Life as a House DVD- 2:1 aspect ratio

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Kim, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    DVDFile has just posted their review of the upcoming Life as a House DVD, in which they state that aspect ratio has been modified from the original 2.35:1 to 2:1, as specified by the filmmakers. Keep in mind that it was shot in anamorphic, not Super 35, so it appears the sides will be cropped.
    Now I've read about all the uproar about Apocalypse Now not being availible in its theatrical AR on DVD, but as long as the director and cinematographer make the change, it's okay by me.
    Here's the link to the review:
    http://www.dvdfile.com/software/revi...easahouse.html
     
  2. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    I agree, if this is what the Director and the D.P want, I'm cool with it.
     
  3. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    I for one, don't agree. Why is one aspect ratio good enough for the theater but not for home video? What is the reasoning for the change? Why am I not being allowed to see the film in it's OAR? It's bad enough when the studios force this one me but the filmmakers? How is this any better than George Lucas altering "Star Wars" forever?
    I won't buy "Apocalypse Now" until it's released in it's OAR and the same goes for "Life as a House".
     
  4. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    I sometimes have mixed feelings on this myself. Stanley Kubrick did this with some of his films he shot them in 1.33:1 open matte and then matted them for 1.78:1 or 1.66:1 for the theaters. But on the home versions he has stated that he only wants the 1.33:1 version available. Is it really considered OAR in this case? To some it is not because they feel OAR is what was seen in theaters. Others feel that if the director intended the film to be 1.33:1 but only matted it for 1.78:1 just so the theater screen is filled. Then that is ok. I personally feel that OAR is and should be always shown in the theater to stop confusion. If Kubrick wanted The Shinning to be 1.33:1 he should have shown it in that frame. But as far as I know Kubrick has been the only director to really do this multiple times. Coppala has done it with Apocolypse Now but as far as I know that is the only film he has done it to. Pan and Scanning is a different topic and I don't even want to go there. P&S is just plain bad, no if's and's or but's about that.
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    If the filmmakers want their movie presented a certain way on home video, I cannot see the point in ignoring their wishes. 480 line video is already a compromise from film, so if the director and cinematographer agree that a 2:1 A/R is the best compromise between composition and resolution, I will not be wasting my time arguing with them.

    Regards,
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It's interesting that Vilmos Zsigmond was the cinematographer and (according to DVDFile) consulted on the transfer, because another 2.35:1 film he shot, Playing By Heart, was similarly cropped for its video release (in that case it was closer to 1:85:1). I suspect this is not a coincidence. It sounds like Zsigmond may be adopting the approach used by Storaro for the video release of Apocalypse Now. Makes me wonder whether he's deliberately framing his shots with a "safe" area.

    M.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I finally had a chance to see this last night, and the feature has indeed been slightly cropped to 2:1 on video. You can see the differences by comparing the excerpts included in the "making of" documentaries, which are presented at 2.35:1.

    While there is certainly some image lost, the composition and framing looked fine throughout the film -- which strongly suggests that the filmmakers planned ahead for this eventual treatment on video. Whether or not that's a good thing is a different subject.

    M.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I think the "home video" thinking by these directors has to do with viewers looking at a smaller image on a TV screen.

    I don't have a problem with a modified aspect ratio in such a case, but it's also a shame these directors don't realize that a front-projection Home theater or large-screen HDTV can give the viewer a true theatrical-sized image relative to their viewing distance...making the need to "resize" for a smaller screen unecessary.

    -dave
     
  9. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  11. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Reading all the above sure seems to point out how whimsical "OAR" really is by the time it reaches our home theaters!

    It also makes me wonder why I get flogged so much by the OAR fanatics whenever I mention that I want to crop 2.35:1 AR films in my HT DVD player to make them better fit my 1.78:1 16X9 RPTV screen.

    Something, or somebody, is inconsistent.
     
  12. MathewM

    MathewM Stunt Coordinator

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    Tucker and Apocalypse Now look bad re-formatted, especially Tucker. There is some actual P&S in Tucker in several scenes. I actually prefer 2.1 as a shooting ratio. Unfortunately there are no screens or cameras capable of handling this ration.
     

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