DVD covers - film specs & details...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MarcoBiscotti, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,799
    Likes Received:
    1
    Am I the only one that thinks that ALL DVD releases should include the exact encoded aspect ratio as featured on the disc on the back cover?

    I know that certain studios, specifically WB and Fox do this on occassion when presenting a classic or higher revered film that seems significant to that studio's output, but for convenience sake, I really wish that ALL releases offered such information as it is really annoying for those of us with projector setups, to have to hop onto IMDB everytime we want to screen a movie!

    Who else agrees with me that this should be a standard rule of thumb. It doesn't take much to print the aspect ratio of a film and could be quite easily and subtely placed at the bottom of the back cover beside the rating and copywrite information (which is far less pertinent and doubtful that anyone's ever read).

    I really think studio's should start considering this. Not everyone watches their DVD's on a standard fixed screen monitor and it would make viewing for those of us who don't, so much easier and pleasant...
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,232
    Likes Received:
    438
    Location:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    i have wondered why wb almost never prints the ar on the back.

    usually it says something like "to preserve the origional aspect ratio of its theatrical exhibition" or something like that.
     
  3. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marco, I second your suggestion wholeheartedly. But I would also advise caution about using the IMDb as a reliable guide to movie technical specs, because the site is riddled with errors in this regard. It's fine if you're looking for the filmography of a particular actor or technician, but go looking for a list of (say) anamorphic Panavision films, and the site simply falls apart. On the other hand, their aspect ratio details may be generally OK (I haven't really checked extensively), but - like most other movie sources - they don't seem to care whether a movie was photographed anamorphically or Super 35, and their reliability suffers as a consequence.

    Anyway, you probably know this already. Just my friendly two cents' worth. [​IMG]
     
  4. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Messages:
    4,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paramount's DVD covers are the worst, as they just have the "widescreen" and "black bars" disclaimer on the back, without disclosing the AR. At least with WB, you can approximate the AR depending on the disclaimer (if it says "matted" it's a 1.66/1.85 AR, if it says "scope" it's a 2.20, 2.40, ar).
     
  5. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,799
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well for IMDB, I generally check the DVD specs rather than the film specs itself. Even if the aspect ratio is misrepresented, at least I'll be watching the proper encoded ratio of the disc which is about as best I can hope for...

    But yes, I'm tired of the "original theatrical presentation" or "widescreen enhanced" printings on the back covers... why not just reveal the damn ratio so that we can set up our hardware according?!
     
  6. WillG

    WillG Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    133
    I remember that Martin Blythe, formerly of Paramount Home Video, one stated that the reason that they do not state the acutal aspect ratio is that the numbers can often be "confusing" or something like that. I believe the quote was made in the midst of the debate of an A.R. on a certain film (I can't remember which though)
     
  7. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    3,481
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    NJ
    Real Name:
    Ray
    I guess the ratios can be confusing. I was in a store and saw a couple looking at the back of Pirates of the Caribbean and saying, "'Widescreen 2.35:1 Enhanced for 16x9 TVs?!' What the heck does that mean? I just want to watch the movie!" They put the DVD down and walked away.
     
  8. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,799
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well they can simply print 1:85:1 or whatever ratio seperately at the very bottom of the cover next to the rating and avoid any confusion. No need for any accompanying text, all I want is the ratio printed somewhere on the cover. People who don't know any better would probably assume it's a serial number or something insignificant to the release. Or if it's such a concern... simply print it on the actual disc itself in small text. Or the insert... though most studios have all but abandoned these. As long as it indicates SOMEWHERE so that those of us with setups which require customization of hardware and screen ratio do not have to get up and leave the room and log onto the internet before watching every other DVD they buy. Especially since sometimes you're tired and just want to toss in a light flick to fall asleep to on the couch. It would just be so much more convenient and simplify things to a significant extent. Again, the studios can stick with whatever they are printing now... 16x9 enhanced for widescreen... preserving the original theatrical presentation... no need to change anything. BUT, somewhere on the back cover, there is surely room to print out 4 simple digits that would make the lives of us home theater enthusiasts marginally simpler. If the studios could regulate entire paragraphs at the bottom of each cover to details pertaining to copyright laws and legal infringements that I guarantee you no consumer in the history of the format has ever actually sat down and read through, than there's no reason why this pertinent information should not be listed...
     
  9. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think it would be perfect. Not because I need it to set up hardware or anything but sometimes I feel like watching a certain AR. don't ask why.

    Or when I am explaining the different ratios to someone and want to put in a DVD as an example well I can see right on the box rather than go on memory.

    Personnaly I think they do it to avoid the possibility of putting an AR (like say 2:35) and having us internet nerds (guilty) of complaining it was 2:20 or 2:40 in theatres and that is what we want on DVD!

    this way well, it is what it is.
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,799
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah but someone will figure it out eventually and us internet nerds will complain none the less.

    My friends just passed by 15 minutes ago and I went to pop in a disc to audition my setup. I wanted to show off the pq and audio also so I took out the ALaddin Platinum Edition and was pleasantly surprised to find the a.r. listed accordingly on the back of the slip cover. There's no real reason NOT to include it.

    If they're worried about confusion... place it in a random isolated section of the back cover without any text attached or associated in small print.

    If they're worried that consumers will jump down their shirts because the transfer does not mirror the exact framing and geometry of the original film... give us proper o.a.r. transferts every time!!

    It's just convenient for so many reasons... not to mention that the DVD format allows so many people to be introduced to a world of cinema they've never known before. It's film school in a box. And this is an important piece of information that should be made available so that people can familiarize with it.
     
  11. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many of my AnimEigo LaserDiscs include a little box of text on the jacket, reading [e.g.] "Photographed a 1.66:1; Composed for 1.66:1; Transferred at 1.66:1". That example is off a disc put out in 1993! If they could do it 12 years ago, the major studios can do it today. There's no reason why they shouldn't, and every reason why they should.
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just like Ingredients are supposed to be put on food labels, DVD specs should be included on DVD cases. I mean they've got enough damn FBI warnings on there, the least they could do (instead of threatening us) is tell us what we're getting.

    The one phrase that always bugged me was the "Letterboxed" line. Is it non-anamorphic letterboxed or anamorphic letterboxed?????But considering they don't give us internet nerds what we want in the first place (i.e. correct AR), then why should they care if we complain if it's wrong? [​IMG]
     

Share This Page