How come nobody does 1.66 anamorphic?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frederic_A, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Frederic_A

    Frederic_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Another string of releases comes along, and I have yet to see any 1.66 transfer done in anamorphic, although I'm told that there have been examples out there. Is this just another question of studios needing to see the light? That is to say, have any arguments been put forward to support this policy, or is it just something done unaware?

    Anamorphic 1.66 would, I guess, result in windowboxing for anybody without a widescreen set, except if the tv has some sort of scaling feature. Might be hard to explain to your average joe, but the effect should be reduced due to overscan. That said, isn't North America ahead when it comes to widescreen?
     
  2. AndrewA

    AndrewA Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe Lilo and Stitch was reformatted to 1.66.
     
  3. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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  4. Frederic_A

    Frederic_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, I don't mean software - you have my sympathy in that regard. (Actually, I'm just lucky it hasn't affected me so far: I'm as dependent on R1 as anybody, but my taste tends toward older movies. They seem to be less likely to get the P&S treatment.)

    No, what I meant is hardware - TVs in this case. New technology is usually introduced and accepted earlier in the US than in Europe. The internet being one example.
     
  5. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Anyone expect me not to turn up in this thread? [​IMG]
    Examples of 1.66:1 films are mostly old British films, and recent Disney films, but there are exceptions.
    Here are a few you might recognize, all anamorphic DVDs:
    The Emperor's New Groove (Disney)
    Tarzan (Disney)
    The Carry On Collection (all 12 films so far released from Anchor Bay)
    Curse/Night of the Demon (Columbia Tristar)
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (20th Century Fox)
    The LadyKillers (Anchor Bay)
    There are many more I could list.
    One of Warner Brother's few real failings is their refusal to make 1.66:1 films anamorphic. For example they overmatted Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein to 1.85:1, resulting in a slight lack of headroom.
    MGM released the Cushing/Lee classic The Hound of the Baskervilles in non-anamorphic 1.66:1. I missed the extra resolution, but at least the framing was accurate. Unfortunately though there's no 1.66:1 zoom on my TV, so to avoid cropping any image I need black bars all around the picture (see my sig!).
    Warner and MGM need to get a clue. The other studios seem to understand that the slight loss of horizontal resolution is more than made up by vertical resolution gain, and the windowboxing is simply not visible due to TV overscan.
     
  6. Frederic_A

    Frederic_A Stunt Coordinator

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    I think there's at least one Connery Bond title that's also been matted to make it anamorphic - I think it's Dr. No. Speaking of older Brit films, I've been gagging to get my hands on The Knack... And How To Get It, and then MGM (I think) mess it up and make it non-anamorphic. I may have to resort to the PAL release, if and when it finally comes out.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Actually, the Hammer releases from WB are 1.78:1.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    PhilipG,
    You knew I coudln't be far behind [​IMG]
    You're absolutely correct. Just so everyone reading this thread interested in this topic understands, this is one of those cases where the "experts" at MGM and Warner are just plain WRONG. Yes...we've even had some other influencial parties on the web pat them on the back for the 1.66:1 4x3 lbxed efforts...but hopefully we're all getting a better understanding of 1.66:1 16x9 transfers as time plods on [​IMG]
    I don't think this issue falls into one of those "both opinions are equally valid" camp because the bottom line is that 16x9 enhancement (commonly called "anamorphic" though that term isn't really accurate) does significantly increase the resolution of a 1.66:1 transfer over 4x3 encoding (though not quite as much as with a 1.78:1 or greater aspect image).
    The most common argument we hear against 16x9 encoding a 1.66:1 transfer is that the 4x3 viewer would have to put up with pillarboxing (vertical letterboxing) on his/her TV screen...
    FACT: This is not a real-world problem.
    ...NO CONSUMER has EVER complained about the vertical "windowboxing" on his Tarzan DVD or Pete's Dragon DVD. The fact that even HT members are unaware that many of these Disney 16x9 discs are 1.66:1 makes that point even more clear. The fact is that most every consumer 4x3 TV has enough inherent overscanning to make the issue moot.
    And the increase in resolution and PQ for any set that is 16x9...even a 4x3 TV with a 16x9 mode...makes it really worth while.
    Still...it would be nice if 16x9 display manufactures would give us a 16x9 zoom mode since apparently MGM and Warner haven't figured out how to properly master a 1.66:1 DVD...
    dave
     
  9. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  11. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Someone mentioned the original DVD release of Dr. No but in addtion, the original DVD's of From Russia With Love and Goldfinger were 1.66:1 anamorphic discs.

    -Mike
     
  12. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Rosemary's Baby.
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A Hard Day's Night is a stunning example of 1.66:1 anamorphic. Since Miramax decided to go for seemingly full bitrate DD 5.1 and put the film on a DVD-9 (with only a 30 minute featurette and the DVD-ROM stuff), there is plenty of room.

    Judging from the compositions, 1.78:1 would have been cramped...and 1.85:1 would have killed the movie.
     
  14. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    I believe Army of Darkness is 1.66:1 Anamorphic
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Indeed it is
     
  16. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Hitchcock's Rear Window dvd states that it is 1.66 anamaphoric.
     
  17. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    These titles from my collection are also labeled as 1.66:1 anamorphic:
    Z
    Romeo and Juliet
    The Vanishing (Spoorloos)
    Gertrud
    L'Appartement (R2)
     
  18. Stephen A

    Stephen A Agent

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    Anchor Bay Entertainment is very good at 16x9 enhancing their 1.66:1 DVD's, two examples are: 'Pusher' and 'Bad Taste'. By the way, buy PUSHER, it's a great film!
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    MGM, Warner,

    Are you listening?

    Can we "mirror" this thread in the manufacturer's feedback?
     

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