All studios: You can solve the whole OAR education issue

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Ogilvie, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. Jim Ogilvie

    Jim Ogilvie Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi!

    Let me preface this by saying that I am very pleased with my DVD library, and have no complaints whatsoever about the material to date. My message here is to see what can be done to help us get typical DVD consumers and the general public into the 21st century.

    Many of the general public believe that a widescreen presentation of a film is bad, due to the "black bars" that run on the top and bottom of the screen. Until I was educated as to why widescreen is almost always the best format for presenting a film, then I thought "full screen" was best also. Darn, those bars are annoying!

    I believe this problem is not difficult to solve. Studios could quite easily create a five minute video segment (call it "What are these black bars for?" or something like that). This clip could appear on the main menu of any widescreen movie you put on the market on DVD (or bury it in the extra menu if you must, but the main menu screen would be ideal).

    The clip would be designed to do nothing more than educate the viewer as to the benefit of the OAR presentation, of which there are many. The clip could also contain a little education as to how easy it is to get used to the black bars if you turn down the lights on your living room, etc.

    I expect this would go a LONG way to not only minimizing complaints and returns of DVD movies, but it would have the added benefit of educating the public and making them more accepting of widescreen in general.

    For the studios, the long term benefit would be a greater demand for catalog titles in the future when widescreen hardware becomes more popular, demanded and accepted in the mainstream.

    There are already examples of clips on DVD that do this, indirectly. Leonard Nimoy included an explanation of widescreen/full screen on one of this commentaries on a Star Trek movie that he directed.

    In any case, this could be made cheaply, and included on all of your widescreen DVD's. The general public would be educated, and would gain a new appreciation for the movies they see.

    thanks for listening!

    Jim
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The studios know people want widescreen.

    The stores and the customers need to know it!
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Jim,
    I admire your enthusiasm for wanting to help out. [​IMG]
    This idea is, I believe, the absolute best way to get the mass consumers on board with widescreen. Most really don't know what it is, and thus don't like it. They therfore must be taught.
    Putting such a feature on the main menu page of your dvd's really would be much better than hiding it in some obscure, hard to find corner of the second disc IMO. If bit space doesn't permit this, put it on the main menu page on the second disc, when one is provided.
    Bottom line is you can't go on supporting this age old, and vile practice that was created decades ago. The future is here, it's time to move forward. Take charge, and let's start phasing out pan & scan and fullscreen. Both have outstayed their welcome in the world of home video.
    Undoing many decades of damage to films due to p&s and fullscreen will not be easy, but it must be done sooner or later. It starts with all of you.
     
  4. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    but there's one problem. the studios don't care. [​IMG]
    there are promos here and there, but they've never tried to really market this concept (except MGM who at least have a graphic on the inlay card, but this needs to be up there on the screen, it's too out of the way to have any impact). they don't even need to make a promo, just a static image explaining this concept alongside the copyright notices or before the film. it would take absolutely no effort whatsoever.
    these kind of ideas have been suggested for years, but as you can see, nothing's been done. they just don't care. that's our real problem. get a studio insider who cares and who has some weight and maybe we've got a fighting chance. but as is, it's a very one sided battle.
     
  5. Jim Ogilvie

    Jim Ogilvie Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Andy...
    I think studio people are business people, and business people care about ensuring strength in their bottom line to ensure longevity. There are several ways to accomplish this.
    First, any overhead costs that can be cut go right to the bottom line. If a typical consumer buys a widescreen movie on DVD, and ends up being convinced that widescreen is the preferred delivery format, then that may prevent them from returning that DVD. It might also slow down, reduce, and one day eliminate the need for studios to produce pan and scan DVD's completely. If this is the case, they can theoretically increase the number of unique catalog titles that can be produced in a years worth of DVD resources, and they have less stock issues to deal with (i.e. two versions of the same DVD in two different formats).
    The studios should be able to see that convincing the public that OAR is the *best* way to go is in their own best financial interest. Aside from the points I mentioned, heightened awareness of OAR will accelerate the acceptance of widescreen hardware, and people will want movies to play on these widescreen TV's (dumping their VHS prerecorded libraries). After all, isn't that what WE all did when we got into DVD (and continue to do to this very day)?
    After some thought on it, a very clever 5 minute clip on this could actually be really fun to watch. I imagine it starting with a group of people sitting down in a movie theatre, and just before the film starts, a work crew comes in and saws off the left and right hand side of the huge cinema screen (giving it the shape of a standard 4x3 TV set) ...then the movie plays, and a lot of movie is cut off, the audience gets upset, etc..you get the idea.
    Then the spiel could continue explaining how the studio has made every effort to bring the complete cinema experience into the home, and show the widescreen image restored in the theatre, and then superimposed on a standard 4x3 set...showing why its necessary to have the "bars" at the top and bottom. Anyways, I've been having fun playing the idea around in my mind. The studios could end up looking like heroes to the newly educated public watching this "real" cinema experience.
    It could be good. [​IMG]
    Jim
    p.s. sorry, my messages seem to go on and on.
     
  6. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    Hi Jim,

    i absolutely agree with your arguments. going all-widescreen is in the long term better for the studios, but my sceptism stems from the lack of action on the part of said studios.

    if this is really an issue they "care" about, why no juice ? where's the message that pops up at the start of every widescreen presentation to say explain them black bars. something along the lines of "in order to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio, this movie has been letterboxed to retain all of the directors vision. the black bars are a by-product of this process and are normal". i can't believe much investment is needed to implement something like this, hence my sceptism. they have the power, just not the will it seems. i can only interpret this as "they don't care". i wish they could prove me otherwise.
     

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