BABY DOLL - why MAR?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark B, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Saranac Lake, NY
    Real Name:
    Mark
    I'm really surprised that WB has chosen to go full frame on the DVD of BABY DOLL. Does anyone know why? This film and THE BAD SEED are two of my favorites from '56 and both were released this way, much to my frustration and disappointment.
     
  2. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    probably because that's the OAR for those films? if it is, thats the correct viewing of those two films.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,596
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Judging by the screenshots on DVD Beaver, some of them looks fine at 1.66:1. Others look a bit tight. I'm guessing WB wanted to be safe and keep off the mattes. Good decision since too much matting can wreck compositions worse than keeping them off.

    I wouldn't call it MAR, since it's probably just unmatted.

    Using STMPE specs (with allowance for cropping on all 4 sides for regular projection), here's a GIF showing matted and unmatted using DVD Beaver's screenshots:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,533
    Likes Received:
    1,357
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Real Name:
    Mark Probst

    Open-matte is still MAR!

    And personally I think it's the other way around - Leaving the mattes off is what wrecks the composition.
     
    Brent Reid likes this.
  5. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0

    But what if it was intended to be full frame? You do know there are many films that are meant to be full frame?
     
  6. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    But... 1.66:1 is the ratio that directors would shoot for when they didn't really want to be shooting in widescreen. So it is possible they were composing for Academy, but protecting for 1.66:1 because some cinemas would matte the image to that ratio. Warner have been through this before, they copped some criticism from internet reviews for matting The Wrong Man to 1.85:1, maybe they have started a new policy of leaving more matted widescreen films open matte?

    More likely they have extensive documentation on the production of the film that specified the image was composed for Academy.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    33,003
    Likes Received:
    8,066
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    As others have stated, I always thought that this film was always meant to be shown full-frame, but I can see why 1.66:1 presentation would work too. If the film was shown in the theaters at 1.85:1 than I prefer the full-frame ratio. Also, I wonder what went into Warners thinking in releasing this dvd full-frame when they stated they would release films like Giant as a 1.66:1 anamorphic presentation?



    Crawdaddy
     
  8. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Post 1854, hardly anyone was shooting for academy aperture as most theaters were showing 1:85 (sometimes 1:75 in large citires).
    Bad Seed is full frame on dvd merely because it uses an old laser transfer.
    Prints of baby Doll I've seen were all hard matted at 1:75
     
  9. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This title was projected at 1.85 when I originally ran it. If WB truly just opened the mattes, I don't have a real problem with it. But then I have a system that will easily allow me to project it at 1.85, or 1.66, or 1.33.

    Ted
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    5,610
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino

    Well, Matthew Brady was still composing some of his stuff for 1.37:1 as late as the battle of Gettysburg, but he was more the exception than the rule. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    357
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Many films that have been shot open matte intended for wide-screen have had their vertical composition ruined by the telecine operator and, they are not to be blamed, assuming that every transfer has to be matted equally at the top and bottom. The SMPTE film chart used in every telecine facility, is intended as an accurate guide for telecine operators whose talent is with film grading rather than with picture composition.
    There is this one issue with matting flat films, where there is no guide in the form of mattes on the element to guide the operator to achieving accurate vertical composition.
    Since matting of flat films for video started in the early nineties many films have suffered from mis-framing. Eg: matting equally top and bottom on titles, which shouldn't be, and resulted in the image sitting too low behind the mattes.
    I have been unable to find any clear cut rules on how camera operators in the early years of wide screen vertically composed their films. It seems obvious to me, upon the evidence of viewing many films open matte, that the matte guide in the camera view finder had at least two ways of shooting. First, the bottom matte line remains unchanged and the top line varies according to the varying aspect ratio.
    Second, both top and bottom matte lines vary according to the varying aspect ratio.
    I have supervised several telecine sessions of films exposed full frame intended for wide-screen and matting equally top and bottom of some titles would have met with disastrous results. Some titles are a mixture of the two and have to be carefully manipulated from shot to shot.
    The 'bottom line' is when you get the film up on the telecine the film tells you how it needs to be matted.
    The "Baby Doll" screen captures presented here, mostly, is clear evidence of an example (emphasis on headroom only) of a title that to me only requires matting at the top. The accurate aspect ratio is another matter and, provided we are viewing the entire frame, matting at anything from 1.66 through 1.85 down from the top would be acceptable.
    A few years ago I assembled a demonstration video and was able to show it to a, which I prefer to remain unnamed, reputable telecine department. This was a result of several of their titles which were telecine'd in the nineties and mis-framed. Up to now I do not know if my demonstration made any sense to them.
    The other unexplained thing is that regardless of how the films are matted the titles company seems to stick to a standard of vertically centering the credits.
    I have also encountered the improper matting on many VistaVision titles, which is clear evidence that many of them should only be matted at the top only. For example, on the laserdisc of 'Strategic Air Command" the first reel at the point of the theatrical changeover it is mis-framed and at the head of the next reel the framing has evidence of being corrected, with no effort to correct the previous reel. Often, if the operators can see a problem in a close-up of a character they will only raise the image until the top of the head is just visible which is still not correct. The approximate point of reference I have found in a close-up is the area between the nose and the upper lip. Line this up with the center point of the monitor and generally the image is centered correctly.
    This problem still continues today and seems to be too subtle of a problem for studios to be concerned about unless you have a severe case like "Back To The Future".
     
    Brent Reid likes this.
  12. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very true. It the theater the projectionist can easily compensate for these problems. A simple twist on the framing knob is all it takes. Vistavision IB Tech prints actually carried a pair of framing indicators that were repeated twice at the beginning of each reel. This eliminated any and all ambiguities where proper framing was concerned. See this: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/wide...rame_guide.htm

    Ted
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,596
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    http://www.shillpages.com/movies/badseed1956dvd.jpg

    Looks like a new transfer to me.

    At this point, I doubt WB would misframe a film after all the flack they've gotten. They probably just found some documentation that the film was better at Academy than 1.66:1.
     
  14. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,799
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What was The Bad Seed originally shot at?


    As someone else said, I don't mind Warner releasing it like this at all. I'd rather have the extra bit of information, as most of us with HT's can easily project it at 1.66 anyway if that's indeed the intended composition. I'd rather Warner stay on the safe side. Though I do admit that the 1.66:1 framing looks a bit more cinematic. If you look at the bathroom shot in particular, there seems to be a fair ammount of real estate in the upper frame. I certainly wouldn't call this MAR in any case..
     

Share This Page