Evil Dead and Aspect Ratios

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Ruth, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I just got back from my job at Best Buy, and I wanted to share an interesting little tidbit:

    I was showing a guy the Evil Dead DVDs and explaining to him the multiple versions. We had the old Elite DVD and the new Anchor Bay version (both BOTD and movie-only). I said that if he was a casual fan, the Anchor Bay version should be good enough.

    Another customer overheard my conversation, and recommended he get the Elite version instead, due to the fact taht the Elite DVD had a 1.33 transfer. He said that the matted version cut a lot of the picture out, and "chopped up the movie." Being a literate and knowledgeable salesperson, I was taken aback by his comments.

    The customer ended up getting the Elite DVD (paying $27.99 instead of $12.99) on the recommendation of the fellow customer.

    I'm curious to find out if this customer knows what he's taking about or if he was just talking out of his ass. I tend to think that Anchor Bay generally does a good job at preserving OAR -- am I wrong in this instance?
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Well...IMBD does have the aspect ratio listed as 1.37/1. Was Evil Dead an open-matte film? The previous DVD releases were full-frame but Book of the Dead is 1.85. If it was open-matte, then the widescreen version would be fine because the mattes would only "hide" what isn't supposed to be seen anyways.

    Bruce
     
  3. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    The Evil Dead was shot flat on 16mm at 1.37:1 and framed for 1.66:1, according to Bill Warren's The Evil Dead Companion, a book in which most everyone associated with the film in any capacity participated. Given the nature of the shoot, it's not surprising that the 1.66:1 framing was somewhat spotty. The premiere was held at an older theater that accomodated the 1.37:1 aspect ratio, and that was the only time (again, according to The Evil Dead Companion) it was exhibited unmatted during its original theatrical run. The image, at least in my opinion, doesn't suffer from the lack of mattes.
    The film was reframed to 1.85:1 for The Book of the Dead edition at the request of Sam Raimi. The actual reframing, from what I understand, was handled by Bruce Campbell.
     
  4. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    So Ash did the reframing? Sweet!

    I think the Elite DVD says the 1.33 transfer was supervised by Raimi.

    Does the matting to 1.85 degrade the scene composition at all?

    Any Deadites have both versions? I'm curious to find out what is REALLY a better version, as I'm interested in purchasing it myself.
     
  5. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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  6. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    DAMMIT! I'm STILL CONFUSED! [​IMG]
    Somebody summarize everything before I start going insane!
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Damin J. Toell
     
  8. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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