All studios- please STOP calling pan and scan "FULLSCREEN"!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jesse Skeen, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'm not going to get into how I feel about pan-and-scan; one of the main selling points of DVD before it came out was that it would be able to show all movies in both widescreen and pan-and-scan, and if some people want to watch their movies that way then so be it. However, I have to first say that I have a big problem with these separate releases where one will contain only widescreen and the other only pan and scan- in addition to causing more trouble for consumers and retailers as they have to make sure they're getting the "right" version, it of course makes the preferred version harder to find at some stores and invites a 'competition' to see which format sells more. MGM has started using DVD-18s for some movies that require it to include BOTH versions on ONE disc. Perhaps DVD-18 is still not reliable enough to produce in mass quantities for several titles, but DVD-9 wasn't reliable in the beginning either but it's become commonplace now. (No, I don't care about the lack of printing on 2-sided discs as DVD was designed to be a 2-sided medium, though it seems like it would be easy to print on the entire center of the disc- "Scooby Doo" could have Shaggy on one side and Scooby on the other, for example.)
    In cases where it's just not possible to do two transfers, the "pan and scan" function of the DVD player should be used- for 1.85 movies it will crop the picture for regular TVs if people desire to watch it that way. Only on 2.35 movies does this present a problem. I have seen a few discs unintentionally use this (like Elite's Drive-In Discs) and the function DOES work, but most discs just don't use it.
    Now, regardless of whether the choice is given on the same disc or by separate releases, it is VERY misleading and confusing to have the pan-and-scan version labeled as "Fullscreen" or "Standard"- the average consumer at first glance may think that this version shows the Full screen picture in the Standard format, and the "Widescreen" version is just for people who like those funny black bars. MGM actually labeled their first DVDs as "Pan and Scan" but have changed it to "Standard", doing nobody any good. If there MUST be a pan-and-scan version for consumers to choose (and by no means whatsoever should it be the ONLY version available!) it should be labeled as such. Additionally, if two versions are available, it should be clearly indicated that the "Widescreen" version is the one that shows the movie as it was meant to be seen, and the other one shows the movie "without the black bars" but constitutes an alteration of the film in the process.
    With the advent of 16x9 TVs (which DVD was DESIGNED for from the get-go), the term "Fullscreen" is even more ridiculous, as if it is played on one of these TVs the screen is neither "filled" nor is it possible to view the full picture.
    So please, if pan-and-scan DVDs are going to keep coming out, they should be labeled TRUTHFULLY- that on a regular, 4x3 TV it will show without "the black bars", but that it is not the way the movie was intended to be seen.
     
  2. Mikko Rasinkangas

    Mikko Rasinkangas Stunt Coordinator

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    Amen to that!
     
  3. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    To really inform buyers properly, you'd need to cover all of the following situations.
    • Shown as intended (x.yz:1 aspect ratio; note special cases like multiple intended compositions for one movie (Justice League) or multiple ratios within a movie (Dr. Strangelove))
    • Butchered to fit a 4:3 TV (pan and scan)
    • Butchered to fit a 16:9 TV (pan and scan or tilt and scan)
    • Open matte (may show more of the picture than intended)
    • Recomposed for a 4:3 TV (e.g., as in the 4:3 version of A Bug's Life) (only likely for computer-animated films)
    • Recomposed for a 16:9 TV
     
  4. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    I wonder why they never use:

    -Standard Television
    -High-Definition Television
    -16:9 Widescreen
    -4:3 Crop Open-Matte
    -16:9 Crop Open-Matte
    -4:3 Pan & Scan
    -16:9 Pan & Scan

    Oh yeah, because its easier to just say Fullscreen or Fullframe on the artwork. Not only that, not all 4:3 fullscreen transfers are 4:3 pan & scan. Some are 4:3 crop open-matte, meaning you see a lot more information on the top and bottom of the frame.
     
  5. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    I guess "Specially ruined for standard televisions" wasn't considered a strong seller...[​IMG]
     
  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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  7. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    I wish they'd stop calling P&S "standard" that's even worse than "fullscreen" because standard makes it sound like that how the movies were meant to be seen
     
  8. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    How about "Modified Screen"?

    That is easy to say and conveys the right message.
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Actually Fullscreen and Widescreen are widely known, thus those who want OAR know which to get...and those who want non-OAR can get what they want.

    1.33:1 movies (Citizen Kane, Gone With The Wind, etc) are called Standard, so it would cause just more confusion. People are actually sending complaints to Warner for putting out a pan & scan Citizen Kane...they don't realize that 1.33:1 is the OAR for the film.

    So far, all dual versions (JP films, Oceans 11, etc) have wither "Widescreen Edition" or "Full Screen Edition" or something like that.

    DVD manufacturers have to use the KISS method on covers... Keep It Simple, Stupid...
     
  10. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Except the term "FULL SCREEN" isn't simple. Anchor Bay sort of gets it right since their covers say "reformatted to fit 4x3 TVs" (though the disc often shows the choices as Widescreen or Full Frame, which makes no sense, especially if you're playing it on a 16x9 TV.)
     
  11. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I think it's hard to come up with labeling that would be considered simple enough by the studios, but would still please OAR purists.

    That being said, however, the one thing that really needs to be changed is the caveat that all P&S movies have at the beginning. To start watching a movie on my widescreen TV and see "This film has been modified to fit your screen" is a slap in the face to 16:9 TV owners.

    And before all the "why are you watching P&S " posts start showing up, I don't buy P&S, but I will occasionally rent it.
     
  12. Daniel L

    Daniel L Stunt Coordinator

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    The studio have to but this disclaimer on all films due to contractual obligations...

    Dan Linzmeier
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  14. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Please call it what it is, cut screen, or partial screen.
     
  15. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I wish they'd use Modified Aspect Ratio.

    Why can't "Modified" be where Widescreen is? Fullscreen sounds like a lovely option (even better perhaps than widescreen) when it's assumed that full means all.
     
  16. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  17. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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  18. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  19. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    Call it what it is:
    CHOP 'n' CROP
     
  20. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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