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Theatrical Matte Option or "OTM" Why isn't it used more?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BooneG, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. BooneG

    BooneG Stunt Coordinator

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    I was reading a review for "Bride of Re-Animator" and the reviewer talks about an option were you can view the open-matte presentation of the movie and then go into the subtitle menu and add matte bars. Why isn't this option used for more movies? It would be nice for Disney to include it on all of their fullscreen releases so that both parties (the pro-widescreen and the anti-widescreen) happy. I would have loved for them to use this option on movies like White Fang and Snow Dogs.

    PS: I know that the movies using this option would probably not be anamorphic, but it would be a nice option though.
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    If they were open matte enough to just use a "mattes" subtitle track, you could simply use construction paper or black felt to create physical mattes.
     
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Those with widescreen sets can often also use a zoom mode for the same effect.

    Still a deal breaker for most due to the lack of anamorphic support.
     
  4. Scott Varney

    Scott Varney Agent

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  5. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    For alot of matted films, removing the mattes reveals things you weren't meant to see (boom mikes) so they are often cropped for 4:3. Also, special effects shots are hard matted to the theatrical aspect ratio.
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    With Bride of the Reanimator, an anamorphic transfer was impossible, so the subtitle matte option was put in as an attempt to retain the original composition. With most of the Disney films, especially Muppets, the film was hard matted, so you are still losing picture.
     
  8. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Open matte for special effects films is largely unheard of to the best of my knowledge, so I wouldn't hold your breath for many effects heavy films.
     
  9. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    Snow Dogs is Pan & Scan, so putting black bars on top and bottom would give you a cropped version of a Pan & Scan transfer. That'd be good, how? [​IMG]
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    But with the many Disney, Columbia, and older WB open matte DVDs, the quality is terrible.

    You forget that the DVDs are open matte because they're old transfers and the studios didn't create new ones yet.
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I wouldn't encourage the use of subtitle mattes. Go back and do a proper anamorphic transfer for widescreen films.
     
  12. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    It would be interesting to see this option on a Super35 shot film. Let's say the director wants to release it at 1.85:1 (with 16x9 anamorphic intact). They could do this and still include a subtitle matt for "proper" 2.35:1 viewing. Of course provided the whole film was framed properly, and all SFX shots extended to at least 1.85:1.
     
  13. BooneG

    BooneG Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for answering my question. I just wanted to know about this feature. I know all about hard matting but I thought that if some movies are released open matte then maybe they could do the sub feature. Just a thought.
    PS: I thought someone said that Snow Dogs was open matte, maybe I heard wrong. I'm sorry [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Super 35 isn't that simple, since the reframing for different ratios can move around quite a bit.

    The subtitle matte should only be looked at as an option when the original film elements have been destroyed or are unusable, and all that exists is an open matte 4:3 transfer. Otherwise, a new and proper anamorphic widescreen transfer should be struck.
     
  15. Nick_Scott

    Nick_Scott Second Unit

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    Another problem with the subtitle matte is that it doesnt work in some of the older players.

    On my old RCA/PROSCAN, the matte just flickers on and off. Same with the ghostbusters matte.

    About the Super 35 stuff: There is a fantastic demonstration on the T2 DVD about how 4x3 transfers are made. They did NOT use an open matte. Instead, they pan/scanned both horizontally and vertically, and zoomed everywhere... I guess thats what happens on a effects heavy super35 film.
     
  16. NeilEdwards

    NeilEdwards Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing that must be considered when doing subtitles in this situation. (1) if the transfer is open matte, the subtitles must be above the bottom matte line. So when you set a 16:9 TV to zoom mode, we can still see the subtitles. (2) if the transfer is 16:9 and it is NOT anamorphic, the subtitles must be in the picture - not below it. I bought a DVD once that had the subtitles in the black space below the picture. My TV went into automatic zoom mode and I could not read the subtitles. The DVD was returned for a refund.
     
  17. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Sense I opened the Super35 Can O' Worms, let the court records show my previous statement: [​IMG]
     

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