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Framing and lack of headroom in Excalibur

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Cameron Seaman, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

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    I finally watched Excalibur on DVD, and while the transfer is good, the framing of some scenes seems a bit odd.
    There are several shots where headroom is almost non-existant. Many times, an actor's eyebrows are at the very top of the frame.
    Now, while I don't want to question whether this is the "correct" framing for this film, going on what is generally considered proper framing and headroom, this would seem to be wrong. The back of the case states that it was matted for widescreen; I wonder if it was done incorrectly?
    I did a search here on the HTF and found nothing on the subject. Also, I was only 2 years old when this was theatrically released, so I dont remember what it looked like when it was originally projected. [​IMG]
     
  2. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    I've got the first widescreen LD of Excalibur (not the second AC-3 re-issue) and a direct comparrison of the DVD to the LD shows that picture is cut off on ALL sides on the DVD.

    The LD is frames at an AR pretty close to 1.85 to 1, while the DVD framed at an exact 16x9 (as well as anamorphically enhanced.

    Though the DVD sports better overall picture quality, the composition is cramped to say the least. On the LD, the frame is not only wider (showing more information toward the sides of the frame) but also sports quite a bit more picture on along the top an bottom of the frame as well. It's almost as if the DVD is zoomed in on compared to the LD.

    The new DD mix on the DVD is not the best either, and the PCM stereo LD sound is a bit more pleasing, though still not of great quality.

    Overall I prefer the LD, and watch it for the slightly better sound and more pleasing framing.
     
  3. Jim Rankin

    Jim Rankin Stunt Coordinator

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    I love this film, I know it's not considered a classic, but I like it just the same. I felt like I was fortunate to see it when it was first released at the ripe age of 14 - my friend and I talked about it for weeks! As for the dvd I feel it's a decent presentation, and I would love to see it re-visited someday but I feel there probably wouldn't be enought demand for that sort of thing.[​IMG] Regards, Jim
     
  4. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Screenwriter

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    Wow... bummer.

    I used to have the LD but replaced it with the DVD. I don't think I even watched it yet, just assumed it would be a better presentation.

    Ric
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Jim, I would consider this excellent John Boorman entry a classic. There is no better film treatment of the Arthuran legend.

    Don't have the LD, but I did notice the framing to be a bit peculiar when I first screened the DVD. I had seen this film nearly twenty times in commercial cinemas back in the early 1980s. My memory of it was quite good.

    Perhaps comments directed at the studio are in order?
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    A lot of people pointed this out when the DVD was first released. I can't recall that anyone ever got any response from Warner. It's too bad, because while the framing on the LD looks much better balanced, the colors on the DVD are brighter and more magical.

    M.
     
  7. Christopher_J_F

    Christopher_J_F Stunt Coordinator

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    I also own both and prefer the LD transfer overall - the colors are a bit muted however.
    (BTY: I realise that this is off topic, but what were they thinking with that new cover? [​IMG] The LD art is BEAUTIFUL!)
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I thought the DVD was a bit of a stinker to be honest. Bad framing, hard and strained sound quality, horrid cover (not that important but I may as well throw in another whinge). Not one of Warner's finer moments.
     
  9. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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  10. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Screenwriter

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    Still there is no excuse for butchering the OAR. I really would like to see this film get redone with a little better treatment.

    Ric
     
  11. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    This movie is awesome, and desperately begs for a correct SE release.
     
  12. Tim_Prasuhn

    Tim_Prasuhn Stunt Coordinator

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    better framing would be great, but what i'd really love for this is a seamless branching option to view the massively extended original cut that we all know exists. I know Boorman preferes the shorter version, but hey, having both wouldn't hurt.
     
  13. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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  14. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

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    I'll be sure to mention this issue if another Warner chat ever comes around...
     
  15. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    Chris
     
  16. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Excalibur is a classic. . .a CAMP classic! [​IMG]
    Agreed that the DVD cover is atrocious. The A/V quality could be better, and the framing is definitely awkward, but I'm glad to have at least a decent edition of this mighty fun flick.
     
  17. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    This was my favorite fantasy film until LOTR pushed down to second. I would love to see Warner revisit this title as an SE. We should definetly bring it up if Warner does another chat.
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Excalibur seems like it should be matted to 1.66:1 instead of 1.78:1.
     
  19. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Anyone have a pic of the WS LD cover? I emailed one guy on Ebay with the R version and he said it doesn't say widescreen on it. Another auction had the same picture and it said widescreen in the auction.
     
  20. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Screenwriter

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    Yeah, earlier I noticed someone was calling his LD widescreen but I don't believe it was. I wrote him... he never answered back
    This is the Widescreen... It says so in the upper right corner
    [​IMG]
    I believe this one is the Pan $ Scan [​IMG]
    I had the widescreen at one time but stupidly gave it away when I got the LD
    Ric
     

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