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Disney - phone drive is 99.9% in favor of Pan and Scan!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaViD Boulet, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. Nick Pudar

    Nick Pudar Agent

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    I guess I must have sounded much more pessimistic than I really am regarding the WS TV manufacturers having influence on the studios and the release of WS content. I believe that there WILL be some positive effect, but that the greater lasting leverage in is educating the consumer -- since the purchasers of WS DVDs will be listened to by the studios.
    Having said that, since there is a positive effect, I will gladly join the letter writing campaign to the manufacturer CEOs to educate them as well. The point they need to make to the studios is that for every WS Television sold, XXX number of DVDs are bought by that customer per year. (Anyone have any idea what that number might be???) And, given the availability of WS content, and the growing awareness of the superiority of WS (due to our continued efforts), more WS DVDs means more WS TVs being sold -- a nice mutually reinforcing virtuous cycle (as depicted for you systems thinkers here ).
    Nick
     
  2. Larry Gardner

    Larry Gardner Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with not telling them where you heard it from. That seems somewhat a little like censorship - which basically that is what this is all about. Disney is censoring content from their DVDs, whether it be 'politically correct' content or visual content. Even though it is their product and can do what they see fit, we also have the option to not purchase or accept it.

    They seem to feel that OAR backers should NOT be considered part of the 'Family' viewing audience. Well I beg to differ. I have gotten all my family members involved in LD (back when) and now also DVDs.

    It's funny. I remember when Disney was doing LD and had a visual on Pete's Dragon, showing how the OAR kept Helen Reddy and Ollie (I believe that is what the dragon's name was) in frame. Another scene was with Helen Reddy and Mickey Rooney and the dragon. In the latter scene, Rooney was completely cut out - just his voice was heard.

    I also caught a peculiar scene in StepMom that was on last week. Never watched the film myself, I caught the end of the movie. I noticed that in a somewhat touching scene at the end, Susan Sarandon asks Julia Roberts to join in the family Xmas picture. So she sets up the camera and joins Susan on the couch. Just as the picture was being taken, Julia looks down to her side and smiles. This of course was a Fullframe version being shown. Of course, what you do not see is that Susan has wrapped her arm around Julia in a final moment of acceptance as the new woman, mother and wife. Without that one little scene, most people would not understand why Julia is smiling. Only OAR gives you that.

    Back to the topic. When I called Disney they asked me where I heard about this. I told them that a sales clerk at my local BLOCKBUSTER told me what was going on. SO I told her - BLOCKBUSTER! This actually did happen - I overheard a conversation going on. I already knew about it - but since she wanted a name - I gave her one.

    I also had my family call. Some told that their brother told them - others told Disney that they heard it at their local Best Buy.

    Let's get these retailers working for us for a change!

    Keep up the fight!
     
  3. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Larry, the name of the dragon is Elliot, not Ollie. [​IMG]
    When I talked to Disney I mentioned several sites when she asked me "where on the internet did you hear about this?"; I put HTF far down the list because I recognized that this "lumping together" was going to occur.
    But Larry's got the right idea: say you didn't hear it on the internet at all. You heard it in electronic stores, at work, from a friend, at a wedding, at the local pub, at a little league soccer game [​IMG] . Give them the fear that this is spreading off the internet, and that Joe Six Pack is catching on to the differences.
    Nick: I liked the "snowball effect" thing. [​IMG]
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    EXACTLY. After all...we *are* friends...aren't we? [​IMG]
    BTW, 2 more things we can do for those of us who are super-charged:
    1. Write to other HT magazines, editorials, and HT websites and ask them to print something urging HT advocates everywhere to email and call Disney to do what we're doing (I'm still shocked that even after sending 3 emails to Peter, DVDfile.com still says absolutely nothing urging DVD lovers to contact Disney!!!). The wider the word gets spread the more people who will call.
    2. Write the managers and heads of Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City and tell them you're a customer excited about buying your new WS 16x9 TV (or saving for one) and that you care very much about having your DVDs preserve their proper shape by the use of the widescreen format.
    I hope everyone realizes that in addition to the direct-calls Disney received from soccer moms complaining about black bars, that Disney, Columbia, Fox, and Warner all were told by these large retailers (Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City) that consumers don't like letterboxing and instead prefer P/S format. In fact, many of these retailers have gone so far as to tell the studios they don't even want to *carry* WS material at all...and would like only P/S formatted DVDs.
    Take heed my friends, this is the other root of the problem. We need to let these retailers know, just like we're letting Disney know, how we feel. Any idea why we had to fight Warner for a WS Willy Wonka, why Fox is re-releasing many DVDs in P/S format and why Columbia is now releasing P/S only discs?
    You got it. Write those retailers and let them know you're fed up.
    Enough is enough. This is war.
    Let's win.
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Well I think we're already seeing hte effects of all these P&S releases. In the Sunday Adverts I'm seeing the caption in small print reading "Also available in Widescreen" So already WS is starting to sound like anything than the norm.
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    It looks like my previous comment/suggestion that Disney should use some of their famous cartoon characters to explain the benefits of widescreen has led a few other people to start thinking of possible scripts for such a presentation. I have written one which I want to fine tune before I send it to Disney. Not that I think they would use any script I might prepare, but I want to ensure that it makes all of the points I want it to make (black bars don't hide anything; reduces camera movements; widescreen TV-ready, etc). Before I send my e-mail to Disney, I may also want to post it here to get your comments and suggestions. The only problem is that it may be somewhat lengthy. It's amazing how much typing is involved in a few minutes of dialogue!

    Steve K.
     
  8. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    If they think the only people complaining about this are a bunch of internet geeks who've heard the advance announcements, I suggest contacting them again once the discs have hit the shelves. Right now they're only hearing from the people who've checked the specs for the forthcoming releases; they have yet to hear anything from the people who don't check the internet for such things but will find out when they go into the store to pick the discs up and find out then that they're pan and scan. When "Max Keeble" arrives in stores I'll check the package just to make sure it's pan and scan, and then give Disney a call and let them know they've just lost a sale.
     
  9. Dwayne

    Dwayne Supporting Actor

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    Made the call and filed my complaint. Have yet to write an email.
     
  10. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Just called Disney on this important issue, and talked to Regina. I made it explicitly clear that I would NOT buy any DVD that wasn't released in it's OAR.

    I told her that I heard about Snow Dogs, Muppet Treasure Island, and a Muppet Christmas Carol only being a 1.33 release. After looking up the titles in her computer, she told me that Snow Dogs is to be released in 1.33 only. "Well, that's one more DVD I won't buy from you."

    When asked where I heard this I simply said a friend from work told me about it.

    NO OAR = NO SALE.

    Will start writing up the e-mail now.
     
  11. Chris Lock

    Chris Lock Second Unit

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    > I am going to attempt to write 3 psuedo-screenplays for Disney:
    Those are all great ideas.
    Tell them you heard about this at WalMart, on the way home from picking up the kids at soccer practice. [​IMG]
     
  12. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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  13. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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  14. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Just sent an e-mail to Disney and made my call last week, so I did my part.
     
  15. Mark_Mac

    Mark_Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    I called and left a complaint and also sent a email with the same concerns to:
    [email protected]
     
  16. Jeff Koch

    Jeff Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    I just received a reply from Disney:

    Jeff,

    Thank you for your email.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns* with us.* Your comments will be passed along to our Marketing Department for their future consideration.

    ------------------------------------

    Dear friends at Disney:

    Please retain the Original Aspect Ratio (OAR) of Disney movies on dvd. Retaining the OAR maintains the integrity of the director's vision, that is by keeping the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, we see the entire picture, not just a pan and scan version of it. As a film lover and collector, I want the very best presentation of a motion picture and seeing the film in it's OAR is of the utmost importance to me. Again, thank you so much for considering my request.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Koch
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Thanks Jeff and others.

    Let me just say that "I've heard" that we've been making quite a point over at the Mouse. The execs are taking notice. Your committment to contact Disney HAS made a change and IS continuing to make a difference with every call/email. Things at Disney take time and move slowly so it may not be instantaneous results here (though I REALLY want a 16x9 Muppet Treasure Island out of this), but I'll be sure to pass on any "actual" results as soon as I know.

    Now don't forget...step 2 is to get some friends and family to do the same. We can double or tripple our voice if we each get just one or two other people to call/email Disney with our "widescreen" plea!

    go TEAM!
     
  18. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Is there any update as to the numbers of pro oar calls to disney vs the pro p&s calls. I bet it is no llonger 99.9% pro p&s though.
     
  19. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I made my call to Disney just now and spoke to a young dude named Robert. He never asked me where I heard any information but I did tell him that I've been a long-time Disney fan and have many classics on DVD & even LD. I informed him of what titles I would not be purchasing due to the evil that is P&S.
    I e-mailed Disney over the weekend. In case anyone cares, here's what it said:
     
  20. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    what is this Disney you speak of???
    sounds like a Mickey Mouse operation to me [​IMG]
    ps. I hope no one feels content just stopping at Disney. If their phones are ringing out against OAR who's to say other studios aren't receiving the same type of one sided complaints. Don't become complacent the time is now to be proactive. Why create numerous different petitions to studios when you feel you have been wronged. Why do we not create one BIG master petition that says we will not buy/rent a release unless it is OAR and copy/send it to all studios, retailers, and rental outlets alike.
     

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