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Star Wars Pan Scan

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Why does Lucas release the movies in pan scan. He appears to the king of directers vision. Pan scan DVDs are a clear violation of directers vision. While I prefer Special Editions I would take widescreen originals to pan scan Special Editions anyday.
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I second that, jimbo. Another self-contradicting thing about the SE DVD release you pointed out. If "this is about art and filmmaking", why have pan&scan? - It's everything art and filmmaking isn't about.

It's especially weird, since George Lucas plays very hard on movie theatres that can't afford the level of technology he wants them to have, so his films can be viewed with the best quality he had in mind. Anyone remember the news flash when he tried to enforce digital technology, by stating there won't be any screenings in 'below standard' cinemas?

Seems a lot of it is still just about money, imho.
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When the first edition of SE came out, I bought 1 of the only 3 copies my local Blockbuster got. That is how much some people (back then) felt about widescreen vs. pan-and-scan.

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Seems a lot of it is still just about money, imho.
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Some people DON'T like widescreen (I have yet to meet any myself). By not releasing it in pan-and-scan, you've just limited your potential number of buyers, reducing the amount of money you get make off the sale.
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Originally posted by: jimbo
Why does Lucas release the movies in pan scan. He appears to the king of directers vision. Pan scan DVDs are a clear violation of directers vision. While I prefer Special Editions I would take widescreen originals to pan scan Special Editions anyday.

Well then, here's hoping he only releases them in P/S.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
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Kevin A
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There are some rare movies where the fullscreen version is actually better. Examples Dumb and Dumber and Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines (compare the widescreen and fullscreen version of Lokens big arrival) Still Star Wars is not one of these movies. Widescreen.org shows examples of widescreen vs fullscreen for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Star Wars.com shows examples of Attack of the Clones. The widescreen version is clearly superior. I don't understand why anyone would want only 56% of the movie when you can have it all. Buy widescreen Star Wars.
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I agree. There are some movies where it doesn't really matter. And it's those ones that I don't mind when I accidentally buy the P/S DVD as opposed to the W/S DVD (sometimes, I miss the banner that says which is which). And then there are Stanley Kubrick films which only come in P/S. Strange Mofo.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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There are some movies where it doesn't really matter.
Indeed there are.

Go get the movie The Sting. I don't think they even offer pan-and-scan vs. widescreen. My parents bought it on DVD, and we almost sent it back, because we wanted to widescreen version.
Turns out it was filmed in 4:3, or something close to it.
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I remember the old days of watching Chewie cut off in the ANH awards celebration. Hated it. So weird to see that image again.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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Jimbo, for once you and I agree. And I don't need to click to anything to know why it sucks. I will never watch any Star Wars film in Pan and Scam ever again.



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jimbo i must say i love this thread...
pan and scam is complete garbage...
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Unfortunitly my tapes are all pan scan. Hell I have never even seen the original versions in widescreen. I can't wait to buy the widescreen DVDs.
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Here's the simple explanation of why Lucas allows the OT to be released in P/S: studio pressure. It has been Fox's policy to offer both Widescreen and Fullscreen versions of all its hot releases for a couple of years now. When the film is short enough, they'll put them on the same disc; when it isn't, they'll opt for dual releases. Since Fox is handling the OT, even if Lucas does not want to offer both, he does anyway. As John Carpenter put it in the commentary on The Fog, "Let the idiots have their pan and scan."

Princess Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han Solo: I'm a nice man.

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Originally posted by: starkiller
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There are some movies where it doesn't really matter.
Indeed there are.

Go get the movie The Sting. I don't think they even offer pan-and-scan vs. widescreen. My parents bought it on DVD, and we almost sent it back, because we wanted to widescreen version.
Turns out it was filmed in 4:3, or something close to it.


It was shot open matte, which means that a fullframe version of this is truly fullframe; you see everything the director shot. I still would like to see a widescreen version that takes full advantage of DVD's resolution.

Princess Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han Solo: I'm a nice man.

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As John Carpenter put it in the commentary on The Fog, "Let the idiots have their pan and scan."
But why can't the idiots have their original cuts then? There's no logic in the company's move here. It's a clear and present double standard.
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Originally posted by: GundarkHunter
Here's the simple explanation of why Lucas allows the OT to be released in P/S: studio pressure. It has been Fox's policy to offer both Widescreen and Fullscreen versions of all its hot releases for a couple of years now. When the film is short enough, they'll put them on the same disc; when it isn't, they'll opt for dual releases. Since Fox is handling the OT, even if Lucas does not want to offer both, he does anyway. As John Carpenter put it in the commentary on The Fog, "Let the idiots have their pan and scan."


Thats my guess. Its my belief that the studio is responsible for the Star Wars pan scan release. My opinion Lucas seems like a widescreen supporter. He released The Phantom Menace at first in widescreen only. Made all DVD extras on both discs in anamorphic video even produced the Clone Wars cartoons in widescreen. He also put a very pro widescreen article on the official Star Wars website to convice people to go with widescreen. Studio should not force a filmmaker to pan scan. Its like a muesum cuting a painting in half to fit it on there wall properly.
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Originally posted by: GundarkHunter
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Originally posted by: starkiller
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There are some movies where it doesn't really matter.
Indeed there are.

Go get the movie The Sting. I don't think they even offer pan-and-scan vs. widescreen. My parents bought it on DVD, and we almost sent it back, because we wanted to widescreen version.
Turns out it was filmed in 4:3, or something close to it.


It was shot open matte, which means that a fullframe version of this is truly fullframe; you see everything the director shot. I still would like to see a widescreen version that takes full advantage of DVD's resolution.


Yes but correct me if I'm wrong althought you're seeing everything the director shot, not everthing that the director shot is somthing that he/she wants you to see. Which is why even in this case the Widescreen print is stlll the correct version. I think anyway.


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Originally posted by: Warbler
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Yes but correct me if I'm wrong althought you're seeing everything the director shot, not everthing that the director shot is somthing that he/she wants you to see. Which is why even in this case the Widescreen print is stlll the correct version. I think anyway.


I disagree. Many widescreen fans say this but I think that whichever version shows more of the shot picture. For example in Terminator 3 only the fullscreen version has any nudity. Kristanna Loken breast are not shown in widescreen. Why on earth would the directer not want you to see this. Hell even some effects shots look better in fullscreen. In the making of it showed how they animated the water below the Hunter Killer and talked for 5 minutes on how they did this. When it shows the final shot in 2.35 widescreen the water below the hunter killer is not visible. Yes there are definutly movies where the fullscreen version is superior but not alot of them. Still this is about Star Wars that movie is clearly much better in widescreen.
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I'll use Back to the Future as an example.

It was shot in open matte.

The "fullscreen" version is still just as horrible as ever, because you can see some revealing set props now in frame.
When Marty is being hanged, you can see a stage hand keeping the rope from choking him in the fullframe version.
A widescreen version is still the correct choice here.




Although, I think the Terminators were shot in an even stranger way...

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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The Terminator films (just 2 and 3, not the first) were shot in what is called Super 35, and agreed, it is a rather odd process. The director shoots in a large frame, and cuts things off for both pan and scan, and widescreen. Other movies shot this way include the LOTR trilogy and The Rock.

In any case, widescreen is not always the perferable version. It's whatever the director prefers. For example, Kubrick did not shoot many of his later films in widescreen, he shot them in full frame (TV aspect ratio). In the theaters, the tops and bottom were matted off. Widescreening began in the 1950's, so don't look for widescreen versions of Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, etc. And just because it was shot open matte (TV aspect ratio) doesn't mean the full screen version is better than widescreen. Back to the Future is one example. Another one is the famous nude scene in A Fish Called Wanda. In the widescreen version, Cleese is naked, in the fullscreen version, he has shorts on.

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Actually there are four processes

anamorphic print - shotting the movie in its theatrical ratio and cutting off the sides for fullscreen. Oviously movies shot in this make widescreen superior. What was done with Star Wars.

Hard matte - Filming in fullscreen. Cutting off top and bottom. then cutting off sides to fullscreen. Widescreen version is better.

Super 35 - shooting the movie in an inbetween ratio so that the widescreen and fullscreen versions are pan scaned equally. Its worth noting that most effects shots will be done in hard matte for these movies.

Open (Soft) matte - shooting movies in 1.33 and simply cutting of tops and bottoms to create widescreen. Again effects shots are done in hard matte.

For the record bad_karma24 only Terminator 2 was shot Super 35. Terminator 3 was shot in soft matte.
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It isn't always nessicarily widescreen, it's Original Aspect Ratio.

And in soft matted films, Widescreen is still the Orignal Aspect Ratio.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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True very very true. I always choose original aspect ratio. Whether thats 2.35, 1.85, or 1.33. Sometimes theatrical aspect ratio is not original ratio though most of the time it is.