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It’s Pan & Scan All Over Again: Netflix Exploring Mobile Specific Cuts to Original Shows & Movies (1 Viewer)

DavidJ

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WillG

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From the /Film article:

"Netflix plans to explore creating mobile-specific cuts of its original movies and TV shows, which could transform your experience based on the device you’re viewing it on. Is this the evolution of how we consume non-interactive narrative stories…or is this the pan and scan atrocity repackaged for a new generation?"
http://www.slashfilm.com/netflix-mobile-specific-cuts/

Please, NO.

While I don't encourage this practice, it's really nothing new. I mean how often do you actually get to watch a 2.35 movie in actual 2.35 on television/cable? With few exceptions broadcast television usually crops to 1.78 now as standard practice (while so many of the commercials they show are in 2.35. What's up with that). The mobile thing doesn't bother me too too much though because, personally, I rarely, if ever watched a movie on a phone or even tablet. Hopefully Netflix will offer viewers a choice to watch to watch in OAR despite the display device (for example, Simpsons World allows viewers to watch the pre HD episodes in 1.78 or original 1.33)
 

Josh Steinberg

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A few things stand out to me about this. The first is the wording - "Netflix plans to explore creating mobile-specific cuts of its original movies and TV shows" - note specifically "plans to explore". That to me means that they're not proposing doing this, they're proposing looking into it. The second is that they're referring only to original Netflix content, not to material they license. So it doesn't appear they'll be tampering with anyone else's work, which I think is important. Third thing, most mobile and portable devices already offer the ability to zoom or crop to fullscreen which matches the orientation that you're using the device in, so I'm not sure why there's a need for this. Last thing - if Netflix decided that they wanted to create two or more versions of each of their original items, either by shooting with separate cameras, or creating two different masters in postproduction, I think the costs would probably outweigh the perceived benefits. So my suspicion is that once they've fully explored this idea, the costs it would entail, potential resistance from filmmakers and showrunners who work on the Netflix original material, it won't come to fruition.
 

Carabimero

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I'm going to make a generalization but I think it's fair. Just as young people don't care about premium picture quality and are content to stream and watch things on their phone, I don't think the up-and-coming generation will give two flips if something is cropped.
 

DavidJ

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I'm going to make a generalization but I think it's fair. Just as young people don't care about premium picture quality and are content to stream and watch things on their phone, I don't think the up-and-coming generation will give two flips if something is cropped.

This is probably true, but as a movie lover, it's sad.
 

Jonathan Perregaux

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Let us not forget the old days, when renting a DVD from them meant getting the Full Screen 4x3 edition.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Let us not forget the old days, when renting a DVD from them meant getting the Full Screen 4x3 edition.

Is that true? I don't recall ever receiving a full screen disc of a widescreen movie from Netflix, unless the movie had only been released on disc in that format. I wouldn't have stayed a customer for as long as I did if everything had been pan & scan.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I took it to mean Blockbuster.

Totally useless trivia that I only know because I worked at Blockbuster in college - the corporate owned stores were actually fully in support of widescreen releases. While both versions were offered for purchases, rentals at corporate owned stores were strictly the widescreen versions. However, franchise stores were free to pick and choose which versions they wanted to stock, and a number of franchise stores chose to go with pan & scan. Fortunately, my store was a corporate owned one, so we had the widescreen versions.
 

Lord Dalek

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Is it really Pan and Scan if its a 1.78:1 image though? Most modern films are shot center cut even in scope these days. That's not going to require much in the way of artificial camera movement.
 

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