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Shampoo--Blu-ray Aspect Ratio Question

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by ubiquitousrick, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. ubiquitousrick

    ubiquitousrick Auditioning

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    I had been waiting for the Shampoo blu-ray for many years and finally found and purchased it. I am having a problem that I hope is the result of my error and am posting here to see if anyone can help…
    While watching the first scene with Goldie Hawn it became very clear that I was viewing a cropped image. I am sure of this because I remember seeing this scene in a theater during it’s initial release, AND I have a dvd version that is 4×3 on one side and “widescreen” on the other side. The 4×3 crop shows the complete top and bottom of that scene but the widescreen side is a cropped version of the 4×3 so the top and bottom are cropped!
    My blu-ray also cuts off the top and bottom, just like the dvd.
    It occurred to me that I may have my plasma screen’s Picture setting wrong, but I have tried every setting and the result is the same.
    Am I missing something?
    I should note that I had the same experience with a blu-ray version of A Christmas Story and I returned it. I am ready to do the same with Shampoo unless someone has a solution.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Timothy E

    Timothy E Screenwriter
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    I do not have the discs to compare, but it sounds like the 4 x 3 version is the open matte version, with more picture information on the top and bottom of the screen, and the widescreen version is actually the "cropped" version which would have been shown in theaters. If so, there is nothing wrong with your discs. The widescreen version on DVD and the blu-ray show the original theatrical aspect ratio correctly, and the DVD 4 x 3 version is the open matte with additional picture information on the top and bottom of the screen.
     
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  3. ubiquitousrick

    ubiquitousrick Auditioning

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    Understood and thanks for the reply, but I saw this flick in a theater during its original release, and my adolescent self clearly remembers seeing Goldie Hawn's underwear ! It is visible as i remember it in the 4x3 version. Sadly I suspect both the widescreen dvd and blu-ray were sourced from the same "this film has been modified to fit your screen" print that was created for 4x3 TV.
    I had the same issue with A Christmas Story, and I actually took a photo of a shot so I could compare.
    If I am correct it is infuriating that we are only seeing a fraction of a classic film. If I am wrong I would love to know how to fix it.
    Thanks again!
     
  4. Steven Good

    Steven Good Second Unit

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    There is nothing to fix. These films (and many, many others) were shot "full-frame", meaning the entire 4X3 area of film was exposed during the production. However, the director and cinematographer composed the shots with the intention that the film when exhibited would be "soft-matted" in the theaters--that is, the projectors would have mattes covering up some area of the top and bottom of the full frame in order for the projected image to appear on screen in a rectangular 16X9 shape. When home video came along (VHS), these soft matted films were broadcast on TV and released on videotape in their full 4X3 shape, ruining their original composition. In the case of some films, that meant more nudity was shown than in the theatrical exhibitions (All the Right Moves), or unfinished portions of a set were shown, or a mic boom, crew and other equipment (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) or a joke was ruined (Pee Wee's Big Adventure, where the endless chain coming out of his bicycle's pouch can be seen coming out of what should have been an unseen hole in the bottom of the pouch hidden out of frame).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_matte

    For films shot "hard-matted" or in some anamorphic lens widescreen format, the transfer to videotape or TV broadcast meant adding "panning and scanning" artificial camera moves or cuts during the film-to-tape transfer, resulting in characters or set details being cut off in order to turn a rectangular image into a square on.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_and_scan
     
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  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I'm sorry but what year is this? Wow. Steven Good's post is all you need to know, but the 4x3 open matte is WRONG and the 1.85 is correct just as it's correct for 99% of the films shot since 1954 in this country.
     
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  6. ubiquitousrick

    ubiquitousrick Auditioning

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    Again I am aware of this and understand, but in this case that is not what happened. I am 100% sure of what I saw in the theater in 1975 and it is visible in the 4x3 dvd. It is cropped out of the widescreen dvd and blu-ray. We are not seeing what Warren Beatty intended.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  8. Message #8 of 18 Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Did Beatty say it was incorrect somewhere?

    Assuming the original theatrical presentation you saw was exactly correct might be the problem. Many projectionists or theaters were less than perfect in setting the aperture plate correctly or setting up the film to be projected as intended
     
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  9. ubiquitousrick

    ubiquitousrick Auditioning

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    Now THAT is an interesting and helpful comment, with only a mild jab of condescension. Thanks. I guess the only person who can tell me whether I am watching what was intended is almost 83 years old and not known for loquaciousness. So I will move on.
     
  10. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Here's the deal: The film was shot to be projected at 1.85. What your adolescent self saw forty-five years ago is not reliable. I thought Leslie Caron was naked in The Subterraneans when I saw it at eleven. She wasn't.
     
  11. Message #11 of 18 Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    As you can see from all that headroom this was never meant to be in 1.33:1.

    [​IMG]

    FYI Criterion used an older scan supervised and approved by Laszlo Kovacs (no longer with us) as a reference point for grading and framing.
     
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  12. Message #12 of 18 Jan 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    When projecting 35mm film a projectionist has the ability to adjust the framing of the image on screen . If he was sloppy and not framing the image correctly, information underneath or above the 1:85 area could end up showing on screen which is what you likely saw since there was more image on the print than was intended to be shown theatrically.. For the same reason you may have sometimes seen a boom mike at the top of the image if it was not framed properly. Projectionists could simply turn a button to move the on-screen image up or down on screen.

    If you're old enough to have seen this projected from film, you likely remember sometimes seeing sudden picture movement up or down after a reel change if a projectionist needed to adjust the image. That's again adjusting the frame.
     
  13. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    There was a second-run cinema in my neighbourhood years ago that showed everything unmatted. Great for pre-50s classics, not so good for then-contemporary films, as a lot of boom mics, camera shadows and dolly tracks were visible.
     
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  14. Timothy E

    Timothy E Screenwriter
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    You may have seen it that way in 1975. You have a great memory for you to recall that.

    I remember seeing Random Hearts in the theater in open matte. The boom mikes were visible in more scenes than not, and I was surprised that a director of Sydney Pollack’s caliber would be so sloppy with framing the scenes. I learned later that I had seen an open matte projection of a film intended to be seen with aperture plates in the projector.
     
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  15. Steven Good

    Steven Good Second Unit

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    Then perhaps the projectionist at the theater you saw the film had the mattes mis-aligned during the showing? That could account for that. I've seen films where the subtitles are almost unreadable because of poor positioning of the aperture plates in the projector--tops of heads cut off, or the bottom of subtitles falling below the screen... It happens.
     
  16. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Where he saw it in LA it would not have been mis-framed. You see Goldie's underwear in 1.85 and that's all you ever saw of it in that ratio. He was a kid when he saw it and I'm sure thought he saw more than he saw.
     
  17. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    I guessing the scene he's remembering is the scene with Goldie sitting on the coffee table/sofa talking to Beatty flapping he legs open and closed in the typical Goldie/Shampoo anxiety attack. A bit earlier there is a similar scene with her at the top of the stairs doing a similar thing, but much further away where you can see the polka dot underwear. The BD at the coffee table/sofa which is much closer up framed where you can see just the lower part of her shirt, but no underwear. A few seconds later they are on the bed and again can see the underwear.

    If the coffee table scene was opened or lowered 6 inches I can most certainly understand why it would have made such an impression on a teenage boy and most certainly would vivdly remember it even 40 years later. I can't imagine them wanting her crotch (ala 1970's version of Basic Instinct) to be seen in close up in the theatrical presentation, but even the imagination of it would have been quite strong even in the 70's
     
  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Yes, the imagination of it, which is what's going on here.
     

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