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Yeah - good wide vs. full-screen bias:

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Kenneth Harden, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    "The discs, priced at $26.98, will be available in both full-screen pan-and-scan format, which crops part of the rectangular movie image to fit square television screens, and the original widescreen format that preserves the entire image."

    Here is the article: Link:

    Just the wording seems harsh in a manner suggesting widescreen is the way to go [​IMG]
     
  2. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    When Fox news clues in you know the battle is all but over!
     
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Sorry to bust your bubble, Terry, but the article was written by the Associated Press. [​IMG]
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well that's not surprising. I'd probably drop dead if Fox News got a clue. [​IMG]
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The key word is indeed "preserve."

    Good work for the AP (and Fox News for hosting the article on their website)
     
  6. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    If only all descriptions made clear that the widescreen version preserves the image.

    But, you know, 4:3 is still a rectangle, not a square. Close enough I guess.
     
  7. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

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    Alas, I fear that the re-formatting of TV shows from 4:3 to 16:9 is going to be the coming battleground (re: Kung Fu, the original series). The correct way to discuss this is to emphasize OAR, not widescreen -- Kung Fu was filmed and broadcast in 4:3 per the usual practice of the day, my understanding is that the upcoming release crops the bottom and top of the frame to format (that is, butcher) it at 16:9.

    Does anyone else feel that the use of the term "widescreen" and derision of "full screen" has spooked the studios into considering or implementing the practice of cropping 4:3 TV shows for upcoming 16:9 format releases?
     
  8. Mike.B

    Mike.B Stunt Coordinator

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    That's a very scary thought, Larry. We are finally starting to win one "battle" against the studios (i.e., getting movie releases in their OAR) and now we may be facing another. It's crazy that people would actually prefer to have their 4x3 TV shows ruined just so that the image fits their screen "properly." Unbelievable. [​IMG]
     
  9. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Yes, it's true we often talk about widescreen, because that's the OAR we're usually talking about. But cropping or otherwise manipulating 4:3 material to fill a 16:9 screen is also bad. Just give us our black bars where they're supposed to be!

    Now, I do use the Natural Wide mode for watching the news or other run-of-the-mill TV viewing, but not for DVDs or what I consider critical viewing. But I have the control. Programs like Kung Fu should be in 4:3 OAR, and let the user stretch or zoom if he sees fit.
     
  10. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Considering the source, this makes me wonder if OAR is indeed better. [​IMG]

    /smartass
     
  11. Lev-S

    Lev-S Second Unit

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    we call these people "screen fillers". at the future shop I work at, I actually got asked by somebody how to tell if a 16x9 enhanced movie will fill the screen fully (1.66 - 1.85) or if it would have bars (2.20 - 2.40). the guy was making it his mission to avoid movies shot in scope. after I explained the different zoom and stretch modes on his tv, he refused and said "it has to fit the screen". unbelievable. some people don't know how good they have it... I'de love to trade my 27" Wega for his 50"+ 16x9 projo anyday!
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I'd just like to clarify one thing. After getting to meet several studio heads and VPs of home video through various HTF meets, I can say that the battle is not against the studio, as it is the *general uninformed public* who complain about "those black bars."

    It is actually an extra step to pan-n-scan something, someone (or a team) has to supervise the process because you don't just zoom in to a widescreen image to do a proper P&S transfer. The studios would love to skip this step and not do it at all, but then retailers like Wal-Mart, whose customers complain about the black bars, then complain to the studios. And places like Wal-Mart are the 800 lbs gorilla in the retail world.

    It is the uninformed masses we are fighting, and the fact that word has been getting out about OAR, and that people are generally starting to accept OAR in the mainstream, is a positive sign.
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Yeah well certian studios are doing this not exactly kicking and screaming. Sure it's understandable that studios are getting pressure from Wal-Mart and all, but there is NO EXCUSE for studios not to make an OAR version available when it is possible to do so. Especially for a approx 90 minute, Bare bones DVD films where both versions could easilly fit on one disc.
     
  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    I do worry a little bit that now MAR releases generally carry labels like "fullscreen" - that's a term that really doesn't mean much. Same for "standard". Fullscreen is relative to what screen you're watching something on - a widescreen DVD fills a widescreen TV, so it could be called fullscreen as well. How about 4x3 titles like "Casablanca" or old TV shows that are now on DVD labeled as "fullscreen"?

    I agree that more emphasis should be on the OAR rather than silly terms like fullscreen. It does seem like people are catching on, and with larger 4x3 TVs priced as low as they've ever been, most people have a large enough TV to watch a letterboxed DVD on and still see everything clearly enough.

    In the end, people will buy the product that's offered to them, so it's really important to have studios put out their product in OAR and not try to appease any specific group. Otherwise, we might end up with some 4x3 titles cropped to 16x9, and a casual viewer might believe that this is how the film was meant to be seen.

    In addition to noting widescreen or fullscreen on the DVD box, I think it would be helpful to the general public if all DVDs carried an extra illustration (perhaps a frame from the film itself) with some readible, easy to find text - something like: "This film/TV show was originally shot in the wider 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This DVD presents the film as it was shot" or "This film was originally shot in the wider 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but a portion of the image has been cut off to allow it to fill an entire 4:3 TV screen."

    I think "This film has been modified from its original version: it has been formatted to fit your screen" is to benign. One could argue that those words could be used to describe the video transfer itself, since the original film has been converted to video format for home viewing.

    On a side note, I just purchased Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and I like how, in the booklet, it says that the film is presented in widescreen, and if you desire a fullscreen image, check to see if your DVD player has a zoom feature. In other words, this is the way it should be seen, and if you don't like it, screw you, you chop the sides off yourself.
     
  15. Lev-S

    Lev-S Second Unit

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    If only they really did print that....[​IMG]
     
  16. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    I still agree with Ron on this one. If the studios made the decision to only release OAR discs, then people would still buy them. Oh Lum and Abner at the Jot-em-Down Store might complain for a while, but they'd get used to it. The younger generation is already accustomed to seeing letterboxed content on television. The studios need to grow some cajones.
     
  17. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Yes! Release OAR only and things would be different. Sure you'd get a few complaints, but fairly soon they would die down to mere grumbles and the discs would still get sold.

    Look at the sales statistics for OAR only movie DVDs. They constantly hit #1 or #2 on the charts, and not another version in sight.

    Why can't the studios grow backbones; why must they always be about compromising artistic vision??

    Dan
     
  18. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    "Pirates of the Carribbean" and "Bad Boys II" which are 2.35:1 only discs with no P&S on the market sold very well.
    According to Videobusiness the top selling disc for last week was the WS version of "Underworld" with the P&S coming in at, I think, number 13
     
  19. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    It's nice that they used that description in their disclaimer, instead of the standard "This film has been modified from it's original version" disclaimer.
     
  20. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    Quote: "In other words, this is the way it should be seen, and if you don't like it, screw you, you chop the sides off yourself."

    There probably shouldn't be any ugly words, but this is basically what it should say. Very well put!
     

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