Oar, Oar, Oar

Mark Zimmer

Senior HTF Member
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Jun 30, 1997
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Chickens. The ORIGINAL aspect ratio of The Shining is the theatrical one, of course.

The DVD is Kubrick's preferred Home Video presentation. Not the same thing, but apparently all we'll ever get, so buck up and like it.
 

Brent Hutto

Supporting Actor
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Aug 30, 2001
Messages
532
For me, it's however it was shown in theaters. I don't care if Stanley Kubrick or anyone else approved a reframing for home theater usage, I want to see it as though it were in the original theatrical release.

Note to filmmakers: I have a HOME THEATER, I don't need you to do me any favors by hacking up the movie under the assumption I'm just watching television.
 

Terry H

Second Unit
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Mar 17, 2001
Messages
316

I never said I didn't believe you on this point, but that doesn't make the dvd OAR. I didn't realize it when I posted the question but I now understand that "directors intent" and "OAR" are at odds on this particular film. FWIW I own the dvd and I'm satisfied to go with directors intent in this particular instance.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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What you said, Mike.


Shane is a much less clear-cut instance than something like The Shining or the LD releases of some of James Cameron's films.

Kubrick and Cameron stated a preference for a certain kind of home video presentation based on three things: 1) Low resolution of home video. 2) Small screen sizes. 3) Avoiding the total butchery of their work by some video technician hired by the studio.

These choices were all compromises based on their perceptions of the limitations of various forms of home video. I frankly don't think that these compromises are either necessary or even desirable for DVD-based home theater and I really wish that the studios would at least make OAR versions of Kubrick's films available on DVD.

Because make no mistake, Kubrick composed the films for their theatrical aspect ratios. That's what most directors have in mind when they shoot their films.

In the case of Shane the studio arbitrarily decided to matte the film when it was projected sometime after principle photography had wrapped. So although it was originally shown matted, this matted version was not what the film was shot for. Therefore I think it is reasonable for folks to be "more royalist than the king" on this point and ignore the studio's post facto mistake, just as we would not want to see matted "widescreen" versions of Gone with the Wind or The Wizard of Oz released on DVD - even though such abominations were released theatrically. If they'd been produced closer to the period when the whole industry was switching over to widescreen, they, too, might have been shown that way in their original theatrical runs, even though it is clear they were not filmed with such a presentation in mind.

Regards,

Joe
 

MarkHastings

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Shooting full frame (or "open matte" - that is, not matting the film in the camera) makes it easier to create a TV version of the film later
Which is why we use the term "original" when talking about Aspect Ratios. The opened matte version is used after the theatrical release.

I would think that the original intent of the director shouldn't have any bearing on the OAR term, it should just be defined by the way it was shown during it's Premiere (i.e. Theatrical release)

Since movies change dramatically from the time of concept to the time of release, doesn't it just confuse the equation by bringing these into play?

Example, Harison Ford is the "original" Han Solo. Just because other actors were up for the part before Ford doesn't mean that he isn't the original. He was the actor that made it to the big screen and thus, he is the "original".
 

Mike Knapp

Supporting Actor
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Aug 4, 1997
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644
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Mike
Adam,

Thanks for that link. It looks like I will no longer be able to claim the "creation" of the term.
I had never seen the term used before I began using it a mere 6 years ago in 1997. I started using it here and it just took off. I guess I wasnt the first one to use it though. There goes my claim to fame!


Mike
 

Allan Mack

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 26, 2001
Messages
614
OAR = Original Aspect Ratio.

It is the aspect ratio that the film was seen in when first presented to theater audiences.

I created the term, so I get to define it.


Mike
Thank you! That's what I've always assumed it meant. None of this "filmmaker's preferences" nonsense to mess it up.

Perhaps it should have been OTAR (Original Theatrical Aspect Ratio), but it's too late for that now...
 

Ken_McAlinden

Reviewer
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None of this "filmmaker's preferences" nonsense
Yes, the last people we would want to ask about proper presentation of their films would be directors and cinematographers. If your local projectionist showed it mis-framed at 2.0:1 regardless of whether it was intended for 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, then that's just too bad, it needs to be that way on video, too.

Regards,
 

Allan Mack

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 26, 2001
Messages
614
Yes, the last people we would want to ask about proper presentation of their films would be directors and cinematographers. If your local projectionist showed it mis-framed at 2.0:1 regardless of whether it was intended for 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, then that's just too bad, it needs to be that way on video, too.
I think Mike Knapp's definition would pretty much exclude bonehead mistakes by local projectionists...
 

David Lambert

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Messages
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As far as the 1993 reference goes, I think it's a lucky coincidence. A random choice of words that in no way properly inspired the acronym "OAR" and its popular use today. Just great minds thinking alike, as it were!


Mike, you're still the king! :wink:
 

Adam Tyner

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 29, 2000
Messages
1,410
I wasn't suggesting that this other fella originated the term...just that that was the earliest use of 'OAR' I'd seen. Here are a few others from the same general time period.

From 11/1/94:

Aside: Perhaps we should lead a movement to replace the term
'letterboxing' with the term 'original aspect ratio' so instead
of CAV LBX we could say CAV OAR. It would help minimize confusion.
 

Terry H

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
Messages
316

Maybe. But I think it is also clear that Mike's use of the term here at HTF brought it into common usage. I never used the term, or even heard mention of it before reading this board. Now you see it everywhere movies and/or DVDs are discussed.
 

Charlie Essmeier

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 1999
Messages
139
And what is "theatrical" aspect ratio?

In the last three years, I've seen these films theatrically, in several different theaters:

Rear Window
Citizen Kane
The African Queen
Dr. Strangelove
North by Northwest
Metropolis

All of these films were projected at 1.85:1, even though that aspect ratio is incorrect for all of them.

But I've seen them shown that way in a theater. Does 1.85:1 now qualify as OAR for those films?

Charlie
 

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