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It's funny hearing people rant and rave about widescreen.

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54 replies to this topic

#1 of 55 OFFLINE   StephenA



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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:34 PM

I was in Wal-Mart today looking at the DVDs. While I'm doing that I overhear a clerk and customer complaining about widescreen. The customer was saying how he hates widescreen and that you don't see as much with it, and the clerk was saying how most movies released on DVD are in widescreen and that they should be released in fullscreen because it's better. She went on to say that they put the movies in widescreen because it's the cheap, easy, and stupid way to go. I started to laugh to myself. I felt like saying something, but didn't.

#2 of 55 OFFLINE   Randall Dorr

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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:54 PM

You should have said something. Not that I would necessarily have said something, but you can't blame people for their ignorance. The real problem is the studios who flat out refuse to make any attempts to educate the consumer. All that's needed is a brief ten to fifteen second explanation when the disc statrts up. If they can put all those warnings and studio logos, why not take a little extra time and say, "This film is being presented in it's original aspect ratio. This is the entire image as it was shown in theaters. The black bars are normal."
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#3 of 55 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted April 09 2002 - 08:54 PM

You should have pointed her to the VHS shelf. "These here'll fill up your TV just fine, sir! And they're cheaper, too!" Posted Image
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#4 of 55 OFFLINE   Eric M Jones

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Posted April 09 2002 - 09:56 PM

Widescreen Advocate has a pan/scan vs. widescreen comparison card (business sized) you can download and print and carry in your wallet just for times like that. To check it out click on my sig and go to the Why Widescreen? section of the site. -EJ
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#5 of 55 OFFLINE   Michael Lee

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Posted April 09 2002 - 10:06 PM

Thanks Eric- That is a cool way to educate people very quickly. I think I will print up a bunch of these ASAP.

#6 of 55 OFFLINE   Ben Motley

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Posted April 09 2002 - 10:27 PM

Actually, you can blame people for their ignorance. Ignorance is a willful refusal to learn, where as stupidity is the inability to learn. I can blame the kind of people StephenA is talking about all day long. Posted Image

#7 of 55 OFFLINE   James_G


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Posted April 09 2002 - 10:37 PM


Those business cards are pretty nifty. I can usually explain OAR to the uninitiated, but having a visual aide on-hand could be very helpful. Posted Image

#8 of 55 OFFLINE   Douglas Kalon

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Posted April 09 2002 - 11:39 PM

Maybe a good idea would be to print up a bunch of these Widescreen Cards and leave them at Wal-Mart and other store's DVD section's. Just put them in between some of the DVD's and it just might help educate some people. Just a thought.

#9 of 55 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted April 10 2002 - 04:19 AM

We should make studios include a short and easily accessible educational film on most DVDs: "Wonder about the black bars? Click HERE!" This can't be very difficult and I'm pretty sure it would have a certain effect in the long run. Are any studios doing this already? Would it be all right to post some studio snail mail addresses that we could write to about this?

#10 of 55 OFFLINE   Mike_G



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Posted April 10 2002 - 04:21 AM


Widescreen Advocate has a pan/scan vs. widescreen comparison card (business sized) you can download and print and carry in your wallet just for times like that.


I have an iPaq. Someone should make a little .avi file for those of us that can carry it around with them.

[edit] You know what the BIGGEST problem is? We all show pictures of the movie screen, but not a movie THEATER! Show a shot of a 2.35:1 setup in a movie theater, that way people can see what the shape of the screen is.


#11 of 55 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:07 AM

What I don't understand is where J6P got the idea that widescreen movies are cropped. Do they think that we are a bunch of masochists that don't like our TVs being filled and have demanded the top and bottom of the picture to be trimmed off. This confuses me greatly and is the last thing that I would have assumed. I will admit that I was ignorant for many years, but as soon as I saw my first widescreen movie on TV, I immediately understood without anyone's help. My faith in mankind is being lowered on a daily basis. AHHHHH!!!

#12 of 55 OFFLINE   Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:46 AM

I would guess myself that the studios would be very interested in educating their audience regarding aspect ratios, especially since they are getting a bad reputation in the eyes of the ones who prefer 4:3 for everything. I guess they think they would be sort of digging their own grave though. If they managed to convince everyone that OAR is better, almost their entire back catalog on VHS for example would immediately be worthless. This is the only "good" argument I can think of, from a business perspective. For the future, you would think information on aspect ratios would be to their advantage as well, if everyone started to prefer OAR, no need for multiple versions would exist. The thing that really bugs me, is that a small generic featurette that explains it would probably not cost anything to include either. I am willing to bet they would have no problems finding a profilic director to participate for free, and film examples as well, and beside bit budget on certains DVD's, I have a hard time believing it would be technically difficult to achieve as well. If they can include generic recommendations pages, they should be able to include a generic information section as well.
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#13 of 55 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden



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Posted April 10 2002 - 06:43 AM


Ignorance is a willful refusal to learn.

[quote]Since we are talking semantics, I'll point out that this is incorrect. "Ignorance" by itself is simply a lack of knowledge or education with no implication of willfulness. "Ignorance" is forgiveable and correctable. "Willful ignorance" is another matter entirely.

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#14 of 55 OFFLINE   Will K

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Posted April 10 2002 - 06:54 AM

I had a similar experience in Target where I observed a man condescendingly "instructing" his wife how to purchase a DVD. He advised her not to purchase the ones that had "widescreen" on the jacket. He specifically pointed out to her that sometimes it's not labled and they try to "sneak it in on ya." He then proceeded to go through the shelves trying to find a fullscreen version of Don't Say A Word. I kindly informed him he just wasn't going to find it.
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#15 of 55 OFFLINE   StephenA



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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:15 AM

People really should do research before making claims that fullscreen is better. My cousin is a J6P. He hates widescreen. He always makes fun of me for preferring widescreen. I'd show him examples on my Anchor Bay DVDs, because they show you the same capture in fullscreen and widescreen. and he'd say he wouldn't notice a difference. He even says that fullscreen you'll see a bird come into the screen, but in widescreen it suddenly appears. I have no ideas where he got this from. Anyways I gave up on him.

#16 of 55 OFFLINE   wally


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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:18 AM

Maybe it’s a math/geometry teaching problem. I work as a designer and a woman in our office came down yesterday and wanted to scan a legal document to print on a letter sized piece of paper. She just didn’t, or wouldn’t, understand that I would have to stretch the image horizontally to fill the space, or there would be white space, “bars” on the side. We discussed this almost 5 minutes! It ended with her going to her boss to decide what to do. Posted Image


#17 of 55 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:18 AM

A knowing chortle in the direction of a J6P is as good as a wink to a blind bat.
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#18 of 55 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:38 AM


If they managed to convince everyone that OAR is better, almost their entire back catalog on VHS for example would immediately be worthless.


They should WANT this to be the case. It will allow them to resell the same movie as a DVD, hefty hefty profits will ensue. I'd say it's unfair, but everybody had the right to buy a Laserdisc player back in the eighties, and nobody held a gun to their heads when they bought the VCRPosted Image
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#19 of 55 OFFLINE   Brad Eisenhauer

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:40 AM

My SO told me once that she had never noticed that the theater screen was a different shape than her TV. Anyway, it had never occurred to me before that people simply wouldn't notice the difference. I think she's used to widescreen now, but I don't know how much of that is just putting up with my preference. By the way, I watched Gattaca last night. There are some great panoramic shots in there that would totally lose their effect in fullscreen. Just beautiful stuff.
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#20 of 55 OFFLINE   Jonathan Perregaux

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:42 AM

The new special edition of The Usual Suspects missed a wonderful opportunity to further delineate the difference between a widescreen and standard presentation. When you play the movie, it puts up the two choices using two rectangles. This is a good start but... What they should have done is use an animated menu to put the lineup scene in those rectangles so you can clearly see that Kevin Pollak and Kevin Spacey are practically missing from this shot in "standard" mode. Then you'd know what you're missing.

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