P&S Conspiracy Theory

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Catherall, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Here's my take on this new trend for some movie studios to be releasing their DVDs in open-matte or pan & scan only format. Is it because of marketing research? I doubt it. I think there's something else at work here. But what is it? I came up with the following theory:
    First, a quick look back in movie history. Movies used to be formatted in a 4:3 aspect ratio and had pretty poor sound. Come along the TV with the matching aspect ratio and equally poor sound and suddenly there's no reason to go to the theater. Everything they offer you can have at home. So studios make their movies better by offering widescreen formatting, surround sound, etc. in an attempt to get people back out to the theaters. TV can no longer compete with the movies.
    Enter LD and eventually DVD and home electronics that provide movie picture and sound equal to or better than your local movie house. With widescreen and surround sound available at home why go to the theaters? So what can the studios offer to us at the theaters that we can't get at home? DTS? Got that. 7.1? Got that. 10.1? 16.2? 32.3? No matter what the theaters offer, it won't be long for that to become available on consumer electronics.
    Don't want to go see that movie in the theaters because the crowds are annoying? Just wait 6 months and see it at home with better picture and sound. Now that DVD is becoming more popular and widescreen is available for all. Movie houses no longer have the advantage. Since they can't provide more that we won't eventually have ourselves, they are going to hold back those very things that gave them the advantage in the beginning. Now if you want to wait to see Cats & Dogs at home on a proper system without the multi-plex atmosphere, you only get P&S.
    "No widescreen for you!" --WB (aka The Movie Nazi)
    And there's no lone gunman in this conspiracy.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I use the term "poor sound" only in comparison to what is available today. Of course, since nothing better was available at the time, nobody thought it was poor. But hey, if it was great, how could you improve upon it?
     
  4. Daniel L

    Daniel L Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote:
    Studios make a lot of money from home video -- often more than they make from a feature's theatrical exhibition. They have no incentive to sabotage the home market.
    Three words that are their incentive: Pay Per View.
    And guess who will be singing the prasies of this revolutionary format once they are able to deliver PPV via broadband... They recently played with thier Willy.
    Daniel L
     
  5. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I think in the case of Cats and Dogs at least, this may be a "trial balloon" for their "Rental DVD" concept.
    That is, first release a "Rental DVD" in P&S for the J6P masses and then 60-90 days later release a Widescreen SE for the collectors.
    It will be very interesting to see if Warner releases a Widescreen SE of Cats and Dogs in the first Quarter of 2002.
    Of course, this theory fails to explain why they would release a Collectors Edition of Willy Wonka in P&S ...
    Perhaps this isn't a conspiracy after all. Perhaps it's just plain stupidity on the part of the Warner "executives".
    Joseph
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  7. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    It's an interesting theory that WB would give us a poor copy of C&D on DVD on the first release, in order to tempt us to go see the film in the theatre in OAR while we still can.
    But it doesn't wash. If that was what they were going for, then Wonka would be in theatres right now for a "30th Anniversary celebration" or something.
    Nah, I think WB's have just been snorting the wrong toot...
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    DAVE/Memphis
    My 3-year-old enjoying Superman - The Movie in widescreen:
    [​IMG]
    (Some of my DVD's are to the left side of the picture)
     
  8. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    --Just wait 6 months and see it at home with better picture and sound.--
    Sorry but the dastardly movie studio conspiracy falls apart right here. [​IMG]
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  9. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Well I gave Cats & Dogs just as an example. I'm not implying that we're going to run to the theaters to see it in its OAR. But what if all home video releases were released 4:3 with just a few releases in widescreen (just like VHS). Well then the theaters certainly would have an advantage and be a viable alternative to watching at home. Suddenly the days of "home theater" are back to just a small screen with limited sound. Much the way the majority of the consumers currently watch it.
    The current trend is going towards home theaters. With DVD becoming mainstream, many people are getting educated about "real" home theater. This potentially puts a big damper on the cinema business. Of course it does do wonders for the home video industry, but short sighted executives won't see that. With the majority of consumers perfectly content with VHS, they can effectively turn DVD into its VHS counterpart with little resistance.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    --Well I gave Cats & Dogs just as an example. I'm not implying that we're going to run to the theaters to see it in its OAR.--
    Well, your theory that they would P&S DVD movies to encourage theatre viewing could still be viable. I started thinking to myself; what if Wierdo Brothers did put out a P&S only version of "Osmosis Jones", I would miss seeing it properly....so...okay [​IMG] I went out to see it in the theatre today. THEIR plan is working already....the bastards...and I fell for for it (hangs head in shame). [​IMG]
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  12. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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    Well, Warner Brothers WAS the studio behind the film Conspieracy Theory...but that disc offers P&S and LBX versions...
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    [​IMG]
    Jay and Silent Bob in
    CLERKS
     

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