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Resolving myself to this issue of Pan & Scan: Where we stand....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, May 7, 2002.

  1. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    As for buying the Vault Disney at Wal-Mart good luck. One of our local supers had a sign up advertising them for the past couple weeks, but today, nada. [​IMG] tons of winnie the pooh and a very near fifty fity split on oceans eleven, but no Vault Disney. Sam's didn't have them either. Best buy didn't advertise them, and our suncoast's GM flat out told me the Disney Treasures series didn't exist last winter, so I put little faith in them. Only the Disney store had them, and now they are closed [​IMG]
    Glad I ordered these online, according to UPS they shoudl be here tomorrow.
    Adam
     
  2. Clint B

    Clint B Second Unit

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    Vic, I hope you're being sarcastic. I haven't checked sales stats, but I'm pretty sure Ep. 1 had very good sales numbers on DVD. I don't know about T2 or the Matrix, but considering those movies were so popular, I'd be surprised if they didn't do well at the sales counter.
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Clint, I'm pretty sure that Vic was very much being sarcastic.
     
  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Soccer moms, females over 35, and people with poor vision are the core problem for OAR acceptance.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Are there any statistics to back this up.....especially the females over 35 statement? My sister is not a movie nut but she doesn't seem to have a problem watching movies with black bars. She thought it was pretty funny that I would not rent a movie if it was not OAR but she does not complain when I bring one over. When people are exposed to enough of it, they get used to it and stop worrying about the bars. If that was all that was available for rent or purchase people would get used to it rather quickly.

    The problem with having seperate releases of one movie is that if the retailer starts to see P&S outsell widescreen the temptation will be not to order widescreen copies at all. Better yet, they may not order in widescreen copies right from the get go; if that occurs then widescreen releases will once more become a niche market with higher prices......assuming that they will be available at all. Like someone pointed out studios are in it for the money if the returns on widescreen releases fall, then you can kiss them goodbye. If a widescreen only policy cannot be adopted then the both versions should be available on the same disc or on two seperate discs in the same package.
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    With a simple, brief, explanation, women accept widescreen far more than OLDER men do.
     
  6. Michael Dueppen

    Michael Dueppen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks a lot Ron for not giving up on this issue and for always keeping us updated.

    I really hope that the studios reconsider and (at least also) release 'family titles' in WS.
     
  7. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    Quote: "My point is, if you want the mainstream to accept widescreen, you have to price widescreen sets in a range that the mainstream is comfortable paying for a TV. They aren't shopping for a "home theater". When 16:9 sets are a viable alternative for a family that is simply shopping for a new TV, THEN and ONLY THEN will they learn to appreciate OAR."

    It might help, but are these people going to accept OARs of 1.37 (~4:3) and ~2.40 on their 16:9 TV sets just like that?

    I'm suggesting here that I don't think a 16:9 set alone is going to do much good as long as people don't learn to accept the concept of OAR - which IS going to cause "black bars" on a fixed TV screen from time to time as long as people watch movies with different ARs.
     
  8. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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  9. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  11. David James

    David James Stunt Coordinator

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    "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. "

    I think this is part of the problem. The war should never have been about eliminating Pan & Scan. This "my way or the highway" zealotry is arrogant and antagonistic. The war should be ensuing an OAR alternative is always available. That war has not been lost and people need to continue demanding OAR alternatives.
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    David,

    agreed. I have no problem with p/s as an option as long as OAR is always available.

    However, when studios release *separate* P/S and WS DVD discs then we do have problems. Consumers get confused and large-retailers only order the P/S sku which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy when the studios say "larger number of people buy the P/S title over the widescreen".

    Before people start to criticize these consumers for being uneducated by their "confusion" hear me now...I know several Pro-OAR/widescreen friendly people who have mistakenly bought P/S titles because they either didn't see the print on the packaging, had heard the title was "widescreen" from a friend and didn't realize they had to worry about accidentally picking up a P/S copy...or they didn't realize that a widescreen was even available because they hadn't read the internet for 10 hours the day before and just went to the store, only say P/S DVDs, and assumed that was their only choice!

    I'm happy for a P/S option but I strongly feel that it should be offered as an option on the same DVD package that contains the WS OAR version and not a "separate" release.
     
  13. David James

    David James Stunt Coordinator

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    David - Well put. I received an email from TowerRecords.com regarding an advance purchase of Harry Potter. When I clicked on the link it had put the P&S version in my basket. I canceled out and replied to their email with this:

    Referring to the ad below. Clicking the preorder results in a purchase for "Full Screen" version. Therefore your comment under "Disk 1" - "Includes The Full Feature..." is misleading. Since it is not the widescreen presentation, the buyer of this version will not see the full feature, in the original aspect ratio (OAR), as the director intended or as it was presented in movie theaters. In fact they will see a modified version which crops the picture, eliminating part the scenes originally framed by the director.

    I believe movies should be seen the OAR as composed by the director and seen in the theaters. I understand, however, some prefer the picture formatted to fit their TV screens. I think you can best serve your customers by helping them understand the difference. I believe your customers would be best served by promoting the OAR version and offering the "TV" version with appropriate language, similar to the following:

    This movie has been modified to fit TV screens. As a result the movie will not look as it did in the theaters. Parts of each scene have been eliminated to make the aspect ratio match standard television screens. To see the movie as it was presented in the theaters, purchase the widescreen version.
     
  14. Tim Bernot

    Tim Bernot Extra

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    I am in the materials handling business and deal with a lot of different manufacturers and distributers who sell to Wal-Mart. They should definitely be the target from this forum. Whatever Walmart asks for, they will get. Forget trying to have two separate prices for the same release, they would not allow it. They are extremely predatory when it comes to suppliers. If studios tried to force anything down there throats, Walmart would crush them. There buying power is unbelievable. We are talking about the largest corporation in the world here people. The only way to get Walmart off the studios back is a very persistent campaign by people like ourselves. Fill out a complaint card EVERY time you go to there store. They need to get the message that the vast majority of people truly want widescreen. The only reason they are pushing the studios for the pan and scan is because of complaints. I guarantee you that 90% of the black bar WRITTEN complaints are from "old" people. They are the ones who take the time to fill out the cards. Some of the suppliers I deal with have had to deal with specific complaints that Walmart receives from them. One specifically comes to mind that the text on packaging provided to Walmart had to be revamped because older people were having a hard time reading some of the FINE PRINT information. Old people in general have the time to fill out those complaint cards and I am sure that some of them live for it. We all know that children can truly care less about the format and even if they did, they would adapt post haste. I have filled out several of the complaint cards and will continue to do so. (I have used several names, I suggest you do the same)

    The only way to change this Walmart push is to push back...and hard.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    How many of you are aware of the simple mathematical problem of "putting both versions on the same disc"?
    2 layer single sided DVD-9 has about 9gb of storage.
    The video for 1 version of the movie ranges from 3-6gb.
    The AC3 5.1 english track is about 300-450mb
    The DTS 5.1 english track is about 450-700mb
    At best thats 3gb+3gb+450mb=6.4gb and thats without any extras or the DTS track, let alone the ac3 2.0 tracks for english, french, spanish, etc.
    A more typical movie would be:
    4gb (WS)
    4gb (P+S)
    400mb AC3 5.1 english
    600mb DTS 5.1 english
    = ~9gb
    and you still don't have the other language tracks or any extras.
    The only feasible way to get everything on a single disc is DVD-18. So maybe one of the thrusts of this campaign should be to increase the production capabilities of DVD-18.
    There is an obvious reason why studios don't want to put 2 discs each with 1 version of the movie - they fear you will give the one you don't want to a friend = 1 less sale [​IMG]
     
  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Ned,
    it's scary when we type post after post about how the electronic pan-and-scan feature requires that only ONE transfer need be produced and stored on the DVD disc and *still* we see posts like yours that talk about the space requirements for storing 2 separate transfers.
    Your comments reflect the same thinking by the studios...they just don't get that they do not have to put 2 separate transfers on the DVD disc and strain bit-capacity in order to provide both viewing options on the same DVD. If they use the electronic P/S feature, all they do is record ONE simple 16x9 WS image that is then "coded" with a center of action. The DVD *player* then can P/S this image on the fly for consumers who select "p/s" playback in their DVD menu.
    *** this feature only applies to 1.66:1 - 1.85:1 16x9 transfers but that's MOST of the films targeted for P/S only!!! Are there times for 2 separate transfers to be housed (on the same disc, IMO)??? Sure...in cases where the studio feels strongly about open-matte for the full-screen or the OAR is 2.35:1. But for most of the P/S-only affected titles out there...the e-p/s feature would work like a charm.
    Simple. Effective. PLEASE PLEASE people realize that there's an answer here; an answer that solves all these problems in one fell swoop. Petition the studios to use this feature and let Walmart know you want your DVDs in widescreen and that you think consumer should always be given a choice...on the same DVD disc if possible.
    Here Tim's cry. Everyone drive to Walmart today and fill out a customer comments card. Tell them you want widescreen. Don't talk about "OAR"...just tell them you like your "black bars".
    -dave
     
  17. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    But Glenn,

    Walmart has already demonstrated their influence very clearly...it's the primary reason that Warner, Columbia, and now Disney are going "P/S for Family films". They've even said so! Paramount, universal, and Fox are also bending to the pressure.

    This is not to say that the studios *have* to do what Walmart says, it's just to say that they'll *tend* to listen unless enough of us raise serious issues with the studios.

    Why not fight fire with fire. If the studios are TELLING us that they're going P/S on family films (and some not-so-familiy films) because Walmart and Blockbuster are asking for P/S...then why don't we target those retailers directly. If we can get them to change their tune, then that will affect what they ask from the studios.

    Might as well do everything we can, especially when the studios themselves are telling us these are the reasons behind their decisions.
     
  19. David James

    David James Stunt Coordinator

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    "Walmart has already demonstrated their influence very clearly"

    I agree and the glass half full side is if the Wallmarts of the world realize they are losing OAR only customers, who will only buy OAR DVD's, economics says they will push to get OAR versions for their customers.
     
  20. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I agree David. Clearly OAR supporters haven't complained loudly to the retailers like the J6P crowd apparently does. We tend to know exactly what we want and thus aren't surprised and we go elsewhere if what we want is not available. So we need to make our wishes known to the retailers too so they get a more balanced view of all their customer's wishes.

    But I was just trying to say that studios bowing to the retailer pressure doesn't make sense to me. In my view they hold the cards, but are gutless.
     

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