J6P loves widescreen *GREAT READ*

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Aug 23, 2001.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Today in my Literature class, after we finished reading The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, we watched the 1989 Michael Mann film.
    Guess what? It was letterboxed all the way through!(although oddly framed at 2:1 instead of 2.40:1)
    There were 20 people (including me) and NO ONE made one complaint about the letterboxing! In fact, one of my classmates asked me why the image had the black bars and I explained to her. She really didn't care much about if the movie was widescreen or not, but she did say the movie looked good because the letterboxing made the image look better.
    Want to know something else? We watched the movie on...a 14" TV!!!
    There's evidence right there that most people don't hate widescreen, they just don't really care about the difference. I explained to a few other people on why it's better for widescreen films to be letterboxed. Oh, I also explained what matting does and I heard "So when movies are taking up the whole screen, you're not seeing the image you're supposed to see?" I basically explained that pan & scan video tapes are rip offs and that they're taking up to 40% of the image or more (or giving you too much for open mattes).
    I plan on writing an article about widescreen films for my school's newspaper...along with a poll. I'd love to see how "j6p's" prefer widescreen.
    Another kick in the side to pan & scan and open matte!
    BTW, I hope we get to read Seven Pillars of Wisdom so everyone can get to see the Lawrence of Arabia. The school has the restored/letterboxed VHS. [​IMG]
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  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Patrick WOW! That's certainly an eye opener. I bet you were really surprised when nobody complained. It sounds like you guys were watching the original VHS release, it was 2 to 1 rather than 2.40:1.
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  3. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I'm glad to hear that you had such a positive experience. For accuracy's sake IMHO it may be more appropriate to say "up to 45%" rather than "40% or more". In some cases the loss is only around 25%, so you don't want to leave a big hole for a counter argument. If you check http://www.widescreen.org/examples.html you'll see the range is from roughly 26% to %45 on this selection. This is my favorite site for showing people the evils of P&S.
     
  4. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I think all but the most hardcore J6Ps are ready to learn. If only the studios would teach them rather than having to deal with separate releases (WONKA). I know people who aren't what we'd consider sophisticated filmgoers that won't put up with p&s anymore.
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  5. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I made a mistake...it's a 19" screen instead.
    I asked one classmate on her opinons on widescreen...you won't belive this:
    She didn't really care for it, but she didn't really mind it...
    Why did she not care for the letterboxing? The VHS tape was really blurry and the image was unintelligble.
    There you have it. Some people don't like widescreen because of VHS TAPES!!!
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  7. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Jim,
    Re: Cooper. Twain's essay is priceless! Lots of laugh-out-loud points!
    I pray that, if I am ever transported in time and space to the American frontier and set upon by Indians, that they are "Cooper Indians!"
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    http://www.mindspring.com/~atombrain/risenintro.html
    Jan Strnad
    author of Risen and
    "The AtomBrain Guide to Letterboxing"
     

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