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Understanding Widescreen & Pan-and-Scan

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Phillip, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Because of the recent widescreen/pan-and-scan debate, Jamie has put together a great editorial. He highlights the differences between widescreen and pan-and-scan and the various positives and negatives of each format.

    The editorial concludes with a comparative look at some famous Henson scenes in both formats. Find out what you may be missing!


    Let us know if you find this helpful!
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I understand how it works. But what I don't understand is WHY they do it!
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    It's a nice article from Mr Carrol-Vier, especially the screenshot comparisons which are lovely and really bring out the article. Sometimes i feel like the widescreen debate takes some attention off what else has gone into the DVD (extras, packaging) but it is indeed an important issue and one that needs to be covered and it would be wonderful to see widescreen versions of these discs.
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Thanx y'all. I agree that the issue can overshadow the rest of the release - and rightfully so, but there are some great extras mentioned in my widescreen article so that any future discussion from me can simply reference it instead of bringing up the debate again.

    Why do they crop films?- Well, it was covered in the article. Some folks have small monitors and want the image to fill the area, but mostly it's about out of touch executives. It may also be a ploy by Disney to get people to repurchase the discs (they consider smaller releases) when widescreen monitors become the standard. Pure speculation there. It's primarily due to ignorance.
  5. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member


    I have a question. I watched my copy of the Muppet Movie last night after reading the article, and my copy doesn't show Kermit's "Sleeve" or Frank's head in the "Magic Shop" number. Where did you get your screen caps from? Are their different pan & scan versions?:confused:
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    There is some additional clipping that occurs on the television that can be seen on a computer player and flat screen television sets. The image is theoretical to illustrate a point- a production still that is nearly identical to the film frame. It shows what could happen with such a transfer. The Muppet Movie has been transferred both ways. Regular crop and Super35 crop. Kermit's sock is very visible in the current pan and scan version, but Frank's head is more hidden than it appears in the example. I would have used the actual frame, but this one made the graphic look better because it shows the corners, i.e. the full area before masking. Both show the same information.
  7. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Mmmmm, Hmmmmmm. You computer art folks, always fixin' things to prove your point! ;)

    Nice Turtle BTW
  8. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Well-Known Member

    Well, TMM didn't use Super-35....it was shot at 1.33:1, the normal TV ratio, and then matted down to 1.85:1 (the proper ratio). Rent the original CBS/FOX tape...it has no cropping or matting whatsoever...just the entire film frame...and even MORE revealing stuff is visible...
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    That isn't the case according to the DVD. The cropped version chops off the edges and exposes more from the top and bottom when comparing it to the widescreen (even the original video taped release too). It may not be Super 35 (that was more of a theoretical example) but it was shot at a larger area than the 1.33:1 television bounding, though it could be that ratio. That is a similar ratio for Super35 so that case is moot.

    I checked out the original release videotape transfer as well. Same thing. It was meant to be matted in widescreen - that is the point. The pan and scan transfers exposes Kermit's sock numerous times - the widescreen doesn't.
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    To clear up any confusion the image and the caption will be relabled in the next few days to reflect matte removal cropping rather than super35. Same results and theory, just a different name. It was used to illustrate a point, but I can see how it may be misleading. The film stock wasn't the point of the demonstration - it was about matte removal which is often (but not always) associated with that stock.
  11. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Well-Known Member

    Frogboy...I know it was intended for widescreen (1.85:1). But it was shot at 1.33:1, because shooting "hard-matted", with black bars on the negative, is expensive. Thus, what they do is shoot at 1.33:1 (the width of a TV screen), and then have it matted down to 1.85:1.

    Also, I guess I was wrong when I said the original video exposed the entire filmed frame...and we should be glad. If the partly-matted/partly-cropped image on the P&S version reveals part of Frank's head...then the entire unmatted frame could reveal even more.
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I get what you are saying. I made sure to imply that there are other formats out there:
    “A popular transfer technique sometimes used involves removing the widescreen matting of a film that is shot on a larger scale (like Super35)...”

    It's the labeled photo that is confusing and it will be tweaked this weekend. I was planning to leave that bit out of the article entirely, but I knew it would be an issue for some die-hards out there.

    I was really gearing this toward those who don't know the difference between widescreen and cropped. I made sure to use plain language. I should have been clearer about that bit, but didn't want to have it monopolize the article. It was more of a footnote. Glad you helped me clear it up though. If you took issue with it, I'm sure that others will too. That is very consructive feedback.

    It is good that they zoomed into the negative for the cropped video transfer because of the unintended information. Even so, as a Muppet fan, I would like to see that version too! LOL! Just not the main DVD version.
  13. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    The image Jamie referenced above has been updated on-line...

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