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Pan and Scan

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Kylee Peña
Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:52:30 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if this video already circulated this forum years ago, but I just stumbled upon it. Totally preaching to the choir, but I've never really seen pan and scanning in action like this and found it interesting.







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Mark Suszko
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 3:23:09 pm

Oh yes, seen it many times, and man do I remember overhearing conversations at the video rental store (remember those?) where some pimple-faced idiot clerk would "explain" the difference between letterbox and pan-and-scan to mouth-breathing clod customers, telling them that pan and scan was "better" because it was "bigger" on the screen, and that a viewer would "hate" seeing "those distracting black bars".
Oh, the times they made me want to interrupt to throw a right cross...


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Stephen Smith
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 6:29:35 pm

Yes, there are different variations of this video. I remember buying VHS tapes and you could choose the "normal" version or the widescreen. My Mom hated the black bars and didn't want us to get the widescreen version. I loved the widescreen. Thanks to HD TVs this doesn't feel like a big issue anymore.

However, one of the most liked comments on YouTube was this, "I hated when you play a widescreen movie on a widescreen HD TV and you still get the black top and bottom bars ;|" URGH! Looks like they need to make a video educating the public that 2:39:1 or 2:40:1 is not the same aspect Ratio as HD TV (Neither is 1.8:1 for that matter but they probably don't notice the slight size difference) Yes, the movie theater isn't the same aspect ratio as a HD TV.

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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:44:46 pm

Great video!

Obviously a little dated because, I dunno know about you, but it's a been a while since I've seen a 4:3 cut.

Regardless, those guys are full of it.

Scorsese: "You lose the emotional impact of the picture." No you don't. In some of the Ben Hur scans, the drama was heightened because the drama filled the screen.

Hanson: "Do you care if you see six disciples, or twelve disciples?" Let's say the answer is six, because if you get all 12 of them in there, I can't see Jesus. You gonna tell me I'm wrong to want to look at Jesus?

Scorsese: "It's fuzzy, because you had to blow it up." No, the picture is fuzzy because I have to squint to see the part of the picture that matters most to me.

The fact is that decent pan and scan does in fact go where you'd want it to. This isn't always the case of course, and sometimes there's not a very good compromise, but more often than not, the scan IS WHERE I WANT IT TO BE. The cut is isolating the same thing that *I* am as I'm watching.

Also, let's get real. Movies are increasingly watched on portable devices, or at low resolution on a web-attached device. These geezers (and note that they were all geezers) SHOULD fight the fights that are important to them. But the war's over. And by and large, hi-fi lost for pictures, just like it did for audio. Even 16:9 is a compromise.


[Stephen Smith] "Yes, the movie theater isn't the same aspect ratio as a HD TV."





The fact is that most of the people who saw these classic movies in theaters never saw them in their full aspect ratio either. Studios gave up because most theaters couldn't project 2.75:1, and in the theaters that did, the picture was often too small to actually enjoy. Even in Cinerama theaters, they wound up showing 2.2:1 prints. Not because they didn't believe in the format. But because people couldn't see the actual pictures on the screen well enough.

Framing is framing, but the damn picture is the picture, too.

To be specific to your point, Stephen, the 2.75:1 version of Lawrence of Arabia throws away 31% of a 1.85:1 (aka 16:9) screen. Most people are watching TVs that are too small, or sitting too far away, for an optimal 16:9 image anyway. Two picture heights of a 42" TV is less than six feet. In your bedroom, that'd put the tv at the foot of the bed, and STILL be just a little too far away.

So NOW, you're asking somebody to limit themselves to 69% of THAT?

I've obviously got sympathy for the less sophisticated viewer on this. This is despite my career as a camera guy with a formal bent, believing that the framing is even more important than what's IN the frame. But in fact, some people prefer looking at what's inside the frame. LOL Ignorant bastards.

There's a reason that these were called "Full Screen" releases. It's NICE to have the full screen used. It's pleasant. Filling the screen was is the GOAL. Peering through a little slot isn't necessarily FUN.

Now, if you're talking about preserving frame format as a matter of artistic integrity, being respectful to a filmmaker's choices, then the only morally consistent choice will be for you to never ever EVER go see the 2D version of a 3D movie. The director made a choice, and you either honor it or you dishonor it. No in-betweensies. Honor the director: see 3D showings of 3D pictures. Seeing 2D showings of 3D movies DISHONORS THE DIRECTOR.

That's cool, though. Your money, your call. I'm just saying that if we're talking about artistic integrity, it's worth talking about artistic integrity.

Back to pan and scan....


One solution is bigger TVs. I spent a few years in the 90s doing home theater installations, 4:3 of course, putting in projectors with 100-120 inch screens, so that people could have black bars AND see the picture.

I also sold and installed screens that deployed as both 4:3 AND wider, so that the picture would fill the screen regardless of the aspect ratio of the, uhm, laser disk. My own screen was convertible, because as a viewer, I personally care about this to the max. But it doesn't bother me that other people are primarily concerned with seeing the heart of the picture as big as they can.

The irony now of course is that "full screen" versions (4:3) of movies aren't full screen on 16:9 TVs, so people stretch them to fill the screen! Stretch! I tend to zoom rather than stretch, but not because I think it's more ethical, so to speak. I suspect stretching does a better job preserving the original framing. I'm okay either way.

My favorite take on this was Luc Besson, director of the loved/hated Fifth Element. He said that he was not only never going to shoot with safe zones, but he was going to load as much action at the edges of pictures that anybody seeing a cropped version of his movies would be angry. At least that was his goal: to infuriate people at cropping so that they'd demand that studios always respect aspect ratios.

To me, he's also throwing down on other directors to actually use the whole frame. Hardly anybody does. That really is what "protecting" for 16:9 MEANS: make sure you don't put anything important outside that. It FORCES the rest of the picture to be irrelevant for anything other than window dressing, so that it CAN be safely cropped.

Which is why, in the end, I prefer 16:9 via panning and scanning rather than center cropping. It allows directors to make full use of the frame in every format.

Which is why so many directors are now shooting frames that are much larger than the final output. SO THEY CAN PAN AND SCAN. That may be the core of Fincher's approach to framing: shoot as much as possible and frame in post, panning and scanning like crazy.

And whatever Fincher or anyone else does for the theater is still gonna get cut down to 16:9 one way or another. I can respect -- and enjoy -- either a center crop or pan and scan....and suspect that if you're going to fill the frame with actual action, a pan and scan will work better anyway.

:-)


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Stephen Smith
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:32:52 pm

For me this is about personal taste. I don't like the look of 4:3. I think 16X9 type aspect ratios looks way better, and if that means black bars..so be it. Could you imagine seeing this at 4:3:



Tim, don't write, "I don't want to see that garbage in 4:3 or 16X9" :-)

From what I recall The King and I has a simular shot.

Regardless, things are clearly changing. Tim mentioned mobile devices. (Stupid iPad and its 4:3 screen) Not to long ago the iMax was for films at a museum. Their aspect ratio adds to the top and bottom of Cinemascope. SkyFall (Another one of Tim's desert island films :-) ) showed more explosions and action if you watched it on the iMax.

I don't think I have made one point yet, so if you are still reading I'll just say,"I'm so happy that you can't buy a 4:3 TV anymore. HD 16x9 TVs look way better. I love working in the 16x9 aspect ratio. It was fun to work on a 2k spot at 2.39:1 that is posted right here on the COW: http://reels.creativecow.net/film/henry-walker-homes I can't express how much fun it has been to see this on the big screen after all of the movie trailers play and right before the feature starts. Seeing Boys of Bonneville on the big screen as well was super cool.

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Stephen Smith
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:45:02 pm

Another interesting side note. The Finding Nemo SD DVD has a 16 x 9 version with black bars on the top and bottom or a 16x9 version where they added new additional footage to the top and bottom to make it 4:3 so it will fill your full 4:3 screen so you don't miss (lose) any of the movie. Not sure if I'm describing that well. But it was a cool solution to the problem.

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Kylee Peña
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:50:42 pm

Whenever I watch anything on an old TV I spend most of the time wondering how I lived like that so long.

Stupid iPad aspect ratio.

Sent from My iPad

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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 8, 2013 at 4:49:53 am

Hey, I'm nuts for widescreen. Remember me starting a business to install widescreen home theaters? I spent a freaking fortune to get trained and buy inventory. Same with my personal investment in laser disks: it was the only way to get Widescreen movies, and I was welling to pay anything. I subscribed to Widescreen Journal when some of you were still in diapers.

And like I said, I'm a formalist. I'm not kidding when I say that I believe the frame is more important than the content.

I noted in the business forum that I have generations of photojournalists in my family. Painters too. My grandmother was the best of the bunch. She stretched her own canvases, AND she made her own frames. She could work for days just on the shape, long before touching a brush. In fact, I had to build frames before I was even allowed to touch oil paints. I LIVE for framing in every sense of the word.

But to your observation, Kylee, yes, I was flipping my usual artist-first perspective (it's dishonorable to attend 2D showings of 3D movies) to a civilian one. It's possible to overstate the value of widescreen when the environment or the audience isn't suited to it. I guarantee you that a hundred people could watch Ben-Hur in 4:3 and not one of them say, “you know what would make this better? Make the picture 31% shorter and have it just take up part of my screen. I'll wait while you take care of that for me before watching the rest.“ And I think that, given the choice, most of those hundred would be willing to sacrifice some of the grandeur in favor of the emotional impact of getting CLOSER.

CERTAINLY true of Lawrence of Arabia in 16:9. One of the crowning works of human creativity -- and you'd feel the same way if the only way you ever saw it was in 16:9. And I'll bet you a real pony that most of the hundred people you'd show 2.75:1 and 1.85:1 versions of Lawrence will PREFER the one that fills their screen, because they want to be closer to it.

Me, I'll take the widest one you can get me. But that's just me. The vast majority of people who have ever seen Lawrence have never seen it in the original aspect ratio, even if they saw it in a theater 50 years ago. I'm just glad they saw it.

Stephen, I think you're right that IMAX can nail this. Something like 45 minutes of the last Batman movie was in full-frame IMAX, and it was stupendous. Nolan was the guy who pioneered this: shoot wide for wide shots, shoot full screen for maximum impact. Abrams did the same thing with Mission Impossible 4. I love it.

So what I'm saying is that IF you can enjoy something deeply, even if some of it is over the objection of its creator, then where does the source of cinematic power reside? Not framing. Not the final cut. See: Star Wars and Apocalypse Now, where the "improved" versions are....not. So the director's choice maybe shouldn't be the last word regardless. What the frak do THOSE asshairs know? I sure don't trust them to pick the right number of cameras to shoot with, right?

As righteous as I am about almost everything, I also think it's fun to every now and then think about things the way they ARE, which is almost never ideal...and yet movies still work...and sometimes even better if the director DOESN'T get his way.

As always, cheerfully advocating the devil where I can...but also asking, carefully, what are the ingredients that comprise impact, and which of them survive pretty much anything? The full width of a frame clearly isn't INTRINSIC to how the picture affects the viewer, or the viewer would sense when the frame is compromised....so what IS?

(apologies for anything more psychotic than usual. I thought I'd make this short so I typed it on my PHONE. Autocorrect is a harsh mistress....as is my tendency to be even less careful than my usual careening when working at this scale....)


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Kylee Peña
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:30:16 am

Firstly, apologies if I'm misunderstanding anything. Set me straight if I am. Also, really cool note about your painter grandmother.

True, I think a lot of civilians would choose the one that seems like it's closer to them. But they also don't know what's good for them, dammit. But yes, there's a reason why they made fullscreen DVDs.

I really hate when films shoot partially in IMAX format. It always distracts me from the film. It looks awesome in the larger format, but makes everything that comes after feel itty bitty for a while. I think I'm probably in the minority on that though. I definitely agree that the director's choice is not necessarily the right one. Example: 3D. LOL.

[Tim Wilson] "The full width of a frame clearly isn't INTRINSIC to how the picture affects the viewer, or the viewer would sense when the frame is compromised....so what IS?"

I don't really know how to answer this. In the right context, you can make anything impactful. Maybe it's a matter of how effective it can be. Like maybe the difference between watching something at home and then again in a movie theater. But I might be misunderstanding, like I said.

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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 20, 2013 at 6:06:55 pm

[Kylee Wall] "I really hate when films shoot partially in IMAX format. It always distracts me from the film. It looks awesome in the larger format, but makes everything that comes after feel itty bitty for a while."

Exactly how many people feel in practice about 4:3 vs. 16:9: widescreen is fine on its own, but IN COMPARISON, in REALITY, widescreen is too itty bitty. YOU want the IMAX screen filled...WHICH IS 4:3!!!* So, YOU, when looking at a big screen are PREFERRING the full screen version to the itty-bitty letterbox version.

So YOU, watching the same movie on the same screen, PREFER the fuller, NOT the wider, version.

*To be precise about aspect ratio: 4:3 = 1.33:1, whereas IMAX full-screen is 1.43:1. But even the "wide" version of IMAX is only 1.91:1, barely wider than the 1.77:1 of 16:9. So when you say that "widescreen" looks itty-bitty in comparison to 4:3, you're still nowhere near a theatrical release's 2.35:1! That would look really REALLY itty bitty!

I'm not at all surprised by this. It's exactly what I said. In REALITY, when presented with the choice between 4:3 or wider for actual pictures, virtually nobody actually DOES prefer wider....even if they think they would.

Again noting that I am one of the people who prefers the widest possible picture, and have invested a mid-sized fortune in screens big enough to enjoy those widest-possible pictures. But in reality? For most people? Not as big as a deal as the purists make it out to be.

You can get all filmy and artistic integrity-y about it, but that's how it works in practice in the vast majority of cases. And, as you have testified, exactly how it works for you.

I know you'll try to squirm out of it with further clarifications LOL but whatevs, man. YOU rest MY case.

Much appreciated, dude. LOL


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Kylee Peña
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 21, 2013 at 1:08:12 am

Nononono, you ain't getting the upper hand this time!

I like IMAX format because it's gigantic. It fills my field of vision, so I don't even acknowledge the whole frame at any given moment. I don't ooh and ahh at it because it's square-ish, I ooh and ahh at it because it feels freakin seamless. And then it makes me realize that the other stuff is widescreen, because it's not all crazy big.

I suppose I could get the same effect nose-to-tube on an old TV, but the sound probably wouldn't be as good.

I don't think I'd really want full real IMAX for all my movies. Mostly I want my movie to be a movie.

Meh.

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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 21, 2013 at 5:24:54 pm

[Kylee Wall] " I don't ooh and ahh at it because it's square-ish"

Yes you do. Which is why you say:


[Kylee Wall] "I ooh and ahh at it because it feels freakin seamless"

Seamless compared to what?

[Kylee Wall] " it makes me realize that the other stuff is widescreen, because it's not all crazy big."


Ah, seamless compared to letterbox. Because letterbox = less of a picture.

It sounds like you'd have preferred having a big picture all the way through.

Two quick notes. 1) I'm using YOUR name because I'm talking most immediately to YOU. and b) I'm recalling the many times that people have said in this forum that, from now on, when given the choice, they'll see something in IMAX as often as possible.

For your mixed-frame IMAX experience, you're going to come back with, "Yeah, but I'd REALLY have preferred having it widescreen all the way through," and I'll come back, "Nuh-uh." LOL "Crazy big" is seamless.

To put it another way re: pan and scan, YOU consider "full screen" versions of movies BAD, because they SHOW part of the PICTURE. People making their choices felt "letterbox" versions were BAD, because they only USE part of the SCREEN.

This dichotomy is obviously very nearly over, but your IMAX experience is EXACTLY THE SAME THING. You preferred screen-filling pictures over letterboxed ones.

Note that *I've* been saying "letterbox" and not "widescreen." THAT was the choice that people had to make. Between seeing a big picture that took up their entire screen, or a small one that took up 59% of their screen. In the real world, people tended to prefer big pictures.

JUST LIKE YOU DID.

It had little to do with the size of the screen, and everything to do with the size of the picture. This was every bit as true on a 27" screen. Probably moreso.

Your experience showed the utter fraud of the video you shared. THEY said the choice is between this:




and THIS:




Sure, of course, the wider one is prettier.

But that's not the choice people were making! That's not the choice you were looking at when you preferred the "seamless" experience of a big picture in IMAX vs. a letterboxed picture that was STILL bigger than anything you normally see.


HERE'S the REAL choice between fullscreen and letterbox.

THIS is full screen IMAX, aka 4:3:





And this is a letterboxed SLICE of IMAX:





Here at your desk, you can look at the two and say, "C'mon man, the letterbox image is more cinematic. Any moron can tell that."

But what you ACTUALLY said is that, after viewing the full screen picture, the letterbox image drew attention to itself as too small.

It only started looking "right" again once you got away from the full screen picture -- but once you saw the next full screen picture, the letterbox went back to looking small!



Obviously, for my example, I'm choosing a frame that doesn't "use" every silver grain of the picture for critical information. That's another fallacy of the video you showed. The fact is that 95% of the shots in Lawrence, and 95% of the shots in Seven Brides for Seven Rapists -- sure, they imprisoned women for months, but wow, GREAT dancing!!! -- simply do not "need" every bit of real estate that they take. MOST of the shots work GREAT as close-ups.

Look, most people are tasteless ignoramuses LOL but that's not why they preferred full screen movies. They preferred BIG pictures over SMALL pictures, JUST LIKE YOU DID. When you're watching a lot of big pictures, the small ones look WRONG.



Anyway...



Before I go, ima share one of my biggest peeves. It's not a "pet" peeve. It's a "roaring wild animal with dripping fangs" peeve.

You people say all the time that 3D isn't "necessary," rather than just say you don't like it. Because the directors think it IS necessary.

Scorsese and Lee, to use just two examples, wouldn't have made their movies at ALL if they weren't in 3D. So to THEM, 3D was the ONLY thing necessary to the movie. That is, they made a lot of other "necessary" choices AFTER they chose 3D, but no 3D = no movie.

For THEM. But you don't like it, so you won't see it the way the DIRECTOR says is NECESSARY.

Or if you do, you complain that, even if the DIRECTOR said it was necessary, that you've seen it yourself and judged that it wasn't ACTUALLY necessary.

WHY is it unnecessary to you, even if it was to the director? Because YOU DON'T LIKE IT.

Which is FINE.

But you're trying to ratify ONE viewer preference as "your right to choose," while somebody ELSE's choice makes them a "cretin who needs educating about the RIGHT way to watch a movie."

You can't have it both ways. If the director's choice is the only one that should be allowed, that would mean that you're a cretin for not going to 3D showings of 3D movies. Are you? Are you in fact a cretin for not demanding ONLY 3D showings of 3D movies? Are you a cretin for not backing the director's choice 100%?

Because if you're NOT a cretin for going to 2D showings of 3D movies, if it's okay for YOU to overrule a director, if it's okay for you as a creator of images to ignore the wishes of other imagemakers, if it's even vaguely aesthetically ethical for you to not demand ONLY 3D showings of 3D movies --

-- then you don't get to complain that people should ONLY have seen movies that use a fraction of their screens. You don't get to demand that letterboxing is the only ethically valid choice, just because it's the choice the director made.

Because if it's okay for you to prefer 2D showings and NOT be a cretin, then it is 100% okay for people to prefer big pictures.

JUST LIKE KYLEE DOES.

LOL

The fact is that NOTHING is "necessary." There is literally not one "necessary" choice for successful moviemaking, because magic transcends individual choices.

Even though Lawrence is THE classic choice, including MY choice, for the ultimate in the widescreen cinematic experience I submit that one of the most cinematic images in history is THIS one:





Does that look cinematic to you? Funkin' A it looks cinematic -- because it IS cinematic. Dude, I would soooooo watch that movie.

The fact is that if Lawrence of Arabia was a square movie in black and white, it would still be one of the greatest movies ever made.

This b&w square image also shows the fallacy of picking out one or two max-wide shots for that anti-pan and scan video you shared. They ARE great shots, and Lawrence IS one of my favorite movies, and it IS the best example of wider is better....AND, when you remove the comparison between big and little pictures and look at the picture actually in front of you right this second, NOTHING is NECESSARY.

The director of a great picture can have made any number of other choices, and the picture would still have been great.

As a viewer though, once you've thrown out the director's version of the final picture as being definitive, anything is possible.

And an entire movie shot in 4:3 b&w as beautiful as that photo would be extolled as one of the most sumptuous visual feasts of all time.

But when given the choice between the full screen and a LESS than full screen version of the same movie, people almost always preferred the one that filled their screen.

INCLUDING YOU, Kylee.

So I'm saying EXACTLY what YOU are saying: side by side, you prefer FULL screen over LESS than full screen.

Sorry man. You've now said exactly this TWICE now while trying to argue the opposite point. You're being honest enough with US to share your experience accurately, but you're not being honest enough with YOURSELF about what it MEANT.

TWICE. Wanna make it three in a row? :-)

I'll let you and everyone else have the last word on this, though. Or feel free to ignore this and move on to actually important stuff, which this is not. The full screen/fraction of screen choice is mostly over, making the fraudulent arguments in that video irrelevant anyway. LOL


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Kylee Peña
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 23, 2013 at 1:47:09 am

Even though I'm now basically yelling through your closed front door at you now...

I don't think it's fair to compare screen filling IMAX to filling smaller screens. I meant in the IMAX, I don't acknowledge the whole frame because it's so big that often you don't percieve the edges. So it doesn't matter if it fills the screen or what shape it is, it's big no matter what.

But mostly you're right blablablablabla.

The 3D thing though, how often is 3D not even the choice of the director? It could be an afterthought, or a requirement of the studio or whatever. Just sayin'. Aspect ratio and direction and cinematography is less likely to be.

Whatever man, pan and scan is a wretched travesty.

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Kylee Peña
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:38:59 pm

You absolutely lose the emotional impact of the picture! The director chose to place things in a frame a certain way. You chop it out and the impact is gone. Maybe it's more enjoyable if all you want is nonstop action, but I agree that an action sequence loses its impact because it becomes a blurry mess with no spatial awareness.

I really hate pan and scan. I also hate center cut. Back in the day when I rented physical copies of films, if I accidentally got a full screen version, I wouldn't even watch it. Noooo it's horrible, I would rather sit quietly for 2 hours than watch that.

I was going to say how do you possibly say this is okay when you're so adamant on the 2D/3D thing, but it seems like you're talking about it in two ways (artistry vs artistic integrity) and artistically you're okay with it for some crazy reason.

I also realllllllly hate directors pan and scanning in post. I want them to direct on set. I want thoughtful, beautiful, symbolic framing. Not a freaking mess.

UGH.

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Stephen Smith
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jun 24, 2013 at 5:35:23 pm

Let me get this straight:

-Everyone agrees that due to HD TV's Pan and Scan is on the outs.
-Tim and Kylee both agree that the 16 x 9 ratio is awesome.
-Tim and Kylee both agree that a bigger screen is better then a smaller one
-Tim and Kylee both agree that my pancakes look awesome.

I'm not sure why but it feels like everyone agrees and is saying the same thing...just from a different angle. By the way, I still watch movies at 16x9 on my iTouch.

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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jul 18, 2013 at 8:26:41 pm

Exactly my point. Because most people see most movies at home, most people have never seen the full picture of a movie. And they don't care.

Even most people who DO care have still never seen the full picture of a movie because they're watching at home...and it turns out that they actually don't care either.

It's not just Netflix either, of course. It's cable. I was watching 21 Jump Street (which I thought was pretty adorable), and found shot after shot that left half of each character in a 2-shot outside the frame. There's no getting around that 16:9 is NOT a theatrical aspect ratio.

So I guess that's how they get around pan and scan. They don't even bother to try to frame the action in some way that might make sense. Center cut that thing and who cares what falls out of the frame? At least it's not pan and scan!

And who cares? Nobody, not even the people who say they do.

Besides, if people really cared about seeing full frames, they'd only attend 3D showings of 3D features...but nobody cares THAT much about respecting frames, do they?


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Mike Cohen
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jul 18, 2013 at 9:41:03 pm

rarely on TV a movie appears that is in a format other than 16:9. Some of the old John Ford westerns have black bars even on a 1080 television, suggesting that AMC or whoever is playing it respects the aspect ratio.

Rentals very often fill the frame, though Blu-Rays are more likely to protect the aspect ratio.

One that jumps to mind that I saw recently was an HD showing of Dirty Harry in full Cinemascope. It was so beautiful I took some photos.

Mike Cohen


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Tim Wilson
Re: Pan and Scan
on Jul 19, 2013 at 5:13:10 am

[Mike Cohen] "whoever is playing it respects the aspect ratio."

One point of the article Mark linked to -- which people really oughta read; very interesting stuff -- is that studios often only supply full-screen versions, so respecting the aspect ratio is out of the broadcaster's/rental vendor's hands.

And to echo another of my ridiculous number of points in other ridiculous posts, part of the reason they do this is money. People want their whole screens filled, period, end of story. It's not only reasonable, it's NATURAL. It's EXPECTED. Educate, educate, blah blah blah. "Is it full screen? No? Then I'm not listening, la la la."

And this is NORMAL. It's EXPECTED. No amount of elitism from people who call them "films" (the F word) instead of movies is going to change how the human mind works.

And it ultimately ADDS to the enjoyment of movies for most of the people who watch them...assuming they considered that they might have had a choice...which they typically don't. Or they know and don't care.

In 18 years of online communities for filmmakers, I'd actually never heard any of this come up before. If not for this thread, it probably wouldn't have come up in the next 18 years either. In the end, no biggie.

Seriously, have you actually WATCHED Lawrence of Arabia all the way through lately? And then, have you ever watched it in "improper" aspect ratios? My first time was in 4:3 black and white, and it was absolutely enough to convince me that it was one of the greatest movies ever made. So what? Even in 16:9, watch it all the way through and tell me one molecule that you've missed. Try it. I've seen it half a dozen times in 16:9. I know for a fact. Can't be done.

NOBODY CARES.

With the usual disclaimer that I made a very lucrative living educating people about widescreen pictures and selling $10-15,000 home theater systems to show widescreen the RIGHT way. I LOVE widescreen movies. Can't make 'em wide enough for me.

AND NOBODY CARES.

LOL

In the meantime, lemme know when you find a more cinematic portrait, in any colorspace, in any aspect ratio than this one.




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