Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

Direct from Hollywood: Widescreen DVD releases under the gun! Here's the Answer!


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
300 replies to this topic

#1 of 301 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 40,576 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:20 AM


I met with at least 4 people that represent
separate major studios while out in Los
Angeles for our HTF National Meet

It was interesting that every single one of
these reputable studio reps were telling me
that there is increased pressure on the studios
to stop putting out widescreen movie product and
stick to pan and scan.

The reason? Places like Walmart. These heavy
retailers receive too many complaints from joe-sixpack
consumers regarding the black bars on DVD product.

The funny thing is, the complaints don't come
from the kids who watch family product. The kids
could care less. It's actually through the
ignorance of the parents who have no capacity for
understanding why films don't fill their TV screens.

The pressure has become so intense, I hear at
one particular unnamed studio there is constant
battles going on between the marketing people and
the enthusiasts who put these films together for DVD.

Certainly, it is obvious that studios like MGM
and WARNER BROTHERS were about to cave in to retail
demands by releasing family product in Pan & Scan
version only. Who were these studios appeasing?
You think kids really care about how they watch
movies?

This is a very dangerous time for DVD. With retail
outlets threatening to ban selling any DVD product
that is not in Pan & Scan, Hollywood is rethinking
how they are going to release future product.

Of course, the compromise would be to release both
Pan & Scan and Widescreen on all titles. However,
it seems that this is an added expense and waste of
bandwidth for the studios.

How can we convince retailers and the ignorant
public that films should be released in their
original aspect ratio? Can something like this
actually be done?

There really is an answer to all this....

A 20-second or more promotional spot to be
placed in front of EVERY DVD that gets manufactured.
This spot will show a Pan & Scan picture being
transformed to Widescreen. It will clearly show
information being added to the sides while a
voice-over explains the necessity for showing the
following film in its original aspect ratio.

Don't you think the public would see those spots
and slowly change their stand in favor of widescreen?

We actually suggested this idea to all the studio
reps we met. However, it didn't seem that any of
them were really gung-ho about the idea. Why not?
Putting a promotional spot in front of all future
DVD releases will actually help you combat the
pressures being received by the retailers who
demand Pan & Scan only releases.

This is a real dangerous situation right now.
We really could use the help of all the studios
in preserving the integrity of this great format.



------------------
Posted Image

Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
Circa 2000
Home Theater Forum Administrator
All forum questions & to get on our private forum mailing list (new members)... Email: hometheaterforum@home.com
Problems with the webpage or site? Contact WEBMASTER
Email Packy packy@hometheaterforum.com

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

 Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive Click Here for our complete DVD review archive

 Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule  Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#2 of 301 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

Dave Scarpa

    Producer



  • 5,287 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 08 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:23 AM

Bottom Line Everyone, vote with your Dollar. There are alot of HT Enthusiasts out there, Don't Buy Nor Rent P&S Product. If we stopped Divx we can stop or at least curb P&S. I own a WS set there is no alternative for me.
My DVD Collection

The Megaplex

#3 of 301 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:27 AM

Well Ron,

I suggested a few months back that we coordinate with our local malls, WalMarts, what have you, and have some HTF OAR-Education Days. Possibly studios like Fox or Paramount would supply us with some material from popular films that people know by heart (like Star Wars) that are butchered in the P&S process.

We set up some TVs, DVD players and/or high-end tape decks, and show straight up, no lies the benefits of widescreen. Perhaps we could even strike a deal with one of the mall retailers that sell widescreen TVs to lend us one for exhibition.

If the studios would permit it, I would be happy to make the demo reel myself, and coordinate any Philly-area activities

Jeff Kleist

#4 of 301 OFFLINE   Lawrence Davis

Lawrence Davis

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 51 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 03 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:30 AM

Ugggh. My interest in DVD will be brought to an end if I can only purchase Pan and Scan titles. I never have and never will, buy ANY Pan and Scan product. I can't believe the studios are even thinking about this in the 21st century. These P&S DVD's will be despised by people with HDTV's or widescreen displays. Isn't this as big of a menace to HDTV, as it is to OAR advocates? On that level, a move to Pan and Scan is nuts.

I agree that the public must be educated about OAR and what happens with films that have nearly half the image chopped off. They need to do something to educate the masses. Why can't they come up with a quick Pan and Scan Vs. OAR demonstration? It could last a few seconds but get the point across.

If studios go Pan and Scan only, I will not be buying their product.

#5 of 301 OFFLINE   GerardoHP

GerardoHP

    Supporting Actor



  • 696 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 10 2001
  • Real Name:Gerardo Paron
  • LocationLos Angeles, California

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:40 AM

Isn't a letter-writing campaign in order here? E-mails (from every one of your screen names), letters and phone calls to every studio and every retailer. War can be a dirty business and nobody said we couldn't do it.

------------------

Gerardo
Gerardo

#6 of 301 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

Michael St. Clair

    Producer



  • 6,009 posts
  • Join Date: May 03 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:41 AM

To all who mocked and derided those of us who warned that mainstream acceptance of the DVD format would be a bad thing (and you know who you are).

Told you so.

#7 of 301 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

Robert Ringwald

    Screenwriter



  • 2,641 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:43 AM

I have been scared of this since I first started getting into DVD's.

I think that everyone on here should start printing out side by side comparisons, and then putting them up any place they can..

I can just see walking into walmart and finding like 30 of these papers taped to the display cases.

The short 20 second spots will definately help, but I for one know that the day Widescreen is not the norm on DVD is the day I stop buying them.

F**king J6P.

#8 of 301 OFFLINE   Peter D

Peter D

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 234 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 2000

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:43 AM

Personally I'd love to see places like Best Buy just run the same DVD's side-by-side on widescreen sets. One in anamorphic widescreen - the other in P&S with the grey bars on the sides. Maybe then folks would understand what they're missing.

As for the promo idea, I don't see why studios couldn't toss something like the 'Die-Hard' widescreen vs p&s demo into a disc's special features menu. Just build a generic one with your studio's product featured in it, and you've got it to use again and again.

#9 of 301 OFFLINE   Brent Cantrell

Brent Cantrell

    Second Unit



  • 250 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:48 AM

Instead of putting a demo in front of all the movies, (we know how everyone feels about 'advertisement' in this manner), why not have a cool demo disc packaged with EVERY DVD player sold? 'This is what your cool new system can do J6P. This 'new' format gives you the ability to view movies like 'this'(WS), instead of the old, incorrect standard 'this'(P&S). Thus giving J6P, enough information to feel superior to his peers, by being able to use the 'new & improved' format.

It's all in how you manipulate them to feel.

------------------
http://www.dvdprofil....lias=BCantrell

#10 of 301 OFFLINE   David Illingworth II

David Illingworth II

    Second Unit



  • 448 posts
  • Join Date: May 11 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:52 AM

I agree with the idea of the educational promo. There was one of those I think on my Abyss special edition VHS, which showed the results not only on Abyss, but on True Lies. So, clearly FOX has one in the can somewhere. In fact, this promo was what first educated me.
However, I have to say I think MGM has been making good sense by releasing two different versions simultaneously, with the format clearly labelled on the front. But, hey, I just have a soft spot for MGM.
Have you ever heard of Vietnam, Larry?

#11 of 301 OFFLINE   Dana Rodakis

Dana Rodakis

    Extra



  • 22 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 13 2000

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:54 AM

This is the reason I had secretly hoped DVD would not become a mass-market item. I kind of liked the niche market that the laserdisc served. No J6Ps to worry about.
Dana's HT Page
Pioneer 53" Pro-510HD, Denon AVR-5800U, Dish ViP622 HD DVR, Motorola 4DTV & HDD-200, 10' Unimesh, Corotor II, Norsat 8515 & Cal Amp LNBs, Satcruiser FTA DVB, Unity Motion HDR-1000A FTA HD, Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD, Pioneer DV-38A DVD, Pioneer DVR-7000 DVD-R(W), Pioneer DVL-91 LD/DVD,...

#12 of 301 OFFLINE   David Illingworth II

David Illingworth II

    Second Unit



  • 448 posts
  • Join Date: May 11 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:57 AM

Another thing, what's with all the venom toward JSP? People on here refer to a JSP as some kind of sub-human missing link or something. Have we forgotten that we were all JSP at some time or another? If every movie you ever watch at home is fullscreen then that's what you become used to. Unless you're a follower or student of film and you visit sites like this or subscribe to magazines that deal with the subject, you're not likely to get it.
Most people are just unaware of what widescreen really means, but they're not stupid fools who are trying to wreck DVDs for us. So, please, we don't need to "manipulate" them to feel a certain way. Let's not be elitist. Even if we are Posted Image
Have you ever heard of Vietnam, Larry?

#13 of 301 OFFLINE   Gerry A

Gerry A

    Agent



  • 36 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 19 2000

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:57 AM

I agree with Ron that the studios have to include a short, concise and easy to understand tutorial on the concept of OAR, widescreen and pan and scan right in front, right after that FBI message. I understand that many of us here would not like to have something like this, but guys, I'm sure we're all experts at this that it's so easy for us to skip it and get to the movie if we want. Let's agree to sacrifice just a little bit, even if it's just a few seconds of your time to click on that "next" button, so that much of the uneducated BE educated. We were all fullscreeners at one time or another before we knew better. Let's give other people that chance. It's the future of our DVDs that are at stake. I'm sure we could give up a few seconds of our convenience for it.

[Edited last by Gerry A on October 08, 2001 at 06:00 PM]

#14 of 301 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,755 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:57 AM

I started a thread about this in Feedback to Studios/Manufacturers a few months ago. I wanted something like a "Why Widescreen" that Fox used in Die Hard for every DVD. It didn't even need to be tailored to the movie, just a generic "catchall" one. Fox had it on their Widescreen VHS tapes. They could recycle that one and every other studio could do the same.

Of course my thread disappeared in a day because no one responded to it. Now I feel more like Nostradamus than Chicken Little.

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#15 of 301 OFFLINE   Brad_W

Brad_W

    Screenwriter



  • 1,361 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 18 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:57 AM

Quote:
Don't you think the public would see those spots
and slowly change their stand in favor of widescreen?

I sort of did this. When I was a shift manager at a video store about two years ago I showed everyone who would take the time the difference between P&S and Widescreen with Star Wars Episode 4. This particular movie is good for this demo because it is really cut-up. Of all the people I showed it to only about 5% of them actually "came to" about widescreen. Even when the evidence is presented to them right before their eyes, they don't get it/like it.

Sad, oh so sad.

------------------
"I was born to murder the world." -Nix (Lord of Illusions)

My Home Page http://www.geocities...ternix/DVD.html


#16 of 301 OFFLINE   GerardoHP

GerardoHP

    Supporting Actor



  • 696 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 10 2001
  • Real Name:Gerardo Paron
  • LocationLos Angeles, California

Posted October 08 2001 - 10:58 AM

While I think an educational approach might help a bit with a few customers who are open to becoming "enlightened", I still think this is a very passive way of dealing with this problem and might not yield any significant results anytime soon.

Sending a direct message -- literally -- to the dealers is a much more aggressive approach that might get us what we want, pronto.

The WILLIE WONKA case perfectly illustrates this. The studio decided to release a widescreen version when they got s**t from unhappy consumers. That worked.

------------------

Gerardo
Gerardo

#17 of 301 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

Marc Colella

    Screenwriter



  • 2,607 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 19 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 11:00 AM

Quote:
Bottom Line Everyone, vote with your Dollar. There are alot of HT Enthusiasts out there, Don't Buy Nor Rent P&S Product.

I don't think you'll have a problem with members on this forum. P&S is not an option for us.

Unfortunately, the amount of DVDs we purchase is just a drop in the bucket (even when you take into account that many of us have collections of 200+ DVDs) when compared the number of J6P's out there.

The studios know where the majority of people stand.
They are the same majority who rent/purchase VHS movies and order PPV movies all in P&S.

Our only hope is to educate the public - and I'm sure that will change the numbers by a only a small percentage.

I just hope the studio's continue to cater to us DVD and Home Theatre enthusiasts.

#18 of 301 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

Michael Warner

    Supporting Actor



  • 742 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 24 1999

Posted October 08 2001 - 11:03 AM

Vote with your dollars. While I'm not naive enough to think that even the membership of this board times 100 could put a dent in the DVD sales at Walmart this issue is really no different than the past troubles with Circuit City. A major retailer is trying to dictate to the public the way in which they should purchase DVDs. In this case it's through their strong-arm tactics with the studios. Don't buy DVDs at Walmart and, if you can manage it, don't buy others things there either. Futile to be sure but I'm not going to support a company that is actively working against a format that I've come to accept as a standard for DVD.
Xbox Live: mugwumps

#19 of 301 OFFLINE   HalS

HalS

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 77 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 06 2000

Posted October 08 2001 - 11:03 AM

Quote:
My interest in DVD will be brought to an end if I can only purchase Pan and Scan titles. I never have and never will, buy ANY Pan and Scan product. I can't believe the studios are even thinking about this in the 21st century.

Note again, that the titles in question were family titles which are looked at differently by studios. I'm not saying I agree at looking at them differently, but I understand why they do it.

You have nothing to worry about. Studios do hear those calls against widescreen and as you can see, they are being rejected.

Not only are they being rejected on DVD, all you have to do is turn on your TV and see that widescreen is growing incredibly quickly now. Pretty much all of NBC's dramas are now broadcast widescreen. Enterprise is broadcast widescreen on UPN. Almost all of HBO's original programming is being broadcast widescreen when appropriate (from The Sopranos to HBO films to the Springsteen concert special).

Widescreen usage is only growing, it's only becoming more accepted, and it is not going anywhere.

#20 of 301 OFFLINE   David Brashear

David Brashear

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 91 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 31 2001

Posted October 08 2001 - 11:08 AM

Showing people the difference between pan and scan and widescreen is not going to solve the problem. The fact of the matter is, J6P wants the picture to fill his entire screen. I showed some of my friends the difference between pan and scan and widescreen, they just shrugged and said the other side of the frame is just empty space. You think J6P cares about composition or the director's intent! The only way you would be able to convert them is if you put naked chicks on the side of the frame.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Forum Nav Content I Follow