More bad news for OAR enthusiasts

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Simon Basso, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Simon Basso

    Simon Basso Stunt Coordinator

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    My apologies that this is not strictly dvd related, but the OAR enthusiasts, such as myself, look here more than the tv programming forum.

    On the BBCi website, BBC4 forum, a representative from the broadcaster replied to a query about the standard practice of zooming 2.35 films to fit a 16:9 ratio:

    "Thanks for the comments - We (both the BBC and Programme Acquisition) take enormous care in preparing our films for transmission, and these matters are never approached without a great deal of thought about all issues arising.
    16:9 is a perfectly valid format for showing widescreen film on television - it is an industry-standard, approved for television by film distributors and directors alike, and we feel that the viewer is presented with the best possible format for viewing films on television.

    People will never wholly agree on the issue of 2.35:1 vs 1.88:1, but I sincerely believe that - in 99% of cases - television presentation of a film is more enjoyable and rewarding in 1.88. I watched Victor/Victoria last night on Turner, and the full 2.35:1 presentation was so narrow and off-putting that the slight increase in picture at the extreme edges of the frame in no way made up for the tiny strip of actual picture on screen - even on a relatively big full-frame TV."

    *Please note I have removed a paragraph where he deals with the specific charge of a decline in BBC standards since the switch to digital, as it was not relevant*

    So there you go. Most of us agree that chopping the edges off is the way to go apparently. I did point out to the chap that if he thought like that he should be fired, director's vision etc., but he has yet to reply. A less incensed contributor asked him if The Wild Bunch, which was run last Saturday, was "more enjoyable and rewarding" with dialogue coming from nowhere because the actors were at the extreme edges of the frame? No reply as yet.
     
  2. David Ely

    David Ely Supporting Actor

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  3. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    Pretty scary thought that people like this work in television and has the potential to make decisions that again affect other people to accept something as normal without making their own informed decision.

     
  4. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    I agree this is scary, but it shouldn't be unexpected. As widescreen TVs become more commonplace, I don't think there's any question we're going to start seeing 16x9 P&S or cropping of the wider aspect ratios.
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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  6. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    The only thing good about this is probably the fact that 16:9 is a better compromise (lesser evil) than 4:3 for most movies.
     
  7. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Well, cropping to 16:9 may be a lesser evil than cropping to 4:3, but it also means that we'll more often get the "compromise choice" of cropped 16:9 where we would have gotten true OAR.

    IOW, there's a significant difference between a 2.35:1 film aspect and 4:3 TV aspect, so a real choice has to be made; 16:9 will seem to many people as an acceptable compromise, which won't please OAR enthusiasts.

    Jan
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Yeah...Ben-Hur looks so poorly composed with all that extra junk on the sides. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Personally, I don't think we're ever going to get our way regarding OAR of wider-than-16:9 films on HDTV/widescreen TV...movies have almost always been cropped for TV throughout the history of film on TV, and it will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future...sad, but true.

    The state of OAR on DVD is one thing...the state of OAR on TV is another...you think it's bad that the studios are releasing a few films to DVD without the option of OAR? Compared to the way film is treated on television, we're being PAMPERED when it comes to DVD...
     
  10. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I wish there were 2.35:1 aspect ratio TVs. When you watched a 16:9 movie you had black bars on the side. Far more of my movies are 2.35
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  12. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

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  13. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    I hate when stupid people are in charge.
     
  14. Sean Aaron

    Sean Aaron Second Unit

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    That is annoying, but I do see 2.35:1 framing on some channels. Hell, it could be like the US where you get half the film cut out for commercials or edited for language/content. At least we can _watch_ films on tv here in the UK where in the States there's really no point they are so mutilated. You do get some content editing at times in the UK, but it's quite minimal compared with USA.

    Germany seems equally bad for content. I was in a hotel in Reading and turned on the German Sky channel in the hotel and caught some of Halloween III; every single violent scene was excised -- and this isn't that violent a movie, either! It was hilarious to see ads for Freddy's New Nightmare on during commercial breaks -- what could possibly be left of film after the censors got done with it?
     
  15. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    I recently picked up the UK/R2 DVD of Gosford Park (OAR = 2.35:1). While it has the same special features as the R1 version (probably also the reason I didn't check the AR), when I put it in my player, I found out it was cropped to 1.78:1. [​IMG]
     
  16. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  17. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  18. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Here's a positive thing:

    DVDs are being released widescreen and fullscreen, presumably to sell more to people with 4:3 televisions.

    But no DVDs are being cropped from 2:35 to 1:78. There are no DVDs that you can buy this way (I don't think).

    It's either AOR, or it's pan and scan for full screen.

    Only on HBO are movies being altered for 16:9, and in some cases, it just involves opening up the mattes.

    So, anybody with a 16:9 screen seems to have an appropriate choice.
     
  19. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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  20. Michael St. Clair

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