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Educating about Widescreen.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Bardon, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

    Jul 4, 2000
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    I was going through the Die Hard disc the other night, and saw the "Why Widescreen" segment, and thought "Hey, ALL DVDs should have something like that". Not only is it interesting, but it could help educate anyone new to widescreen about its benefits (I know that I once was).
    Got to thinking about what else could be done aout it though, and here were a couple of thoughts:
    -Stop referring to "Pan & Scan" as "standard".
    -Replace the "This film has been modified from its original version-it has been formatted to fit your screen" qualifier with something like "This film has been hodified from its original version-Portions of the film have been removed to fit your screen".
    Maybe I have a little too much faith in the intelligence of the general public, but anyone that I've explained widescreen to has at the bare minimum acknowledged that yes, they are missing sometihing in P&S, and in many cases, I've gotten converts.
  2. Sam Hatch

    Sam Hatch Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 22, 2000
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    Ever since I started using mattes, I've begun another aspect of Widescreen Evangelism. I used to focus on the software side exclusively - i.e. the movie and what is done to it in Pan & Scan. But alot of times people can grasp that concept and still reject it, usually due to hardware issues.
    Our concept of the television needs to be updated and tweaked. If it's regarded as a means to an end instead of the end itself, then we might have a bit more success. It should be looked at as a tool, not an absolute. Movie screens can be masked, yet crowds don't complain about all of that 'lost' screenspace under the curtains.
    The first time I put mattes on my TV for a 2.35:1 presentation, the thought hit me that they really made the whole 'black bar' concept moot. I can understand people worrying about loss of resolution (or image size on small sets), but I think many folks are just plain pissed that every inch of their tube is not being filled. The screen dimensions are an absolute to them.
    I'm sure convincing people to make mattes would be just as hard (if not harder) as making them buy those damned 'squished picture' widescreen DVDs. But if at all possible, I think they can be an asset to any widescreen education attempt. There does seem to be an inablility at large to adjust from a 'TV watching' mindset to a 'Movie Watching' one. After years and years of watching panned & scanned movies on HBO in broad daylight, that mindset is often carried over into the home theater realm. A huge problem is that for alot of people, 'Home Theater' simply implies throwing a few speakers on tables next to the couch for that surround sound 'gimmick'.
    I know that this isn't a DVD-specific suggestion as you talked about, but I figured I'd chime in anyhow. I feel bad for all of the people on other threads who get all the way through explaining why panning & scanning is bad on an artistic level, yet hit a brick wall when it comes to attitudes toward hardware.
    And that really seems to be the sticking issue. I generally think that alot of 'non HT' people can appreciate and/or understand the concept of films that are in widescreen - but the concept of changing the way the view/use their television set seems to them along the lines of driving a car in reverse all the time, or wearing shoes on their heads.
    Maybe we can get the TV manufacturers to adopt this as a marketing stance -- "It works as both a Television AND a Movie Screen!" Then again, maybe not! [​IMG]
    "Negative. I am a meat popsicle."
    [Edited last by Sam Hatch on August 13, 2001 at 03:17 AM]

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