs be OAR. Be polite but firm. Tell them you have pan & scan videocassettes of movies and that you're not going to buy pan & scan DVDs of the same movies.
    Sure, you don't care about "Snow Dogs" or "Max Keeble", but c'mon, "Muppet Christmas Carol" is coming this fall. You want that to be pan & scan.
    This is not a good sign and it doesn't matter if we have 1,000 people logging in our complaints on the Internet. The pro-P&S crowd has 1,000 people boneheadingly not understanding the black bars.
    So call and make a difference!!!
     
  3. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    Well, Anita at Walt Disney support acted like she could care less but I told them that only titles in widescreen will be considered for purchase by me in the future.
     
  4. Dylan Davis

    Dylan Davis Stunt Coordinator

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    THIS IS NOT A JOKE

    I just called, and the girl told me that "per Michael Eisner, it was the director's choice, and that the directors all want pan and scan." I said "what director? For every movie ever made and to be made in the future? You know the future and they all want pan & scan? IN THE FUTURE?"

    She said yes. I swear. SHE SAID YES!

    I then told her that to any intelligent person, what she was telling me was bull and that I would not buy any DVD not in its original aspect ratio.

    geesh
     
  5. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    Anita seemed clueless but said she would pass it along.

    I posted a link to this post at AVSforum.com because I did not see it over there.

    Marc
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Tony,
    Anita may not have sounded like she cared but she typed your complaint into their database. Now the DVD marketers will read that you called and wanted widescreen.
    That counts.
    Another thing we can try suggesting is that they run a brief 2-minute clip at the beginning of a widescreen DVD to demonstrate the advantages of widescreen and how it preserves picture information. The rep I spoke with said no one had ever suggested that before...but that it made a lot of sense and would go a long way to *educating* the average consumer about OAR.
    I *hated* widescreen until I saw an MGM promo clip that showed Ben hur in P/S...then the camera pulled back and the sides widened to the L/R revealing the picture information that had been cut off in the P/S image. Now I was looking at a letterboxed image and I suddenly "got it". Since then I've been a letterbox fanatic.
    If Disney put a simple demo like this on their Atlantis or Toy Story DVD to demonstrate the concept of WS we'd have thousands of converts instantly.
    Call. Call. Call.
    1-800-72-DISNEY.
    Tell them you want them to log your request that all DVDs be released OAR (16x9 WS when appropriate) and that you WON'T purchase titles that are P/S.
     
  7. LukeB

    LukeB Screenwriter

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    David is so right on the money. Even if it seems they're clueless, it is essential. A great way I heard it put: they're lousy at giving information, but they're great at taking information.
    So even if they tell you Michael Eisner wants Pan & Scan, tell them you have no interest in buying modified movies on DVD. It will be recorded as long as you're polite and firm. [​IMG]
     
  8. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I just called. The woman herself didn't understand the difference. Well I explained it all to her, she agreed letterboxed was better, and logged my complaint. She gave me the same story about how they get complaints about the "black bars" but also agreed that all that was needed was education on the matter.

    Sigh...maybe one day.

    In any case, another vote from me.
     
  9. Christopher_S

    Christopher_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I made the call just now. I prefaced my comments with praise for Disney DVD in general, then went on to say that I was concerned about the panning-and-scanning of upcoming titles, stating that I would not consider buying them that way. Cammy (sp?) was very kind, and explained that many older titles were not widescreen to begin with. I assured her that I was aware of that, and that my only concern was that the films be presented as they were in the theaters, so my daughter could experience them the same way my wife and I did when we were young. She then said that the choice of presentation on the DVD was made by the directors, and that Disney didn't have input into that.[​IMG] Suuuuuuuuuure.
    Anyway, she concluded by saying that she would nonetheless forward my comments to the marketing department for their consideration. Call made, one more little voice heard.
    MARred Disney films? Absolutely not acceptable.
     
  10. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I'm just curious, can WE really, be sure Anita and other "could care less what we have to complain about" customer service reps are typing in the correct complaint.

    What if we complain to Anita, she says she'll pass along the info, but really she types in P&S instead of OAR
     
  11. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    Just called the line and had my say. Very easy to get through, by the way: no wait after the initial recording. I told the rep why I won't be buying any dvds from Disney that are not OAR. The term "OAR" didn't mean anything to Sarah at first; my complaint got lodged as a request for widescreen, just fyi.

    David is right. It only takes a couple of minutes to possibly make a difference.
     
  12. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I posted your message on hometheaterspot too!

    Marc
     
  13. LukeB

    LukeB Screenwriter

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  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Good goin' team!
    And John, I think we can be assured for the most part that these reps are doing a good job typing what we ask. This, of course, is one of the reasons why it's important to be polite and try not to make them feel like their idiots if we have to explain our position a little bit to make it understood. Not so much that I would doubt that they'd type in something intentionally misrepresenting what you're asking...but that you want them to do a good job listing out your concers because that's what the marketing people who make all the decisions regarding DVD releases will be reading.
    I had my rep read-back to me what she had typed and she had typed a rather long paragraph that hit all my points.
    Keep it up!
    1-800-72-DISNEY
    BTW, John, did you call???
     
  15. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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  16. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I called again because Anita did not take my name or anything. Debbie took all me info and a complete complaint that she read back to me and we fine tuned it. I think anita did nothing in my case.

    Marc
     
  17. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    Just called. Suzanne (?) was very helpful and said she'd pass my info along. Thanks for the heads-up David!
     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    If they don't take your name then by all means call back again until your complaint is properly registered.

    Having them read-back your comments is a great way to ensure you'll be heard just as you want to be by the marketing department.
     
  19. Dan Keefe

    Dan Keefe Second Unit

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    I just got off the phone with a girl named Tonya, she was very nice. I told her I had read that they were releasing Snow Dogs in Pan and scan only. I told her I was disappointed to read this. I told her I only buy DVD's in letterbox or widescreen. She said she would double check on Snow dogs and log me in. I also told her I hope Disney doesn't plan on doing that for all their classics and Family Titles. She then asked for my name number and email address also. No biggie they already have it because of the rebates and free DVD's I sent for. I hope they cross reference it and see I am a "paying" customer and an active one at that. maybe that will carry a little more weight
    And so it is on...Us versus Them, WideScreen vs Pan and Scan,
    If what David says is correct, then Joe sixPack scored a knockdown in Round 1. 11 more rounds to go...Hopefully we can collectively get off our butts and get a TKO in the next two or three rounds...[​IMG]
    dan
     
  20. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

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    I just spoke to Sarah at Disney Customer Relations, and she was very gracious. I told her that I had a 16x9 widescreen television and that it would be completely absurd for me to purchase a movie that would be cropped. She seemed to fully understand that widescreen was the way to go, and agreed that both versions should be available.

    She took down a bunch of info from me (phone number, address, etc.) and typed in my comments and requests...
     

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