Are we driving the studios to embrace Joe-6pack aka pan/scan?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric M Jones, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Lately our beloved ht forums are full of talk about the fight over Widescreen vs. Pan/Scan. It is a major problem from a film lovers point of view and the debate is wide as to how to convince studios not to throw widescreen out the window.
    I'm not attempting to offer a solution but more pose a question that I've been thinking about lately. As asked by my title: Are we driving the studios to embrace Joe-6pack aka pan/scan?
    The reason I ask has a lot to do with the newer releases. The studios are putting out many new releases that include an anamorphic widescreen picture (which was unheard of even just 2 years ago) plus some also include remastered DD mixes. It seems to me the studios have tried for a while now to put out quality product that pleases the fans. This after many years of the fans asking for these types of treatments.
    My biggest beef is: if you go to most forums the number of complaint posts against a particular title generally outweigh those in praise. "The Phantom Menace" because of its timeliness, is a good example.
    Fans cried for months to get "TPM" on disc. Lucas relented and spent many extra months to produce the disc because he wanted the fans to be pleased. I read that they spent over $4mil to produce this thing (a record I believe). So the fans finally get what they asked for and Lucasfilm as far as I can tell put their best foot forward to make a quality product. They even hired Van Ling who many consider the best DVD producer in the biz to handle the thing.
    So TPM has offically been out for a day now and I'm already tired and embarassed of the threads complaining about edge enhancement and the sound not being as good as the LD and so on.
    We are fans of film, we love widescreen because that is what the director intended us to see, but you know what? I think we're driving the studios to J6P. One thing J6P has going for him is he's easy to please all he wants is none of them black bar thinggies and he's happy.
    Now am I saying we should bend over backwards to the studios and take whatever is given without ever questioning quality? NO.
    What I am saying is maybe we should examine what we do get, and give credit where credit is due instead of the constant stream of complaining.
    Maybe then the studios would see us "widescreenies" as a "good group of ehthusiasts who want a quality product that should be listened to". Instead of the "small select group of whiners that are impossible to please so why try," I'm sure they see us as now.
    Any Thoughts?
    -EJ
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    my HT site
     
  2. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    To mangle an old phrase, many here are so concerned about seeing (or not seeing) certain trees that the forest goes unremarked on.
    There's always going to be a crisis du jour and attendant fixated ranting. A few years ago it was Divx, then it was anamorphic, then it was rental pricing, now it's pan and scan and edge enhancement. (It's *always* been DTS.) All worthy battles, to be sure (especially Divx), but they all tended to become blinders for many as well.
    I hope the studio execs who read these forums understand that we get, um, impassioned about things now and then and try to glean the useful information from the periodic fits of raving. I like to think they're generally bright folks who can do that.
    Heck, in my current job I get boatloads of semi-solicited comments from the general public. Many just need to rant and I'm a convenient target. Most have genuine questions and useful comments. I think I can distinguish between the two.
    Ryan
     
  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Actually, aren't studios driven by the almighty dollar and not by "kudos?" My purchase of their movie should be praise enough for them.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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  5. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  6. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    They used to have a format for us whinners and complainers. It was called Laserdisc. For awhile we had DVD. Maybe they should give us our own format again (!!!)? A format with sound equaling or bettering LD and a pic that challenges my HDTV monitor, 720p, maybe...? I've been watching some Japanese Muse LDs lately, wishing we could get a format with this resolution, about 700 lines. DVD is now the "new VHS". Super Bits DVDs offer marginal improvements, but vhat ze wurld neets nhow es auh real HDTV format. Atleast I do....
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    Rachael, the big disc cat! "...Mandrake, have you ever seen a commie drink water..."
    AFI Film Challenge, hey I've only got 1 to go!
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Hey, unless a transfer is truly horrible (as with Cross of Iron), you hardly ever hear me complaining... [​IMG]
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    He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
    -- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
     
  9. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I have to agree, there has been a lot of whining about technical issues rather than enjoying the movie itself. Worries about the transfer, grain in the video, no DTS, etc. which completely overshadow the fact that a given movie is enjoyable.
    Didn't we all get into this hobby because we loved movies or are we all just tech-heads who like picking apart technical specs?
    Just the opinion of a Movie lover,
    Patrick
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    My DVD Collection
    Patrick The 69th most popular name for boys according to the Social Security Administration.
     
  10. Doug Pyle

    Doug Pyle Second Unit

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    I placed TPM disk in the Panasonic A310 drive - still my first DVD player - and had a moment of recalling the amazement I had the first time I used the DVD player. When I was in college, the best (only) way to see movie classics was how I did then: present them on campus in 16mm prints. Talk about grain! "Anamorphic" meant unsqueezing the 16mm image to a dim and slightly askew widescreen rectangle. And afterward, we'd go to coffee shops and talk about what we saw with great love for the art.
    We live in a time blessed for lovers of film. The little disk is very nearly a technological miracle. I can't help thinking where on that shiny thing is all that sound and big image I enjoy in my livingroom. Thanks for reminding us to keep things in perspective.
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    • May you be happy and well!
    [Edited last by Doug Pyle on October 18, 2001 at 06:11 AM]
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Most of the John Q. Publics don't really care for or care about widescreen formats....
    I know people who stick to OAR and some who don't really like the black bars. Most people who don't really like widescreen that much will watch it if it's the only format.
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    You have to wonder if some people have an enjoyment for movies anymore. I agree that there is way too much nitpicking going on. It's not just nitpicking though as it's fine to voice your opinions about certain things you may not like about a disk, but it's the complaining and bashing against the studios, no matter what efforts they go to to bring good material out.
    I remember back when DVD started, we definitely needed to keep on top of the studios and that has helped to bring DVD to where it is now but enough s enough I think.
     
  13. Terry H

    Terry H Second Unit

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  14. LarryH

    LarryH Supporting Actor

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    I would hope that the studios would have enough knowledge of human behavior to realize that most people don't go out of their way to give complements on anything - just complaints. I think this applies to every field of human endeavor. That being said, I certainly enjoyed viwing my DVD of TPM and really appreciate all that went into it. Nevertheless, the edge enhancement clearly subtracted from the cinematic experience and I think it is appropriate to point out that it does annoy many customers. I really don't understand why it was used. Does it really improve the image on small-screen sets, or what? It just seems so unnecessary. I don't think we'll see any improvement in these issues if we don't take the opportunity to point them out.
     
  15. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    quote: I am not aware of any easy way to return a disk I am simply unhappy with.[/quote]
    You're right Terry. I have never tried to return a disc before so I was unaware of the return policies for DVDs. By "disappointed" I meant much more than just "unhappy." Personally I'd never try to return a disc unless it was defective. That's the level of disappointment I'm referring to. I don't buy a movie unless I know it's one I would like to own.
    To the discussion at hand, if I buy a car, shouldn't I be allowed to voice my concern to the manufacturer over the cup holders that don't fit the huge drink cups without being called nitpicky? Of course I didn't buy the car for the cup holders. And I wouldn't attempt to return the car and get a refund. I'm simply saying, "Hey! I like to buy soda in really big cups. I don't like holding them between my legs while I'm driving. You make excellent cars and that's why I bought it. But couldn't you please consider putting in bigger cup holders like [name of compititon] does in their cars? It sure would be nice." The manufacturer gets my money because they make a quality product that I want to own. They also get some feedback about the things I'd like to see done differently next time. Just because I didn't mention how much I like the feel of the leather seats, or the easy to read instrumentation, it doesn't mean that those things went unnoticed. After all, I bought the car and I'm enjoying it.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Bill Catherall on October 18, 2001 at 12:32 PM]
     

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