Would studios rather release "one format" on DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Erwin, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess what I am getting at is this: Does it cost more money for the studios to release 2 different screen formats of a DVD movie simultaneously (like Jurassic Park 3, The Grinch)? I hope that WS for DVD does not get treated like it did with VHS (you know, they only released the BIG blockbuster movies on VHS). Why can't they make WS tvs with just a regular TV tube (19", 25") and have them in the $199 to $599 price range, so, we can speed up the WS acceptance with J6P. This start off price of $1999 is what's killing WS right now! I can't even afford, but I like watching widescreen movies on my 32" because I have learned to only accept widescreen. To bad this does not represent the average american. I got excited about DVD last year because it seemed like P/S was not even a threat, now, I don't know.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Cheaper widescreen displays aren't the answer. We see posts here all the time to the effect of "I bought a widescreen TV but some of my movies still have black bars!" Focusing on the hardware doesn't end the dominance of a single screen size; it just changes it from 1.33:1 to 1.78:1, resulting in anomalies like HBO cropping its 2.35:1 movies to 1.78:1 for HD broadcast.

    There's really no substitute for persuading viewers of the benefits of OAR.

    M.
     
  3. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Judging from the more consistent support for anamorphic OAR widescreen on French R2 DVDs compared to R1 DVDs I would say that the ready availability of cheap 16:9 TV sets of all sizes (and the almost complete lack of 4:3 TVs) makes a huge difference.

    Examples: (Arthur, Purple Rain, The Commitements,etc., etc. OAR & anamorphic (4:3 in the US) Vertigo, The Hunt For Red October, Bound, Etc, Etc. Anamorphic, non-anamorphic in the US).

    Yes, Michael is right that in an ideal world J6P would be educated about OAR. But in the real world -- the one we live in -- cheap and ubiquitous widescreen TVs are the only answer.

    Ted
     
  4. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    Even though it's certainly part of a solution, cheap 16:9 TV sets is really not "the only answer", since it's not a complete answer to the problem.

    As Michael says, some people are always going to complain as long as they don't understand the concept of different aspect ratios. With widescreen movies there will be bars on top and bottom of the screen, and with pre-50s movies there will be bars on the sides.

    So, by all means, give the people of America (which I'm not a part of) affordable 16:9 TVs, since 1.78:1 is a good average AR, but it's no end-all answer to people who don't understand and appreciate OAR and tend to concentrate more on the black bars than on the movie in between.

    Keep up the good work "educating the masses". I very much want to believe that education works, even in the real world.
     
  5. Erwin

    Erwin Stunt Coordinator

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    I have tried since 1998 to educate people on WidescreeN DVDs. My DAD (58) has no problem with it and he has a 32' Television. My father-in-law who is a BIG film buff did not like WidescreeN for a long time, but he finally gave in and got a new Sony 42' which is not a true WidescreeN TV, but it's compatable for animorphic DVDs and such. He also has a JVC DVD player and I taught him how to use the zoom if he absolutely insists on getting rid of those black bars.
    What I don't understand is this: Why, Why, Why do studios release a "full frame" and "widescreen" of a movie with the aspect ratio of 1.85x1? Even my nit-picky father-in-law likes that ratio. I think most consumers can deal with this ratio. It's 2.35x1 that people have difficulty with. If you ask me, releasing a P&S version with a widescreen (1.85x1) version is pointless. Then again, P&S is pointless alltogether [​IMG]
     
  6. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    I really hate to sound extreme, but I think the only solution at this point would be for the studios to stop supporting P&S. As long as there is P&S, they will either cut quality to cram both versions on the same disc, or there will be dual releases, and Blockbuster, Target, Wal-mart and other retailers and rental outlets will refuse to carry the OAR versions. And that is assuming OAR will still even be an option.

    Most people, when educated, begin to prefer OAR. However, just like we have to force children to go to school, there is a certian amount of forcing required in getting people to make the transition to OAR as well.

    The American government did not stand firm when trying to make the transition from the mess of units we use to the much superior metric system. I think the movie industry is making the same mistake here.

    Sure some would have to dragged kicking and screaming during the transition to OAR, but once made, all but the stubborn would realize how much better off they are and would not want to go back.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    If I were a money grubbing studio exec, I would release a loaded pan & scan special edition and a higher priced, bare bones anamorphic widescreen version. That way the collector gets screwed both ways and ends up buying twice as many discs.
     
  9. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,

    I would think there would be more money to be made the other way around. Release a loaded OAR version and a bare bones P&S. If P&S is that much more popular, then there will be more people who will have to buy both releases to get both their viewing preference and the special features.

    Most pro OAR people will not buy a product with P&S only under any circumstances anyway.

    Serves the advocates of movie butchering right, doesn't it.
     

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