Columbia, stop removing burned-in subtitles

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mikko Rasinkangas, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Mikko Rasinkangas

    Mikko Rasinkangas Stunt Coordinator

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    You have started to remove original burned in subtitles and replace them with player generated subtitles. This is wrong. Stop this practice immediately.

    For example: “Bad Boys 2”. In the theatrical print, the subtitles (names of locations etc.) are written to the screen one character at a time accompanied with sound effects (typewriter-like effect). From the dvd, the original subtitles have been replaced with player generated subtitles and the whole text appears at the same time. And the sound effects have been removed.

    At least. if the subtitles are highly stylized, they should be left alone.

    I’m now on the fence whether I’ll buy the “Bad Boys 2” dvd or not.
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I won't buy any film that's had this done to it. But it already looks like Columbia's had serious issues lately, this is just one of them.
     
  3. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    MGM has been doing this as well. Player generated subtitles are hideous. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Bill,

    Agreed. They just look BAD. Even on a good player the are bulky and distracting. Bad Boys 2 had a motif going that you have destroyed, according to Mikko (I have not seen the disc) and if he's correct, this is very dissapointing.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    MGM, in my experience, is by far the worst in this department. They ruined a great scene in "Annie Hall" with this. (There's a scene with Diane Keaton and Woody Allen chatting causually, and the joke of the scene is that their chat is subtitled to show what they really mean, as opposed to what they're saying. It's replaced by a player-generated subtitle, which in itself is annoying. However, what makes it really bad is if you watch it with the English subtitles on, the subtitles only show what the characters are speaking and elimates the original "thought" subtitles that made the scene.)
     
  6. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Just to clarify here...

    Bad Boys II still has the "hard" subtitles for location cues. They are typed out on screen with the accompanying sound effect. However, during one scene, "soft" subtitles appear to provide the English/French translations for international dialogue.

    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle completely removes all hard subtitles and replace them with soft subtitles PLUS keeps the accompanying sound effect.
     
  7. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Definitely. I don't know that this is a problem limited to Columbia. At least in r4, it's a problem among many studios. The Star Trek films use subtitles. The LOTR films use subtitles. This Is Spinal Tap mostly uses subtitles for captions, but there are a couple of burnt-in captions remaining in the film. Catch Me If You Can, The Terminator, etc, all use subtitle streams when they should use burnt in text. It is awful and it has to stop. Please.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind quite so much if they went to at least match the subtitle stream to the original. For example, in LOTR, Elvish dialogue is translated in quite a nice font that looks appropriate. The Arial Narrow replacement, while not as awful as some other subtitle fonts out there, is nowhere near as good. If they had used the original font, I wouldn't have minded.

    The subtitle stream is flexible. Just look at the old Ghostbusters disc, which used the subtitle stream for MST3K style moving silhouettes against the screen. Surely it would be possible to use a slightly different, more exotic font when appropriate, or have letters appear one at a time if that is what happened in the movie.

    So, my view is, burnt in subtitles are always prefereable. But, if there is some very good reason for removing them, please at least use a subtitle presentation that reflects what happened in cinema. Josh's example from Annie Hall is a perfect representation of what happens when insufficient thought is given to this issue.
     
  8. WillG

    WillG Producer

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