Do children like widescreen?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joshua Clinard, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I already know the answer, but I want to show some numbers to the studios. I am therefore going to post the following survey on several high-traffic children's sites. I will then share the results with the studios. These are my questions so far. If you have any suggestions, please add them.
    1. How old are you?
    • 8 to 12 years old
    • 13 to 15 years old
    • 16 to 20 years old
    • Older than 20
    2. How many movies do you watch at home per month?
    • Two or less
    • 3 to 5
    • 6 to 10
    • More than 10
    3. After finding out about the difference between Widescreen and Pan & Scan here and here, would you prefer to watch movies in Widescreen or Pan and Scan?
    • I prefer Widescreen.
    • I don't care.
    • I prefer Pan & Scan.
    4. Does your family own a DVD player?
    • We own one DVD player
    • We own more than one DVD player
    • We plan to buy a DVD player this year
    • We do not plan on buying a DVD player
    This is the post that is going to be on the web sites.
    The studio's want to know if children like Widescreen. Widescreen is when the full width of a movie picture is shown on your television. Pan & Scan is when the sides of the picture are removed so that it will fill your screen. If you would like to find out more about the advantages of widescreen, click here and here. If your computer is too slow to load the above demos, click here instead.
    I have created this short survey, in order to find out if children like widescreen. Click here to take the survey.
    Let me know what you guys think!
     
  2. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    My only comment is that the survey only mentions wide-screen and pan & scan, and doesn't ask about open matte or films that are originally 1.33:1.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You need to add an explanation in simple language of what P&S is. Many are not familiar with the term
     
  4. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Paul - I think we're trying to ascertain whether the black bars bother children, as opposed to image composition.

    Again, I refer to the acronym K.I.S.S.
     
  5. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    Don't cloud the issue with semantics....
    Most people don't understand open matte films. They understand pan & scan because that's the way films have been presented to them.
    The only thing I think he should do to his survey is MAYBE have it say something like "Modified to fit your screen" which means something to much more people than pan & scan.
    ANd the real kicker question that I've not seen asked in these kind of surveys(except the little one I did last year in which that was the ONLY question):
    Would you buy a movie that you really wanted if it was only available as seen in theaters(usually widescreen)???
    Would you buy a movie that you really wanted if it was only available modified from theatrical presentation to fit regular televisions??
    In my opinion, that is all that matters from the business side of it.
     
  6. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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  7. Pat K

    Pat K Stunt Coordinator

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    Whats the willy wonka fiasco???
     
  8. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    Regarding the Willy Wonka fiasco,
    http://www.widescreenadvocate.com/victories.shtml
    Thanks for the comments guys. Thier are two links in the 3rd question that explain what widescreen/pan & scan is.
    I will consider adding questions that William mentioned, but remember, the intended audiance is 8-16 with a few older ones that visit the sites.
     
  9. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    When Warner released Willy Wonka as a special edition, they did so with a full-frame transfer only. Only after a petition from thousands of angry fans did they release it widescreen.
    The point I'm trying to make is that even if we show the studios solid numbers that children would rather watch widescreen than pan and scan, that won't stop them from trying to give us open matte presentations. They're logic would be "Well, if more is better...let's give them more!").
    Maybe I'm being paranoid...and I still think the whole survey is a great idea. I think kids are much more used to widescreen and letterboxing, and it doesn't bother them in the same way it bothers older audiences raised on 4:3 television.
     
  10. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    Paul: Maybe phrase the question so that it asks whether they'd beg their parents for the movie depending on the format or something....

    or how about a question that asks if their parents wouldn't buy them a DVD because it was WS only....Even though the kid wanted it.....
     
  11. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    Disney's new policy is to release movies which have a mostly "10 and under" audience appeal in Pan&Scan only. Their market research shows that parents and young children greatly prefer the Pan&Scan format. I say, they just don't understand the concept.
    But, nevertheless we'll be getting stuff like "Cheetah" (a movie I like very much, and gee, I'm over 10) in Pan&Scan only. Same goes for Muppet Treasure Island. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    All I'll say is that if "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" and "Honey, I Blew Up The Kid" get P&S treatment when they are announced offically, then we better start a petition demanding kid films deserve Widescree. And they better not give us crap that families prefer it that way. That is a load of bullshit. We are purist who want to see films in OAR. The fact that cable channels like HBO and Showtime can show their TV shows widescreen and not their movies is another point of saying that there needs to be a half hour specail about the difference between Widescreen and P&S. I must admit, I can't si through "Sleeping Beauty" on television or video because it is a widescreen animated feature shot in Technirama 70. All I will say is this, just like I said with the "Honey..." films, "Sleeping Beauty" better play in widescreen as well or else I will scream!
     
  13. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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  14. Cynthia

    Cynthia Stunt Coordinator

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    I stuck Chicken Run (widescreen) in my DVD player to watch with my nieces (6 and 8) and nephew (10) when they were over one day. When the movie started, they said "we don't like the black bars." I asked them why and they told me the black bars were covering up part of the movie. I quickly explained to them that wasn't the case and then they didn't mind. They like my DVD player, but my sister doesn't want to rebuy their huge collection of kids' VHS movies. [​IMG]
    I think there are those who just want their screens to be filled and those who think widescreen cuts off part of the movie. And children seem to be in that latter pack.
    I think you might want to quickly sum up in your post that widescreen allows the entire picture to be shown, while pan and scan cuts off the sides to make the movie a square shape, like regular TVs.
    Most kids are going to participate in your survey regardless of whether they've read those pages (which, by the way, take too long to load on a 56k modem - short attention spans, remember [​IMG]), and I don't think you want them to post when they're uneducated about the benefit of widescreen.
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    All I have to say is this:
    (My then-3-year-old enjoying Superman - The Movie in widescreen)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I think you should add this question also.

    Do you think DVDs should include the version of movies as they were originally shot/filmed by the director?
     
  17. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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    My five-year-old will come in the living room while the wife and I are watching a DVD presented in OAR and he'll ask: "are you watching a movie?" - as if to know the difference between a movie and regular TV because it's widescreen.
    Since he was born, he's seen movies we've played from DVD and laserdisc, both for adults (but appropriate) and children, and they've always been widescreen versions if that's how they were originally presented. Stuff like Toy Story, Lion King LD, Lady and the Tramp.
    Never once has he complained about the black bars.
    Joel
     
  18. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Hold the phone here

    Muppet Treasure Island is P&S??? DAMNIT!!!!!!
     
  19. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    My six year old niece says "its not a real DVD, unless it's got black lines on the top & bottom". Yeah!
     
  20. Clint B

    Clint B Second Unit

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    I think this is a great idea, but I do have some comments from a scientific, research questionnaire standpoint. If the goal here is to get a relatively unbiased, scientific poll, then I think there are some problems. From what I remember from my undergrad social research methods classes, one should not ask "loaded questions." It may be construed that including "I prefer widescreen" AND "Black bars do not bother me" as answer choices to the same question would be leading the respondent to give a particular answer; therefore, a "loaded question" is asked. I also think that asking whether or not someone prefers films to be in the format "shot by the original director" MIGHT be considered a "loaded question." I'm not trying to knock this idea--I think it's a great one and I do believe that once children AND adults are educated, they will see that widescreen is the ONLY way to watch most movies that have been made since the 1950's if they want to see the whole picture. I'm just trying to look at it from a scientific standpoint for a minute. Thanks for your time.
     

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