Who are most likely to understand widescreen and who is most likely to hate it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Douglas Kalon, May 4, 2002.

  1. Douglas Kalon

    Douglas Kalon Stunt Coordinator

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    I was just wondering who understands widescreen and who hates it?

    Do young people, who grew up on music videos (Some which are widescreen) more likely to understand widescreen benefits?

    Do older people not understand it?

    Does education have anything to do with it?

    Do college graduates understand widescreen better?

    Do high school graduates and non graduates understand it less?

    When you go to a retailer that sells DVD's, who do you notice is buying the widescreen version more? The older person or the younger consumer?
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Working in a video store over the years, I have discovered the people who are the least likely to accept widescreen are older men, 40 and up.
     
  3. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    In my experience, those with smaller TV's are more likely to hate widescreen.

    You have to rememeber that most people have smaller TV's in the corner probably 8 feet or more from the viewing position. It really is hard to watch widescreen films this way. When I was forced to use my 25" set from about 9 feet away for a few months when moving I really just stopped watching movies. Subtitled flicks were simply not possible.

    I don't like watching movies non OAR and watching widescreen movies on this set at that distance was unbearable. My wife and I both got headaches watching 2.35:1 films, so we just stopped watching movies for those few months.

    I would venture to guess that we will never win the OAR battle with these people. And you know, I don't blame them.
     
  4. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    I second that one, CR...

    Most of the late adopters have been watching 'home theater' on 19" televisions and linear mono VCRs which are not hooked up to their stereo systems (which may be nothing more than a higher end shelf boom box) and the image reduction in that perspective is too much to them. They're not willing to spend $600 to $1000 on a 29-31 inch television, but they'll spend $100 - $150 on an entry level DVD player from WalMart.
     
  5. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  7. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's dangerous to generalize about people. I have seen more than one instance where a marvelously educated person simply cannot stand a letterboxed presentation on a 4:3 screen of any size. As has been noted many a time, even those who comprehend the concept can still hate the format.

    The solution, though controversial and seemingly harsh, is to force the widescreen era along and not even offer the P&S option on DVD. But the studios are resistent to the idea.
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Very few people actually don't like letterboxing.
    In fact, most people who buy P&S products either don't know about letterboxing or don't look for it.
    You're looking at a post by someone who only started supporting OAR-only video since 2000. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    I am over 40. Back around 1982 I bought widescreen bootlegs of Star Wars, Empire and ET for my betamax VCR. It was the only way to get widescreen. When I was watching these, I finally felt I was seeing movies on TV the way they should be... and I was watching on a 19 incher! I probably understood widescreen in my early teens. I remember seeing a Clint Eastwood movie and the picture was squished during the credits making everyone look really skinny! It was obvious to me why they did this, but it was not the right solution. I truely can't understand why people don't get this concept immediately.

    Ric
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    AFAIK, most people don't give a shit about the picture being correct, they care about the story. For them, movies are a way to deliever a good story, nothing more - wether most of those stories are actually good is a whole other discussion [​IMG] . Most people to whom I told about widescreen couldn't care less, after they perfectly understood it. They point was: "2 inches missing from the sides are not gonna affect the story"... Can't really say they are wrong (puts on flame suit). They simply don't watch movies the way we do, and we can't expect them to.
    --
    Holadem
     
  12. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Holadem is exactly right. Movies are, for most people, stories, not art... and 99% of the time pan & scan doesn't alter or ruin the story. In fact, pan and scan does what your eyes already do NATURALLY: it follows the action.
    When you talk about a movie to your friends, you probably talk mostly about the dialogue and the plot. If an acting performance is particularly noteworthy, you'll mention that. MAYBE you'll discuss stunts, music, lighting, costumes and sets. Very few people discuss, or appreciate, the framing. "Wow, they had seven people all lined up on the screen at once!" or "You could see the WHOLE BOAT in that shot!".
    (Let me add that I do advocate OAR being an option for all DVDs, and that I prefer watching movies in OAR)
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'd at least like to refute the idea that one must be a cinephile in order to prefer OAR.

    I'm an auto mechanic by occupation, at a largish Toyota dealer. Of the 10 or so guys in our shop that have dvd players, only 1 prefers P/S-and he's watching on a 17" computer monitor. One of the other guys hasn't bought a player yet, but wants to soon so he can watch more movies in OAR. The rest fully understand and prefer OAR, and not all of them have huge sets--most are watching on 32 inch 4/3 sets. I loaned out my copy of AVIA to one guy, and within a month 4 or 5 others asked to borrow it.
     
  14. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    High IQ - understand and prefer OAR
    Low IQ - fail to understand or understand and still prefer non-OAR
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    George, no! Not the situation at all. And that's what's so frustrating about the OAR crusades: We're up against, in many cases, an educated lot.

    Steve's post, while it doesn't imply anything about the general intellectual levels of people in his profession, shows how a preference for OAR can cross demographic boundaries. (And, when I was a teenager, I flirted with the idea of becoming a motorcycle mechanic. Mechanics, by the profession's nature, cannot be dummies.)
     
  16. Rob Dwyer

    Rob Dwyer Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey now,

    I'm a OAR zelot - however I'm also poor and watch widescreen on my GIGANTIC 13" TV...

    Once I scrape some money together, I'll have a nicer TV, but if I can enjoy widescreen on my postage stamp of a television, the MAR people need to open their minds a little - most of them notice NOTHING except the "horrible black bars" and don't even try watching... those are the people that will never accept widescreen...
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well, Jack, while I was being humorous, I also believe what I said. I believe that people who understand why p&s is wrong but prefer it anyway aren't very bright. And frankly, I don't think most people who don't understand OAR are stupid, I think they're uninformed. It's not a difficult concept and practically everyone who has it explained properly can understand it. The stupidity comes in on understanding and still prefering p&s crap.
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Oh, George, I know you well enough also to know that humor was the underthrust of your post. I was posting for the benefit of newcomers who may not know the personalities here. (Not tryin' to bust your chops, bro'! [​IMG])
    Yet, fact is we are dealing with many people who are bright but who still are opposed to letterboxing.
    Another problem I've been aware of all along has to do with those persons--I don't know how else to put it--who are perceptually challenged. It's similar to the situation in 1989 when the promo campaign for Tim Burton's Batman was in full swing: That Batman logo on all those billboards was lost on many people; they thought they were looking at an image of teeth!
    I once was talking about aspect ratios and DVDs to a female coworker possessed of reasonably good intelligence. She admitted to me that she had never before even noticed how the basic shape of a typical commercial theater screen differs from most television screens. Not once had she ever paid attention to the fact that one is a wide rectangle, while the other is a more squarish rectangle.
    In a few other cases, I have overheard people complaining about all these newfangled HD-ready television screens being "so narrow." Instead of seeing "wide," these people are seeing "narrow."
    We face quite a few challenges in this effort.
     
  20. Michael Bailey

    Michael Bailey Stunt Coordinator

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    For me, I did not come to prefer widescreen movies until I bought a widescreen set. I knew widescreen was the correct way to go but P&S seemed to look better even on my 60in 4:3 screen.
     

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