Pan and scan?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Whalen, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Dan Whalen

    Dan Whalen Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure if this is in the right area, so if a mod needs to move it go ahead. Anywho, I've seen a lot of reference to pan and scan. What in the hell is it?[​IMG] I have noticed that everyone talks bad about it, but I can't seem to find anything that tells me what it is. So what's the deal?
    Dan
     
  2. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    Pan and scan is a general description of the process used to convert a widescreen image, as seen in theatres, into the roughly square shape required to completely fill a standard television screen.
    This process discards much of the content of the original composed frame ('chopping off' much of the picture), altering the intended composition of the cinematographer.
    Around these parts it's very much frowned upon. Widescreen or 'OAR' (Original Aspect Ratio, as in the ratio intended by the film's makers) is the preferred viewing method.
    Take a gander here for a little tutorial.
    Adam
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Ryan's animated explaination that Adam linked to above is excellent. But the link doesn't seem to work right now (and when it does it takes a while if you are on a slow connection).
    If you're looking for a basic text explaination, here's one:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/home/wsfaq.html
    -V
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Bear in mind, also, that this debate is not applicable to films that were shot in the Academy Ratio of 1.37:1--that is, most films made before the advent of widescreen cinema in the early 1950s.

    Consider this: With an extreme widescreen film such as Ben-Hur, which has an aspect ratio of almost three times the width to the height, pan-and-scan will lob off well more than fifty percent of the image.
     
  5. Dan Whalen

    Dan Whalen Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah, now I understand. So are all full screen movies like this? Or is pan and scan different from full screen (like a full screen version instead of widescreen version of a DVD)?

    Dan
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes, the two are different--but the labeling on DVD keepcases is not always accurate.

    A fullframe film is one that has been composed for and shot in the Academy Ratio of 1.37:1. Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, and other films made prior to 1952 are therefore fullframe. These films are not ruined by being transferred to video and shown on a conventional 4:3 (or, more accurately, 1.33:1) display.

    Some films are still composed for fullframe, but are often matted for display at commercial cinemas. For example, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut was shot in 1.37:1. The fullframe DVD transfer is faithful to the director's vision--but so is the 1.85:1 presentation.

    Anything else that was shot in widescreen, though, yet is shown in 4:3, is pan and scan.
     
  7. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    lets just say this, if you watch a movie on major networks like NBC, HBO, CBS, ABC, ECT, it is most likly going to be in Pan and scam.
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  9. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    what I meant was if you watch any movie after 1970 with a few exceptions, it will be in pan and scam
     
  10. Wes C

    Wes C Supporting Actor

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    Are all full screen DVDs Pan and Scan??

    Unless of course they were filmed in 1.33:1. I searched but couldnt totally figure this out.
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    No. There are actually 2 ways to get 4:3 from widescreen sources.

    Some are pan and scan (losing image area)- but some are open matte- which means they were shot square 1.33:1 on the film with the top and bottom intended to be matted for theatrical exhibition. The mattes are removed for home video- which sometimes means revealing camera flaps, boom mics, dolly tracks and more stuff you were never intended to see.

    Wes, I have merged your post in this existing P&S thread.

    If you have clarification questions about P&S, please post in the current thread rather than posting another.

    Thanks

    -V
     
  12. Wes C

    Wes C Supporting Actor

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    So on DVD's that are both Widescreen and full-screen, is the full screen side pan & scan?
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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