Marathon Man DVD: why does the aspect ratio of the film change?

rob kilbride

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Messages
733
Real Name
Rob Kilbride
Why does the film go from a wider fromat to a narrower format a few minutes in? And what is that black stuff on the sides before the change occurs?
 

rob kilbride

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Messages
733
Real Name
Rob Kilbride
I looked at it again and it looks like it may have been some form of windowboxing. Iimagine this is probably part of the movie, but it could be like so me cartoons where they windowbox the credits, and take away the windowbox afterwards.
 

Mark Hawley

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 18, 2000
Messages
418
Is it just for the opening credits?

If so, they sometimes windowbox opening credits just in case overscan might cut a letter or two off.
 

James Luckard

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
224
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
James Luckard
Paramount did the same thing with the opening credits scenes of "Black Sunday," presumably also to protect the credits from overscan. I'm not a fan of the idea, it looks silly.
 

cafink

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Messages
3,043
Real Name
Carl Fink

Sure it would look silly, but it would look silly because of a deficiency in the hardware, not the software. For a non-widowboxed transfer, the credits are present on the disc in their entirety; it's not a software problem that some display devices can't properly display the full image. I don't think it's a good idea to dumb-down software (as when windowboxing the credits sequence) to alleviate a problem inherent to a particular piece of hardware. The superior solution would be to avoid problematic hardware. If seeing the very edges of the image is that vital to you, that means buying a display device with minimal overscan.
 

Travis Brashear

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 1999
Messages
1,175
Hmm, yeah work to circumvent a deficiency on the end of a $15 piece of software, or force people to invest hundreds, if not over a thousand, of dollars to alleviate the problem. Dude, I'm not following you at all...
 

cafink

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Messages
3,043
Real Name
Carl Fink
The point is, there is no deficiency in non-windowboxed software. The price is irrelevant. A DVD does not need to be windowboxed in order for its opening titles to be present in their entirety.

If spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a display device is such a big deal (and it certainly is), and if seeing the entire image without the slightest bit of cropping is very important to you (which appears to be the case, based on your posts here), then one imagines that you would check to ensure that any TV or projector you buy meets your high standards before spending that much money on a device that might have an extreme amount of overscan.

It's completely unreasonable for you to expect every piece of software to be tailored especially to you and your defective hardware. It effectively punishes everyone who had the thoughfulness to buy a TV whose display they were satisfied with, just because you didn't have the forethought to check for an issue that apparently is so important to you, before blowing thousands on a display you aren't happy with.
 

MielR

Advanced Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
1,241
Real Name
MielR
That's done for the opening credits of the new GREASE DVD as well. The old DVD used to cut off part of Stockard Channing's name.
 

Travis Brashear

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 1999
Messages
1,175

If hardware with notable overscan was the exception and not the rule in the current home electronics environment (I refer not only to sets in store but those already plugged in across millions of homes throughout the U.S.), I might agree with you.
 

Jesse Skeen

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 1999
Messages
4,875
Her name appears at "TOCKARD HANNING" in the pan & scan version


I agree that it's annoying to have parts of a movie windowboxed and other parts not; I've got my TV adjusted for as little overscan as possible.
 

MielR

Advanced Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
1,241
Real Name
MielR
Part of her name was cut off on the last widescreen DVD, as well. The overscan, I guess. I imagine that's why they slightly changed the aspect ratio of the opening credits for the new 'rockin rydell' DVD.
 

Derek Miner

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 1999
Messages
1,663
I think part of the issue would be claiming overscan to be a "deficiency" in the hardware. I don't care for it myself, but obviously it was intended to be part of the product, so those who design and manufacture televisions would certainly disagree with the description.
 

ChristopherDAC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
3,729
Real Name
AE5VI
Overscan is designed into TV sets to cope with cable television. A certain amount of overscan has been present at least since the early days of colour ; it's technically "internally-generated blanking", and its purpose is to prevent the colour burst from leaking yellow-green into the picture. Broadcast TV stations have always (or, before the days of DTV, did always) transmitted a very clean signal, because the FCC rode them about it, and as a result TVs would usually be adjusted only for a little bit of overscan, to hide changes in the picture size due to poor regulation in the high-voltage supply.
Beginning in the 1970s, however, more and more Americans got CATV service, which include lots of non-broadcast channels, which are often fed with substandard equipment sets. The use of, for instance, "industrial" U-Matic VCRs as sources, and other similar tricks, lead to there being a lot of "garbage" in the form of bending and flagging at the top and bottom of the screen, tearing at the edges, and so forth. People thought the problem was with their TVs, and complained to the manufacturers. The manufacturers, therefore, simply increased the degree of "internally-generated blanking" to hide the picture edges where the garbage was.
 

Travis Brashear

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 1999
Messages
1,175
Oh. Huh. But what's the point of TV manufacturers still practicing this technique in the 2000s? Surely even po' ol' cable TV's got its technological act together by now...
 

Stephen_J_H

All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
6,372
Location
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
Nope; 'fraid not. My cable provider still has misframed channels where you can see part of the VBI onscreen, and this is on digital cable. Overscan is going to be around for awhile....
 

Derek Miner

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 22, 1999
Messages
1,663
Not to mention that protecting content for overscan has been enshrined in the whole production chain via "safe area" markers. These can be found in camera viewfinders, on-set monitors, and every non-linear editing system around, among other places.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,893
Messages
4,723,850
Members
141,355
Latest member
Druiz23