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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. Daniel L

    Daniel L Stunt Coordinator

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  2. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Then we need to fill out lots and lots of consumer input cards to help make our desires known...regardless of the actual percentage of their market share we may represent.
    The point here is that Walmart execs don't hate the black-bars personally. They are merely reponding to the consumer complaints they've been receiving.
    If we provide enough complaints about the *lack* of WS to balance or counter those comaplaing about the black bars, their pressure for the studios to favor p/s would stop.
    Our goal has to be to generate an equal amount of consumer feedback to offset what's already been established. That will get the results we need without having to actually represent a large percentage of their DVD buying base. The other thing we can do (since their prices are so cheap) is choose to go out of our way to buy widescreen titles from Walmart when dual-aspect DVD releases are released. But first we have to get them to *order* those widescreen discs [​IMG]
     
  3. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Columbia Tri Star's 'The One' with Jet Li

    Specifications

    - DVD-Video

    - Dual-Layer Disc

    - Region 1

    Aspect Ratio(s):

    - 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

    - P&S/full frame

    Dolby Digital Formats:

    - English 5.1 Surround

    - English 2.0 Surround

    - French 2.0 Surround

    Subtitles/Captions:

    - English Closed Captions

    - English Subtitles

    - French Subtitles

    - Spanish Subtitles

    - Portuguese Subtitles

    - Korean Subtitles

    - Thai Subtitles

    Standard Features:

    - Interactive Menus

    - Scene Access

    Additional Features:

    - Screen-specific audio commentary with director James Wong and crew

    - "Jet Li is The One," Multiverses Create "The One," "About Face" and "The Many Faces of Jet Li" featurettes

    - Animatic comparison

    - Filmographies

    - Theatrical trailer

    Seems pretty packed to me with decent extras to boot! No DTS track...but I believe most rather have OAR at the expense of DTS if it came down to it.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Derek-

    The One has a runtime of 87 minutes. So that represents one of the better scenarios for fitting 2 discrete versions of the movie.

    David B-

    Is there as much resolution when using the p+s on-the-fly method compared to a "real" pan+scan? The people who would use this feature may not care/notice but if it's not equal quality then you can't say that it's a problem-free solution.
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I think we're zeroing in on the real solution here, which is COMPLAIN TO YOUR LOCAL WALMART! This will WORK and it only requires effort from US.

    I don't have a local Walmart, but I hear they're going to open one in the NYC area soon. Maybe I'll organize a local HTF meet to go there on opening day and file some group complaints! Who's with me?!?!?!?!
     
  6. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    here's the thing's I have to complain about from just yesterdays visit to walmart I'll fill out complaint cards next time I go.

    Vault Disney, four titles they had prominently advertised were not available, and the associate in electronics had no idea about them.

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was only available in pan and scan

    Charlettes Web was only available in pan and scan

    I noticed those last two looking for the Vault Disney in the children's section

    Don't just make repeat complaints on the same title. search out titles that are PS only or only availabe there as PS. See my girl or Matilda? complain they don't have the anamorphic widescreen version. WalMart gets enough complaints and they try to order it, find out it is NOT available and they pressure the studios to provide anamorphic widescreen to keep their customers happy.

    Adam
     
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    This guy is very much in favour of the Centre of Interest programming too.
    But here's yet another angle (pun intended): why not have widdescreen viewings encouraged by quite another party, viz. the hardware manufacturers?
    Of course it would help tremendously, if many people owned widescreen televisions (as is more and more the case in many countries in Europe). What you need to have this succeeded are more widescreen broadcasts - and somehow I think that's not going to happen in the US before HDTV arrives.
    But what about DVD players? We should recommend DVD player manufacturers to offer widescreen monitors (I think flat screens would be terrific) as an option to buy together with the player. In different sizes to choose, from relatively small to very large (and expensive). Perhaps accepting S-Video, and possibly be "enriched" by a separate TV receiver (or else be driven from a VHS tape deck or a cable decoder) for additional use. They could also be used for your PC or gaming console.
    They should have small adjustable mechanical "blinds" to shape different screen ratios (reacting to the remote). Their image would be more brilliant than people's TV's. It could become a huge success.
    We could even start a petition addressed at some of the largest manufacturers, I don't know (Philips? Sony? Toshiba?) to design and market something like this: We want an adjustable DVD monitor!
    Cees
     
  9. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Ron,
    I'm personally glad you're going to back off the "widescreen only" stance in favour of a more moderate, "both formats, please." Your reason for doing so is irrelevant to me. What matters to me is that I think that you will now be taken seriously by certain groups whom may have seen you as too militant before. The net result: you'll fight the good fight for widescreen, in a way that may succeed. This is a good thing! [​IMG]
    Best Regards,
    Martin.
     
  10. Paul E. Fox II

    Paul E. Fox II Second Unit

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    Backing off? Is that what we're doing? Backing off?

    I've never minded Widescreen AND Pan & Scan on the same disc but ARE we backing off of the Pan & Scan ONLY subject?

    I would have to say I hope not!
     
  11. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    About not being able to use P&S On the fly for 2.35 movies, me and my friend thought of a solution... I don't know if it would work but then again, can't be worst than P&S On the fly on Open Matte movies...

    First, the transfer would be open matted to 1.78 to fill a 16x9 screen. Then the user would be given 4 choices:

    1: OAR on 4x3 TV: This would take the 1.78 image, and then matte it to 2.35 using black bars incoded in a subtitles stream, making the picture in the original aspect ratio. OAR-Purists with 4x3 TVs that cannot do Anamorphic Squeeze would be happy.

    2: OAR on 16x9 TV: Same as #1, except the black bars would need to be smaller (Remember that Subtitles streams are totally independant of anamorphic downcoversion) therefore keeping anamorphic enhancements AND OAR. Most people who bought a 16x9 TV would be happy.

    3: Full Screen on 4x3 TV: This would leave the frame open matted to 1.78 then using the P&S on the fly, cut off the sides to fill his 4x3 screen. J6P would be happy.

    4: Full Screen on 16x9 TV: Use the open matte to 1.78 transfer as is, without any player generated black bars. J6Ps who bought a WS TV to get rid of the black bars would be happy.

    Of course, that only works for Super 35 movies, but that would certainly help movies like Harry Potter and Ocean's 11.
     
  12. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Martin

    Most open-matte movies are not entirely open-matte. They usually don't pay for effect that won't be seen in the theater, and special effects shots are usually completely cropped. The P&S version would have to have portions with unfinished effects showing if they wanted to keep everything in the OAR version. Removing the mattes can also reveal mikes, tracks, and other equipment not meant to be seen. P&S for soft-matted films. It is not as simple as just "opening the matte".
     
  13. Larry Gardner

    Larry Gardner Stunt Coordinator

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    The main problem I feel is education - all over. Even at the corporate level of Wal-Mart and others.

    Today I was in Best Buy and overheard a clerk explaining to the customer the differences between the WS and FS versions of Ocean's Eleven.

    As she was putting the WS back to get the FS version - I said to her very politely that the clerk failed to mention about the FS and WS TVs. I asked her if she was ever going to upgrade to a WS TV - she asid yes - and then I told her that the problem with the FS version on a WS TV will be in reverse - except that the black bars would now be permanent.

    I did explain to her about possibly 'zooming' in or purchasing a WS TV that would compensate for FS features - but that any type of compensation would cause a decrease in some clarity (depending on how the TV provided the feature).

    I also explained to her that another alternative would be then to re-purchase a WS version (if at that time one is still available).

    She promptly put the FS back and purchased the WS version.

    I'm finding this all over - at the store level as well at the consumer level. Currently, it is not Wal-Mart's best interest to provide WS DVDs - since they do not carry WS TVs for purchase.

    Believe me, when Wal-Mart and others causing the studios to release FS versions - start offering components to compliment WS DVDs - they'll be changing their tune. All of a sudden, they'll be telling the studios that people what WS.

    What the studios should be doing - as they did in the VHS days - is mandating that retail stores must purchase split releases - 90% FS/10% FS in order to get a cut in purchase price. This is what they did in VHS days. In order to get catalog titles out, they insisted that a certain portion of purchases must comprise lesser titles - in order to get a cheaper overall purchase price. If they didn't - then the stores woud not get a price break.

    I've been in many Wal-Mart stores and have heard conversations by many people discussing FS/WS versions - and basically the clerk (when they are around) talking them out of it (especially when they did not carry the WS version).

    When asked for more information on the differences - they haven't a clue.

    Given this information to the studios by Wal-Mart is very one-sided - and I am surprised that the studios can't 'read-between-the-lines'. True, people may be complaining about the black-bars, but if given the correct information - most people will purchase a WS version, since they do not wish to spend the rest of their lives re-purchasing the same titles over and over again.

    However, Wal-Mart is only reporting that people hat black-bars. This is not true - by a long shot. They just don't wish to provide information to their consumer base - because:

    1. They do not provide WS TVs.

    2. Do not carry WS versions - I believe to cut down on shelf space.

    3. Basically, are also planning on having people to re-purchase later when the store does sell WS TVs and can sell them another version.
     
  14. David Hill

    David Hill Agent

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    Here's a thought from the UK that I haven't seen mentioned before (if so, apologies).

    Some people have wondered about whether owners of 16:9 TVs would complain when we receive a regular 4:3 broadcast and get the vertical black bars.

    Well, some broadcasters have taken to transmitting the 4:3 picture with a digital 'curtain effect' to the sides. So on a regular 4:3 TV I imagine you only see the picture, whilst on my 16:9 I still see a 4:3 framed picture, but no black bars, just a kind of curtain.

    So my obvious question is, could a 1.85:1, or 2.35:1 picture also have a top and tail, so the 4:3 screen is full of image, albeit static at the top and bottom?

    Whilst this might sound odd, and I'm a complete OAR advocate (recently for the first time ever I didn't watch a movie on TV that I was looking forward to because it was P&S), this curtained 4:3 picture on my 16:9 TV DOES look better than with black bars, less distracting.

    Maybe the top could be a kind of curtain, the bottom an imitation stage?!

    Anyway, just a thought.

    Cheers,

    David

    PS edited for spelling!
     
  15. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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  16. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    There are at least 3-4 brands of DVD players (off the top of my head) that have a Zoom feature. I am surprised that most manufacturers don't incorporate some version. It would make EVERYONE happy. DVD's can be made one way: OAR. Then the viewer would have total control over playback style: OAR, smallish bars, no bars.

    Easy.

    Rich B.
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    The difference with the e-p/s feature and a DVD player's manual "zoom" is the the e-p/s feature can follow the center of interest.

    We need both of these features:

    1. e-p/s when only one transfer can be afforded but 2 aspect ratios are desired

    2. Manual "zoom" on the dvd player so people can zoom to get rid of black bars if they so choose so they won't have to complain to the store, who complains to the studio, who then gives us P/S only dvds.
     
  18. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    David:

    I agree that a Zoom alone will yield an occasional "talking nose," but after experimenting with my player's Zoom feature I can honestly say that I feel it is quite sufficient for 95+% of the movie. Plus, J6P isn't that picky anyway.

    Rich B.
     
  19. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I agree totally with Richard. A center zoom of a WS disc would satisfy nearly all fans of P&S. They don't care about frame composition anyway, so I'd doubt they'd even realize the occasional "talking nose," etc.

    As I'd mentioned before, I watched the Canadian WS version of "Ginger Snaps," which plays back center zoomed unless you manually set your DVD player to "WS on 4:3," in full screen (my older player doesn't have this setting). The only time the bad framing was blatantly obvious was during the opening credits when some names were cut off on the sides.

    Actually, I think it would be good for some of the J6P's to start seeing a few cut-off credits and talking noses. Then maybe they'd begin to realize what they're missing with P&S.
     
  20. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I just found this thread as I seldom visit the software forum, so please excuse me if this has already been stated earlier in this thread.
    I have been fighting this battle for some time now and have developed a schedule of complaint and education in my local Blockbuster and Walmart Stores.
    - First, I don't call these DVDs either Widescreen or Full Screen as these names lead to assumptions as to TV screen shapes. Instead, I call them Theater Versions and Made/Edited for TV Versions. NO one, even JP6, wants a chopped Edited for TV Version Movie.
    - Next, once a week, usually on Friday, I go into my Blockbuster and grab a new DVD selection (one which BB only carries in TV Version) off of the shelf. I then stand in the line and loudly note that "Hey, wait a minute, this is the Edited for TV Version. Usually folks around me look over and I ask them if they too got the Edited for TV versions of their DVDs? When they say, mine says full screen, I educate them that their movie has been edited by the studio for TV. I tell them that if they want to see the version that showed at the Tinseltown Theater, they want the Movie or Widescreen Version." At that point, I usually leave the line with about 5-10 other folks and we begin searching for the Movie Versions of our DVDs... quickly followed by 5-10 people asking the clerks where the Movie/Widescreen versions are located.
    - At this point, I suggest to the others that we can go down the street and get those versions from the Hollywood Video store, who I know carry the Movie Versions. Some, go with me, some stay, but either way I know I've educated another group of folks who are gonna ask for the Movie Versions every time from then on... [​IMG]
    At Walmart, every now and then, I'll go and buy a Edited for TV DVD, and then later return it for exchange with the real Movie Version. Of course, they don't have that version and so I simply get my money back and leave them with an opened DVD for return to the studio.
     

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