WIDESCREEN over 4:3???

Discussion in 'DVD' started by FrankZ, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. FrankZ

    FrankZ Auditioning

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    Hello all,

    I was wondering of the technical benefits of purchasing WS over FS DVD's.(I own a 4:3 RPTV), but if the picture were higher quality I would buy WS.

    If anyone has any info either way I would appreciate it.
    Or if there is a different forum that deals with this topic.

    Thanks
    Frank
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The aesthetic benefit is seeing the entire film as its maker intended. Questions about DVDs go here in the Software section.
     
  3. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    The technical benefits are that you are not chopping people out of the picture with widescreen. The artistic benefits are that you are viewing the film as the director intended it to be seen.

    Get widescreen. Someday you will thank me.

    Ric
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I think that you will find that most of the members of this forum believe that you should watch movies as they were intended to be shown, which you will often see referred to here as Original Aspect Ratio (OAR). For most movies made today (in North America) this is either 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 (this can be thought of as the Cinemascope ratio). A good many films made in Europe are shot in 1.66:1 ratio.

    Most older movies were shot in 1.33:1, commonly termed, the ´Academy Ratio’. This of course fits the 4:3 screen perfectly. As it turns out, 1.85:1 pictures usually fit the 16:9 sets being sold today (a 1.78:1 ratio) because overscan fills in what would otherwise be very thin ‘black bars’ at the top and bottom. 2.35:1 films have noticeable black bars even on 16:9 sets.

    The reason to watch films in OAR, is because the picture presented is how the filmmakers intended the film to be seen. That is the composition of the picture, the framing and what is intended to be included or excluded have been conscious decisions by the director, cinematographer and editor. So if you want to see the picture the way these filmmakers intended you should get the ‘widescreen’ versions.

    The so-called full screen versions, often do not contain important material that is present in the widescreen versions. For example in Ghostbusters many of the shots at the end show only three ghostbusters, not four. Further in some shots where two people are looking at each other, engaged in conversation, a director may have chosen to show both persons in profile, only moving to one at a certain point for emphasis. In the fullscreen or Pan and Scan (as it is properly termed) version, the editors making the transfer usually move the 4:3 frame over the picture to show only the person who is talking—so it appears as though the camera is in constant motion, going from one person to the other as they talk back and forth—all because the 4:3 frame won’t hold both persons. The director’s intent is lost.

    There are of course many other examples.

    Just in case you are not aware, this forum is pro-OAR, to the point of having viewing of films in OAR as a part of their mission statement, and some of the members are quite passionate about this.

    However it is true, that some films have been shown (legitimately) in theaters in a variety of aspect ratios. Very few are to be properly viewed in 4:3 when shot in 1.85:1 and narrower aspect ratios.

    The reverse is also the case: if you had a 16:9 set, watching classic films in 1.33:1 is the accepted method of viewing, not zooming the picture to fill the 16L9 display.

    Hope that this helps.
     
  5. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    You want to know the difference? Then go here and here.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'll repeat what has been said before:

    It's not about the amount of picture, but the RIGHT picture.

    Don't let pictures fool you, though. To preserve the correct framing for films, you may have to crop the image.

    If you were to compare the fullscreen and widescreen versions of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, for example, you'd notice that the fullscreen has parts of the frame that are hidden on the widescreen version. The widescreen version has parts of the image the fullscreen version lacks. The bottom line is that the widescreen version has the CORRECT framing while the fullscreen version does not.
     
  7. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Patrick, concerning the open matte issue, Widescreen.org does a good job of illustrating that. Definitely take a look at that page and see why more can mean less sometimes. [​IMG]
     
  8. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Widescreen.org's examples are the exception to the rule. Most of the time, you won't see booms and chains and all that. It's really all about framing.

    Get widescreen, because most DVD's don't give you a choice, and you might as well get to liking it. After a brief period, you'll get used to it, and not notice it. Also get it because you are seeing the correct framing in most cases. If you treat movies as art, it's important to see all of them, or to see what the makers intended.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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