Widescreen 101: Educating Mainstream Consumers

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Randy A Salas, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    For years, members of this forum have complained that no mainstream source wants to educate consumers about the benefits of widescreen presentations compared with pan and scan. Well, here's the opening salvo--on Tuesday's front page of the feature section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper:

    Widescreen 101: Are you missing the big picture?
    Sidebar: Widescreen 101: Summer school lesson plans

    This is only the online version. PDFs of the published pages are available at my web site:

    Front page
    Continuation page

    This series has been a year in the planning. It kicks off Tuesday and runs every other week through Sept. 2. In addition, Scripps Howard News Service has picked up the package, so you might see it in a newspaper near you, as well.

    Please keep in mind that this is aimed at people who aren't you. Thanks.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
    Paul McElligott
     
  3. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Looks good Randy! I might have to pick up a copy of the Star Tribune to check it out. I'm really happy that you are attempting to educate the masses. Let's hope that other newspapers around the nation decide to pick this up. Now we just need people to read it and take action!
     
  4. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Dammit, Randy, how come my local papers don't write good stories like that? Sheesh.
     
  5. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    It sounds like this will be very good for consumers, and for the format as well. I saw the lesson guide, but I couldn't find lesson one (see edit). Also, it required registration. The part that says there are no organizations attempting to educate the masses is not entirely true. There is one, but it's a non-profit, and has no financial backers, so I run it out of my own pocket. With no financial backers, I do not have a ton of resources available. It's called Widescreen Advocate.

    I'd be willing to contribute my web space and bandwidth, as well as anything else I have towards making sure that as many people see this project as possible, so feel free to contact me at [email protected] I'd also be willing to put a link on WA to this once it's finished so that people wanting to print them out and distribute them could get them from my site.

    [edit]I re-read your post, and I saw that the pages won't be up until tomorrow. If possible, I will be glad to host the PDF's on my own site with a link to the Star Tribune as well. I'll also add your name, as well as your paper, to the contributors page. I can't wait to see the pages, and here's hoping that many many people will see it. I noticed you had a link to the Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy page. That is a good idea. If you would be willing to add a link to widescreenadvocate.org, I would be grateful as well.
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Randy, I'll be glad to archive/reprint your article on widescreen.org if you give me the okay to do so.
     
  7. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I apologize for people having to register at StarTribune.com. That's a new "feature" that I had forgotten about. It's worth the effort, because it will show that people are visiting to read Widescreen 101. But if you want to wait, the PDFs will be available soon.

    Adam, I don't recall a paper in your area being part of Scripps, but if that changes I'll give you a heads up.

    Joshua, I actually had considered adding your excellent site, but first-time visitors (keeping in mind that I'm addressing people who don't even know about HTF, for example) might get the impression that it's geared more toward people like you and me--those who know about the issue and are trying to educate others. So I settled on listing just one more-introductory site from which people can range out if they want. There will be an opportunity later to list your site, which I'm planning to do.

    Also, the visual presentation of Lesson 1 got lost in the transfer to the Web site. Basically, Lesson 1 is:
    * A short introduction that didn't make it online.
    * The two photos from The Mask of Zorro, each of which has an extended caption explaining what's happening in that photo. (You have to click on the photos to read the captions.)
    * The photo from Contempt and caption. (Again, click on the photo to read the caption.)
    * The second part of the lesson plan that says "Learn more about Lesson 1."
    It will all be much clearer when you see the PDFs. Each lesson will essentially include the above components. The long article was just to kick off the series.

    John and Joshua, once I put the PDFs up on my site, you can grab them.

    Also, articles at StarTribune.com usually are available free for three weeks before moving to a paid archive. To help with this project, my colleagues in the online department have agreed to keep the entire project available free for a year.
     
  8. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    PDFs of the published pages are now available at my web site:

    Front page
    Continuation page

    I have edited my original post to take this into account.
     
  9. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    Excellent piece, Randy. I think it has just the right mix of information, and examples. It does not overload the consumer. My only grief is that the PDF's are the size of a full newspaper page, with other articles/ads on the pages. They look nice, but it will be difficult for people to print these out on their printers at home. If you get some free time, would you consider making some flyer-size PDF's. I would much appreciate it.
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    keep up the good work

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Randy, this is super. Thanks for your contribution. Hopefully, other media people will see it and pick up on it.
     
  12. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    An excellent piece. I wish this could be syndicated to more papers across the country.

    If I recall, you wrote a wonderful piece about the woman who appeared in the background at the opening of the Mary Tyler Moore show?!?
     
  13. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Informing the public is the only way to win the OAR war. Thanks Randy... you've been appointed to five star general. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Randy, if and when the letters to the editor start rolling in, please let us see them. Good job! JB
     
  15. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    I was about to start the thread:
    Widescreen Advocate of the YEAR: Randy A Salas

    But you beat me to the punch. Imagine my suprise when I sit down at lunch and see "Widescreen 101" and on the front page of the Variety section. Excellent article(even though I already knew the info). Looking forward to your other articles coming up(especially the last one).

    Keep up the excellent work!!! The J6P's appreciate it and so do we. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Glad I had already registered at the Strib. (Regular reader of a couple of columnists there! Even though I don't live anywhere nearby.) [​IMG]

    Great piece Randy! Just great! [​IMG]
     
  17. Daniel*T

    Daniel*T Auditioning

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    This is yet another reason to visit the Star-Tribune every Tuesday. I already visit the site weekly so I can read Randy Salas's DVD reviews/stories. The people of Minneapolis are lucky. Keep up the good work, Randy.
     
  18. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    This really was great to see in the paper today. I was impressed with the high profile the paper gave it -- indexed at the top of the Front Page and 2/3rds of the front of the Variety section. Way to go!

    Randy, I have to ask if you were behind the paper's editorial a few weeks back trashing the concept of the self-destructing DVDs Disney is testing?

    Jay
     
  19. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Thanks again for all the kind comments, everyone. This really was a major undertaking, so I'm relieved everything seems to have fallen in place.

    Joshua wrote:
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Excellent piece. I'm looking forward to reading the future installments. Are you going to address Super35, or is that just too big a can o' worms (as it so often has been here)?

    M.
     

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