MGM DVD's to have both P&S and Widescreen from now on

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Hahn, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    The October, 2001 edition of Sound & Vision has the following blurb on page 18:
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Does this mean they will be using DVD18, or that they will be using more compression to fit both formats?
    I would have prefered anamorphic support across the board (1.66 and wider) to P&S support.
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  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    This was announced some time ago, but I do not see where the praise is in order. If anything this is a loss for the OAR cause.
    I come to my conclusion that this is a loss because before, if doing an SE on a new film, MGM would almost always give us a widescreen version. Now they are going with dual aspect ratios which means A. Two separate discs with the same supplements (fine choice) or B. One disc with both formats present, cutting back on the extra features, and maybe a full blown widescreen SE down the road.
    Another important word in that statement is "new" releases. Will this mean only new films just coming to DVD, or will catalog titles be treated the same way as well. This is yet to be seen. I find this to be a disturbing trend more than anything.
    J
     
  4. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    I don't know Jeff. I included the entire article. There was no mention on how MGM intended to accomplish this. I agree, anamorphic support is important, but let's take each improvement as it comes!
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  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Dave, before MGM (almost) always presented films in their OAR on DVD, either in anamorphic or letterbox format. Now their adding a P&S version to all releases. How long before they only have P&S versions?
    I think that's the concern on the back of everyone's minds.
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  6. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    My concern would be the quality of presentation of the OAR version. We have seen a number of catalogue titles which look to be direct ports of old laserdisc masters. Yes, they are widescreen, but the quality is extremely lacking. Given that every release has to adhere to its own production budget, I would think that adding another MAR version will decrease the likelyhood that the OAR version will be newly created due to cost, and that this will degrade the final product, especially if it comes down to doing an RSDL version in one ratio, or single layers to accomodate two versions.
    I think this is a step backwards.
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  8. DanL

    DanL Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought MGM said this, like 2 years ago, and so far their OAR performance has been primrily OAR-only, with no pan&scan, unless the title is major mainstream.
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    If this means that the policy they've announced will be applied to back-catalog titles, then all I can say is this:
    Bring on the re-releases of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Secret of NIMH!
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  10. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Who knows?
    Maybe they will go the two-disc or DVD-18 route where there is a need to ensure room for quality and supplements. I know it is likely wishful thinking, but MGM has shown in the past that they know how to do DVD right. (IMHO, truly doing it right would be OAR only.) True, they don't do it right a lot the time, but they have shown they know how.
    True, it is a step backwards for the OAR cause. However, if it becomes the norm by all studios to release with both versions, taking the two-disc/DVD-18 route where needed for quality and supplements, I won't loose any sleep over it.
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  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The extra compression worries me a bit, but it also keeps us from suffering through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang type fiascos and having to do petitions to get OAR. So its a mixed blessing. The commitment to always do OAR is definitely worth cheering.
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  12. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    This is not a DVD gain. This is a DVD loss. They are adding the P&S, not the OAR. And releases like Silence of the Lambs will arrive on 2 seperate editions, where stores like Walmart and Sam Goody will carry a disproportionately large number of the modified versions.
    Also, their lack of commitment to anamorphic enhancement has led me on more than one occasion to not purchase one of their titles.
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    [Edited last by John Berggren on September 18, 2001 at 09:17 AM]
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    AMEN.
    Oh god of DVD...hear our cry...save your faithful from the P/S and 4x3 lbxed 1.66:1 oppression!
     
  14. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Yes, stores like WalMart will carry disproportionately greater numbers of P&S versions, however, the OAR version will still be available. It's not like you won't be able to get it. As long as OAR is available, that's all that matters to me. Let J6P have their MARred versions of AMERICAN PIE 6. Keep them fat and sedated so that the real film fans can go about their business. [​IMG]
     
  15. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Brian, while I agree with your perspective I must clarify my point. If Walmart and Malls carry a larger percentage of Full Frame/PS or don't offer the widescreen option, this will inflate the sales figures on that option. If this becomes such that PS/FF is outselling Widescreen/OAR, and the studios, or studio, choose to not offer OAR on even one title, than we have begun to lose. It's one of those slippery slope situations as far as I am concerned.
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    [Edited last by John Berggren on September 18, 2001 at 10:53 AM]
     
  16. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Dave, this is truly a loss. Can you name one MGM film that just came from the theaters that was not presented in it's OAR? My point is MGM has always given us OAR on new films coming to video from the theater for the first time as well as their SEs. The OAR commitment was always there on new films, this announcement is akin to saying they are now supporting P&S, not OAR. This announcement also does not mean they are going back and re-visiting all prior P&S releases and giving us the OAR instead, and is very murky as to how they will treat catalog titles coming to DVD.
    Not every film will warrant a DVD-18 or full blown SE with two different versions available, so sacrifices will be made.
    MGM will no doubt continue to put out more dual sided single layer discs. This most likely will mean lack of extra features, alternate sound formats, and overall space for video quality. Explain to me how this is a win for the OAR cause?
    J
     
  17. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I'll admit that Storefront Hitchcock, Jonathan Demme's concert film of Robyn Hitchcock, isn't a highly sought title, but it is full-frame and assumedly P&S. (The end credits are letterboxed while the rest of the film is not.) I have tried to find its OAR and have been unsuccessful. So while MGM has predominantly released in OAR, not everything has been. (I wish they'd be more concerned with transfer quality than P&S, to be honest.)
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  18. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    This is most definately a Loss! I wonder what we would have to do to get them to change their minds? Don't they see that the future of DVD is widescreen??
     
  19. Dave Hahn

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