When is Fullscreen Pan & Scan & When is it really FULLSCREEN? I'm becoming Joe 6 Pack

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Johnny G, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2000
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Firstly, I'd like to explain the reason this thread is in the software section. My company sells DVDs and I get so many people confused about dual Widescreen and Fullscreen/P&S releases and I'm shortly setting up a web site and I'm in 2 minds to rename the many recent dual releases to Pan & Scan instead of Fullscreen.

    I'm totally confused, I've been explaining the advantages of OAR for years and the answer my question will not in any way deter me from OAR because I'll still always want to see what was intended to be seen and no more, no less.

    The trouble is (and my question applies to 1.85:1 movies only), I always assumed that the majority of films in this ratio could not be opened up to a ratio of 4:3 due to the shape of the negative and hence were panned & scanned for 4:3 broadcasts/VHS etc.

    I now find I may be wrong and feel like a bit of a J6P, as a thread I started in the movies section about IMAX (totally different issue and not one I'd like mentioned in this thread), had a response from a member, who I think is a projectionist, stating the vast majority of them (1.85:1 films) have a 4:3 (full-frame) image that is composed to be matted theatrically to 1.85:1, and these DVD releases are not in fact P&S but Fullscreen afterall.

    Here is a list of recent 1.85:1 films with a dual release with the title of Fullscreen, how do I know whether to call them Fullscreen or P&S?

    A Beautiful Mind
    Death To Smoochy
    Murder By Numbers
    Scooby-Doo
    Mr Deeds
    Spider-Man
    Men In Black 2
    Unfaithful
     
  2. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Depends on how pedantic you want to be. Most likely, the live-action scenes in all of these movies are "full frame", but any FX shots are pan & scan unless the filmmakers have gone to lengths to expand any FX shots into the 4:3 regime.

    In the olden days, anytime you had an FX shot, it was always panned & scanned; these days, it's a toss up: the FX in Harry Potter and Dogma, to name only two, are extended into the full frame region.

    Note that I'm not sure the distinction matters that much to people whose aesthetic appreciation for movies includes the criterion "must fill screen".
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,587
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Peter Apruzzese
    Johnny,
    I'm afraid my answer to you in the other thread may have been a little misleading. As Aaron has pointed out above, many of these films have sequences that are matted on the print and those scenes would have to be panned and scanned for 4:3 video.
    For your purposes - educating your cusomers as well as letting them know what is different about each version (I commend you for attempting to educate your customers by pointing out the differences!) - I think you'd be better off by staying with "Full Frame" (or even "modified Aspect Ratio") for these films. There will be no way for you to determine if a film has some scenes that require panning and scanning. (If you think about it, many people would consider "Full-Frame" to be accurate as the image would make their TV screen appear full!) Best example would be the original Jurassic Park. When I ran a 35mm print through my hands prior to projecting it, I noticed that several scenes had hard-matting, but the majority of the film did not. Of course, theatrically, it ran 1.85 so this matting wasn't an issue. For laughs, one night we ran the print privately on a 4:3 screen and you could see that all of the scenes where CGI was used (as well as some traditional opticals) were hard-matted. So, obviously, the intended aspect ratio is 1.85 and the widescreen DVD is the correct way to view it, even though on the Full-Frame DVD you'll see more inage top and bottom for the majority of the film.
    I think the best thing for you to do would be to explain that widescreen DVDs recreate the intended aspect ratio of the film and that Full-Frame DVDs are compromised for home viewing, even if they include MORE picture than a widescreen version. I wouldn't try to go into the details of pan-and-scan vs. full-frame. It should be simpler: Original Aspect Ratio and Modified Aspect Ratio.
    You're not a J6P if you're asking these questions! [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 1999
    Messages:
    11,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ican tell you for a fact that Spider-Man's FX sequences are hard matted on the film, but that the practicals are open

    I saw an um...naughty version of it that was telecined directly from a theatrical print and it was almost like a text commentary, FX, no FX, FX, no FX

    So if there's FX, they are usually hard matted to the target AR
     
  5. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2000
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for your replies guys, you reinforced what I originally thought.

    One thing I didn't realise is that a fullscreen version is composed frame by frame, ie partly full frame & partly pan & scan. I thought either it would be all full frame, which would have been matted for cinema, or Pan & scan with the theatrical print used to compose the cropped frames.

    The problem with trying to dissuade people from buying MAR is, at present, we need to push the positive sides of widescreen in about 5 seconds on the phone, but when all you have is a line listing on a web page, there's no room for detail and at least once people realise that P&S means they're not seeing all the film they saw in cinemas, you've won them over but calling it fullscreen will make them more inclined to think they're getting the FULL picture. Remember we're talking about people that know nothing about film composition (not the few well educated customers I have). Oh and MAR would just confuse them totally.
     
  6. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 1999
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Brian McHale
    If you're trying to dissuade people from non-OAR discs, I would recommend just calling them Pan & Scan, even though it's not always accurate. Face it, if they even bother to ask, they'll probably go away feeling like they understand. Hopefully by the time they learn about Open Matte, they'll understand the value of OAR.
     
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's why we shouldn't worry about which to use...P/S or Full Frame (especially since most soft-matte movies are actually a combination of both).
    the best term is:
    "4x3 modified from its original theatrical presentation"
    Also agree that when in doubt, just go with "p/s". After all...somewhere in that open-matte film you're bound to find a true P/S scene or two.
    -dave
     
  8. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2000
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    so I can safely assume that when there is a dual Widescreen & Fullscreen release that the fullscreen is bound to be panned & scanned in at least some way, even if it's just the SFX shots?
     
  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    3,008
    Likes Received:
    759
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    JohnnyG-
    Yes, a recent example with LOTS of good screen shots
    of the SFX being panned and scanned is also
    Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,
    but to add a wrinkle to the conversation, that
    film was shot Super-35, so even the "open matte"
    shots lose some information on the sides, while
    revealing more at the top and bottom.

    If you do a search here for "Lord of the Rings"
    you will find screen shots were all SFX shots
    look like they have lost about 50% of the image.
    (The witch kings, "Ring Wraiths," in their shot
    where they are starring down at Frodo is an excellent
    example of how much information one loses.)

    regards,

    Mark
     
  10. Dan Kaplan

    Dan Kaplan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Dan, how about if MAR is "standard" as opposed to OAR which is "special" or "superior".

    EDITED FOR CLARITY
     
  12. Dan Kaplan

    Dan Kaplan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Huh? That seems backward to me... Standard is what it currently is called, which erroneously implies it's the un-modified version. Special and Superior would indicate even better, which is the opposite of what I would hope to see.

    Did I miss some sarcasm???

    Dan
     
  13. Mikah Woodward

    Mikah Woodward Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe that Brenton was referring to widescreen with "special" and "superior".

    Of course, I could be wrong...
     
  14. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The closest I've seen to good labling was on "Monster's Inc". The Mouse House states:

    Fullscreen version of the film (1.33:1)
    - Specially reframed for Standard Televisions

    Widescreen version of the film (1.85:1)
    - Enhanced for 16x9 Televsions

    Not perfect in that I don't like the term "fullscreen" or "standard" in describing 4x3 TVs since 16x9 is the new FCC standard but still pretty descriptive. Especially considering the source.
     
  15. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  16. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2000
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    damn it, I'm just gonna call them whatever the studios call them, those who'd rather fill their screen can miss out.
    Believe it or not, I even get people with 16:9 screens (probably more people than 4:3 screens) who don't want black bars so much, they'd rather buy the P&S version than WS for a 2.35:1 movie and stretch the picture, which so many people do already with broadcast TV. I guess most TVs would zoom a 2.35:1 film to fit but they don't realise.
    p.s. Mark Walker
    I first saw what was gained & lost on Super 35 about 10 years ago when there was something about Terminator 2 and the different framing for the new video release and the theatrical release.
    I also saw something about 6 years ago showing how the extra height for the video of Se7en was mostly extra ground & floor, very nice![​IMG]
     
  17. Aaron Thomas

    Aaron Thomas Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Someone else came up with the following two labels:

    Movie Version (1.85, 2.35, etc)
    - As seen in theaters

    TV Version (1.33)
    - Screen edited for television

    I love the idea, since:

    1) You can label anything from Jurassic Park to Spartacus to Casablanca "Movie Version" without getting into technical discussions of aspect ratio.

    2) A lot of people hate the idea of "edited for television" and describing it that way is an effective propaganda tool.

    Aaron Thomas
    Somewhat oversimplifing, but it answers the question.
     
  18. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2000
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Trouble is Aaron, here in the UK, the majority of people with a decent set up, such as people buying imported DVDs (my customers), have 16:9 TVs so TV version would not suite.

    Go in our eqivalent of Circuit City/Best Buy or even Supermarkets and you can't find a 4:3 TV except portables.
     
  19. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2000
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Johnny G,

    The exposed aperture of most 1.85:1 regular 4-perf 35mm films is 1.37:1. The exposed aperture of most 4-perf Super35 films is 1.33:1.

    That does not necessarily represent the indended AR though. Hell, the exposed aperture of a ~2.40:1 anamorphic film is 1.37:1 and nothing gets matted.

    Personally, I detest the term fullscreen and rarely utter it. It is very misleading and pertains only to 4x3 televisions.
     
  20. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 1999
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well Johnny, since you're in the UK, you hopefully won't have that much of a problem with people wanting P&S version. It's just those darn yanks... [​IMG]
    So, I'd go ahead and label them "Crappified Version"... Or since WS TVs are so widespread: "You-Can-Be-Bloody-Sure-This-Won't-Fill-Up-Your-TV Version".
    --Anders
     

Share This Page