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Different transfers for Academy Screeners?


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Robert Floto

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Posted March 08 2002 - 10:02 AM

My niece's husband has access to Academy Screeners, and loaned me Ali, The Royale Tenenbaums, and Training Day which I will be viewing this weekend (I missed all three in the theatre). The Royale Tenenbaums is letterboxed on VHS (as were all the Academy Screeners I viewed last year), but this year Ali and Training Day are on DVD! What I'm wondering is...will the transfers for these screeners be the ones used for the films' upcoming (home) DVD releases? I don't think the screeners have any supplemental material that will no doubt be on the later home video releases, but is this the same transfer that the general public will get? I won't know if the transfers are anamorphic until I view them, but if these are indeed the same transfers then some of these films are being mastered quite a while before their home video releases...which is a lot sooner than I had ever expected...
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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted March 08 2002 - 10:38 AM

[quote]

some of these films are being mastered quite a while before their home video releases...which is a lot sooner than I had ever expected...

[quote]



I read somewhere that they're already planning the DVD release of "Spider-Man" and this was several months ago, when the theatrical release was still 6 months or more away. I think Home Video has become such a huge market, with most films grossing more on video than in theaters, that lots more planning and attention is given to the eventual HV release very early in the project than the studios did previously.
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#3 of 7 OFFLINE   rutger_s

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Posted March 08 2002 - 11:13 AM

Academy Screeners are mastered on VHS tape about a month after theatrical release. The tapes are presented in letterbox with Dolby Surround audio. Also an "always on" closed captioning disclaimer appears frequently throughout the film. When the studios started to feel that DVD was getting more of a mainstream market penetation versus laserdisc, a few studios decided to offer Academy Screeners on DVD. At first the Academy Screeners were limited in chapter stops, some may have none. Also the menus were also very spartan, again some may not have any. And as a rule, the screeners are devoid of any supplement. Also depended on the studio, there is either an "always on" subtitle stream or "always on" closed captionion disclaimer that appears frequently. Also, a majority of the newest Academy Screeners are presented in anamorphic widescreen, the very first few Academy Screeners were simply better versions of the letterbox widescreen transfers used for VHS.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Scott H

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Posted March 08 2002 - 12:14 PM

[quote]

And as a rule, the screeners are devoid of any supplement.

[quote]



I do not know if that is true, or if this incident was a violation of a rule, but last year there were DVD screeners issued that had supplemental material (extras) and turned out to be technically identical to the later public release though with very different packaging.
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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 08 2002 - 12:21 PM

They are probably the same transfers. More and more often, the studios are working on the DVDs concurrent to the film productions themselves.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   rutger_s

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Posted March 08 2002 - 12:22 PM

Methinks it was a violation of the rules. Since supplementary material can be seen as a way to bias the academy members, which is why they have a rule to not include any added-value materials including trailers.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Guy Martin

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Posted March 08 2002 - 12:24 PM

[quote]

I do not know if that is true, or if this incident was a violation of a rule, but last year there were DVD screeners issued that had supplemental material (extras) and turned out to be technically identical to the later public release though with very different packaging.

[quote]



It is indeed a rule. As i recall, the film you're thinking of is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and I remember reading in Variety that the Academy punished Sony for the infraction by taking away some of their allotment of tickets to the Oscar show. Basically an Academy screener must be movie-only, although they can have chapter stops. The always on "for screening purposes only" subtitles aren't a requirement of the Academy, it's just something most studios do to avoid unauthorized copying.



As for the transfers, sometimes they are the final transfer, sometimes not. For example WB has confirmed that the Harry Potter screener uses the same transfer that will be used for the commercial DVD. But a few years ago the Magnolia screener was a different transfer since PT Anderson likes to constantly tweak the video releases of his films.



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