I've Heard It All Now, re: Losing The WS Battle

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Trevor H, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Trevor H

    Trevor H Second Unit

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    I was at the Superstore today so I figured i'd check out the DVD section, while I was browsing a store manager comes over and tells one of the employees to take all the widescreen DVD's off the shelves if their is a seperate P&S version on the shelf, so I butt in and ask why? she tells me that most people don't like WS DVD's and that the store is getting too many returns from people that want P&S but picked up a WS copy by accident, so if a title is available in WS only they are going to put a big "Widescreen Version" sticker on the DVD, if a title is available in seperate P&S and WS versions they are putting a sticker on the P&S version that says "This is a Fullscreen Version, if you want the widescreen version please ask staff for a copy"
    I told her what she was doing is wrong and the exact opposite of what she should be doing and explained in great detail why, she wouldn't listen and said I was in the minority so I told her that she just lost a customer and walked away.
    But now that i've had time to think about it I think i'm gonna start buying bunches of P&S discs from them and then return them and complain that half the picture is missing and demand Widescreen. [​IMG]
     
  2. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    That's sad! Some people just don't get it.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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  4. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Actually, doing just this can send a *serious* message to the marketing gurus at Walmart and the like (this is what *several* "insider" contacts have told me). Just be polite when you return the DVDs and don't go making a scene...just explain you accidentally bought the P/S copy and you'd like to return it for a widescreen. It *is* a valid way of making a point that can go beyond the vision of the local store manager if they log the reason for the return into their tracking system.

    It should go without saying that the scenario needs to appear "legitamate" to the person behind the counter and not like some threat that has been carried out intentionally on your part.

    -dave
     
  7. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    If buying and returning WS gets PS put out on the shelves exclusively, wouldn't buying PS and returning do the same?

    I'd do it if a store near me had a dumb policy like that.
     
  8. Norm

    Norm Cinematographer

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    Think out side the HTF box folks. Most of the public are not home theater freaks like us, they will never care about Widescreen until all of their TVs are Widescreen, and then they will get sick of the black bars on the sides.
     
  9. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    A woman approached me last night at Walmart holding both a FS and a WS DVD of GOLDMEMBER. She asked simply "Which one is better?" I repilied widescreen was better, because the FS can often cut off 50% of the picture. She said "Thanks, from now on I will aways get widescreen when buying DVDs."
    She did understand she would have unused space at the top and bottom, but said she wanted to see the movie correctly". Cool.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Good goin' Steve. As long as we're not "tricking" people into walking home with a WS copy not suspecting that there will be black bars on their TV...then we're really doing them a service if you can leave them with an attitude like that!

    -dave
     
  11. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    The invasion continues! When I started seeing DVDs being sold in grocery stores I knew it was time to look into another format, untainted by J6P, but as DVHS is so scattershot yet I'm resigned to the fact that I'll have to bite my tongue and ride out the storm of "what's deez black bars here?" [​IMG]
     
  12. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Something occurred to me as I heard someone specifically looking for the p&s version of Spider-Man this past weekend.

    VHS is dead. Best Buy will phase it out next year. DVD players are already cheaper than VCR's in many places. DVD's of new releases are cheaper than VHS or the same price (Spider-Man was 15.99 on VHS, but only 14.99 on DVD when it first hit.)

    So, non-movie buffs have literally been forced to embrace a format that can offer much more than they'll ever want. They don't care. They just want a simple movie with no bells and whistles. I've explained the whole p&s vs. WS thing to many, including family members and friends. The simple fact is, many of them understand the difference, but just don't care. Black bars are distracting (I disagree), full screen is not. Not everyone is as passionate about film as the members of this forum.

    DVD may have been nurtured by movie buffs, but it will be conquered by J6P. DVD has finally replaced VHS at a comparable or better price. It is not just a "new" format, it is THE format. The best thing we can hope for is dual p&s and WS releases. Thankfully, I have 99% of the movies I love on DVD in widescreen. The only films at risk are new ones at this point. And, while many of us will migrate to HD-DVD as soon as it's available, I'm sure J6P will stick with DVD for a good long while.

    It's too bad widescreen TV's couldn't have become cheaper sooner.
     
  13. Trevor H

    Trevor H Second Unit

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  14. Johnny Garvin

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    Sadly, it's happening at more than places like Walmart. It has infiltrated the local video rental store I USED to rent from. About 95% of the new releases that they receive now are pan and scan. Yesterday while talking to one of the owners, she made the remark that she is glad that they FINALLY started releasing pan and scan. I had tried to explain the difference between wide screen and pan and scan to her before but it was a waste of my time. She wants her screen "filled up" as she replied. And to think that I single handedly carried their dvd line when NO ONE else in town knew what it was.
    Business is business as it's said but I will NEVER give them another one of my hard earned dollars again. I'll rely on the reviews of the fellow forum members as I will be strictly purchase from here on. Pan and scan will never be brought into my home again! [​IMG]
     
  15. Dean Kousoulas

    Dean Kousoulas Second Unit

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    I say, NEVER give up the fight. Continue to educate people whenever you can. Hell, even make up a business card or so what I do, and carry around a printout of that page from TheForce.net comparing widescreen to pan & scam versions of Star Wars Episode 2.

    Dean
     
  16. Ron Kaye

    Ron Kaye Agent

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    As soon as the prices of dvd players went below $100.00, the OAR/WS community shrunk by leaps and bounds.

    Lets be honest. It's a fight we can't win. Walmart isnt stupid. They're a business looking at the bottom line, and the bottom line says most of their customers will walk out if they cant find a fullscreen dvd, so they do what they have to do.

    The hope we have is strictly related to passionate people at the movie studios who believe in OAR & continue to release 95% of titles in the Widescreen format.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. If there are 2 seperate releases of the same dvd that only contain either a P&S or a WS transfer, we're screwed. We need to let the big boys (studios) know that we want both formats in 1 package!

    I'm sick of people's stubborness when they say 'Oh it diminishes video quality to include both WS & P&S on 1 release'. I'm not arguing that, but it comes to the bottom line ...

    What would you rather have ... 1 unique release with both WS & P&S included or making WS a niche product in limited quantities?

    Time to wake up people.
     
  17. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Well, many of you fail to realize that P&S will NEVER fully replace widescreen. Quite a few DVD companies would never do such a thing. Examples include Warner Home Video (useless trivia: The Turner division has only released ONE non-OAR-only disc in the entire history of DVD, A Christmas Story), Fox, New Line, Dreamworks, and Anchor Bay.
     
  18. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    Warner Bros. continues to release most of it's movies, including most catalogue family films in ONLY widescreen. They ought to be commended. Several other studio's supply OAR on everything. If Disney can't learn that people want OAR, then they will lose our business. People can and will be converted, if they are educated. Usually just telling them widescreen is better will not do the trick. They have to see examples to understand. My site is full of ways to show people the difference. It has printouts of flyers, brochures, business cards, and so on. Please use these resources. There are some people that seem to be convinced that people can't learn that OAR is correct. They can, and they will. I have seen it, and heard about it many times. People are learning. It may not seem like it, because there are so many of them, but we are making a difference. It will take time and effort, but we WILL win this war. We also have to let the studios and the retailers know that they are losing business by catering to those who prefer full screen.
     
  19. Cary T

    Cary T Screenwriter

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    Yesterday when I was at my local dvd store, I over-heard a customer asking the sales rep. the difference between widescreen and fullscreen. The sales rep relied fullscreen fills the TV and widescreen has black bars. The nerve of the sales to use such bias language and persuading the guy to buy the fullscreen version. I immediately jumped in and explained to the guy widescreen is what you see in the theaters. Fullscreen versions are cut off at the sides to fit 4:3 TV's. So if you have a 4:3 TV, you can loose up to 40% of the picture. He picked up a widescreen copy of Spiderman [​IMG] But that sales rep really pissed me off [​IMG]
     
  20. Tom_Bechet

    Tom_Bechet Second Unit

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    well the problems with educating people about WS have been nicely elaborated here. SO I'm not gonna say more about that. I see an even bigger problem: In Europe (Which Luxembourg is part of) most films get released in dubbed local language in the cinema(except for Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg/we get original soundtrack with french and dutch subs) But for Germany and France they get 99% of their movies dubbed. To such an extent that most DVDs give priority to the local language (ie having DTS in german and french on the BTTF trilogy), some even have no original soundtrack and loads are coming out with imposed local language subs on original soundtrack.[​IMG]
    So I'm already happy to get people to watch the original language and not the dubbed track that destroys everything. That is difficult as all films on TV are also dubbed[​IMG]
    (So I stopped watching TV.)
    Now that problem is not so big in the US or England (except for "foreign language films")
    Well I managed to persuade my family to watch in original language and OAR (they are now disappointed when it fills the screen and when the soundtrack is not original)
    Yet some of my mates still think that FS shows more picture even after explaining it many times......
     

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