Sydney Pollack blasted pan-and-scan at the Virginia Film Fest, loves OAR on DVD!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Guy Martin, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Folks-
    Attended the director's workshop with Sydney Pollack yesterday at the Virginia Film Festival. He took some time to explain OAR and bash pan-and-scan to the audience. The first signs of his opinions came when the moderator qued a clip from They Shoot Horses Don't They? At first Pollack groaned "Oh no, it's gonna be pan-and-scan" only to be delighted when the Sony DVD logo from the player on the screen and the film began playing letterboxed. Later he began talking about his use of Panavision (2.35:1) framing on this and all of his films when he first began, and how he loves the 'scope framing, so much he even got into fights with the studio on Horses since the entire film takes place on one small set and the studio types assumed panavision was only good for big vistas. He got similar grief for shooting Tootsie that way ("What, you want to shoot a comedy in 'scope?"). But then, with Out of Africa, the movie of his he most wanted to film in panavision, he sadly came to the conclusion that he couldn't bear to see his films getting panned and scanned and found that full frame transfers became a necessary, lesser evil (he said that Three Days of the Condor in particular gets destroyed when cropped as there are several scenes where vital clues get clipped out of the frame). Since then he has only shot films flat (1.85:1) because of video. This clearly pained him alot. Then the moderator said "Well now that we have DVD with it's wonderful letterboxing abilities are you going to start shooting in panavision again?" Pollack smiled and said "absolutely with DVD more popular I can't wait to get back to shooting in panavision". So it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel. Still it pains me to hear that we were denied a 2.35:1 Out of Africa because of the monstrosity that is pan-and-scan.
    - Guy
    PS
    I seem to recall that Pollack actually sued a TV station for showing Condor in pan-and-scan without removing his director's credit.
     
  2. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    I was sitting here trying to decide what I wanted to watch tonight. 3 Days of the Condor just got the nod.
    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Looks like Mr. Pollack gets honary membership in the OAR Avengers. [​IMG] Now if only we could see his performance in Death Becomes Her in OAR!
    - Steve
     
  4. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Good for him!
    ------------------
    My top ten movies that need to be on dvd:
    1. Akira Kurosawa's Dreams 2. Freaks 3. Men With Guns 4. The Ninth Configuration 5. The Reflecting Skin 6. Santa Sangre 7. Treasure of the Sierra Madre 8. Voyager 9. White Heat 10. Wings of Desire
     
  5. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    How did one go about getting into that film festival, Guy?
    About him panning pan-and-scan, it's great he's fighting studios and stations, but I think he's kinda "preaching to the choir" if he pans it at a director's workshop.
     
  6. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Han-
    The VFF is open to anyone who can get to Charlottesville. Usually they get some pretty big-time guests, like last year they had Anthony Hopkins and Ebert and Stan Winston comes almost every year. Most events are only a couple of bucks and the workshops, including the one with Pollack are free. Demand for Pollack's workshop was so great they actually had people sitting in the next lecture hall watching him on a live video feed! It's definitely a festival for film buffs to watch older and more obscure movies rather than a place where the latest, undistributed releases get shown like Cannes or Sundance. Here's the official site:
    http://www.vafilm.com
    - Guy
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Martin Scorsese once said he was going to start shooting in 2.35 right when letterboxed laserdiscs became prevalent- his next movie was "Cape Fear" which was 2.35 (which I heard is absolutely ruined in pan and scan).
     
  8. Han

    Han Second Unit

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    Guy,
    Thanks for the link!
    Jesse,
    That reminds me of my copy of Casino. The box says 1.85, but popping it in, I was surprised to see it was actually 2.35. Cool.
     
  9. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    I'm not too familiar with Pollock's films but I'm glad to hear he is making an issue out of pan n scan. We need more directors to stand up and refuse to have their films released in pan n scan.
    Fight The Power [​IMG]
    KrisM
     

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