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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Movies: Widescreen vs. Fullscreen.

View Poll Results: Widescreen or Fullscreen?
Poll Options:
Widescreen. 98 votes (92.45%)
Fullscreen. 8 votes (7.55%)
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll
Movies: Widescreen vs. Fullscreen.
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macgeek2005
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:17 PM
 
To refrain from turning this post into an endless rant of my hatred toward Fullscreen, I will simply state that I cannot express in words how much I hate it, and how evil I think it is. It's not so much "Widescreen vs. Fullscreen" as it is "Normal vs. BUTCHERED!!!".

How would Mozart have liked it if we played a piece of his without the cello's or winds? How would J.R.R. Tolkien have liked it if we read the Lord of the Rings without the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages. How would Picasso have liked it if we looked at a piece of his art and hid over a third of it from our eyes.

Fullscreen is CUTTING the movie! It is distorting what the director wanted to show the audience. I don't understand how anyone can be okay with watching a fullscreen movie, knowing that they're missing so much.

My family just rented One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, and none of us have seen it yet, but i'm not willing to watch it with them, because it's on VHS, and it's fullscreen. I told my dad "Don't get it, we can't watch it like that", and he didn't listen and he got it anyway. I showed both my parents all the info, and example images of how much is cut. They don't care. I don't understand how people can be so block headed. These are people that appreciate art, and creation.

Anyway, Widescreen or Fullscreen for you?
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:26 PM
 
     
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:30 PM
 
Wide. Basically for the same reasons as you, though I wouldn't say that I'm quite as fanatical about it.

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Feb 16, 2007, 11:34 PM
 
I appreciate art in it's intended form, but, just as TheoCryst stated, I am certainly not fanatical about it.
     
dav
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:40 PM
 
given the choice, widescreen.
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macgeek2005  (op)
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Feb 16, 2007, 11:41 PM
 
Wow, there were 9 votes for fullscreen in that archive poll. Let's keep this going for a bit, I wanna see if anyone votes fullscreen here, and what their reasonings are. There are no reasonings to butcher a movie and view it in an aspect ratio that differs from what the director intended.

edit: Mods, can you edit this poll? I want there to be 4 options:

1. I will always watch Widescreen. I will not watch Fullscreen ever.
2. I prefer Widescreen but I am willing to watch a fullscreen movie.
3. I prefer fullscreen but I am willing to watch widescreen.
4. I will only watch fullscreen. I will not watch widescreen ever.
     
macgeek2005  (op)
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Feb 17, 2007, 12:07 AM
 
Who voted fullscreen??? Show yourself!
     
Jawbone54
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Feb 17, 2007, 12:16 AM
 
I went with widescreen, of course. I do appreciate it, for some reason. It just feels less constrictive. There are some movies in which you can tell something has been lopped off, and that's incredibly annoying. I'm no fanatic about it, but I do agree that everything that we're meant to see cannot be appreciated without the whole picture.

Also, it's more likely that as HDTVs become more prevalent, more people are going to realize how much more they enjoy watching a movie in widescreen rather than the old way, which they're simply used to.

Blah blah blah, I've talked too much. Widescreen.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 12:17 AM
 
I voted fullscreen. So sue me. It fits better on my video iPod, my external 4:3 monitor, and my archaic standard def TV. Is widescreen better? Sure, but fullscreen plays back prettier for me.
     
MaxPower2k3
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Feb 17, 2007, 12:48 AM
 
Widescreen, although it's understandable why fullscreen DVDs were so popular until recently.

And One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a fantastic movie, no matter how cropped or squished it is, so I hope you can get past your phobia and give the movie the viewing it deserves

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JoshuaZ
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:13 AM
 
I don't see why a DVD can't include both widescreen and fullscreen on the same DVD.... I have several older DVDs that have this option. It seems kind of silly.

Nothing annoys me more then when my parents send me a package, and include a DVD of something I really want to see, and they send me the fullscreen version. Sigh.... You'd think they'd know their only son a bit better.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:13 AM
 
Shouldn't the options be Edited and Unedited? There are some movies and television where the intended format is fullscreen and showing them in widescreen would require editing.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 03:52 AM
 
Are movies even released in pan-and-scan ("fullscreen"? hah!) anymore?

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Feb 17, 2007, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Shouldn't the options be Edited and Unedited? There are some movies and television where the intended format is fullscreen and showing them in widescreen would require editing.
In particular Kubrick's work.

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Buckaroo
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Feb 17, 2007, 04:43 AM
 
All my Movie DVD's are widescreen except one. I don't think Full Metal Jacket is available in widescreen.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 05:19 AM
 
It wasn't shot in widescreen.
     
torsoboy
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Feb 17, 2007, 05:30 AM
 
I chose fullscreen. I like that it takes up my FULL SCREEN rather than making everything smaller (harder to see) and I hate the black lines across the top and bottom. If I have a choice when renting a movie I ALWAYS choose fulscreen.

Now if my TV was a widescreen television I would go with widescreen (although I have noticed widescreen movies with black bars on the top and bottom even on widescreen TVs... what's up with that?). I like what fits on the television I am watching.

If the movie is widescreen I still watch it without complaint, but I prefer my whole screen being used.

macgeek your sure seem very stubborn about pretty much everything. especially for someone saying "I don't understand how people can be so block headed." Get a house of your own if you want everything your own way all the time. or here's an idea... rent the flippin movie yourself and watch it on your own time instead of crying that your parents are watching a movie that you don't want to see with them.
     
Buckaroo
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Feb 17, 2007, 06:31 AM
 
Some people prefer to get the true effect of the movie the way it was originally told. When you view a movie in full screen and each person is on each side of the widescreen, all you see is one person talking to nobody, then the fullscreen pans over to the other person, while they are talking. These links might help explain:

http://www.ryanwright.com/ht/oar.shtml

http://www.widescreen.org/widescreen.shtml

http://www.dvdactive.com/editorial/a...idescreen.html

http://home1.gte.net/res0mrb7/widescreen/

Personally, I prefer to watch the movie in the format that the director intended to tell me the story. Anything less and I miss out.



Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
I chose fullscreen. I like that it takes up my FULL SCREEN rather than making everything smaller (harder to see) and I hate the black lines across the top and bottom. If I have a choice when renting a movie I ALWAYS choose fulscreen.

Now if my TV was a widescreen television I would go with widescreen (although I have noticed widescreen movies with black bars on the top and bottom even on widescreen TVs... what's up with that?). I like what fits on the television I am watching.

If the movie is widescreen I still watch it without complaint, but I prefer my whole screen being used.

macgeek your sure seem very stubborn about pretty much everything. especially for someone saying "I don't understand how people can be so block headed." Get a house of your own if you want everything your own way all the time. or here's an idea... rent the flippin movie yourself and watch it on your own time instead of crying that your parents are watching a movie that you don't want to see with them.
     
wallinbl
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:01 AM
 
It's time to just go out and get a TV that's widescreen. Most TV shows are shot in widescreen as well.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:27 AM
 
Fullscreen are good for… hum, rip them to the iPod.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
(although I have noticed widescreen movies with black bars on the top and bottom even on widescreen TVs... what's up with that?).
There are generally two different aspect ratios used in widescreen. 16:9 is what you see your widescreen tvs as and 2.35:1 (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) is almost a super-widescreen. Since it is wider than a widescreen tv they put black bars on the actual 16:9 footage. That is why you see black bars on the top and bottom on even a widescreen tv.

If you have never seen bars on your fullscreen movies then they are chopping off a lot when they crop a super-widescreen movie.

I voted widescreen since my tv is widescreen and even before that I'd would've voted widescreen. I can't stand chop 'n crop.
     
Wiskedjak
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:56 AM
 
Here's the inverse question:

How do people with widescreen TV's watch 4:3 content? Do you leave it normal (with side bars), zoom it (cutting off the top and bottom of the content), or stretch it (distorting the image)?

Personally, I leave it normal for most content, though I'll stretch it for animated content since it's usually more difficult to notice the distortion.
     
dav
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:03 AM
 
info from hometheaterforum
Here is a listing of some of the most common aspect ratios:

1.33:1 A standard television set; roughly equivalent to 4:3.
1.37:1 Referred to as the academy aspect ratio. The standard for films shot before the mid-1950s.
1.66:1 A bit wider than a standard TV, but not by much.
1.78:1 The dimensions of a widescreen television set; roughly equivalent to 16:9.
1.85:1 Popular aspect ratio for many movies.
2.35:1 Another popular aspect ratio for movies.
see link for explanations.
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mac128k-1984
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:10 AM
 
I prefer widescreen but I do not have the same level of venom against full screen. The different aspect ratios don't mean that much to me. If I rent a movie, and its full screen no big deal, I don't go out of my way to get wide screen, though most dvds are now widescreen I've come across some that are not.
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:58 AM
 
Pan & scan is teh suck.
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Feb 17, 2007, 11:04 AM
 
All widescreen here, even when I had a 4:3 TV.

I recently borrowed a bunch of movies (from someone with a widescreen TV) and they were all full screen. I watched them anyway but informed her that she should buy the widescreen movies and why.

I typically keep all 4:3 content stretched to fill, but most of what I watch is 16:9 HD or DVDs.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 11:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
It's not so much "Widescreen vs. Fullscreen" as it is "Normal vs. BUTCHERED!!!".
..
Fullscreen is CUTTING the movie! It is distorting what the director wanted to show the audience.
That's not necessarily true.
     
torsoboy
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Feb 17, 2007, 11:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
Some people prefer to get the true effect of the movie the way it was originally told. When you view a movie in full screen and each person is on each side of the widescreen, all you see is one person talking to nobody, then the fullscreen pans over to the other person, while they are talking. These links might help explain:

ryanwright.com: www.ryanwright.com

The Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page

Why Widescreen? in Editorial > Articles at DVDActive

Widescreen Resources and Information

Personally, I prefer to watch the movie in the format that the director intended to tell me the story. Anything less and I miss out.
Of course I know that (as does pretty much everyone who has ever wondered why some are widescreen and some are full screen). I hate the argumenet "the way it was originally told"... the directors know that the movie is going to be made into full screen as well and shoot it fully knowing this. Most of the items on the side of the screen are background items only because of this. I never have a problem getting the "full effect" of a fullscreen movie. I rarely notice the difference from the theater and a movie in full screen.

I'm not trying to argue that full screen is better, I'm just saying that I personally prefer it over widescreen on my standard format TV.
     
centerchannel68
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
To refrain from turning this post into an endless rant of my hatred toward Fullscreen, I will simply state that I cannot express in words how much I hate it, and how evil I think it is. It's not so much "Widescreen vs. Fullscreen" as it is "Normal vs. BUTCHERED!!!".

How would Mozart have liked it if we played a piece of his without the cello's or winds? How would J.R.R. Tolkien have liked it if we read the Lord of the Rings without the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages. How would Picasso have liked it if we looked at a piece of his art and hid over a third of it from our eyes.

Fullscreen is CUTTING the movie! It is distorting what the director wanted to show the audience. I don't understand how anyone can be okay with watching a fullscreen movie, knowing that they're missing so much.

My family just rented One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, and none of us have seen it yet, but i'm not willing to watch it with them, because it's on VHS, and it's fullscreen. I told my dad "Don't get it, we can't watch it like that", and he didn't listen and he got it anyway. I showed both my parents all the info, and example images of how much is cut. They don't care. I don't understand how people can be so block headed. These are people that appreciate art, and creation.

Anyway, Widescreen or Fullscreen for you?
I feel the exact same way about audio. Why the hell do people settle for shitty sound? TV speakers? Give me a ****ing break. They're awful. You can't hear most frequencies when using TV speakers. And volume? COME ON! THATS GUNFIRE! THAT SHOULD BE LOUD!

Ugh. So yeah. It's either normal or 'butchered' where people lob off the low frequencies and high frequencies and watch movies with their shitty little speakers.
     
awaspaas
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:28 PM
 
I had the unpleasant experience of browsing the Wal-Mart DVD selection recently. It was difficult to find a widescreen title in the whole place. *shudder*
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
I had the unpleasant experience of browsing the Wal-Mart DVD selection recently. It was difficult to find a widescreen title in the whole place. *shudder*
This is indeed something to be afraid of.

My local mom-n-pop video rental store is this way. I wrote them a letter once and they actually replied. They said that with the few wide-screen titles they do have are barely ever rented. I replied that most wide-screen fans probably don't visit their store because the selection is abysmal and that I drive an extra 10 miles to rent movies to rent from somewhere else. No reply from them. I am not surprised, I am probably in a very small minority.
     
andreas_g4
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Feb 17, 2007, 03:20 PM
 
When I watch a movie on my MacBook, I usually let VLC cut it to 16:10 since everything is bigger then. But I could never watch a movie in 4:3, I even refuse to work at a 4:3 screen since this format seem like an anachronism to me.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 04:05 PM
 
I'm a widescreen snob. I have strong family roots in the film industry (no, NOT the MPAA) and I can't stand watching cropped & chopped 4:3 movies. I even get a bit ticked when my wife buys "fullscreen" movies for the kids (for them to watch on the small 4:3 TVs in their rooms). She's learned though, and no longer buys "fullscreen" DVDs. I actually showed my 8 yr old daughter the difference, and now she doesn't like her "fullscreen" discs.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 04:56 PM
 
I'll one up ya. I hate stuff that isn't anamorphic Widescreen. Nothing like watching a movie with won't scale with technology...

ok, I'm just kidding. I prefer widescreen, and I avoid 4:3 if I can. I'm somewhat surprised there's still a market for fullscreen. I look forward to the day I can laugh at all those people who complained about the black bars on top and bottom of their televisions. Now they can experience all their full screen films with their bars on the right and left.
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Feb 17, 2007, 05:36 PM
 
Pan & Scan sucks, particularly if you know what the movie looks like.

But I do sympathize about the iPod. Watching a widescreen movie on that is as enjoyable as it is torturous.
     
imitchellg5
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Feb 17, 2007, 06:03 PM
 
You are becoming very eloquent macgeek. I'm Proud Of You®.
     
macgeek2005  (op)
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Feb 17, 2007, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
You are becoming very eloquent macgeek. I'm Proud Of You®.
Even if that was intended as a sarcastic comment, I think that if I wanted too, I could prove to all of you that I am a complete opposite of the image that I have given you of myself. I know people in real life that get an impression of me an an immature person who doesn't listen to reason, and then when I stop acting stupid, and sit them down and talk, they go "wow... you really are an eloquent person who actually has a brain and is actually quite smart".
     
Buckaroo
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Feb 17, 2007, 08:51 PM
 
Here is an example of the Full Screen "Talking Heads" phenominum:

Star Wars: The Official Site

In the widescreen version you can see both people talking to each other. In the full screen version, you only see each person talking to no one. You can't see the other persons facial expressions.

This is not what the director intended. In fact, there were some directors that refused to allow their movies to be shown in fullscreen format for many years. I think they finally gave in, but it didn't happen overnight.
     
Buckaroo
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Feb 17, 2007, 08:53 PM
 
Here is another great example.

The Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page

If you can't see all the characters facial expressions, and the action happening around, you're missing out.
     
SirCastor
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Feb 17, 2007, 09:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
Of course I know that (as does pretty much everyone who has ever wondered why some are widescreen and some are full screen). I hate the argumenet "the way it was originally told"... the directors know that the movie is going to be made into full screen as well and shoot it fully knowing this. Most of the items on the side of the screen are background items only because of this. I never have a problem getting the "full effect" of a fullscreen movie. I rarely notice the difference from the theater and a movie in full screen.

I'm not trying to argue that full screen is better, I'm just saying that I personally prefer it over widescreen on my standard format TV.
Okay, first of all, most directors aren't behind the camera the whole time in the first place. That's the cinematographer's job. The director frames the shots with the cinematographer (aka Dir. of photography) and they work together. Secondly, You don't shoot for a particular ratio because you don't know what's going to be end up being used in the end anyway. Those decisions are made on the cutting floor. Directors shoot movies on the format they're shooting on. Editors cut movies for theaters, and these guys cost way too much money to be cutting for television. Lab technicians make cuts for full-screen/pan and scan. The decisions about how a film is going to look on a 4x3 screen doesn't come up until the later end of post-production.

Edit: I wanted to add this. There are quite a few movies that suffer little from being made to fit 4x3. Epics typically don't do well, while a romantic comedy will make the transition easily. Why? Because of the original shooting ratio: Epic films like LOTR get shot in a wide aspect, 2.35:1 (to put that in perspective, it's 7.05x3). Whereas "When Harry Met Sally" was shot in 1.85 (5.55x3) movies that are more intimate are much easier to scale down.

Edit 2: One more thing (until I edit again): Directors (at least in Hollywood) don't really have final say in what ends up in the movie. The Producer does. The producer represents the studios interest, and the producer can make final decisions. Hopefully (and usually) the producer and director are working together and not against each other so the director gets what he wants.
( Last edited by SirCastor; Feb 17, 2007 at 09:32 PM. )
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imitchellg5
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
Even if that was intended as a sarcastic comment, I think that if I wanted too, I could prove to all of you that I am a complete opposite of the image that I have given you of myself. I know people in real life that get an impression of me an an immature person who doesn't listen to reason, and then when I stop acting stupid, and sit them down and talk, they go "wow... you really are an eloquent person who actually has a brain and is actually quite smart".
It wasn't really sarcastic. It was just surprising to see correct English and punctuation from you. Normally you don't use punctuation or capitals etc. I'm not saying you are immature at all, I was just surprised to see such eloquence compared to your previous posts.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
It wasn't really sarcastic. It was just surprising to see correct English and punctuation from you. Normally you don't use punctuation or capitals etc. I'm not saying you are immature at all, I was just surprised to see such eloquence compared to your previous posts.
Could his level of intoxication have anything to do with it?
     
Buckaroo
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Feb 17, 2007, 10:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by SirCastor View Post
Okay, first of all, most directors aren't behind the camera the whole time in the first place. That's the cinematographer's job. The director frames the shots with the cinematographer (aka Dir. of photography) and they work together. Secondly, You don't shoot for a particular ratio because you don't know what's going to be end up being used in the end anyway. Those decisions are made on the cutting floor. Directors shoot movies on the format they're shooting on. Editors cut movies for theaters, and these guys cost way too much money to be cutting for television. Lab technicians make cuts for full-screen/pan and scan. The decisions about how a film is going to look on a 4x3 screen doesn't come up until the later end of post-production.

Edit: I wanted to add this. There are quite a few movies that suffer little from being made to fit 4x3. Epics typically don't do well, while a romantic comedy will make the transition easily. Why? Because of the original shooting ratio: Epic films like LOTR get shot in a wide aspect, 2.35:1 (to put that in perspective, it's 7.05x3). Whereas "When Harry Met Sally" was shot in 1.85 (5.55x3) movies that are more intimate are much easier to scale down.

Edit 2: One more thing (until I edit again): Directors (at least in Hollywood) don't really have final say in what ends up in the movie. The Producer does. The producer represents the studios interest, and the producer can make final decisions. Hopefully (and usually) the producer and director are working together and not against each other so the director gets what he wants.
I always wondered what a producer did.
     
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Feb 17, 2007, 11:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
Could his level of intoxication have anything to do with it?
He's 15. Hopefully he's not intoxicated.
     
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Feb 18, 2007, 01:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
I had the unpleasant experience of browsing the Wal-Mart DVD selection recently. It was difficult to find a widescreen title in the whole place. *shudder*
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
This is indeed something to be afraid of.

My local mom-n-pop video rental store is this way. I wrote them a letter once and they actually replied. They said that with the few wide-screen titles they do have are barely ever rented. I replied that most wide-screen fans probably don't visit their store because the selection is abysmal and that I drive an extra 10 miles to rent movies to rent from somewhere else. No reply from them. I am not surprised, I am probably in a very small minority.
Seriously. Is this a US-phenomenon that I wasn't aware of? In Europe and Australia AFAIK, pan-and-scan releases is nowhere to be found.

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Kevin Moon
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Feb 18, 2007, 01:15 AM
 
Widescreen only here. I think I have a few movies in fullscreen as those titles aren't available in widescreen. Besides those few everything is widescreen. I won't rent or buy anything that is fullscreen unless no alternative is available.
     
Railroader
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Feb 18, 2007, 01:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Seriously. Is this a US-phenomenon that I wasn't aware of? In Europe and Australia AFAIK, pan-and-scan releases is nowhere to be found.
This is a [INSERT MY HOMETOWN NAME HERE] thing. I don't know of any other rental stores being so FS oriented.

I don't know what Wal-Mart is selling. The Target near me is mostly WS.

I think Netflix is mostly WS as well.
     
PurpleGiant
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Feb 18, 2007, 02:14 AM
 
I wasn't aware that DVDs were even still sold with non Widescreen versions. Weird.
     
Buckaroo
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Feb 18, 2007, 02:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
He's 15. Hopefully he's not intoxicated.
It slipped my mind that teenagers could be posting here.
     
All_Insane
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Feb 18, 2007, 04:03 AM
 
I like both, for various reasons. When I'm watching movies on my 21" TV from 1989, which is 4 feet away from the chairs, WS is too small. Corner to corner, its only 19". I most definitely prefer FS on the TV, cuz WS is so hard to see.

When I'm watching stuff on my computer (17" iMac), I like to multi-task, so I often have the movie window taking up 1/2 the monitor, and the other window (usually internet or solitaire) taking up the other 1/2. With a FS picture, I can see more.

On the other hand, FS is so 20th century. WS is the way of the future.
     
 
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