I had the opportunity to talk to someone at one of the major studios yesterday afternoon. The person's identity and their corresponding studio will not be mentioned in this thread. I can only tell you that the entire studio this person represents faithfully reads this forum daily. It was because of this, that this person took the initiative to contact me and talk about my controversial article: Is DVD Giving Way to Mass-Market Demands? A few things you should know about Hollywood first... The people that run the DVD departments at most of the major studios are all deep fans of the format. These are generally young individuals, with a fresh insight into what this format should be all about. I have met many of these people, and those I have not, I am generally conversing with on the phone or email on a regular basis. These people absolutely read this forum regularly. When a controversial issue arises, I generally receive a phone call or email from someone at the studio. In this case, the phone call came from an individual who works directly in the DVD department at a major studio. This individual, like all of you, has a deep passion for this format and wished to discuss the controversial article that was posted on our forum. The conversation was very spirited. I was talking with someone who obviously had respect for what was written, and wanted to offer a studio's perspective on the pan-and-scan situation. First and foremost, I think many of you will not be too surprised to hear that the studios actually agree with everything presented in the article. There is no disagreement with the studios that widescreen is the most important element to the DVD format. As many of you have pointed out, the problem is absolutely the large discount chain retailers who are taking the minority amount of complaints from store to store and threatening to reduce their overall purchase orders if Pan and Scan is not offered. These stores have done their own extensive surveys that show their customers prefer Pan & Scan over widescreen. Of course, many of us wonder why we have never been surveyed ourselves when we walk in these stores, but let's just assume for now that these are real figures. The bottom line for the studios is selling product and making money. A large discount retailer cutting orders on widescreen titles poses a huge monetary loss. This is why the studios are caving in to retail demands. I did point out that any lost sales at one store is only going to be gained sales at another. Anyone that wants to buy a DVD title who doesn't find it at (let's say) Walmart is going to find it elsewhere. There really isn't a threat of lost sales. The studio rep agreed that this is an interesting debatable issue. It was also brought up that until studios stop releasing Pan & Scan product altogether, that our forum really isn't fighting for anything that can be won. With the exception of some family titles, the studios are releasing 2 SKU versions of a title to the public. This rep feels we aren't losing anything, though readily agrees that putting Pan and Scan in the public reach is a bad thing as it doesn't help them accept widescreen. From an insider's view, this rep told me that family titles are still a hot issue when it comes to pan and scan. The studios are somehow convinced that children don't want black bars on their titles. I pointed out that a survey on HOME THEATER FORUM amongst parents revealed that children ask about them, but afterwards, don't mind them at all. You must realize that children are more readily accepting to these black bars than adults are. Unfortunately, the studios are still fighting to continue offering family product in Pan & Scan only, though there is always heated board room arguments at the studios from those that are trying to stop their studio elders from deciding to release P&S only versions. Sometimes the fight is won, and sometimes it is lost. The studio rep offered some hope to all of us... Digital television is on the rise. More people are buying widescreen televisions every year. There is a mandate by the government to go digital in the next few years. At that point, as people buy widescreen sets, Pan & Scan will no longer be an issue. The studios will be in gear to release widescreen to a public that owns the equipment to compliment that format. My Thoughts I went into this issue with all guns loaded. I was very pleased to have the support of this membership behind me. I also am aware of many of the feedback I received that supported the very issues I commented on above. Nothing that this studio rep told me is newsbreaking to any of us. The bottom line is that DVD has become mainstream. The purchase power is out of the hands of early adopters and in the hands of the general public, most of which will never come to terms with black bars. Talking with all the contacts I have at many of Home Video departments, I know first hand that They all don't agree with introducing Pan & Scan to the market. On the other hand, arms are being twisted in order to cave in to retailer demands. It's almost impossible to become a rebel and thus lose your job in the process. I am not selling out on this issue. I still feel very strongly for this cause, but sensibly realize that it is a lost war. We cannot fight to stop the studios from releasing Pan & Scan as long as they continue to release TWO versions of a title. We can, however, continue to make a lot of noise when studios like DISNEY release family titles or COLUMBIA releases more contemporary titles in Pan & Scan only. That is a fight worth fighting for.