Any examples of how open matte ruins composition?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Kevin, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    There are lots of good and informative pages (like
    that give both text and visual explanations of different aspect ratios
    and what happens to them when shown pan&scan. Just about anyone (i'm
    leaving leeway for the fanatics of course) could see how much damage
    pan&scan did to the OAR. Life was good.

    With a large number of Super 35 films having an open matte
    presentation on the "Fullscreen" DVDs, this has made it much more
    confusing for people who truly and innocently don't understand the
    difference. The OAR/widescreen advocate tells them that "Fullscreen"
    cuts off the sides of the movie and someone else will rant that
    widescreen cuts off the top/bottom. It's pointed out that open matte
    ruins the composition but by now the flaming has started and the
    original poster is hopelessly lost.

    What we need is some nice examples of how the open matte picture shows
    useless material at the top/bottom of the frame. Even better if it can
    clearly be seen to ruin a nice shot. I'm not talking about things
    like in Pee Wee's Big adventure or A Fish Called Wanda. Or even Boom
    Mics. I mean where the composition is off like we keep trying to tell
    people. I know it's sometimes hard to show this in still photos but
    i'm sure there have to be a few good examples.

    In the past i've seen two really good examples. In one (2.35:1 film)
    the camera zooms in closeup on someone's eyes so that they're centered
    nicely in the frame. The open matte presentation showed some forehead
    and just enough nose to look absolutely rediculous. Another was an
    outdoor scene where people were on a boat. The open matte frame only
    had more of a view above the actors so the frame ended up being 2/3
    blue sky for no reason.

    A good webpage with some examples like these along side an explanation
    would be great. Combine that with a link to and it'll
    clear up everything.

    Anything like that exist?
    Kevin, Jan 16, 2004
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  2. .... Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5, "The Body", Region 2 edition.
    Aaron P Brezenski, Jan 16, 2004
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  3. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    Is 16:9, there is no open matt version, the USA one is 4:3 center crop of
    the 16:9 frame.
    ThePunisher, Jan 17, 2004
  4. Kevin

    Justin Guest

    ThePunisher wrote on [Sat, 17 Jan 2004 00:14:04 -0000]:
    The 16:9 version is the open matte version.
    Justin, Jan 17, 2004
  5. Kevin

    GMAN Guest

    Also look at the open matt version of The Shining, you can see the helicopters
    reflection that filmed the opening mountain sequences.
    GMAN, Jan 17, 2004
  6. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    One of my favorite examples is the ice skating sequence at 1hr 43
    minutes into 'Ronin'. In widescreen, the skater glides delicately across
    the rink from one side of the frame to the other, but in 4:3 her
    position in the frame is dwarfed by the crowds in the stands above her
    and too much "foot-room" on the ice below her. The widescreen edition is
    much more artfully composed.
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 17, 2004
  7. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    This page goes into detail on the 4:3 recomposition of Harry Potter 2:

    The third example on this page shows dead space well:

    Here are some good side-by-side comparisons of
    "The Usual Suspects":

    The examples here aren't too extreme, but they do show
    that some "open-matte" transfers still crop on the sides:

    Jay G, Jan 17, 2004
  8. Exactly. 4:3 is the OAR, and 16:9 opens the side mattes.
    Aaron P Brezenski, Jan 17, 2004
  9. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    Not only is 4:3 the OAR, it's also Joss Whedon's preferred AR
    for the show.

    And lest people think Joss Whedon is adverse to WS, he
    released FIREFLY on DVD in 16:9, despite it being originally
    broadcast in 4:3.

    Jay G, Jan 17, 2004
  10. Kevin

    Codswallop Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 14:18:32 GMT, Jay G wrote in

    Sorry, didn't see the original post, and haven't been following the
    thread, and I can't be bothered to check at this late hour; but here's a
    good example of how it "ruins" composition:

    Check the later shots on the first, and most of the shots on the second.
    Codswallop, Jan 17, 2004
  11. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    Firefly ran in 16:9 on Fox's digital channel. The standard analog
    channel varied between whether episodes would be letterboxed or 4:3
    (some one way, some the other).
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 17, 2004
  12. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    FOX has a policy against letterbox on their standard channel.
    The only episode that aired letterboxed on the standard
    channel was the last Firefly episode aired, the pilot.

    Jay G, Jan 17, 2004
  13. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    No, the 4:3 version is the 'pan&scan' of the 16:9 one.
    ThePunisher, Jan 17, 2004
  14. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    Big deal he didn't direct every episode. If he was so adamant that Buffy be
    4:3 then no 16:9 versions would exist.
    Well he said Angel was widescreen but try and find season one in 16:9.
    ThePunisher, Jan 17, 2004
  15. No. The show was composed for 4:3 and "protected" for 16:9, as is
    made clear in the commentary track and Joss Whedon's other comments.
    Pan 'n scan is what is done to an original composition to make it
    fill a screen of a different aspect ratio.

    Just as opening the top and bottom of a 1.85:1 movie to fit a 4:3 screen
    is opening the matte, opening the sides of a 4:3 movie to fit a 16:9
    screen is opening the matte. I see no difference between these concepts,
    and I don't see why you do.
    Aaron P Brezenski, Jan 17, 2004
  16. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    Joss is the creative voice behind the series. He has stated
    that he is speaking on behalf of all the directors when he
    has stated his preference in the past.

    From :

    "The BUFFY's I (and others) shot were framed for
    traditional TVs."
    Flip that argument on it's head and apply it to others:
    "If a director was so adamant that his work be
    widescreen, then no 4:3 versions would exist."

    I hope you see the error in it now.
    From :

    "'Angel' is a widescreen show, starting with the second season,"
    Whedon said. "So that is presented widescreen."

    Jay G, Jan 17, 2004
  17. Kevin

    jagu Guest


    : >> And lest people think Joss Whedon is adverse to WS, he
    : >> released FIREFLY on DVD in 16:9, despite it being originally
    : >> broadcast in 4:3.
    : >
    : > Well he said Angel was widescreen but try and find season one in 16:9.
    : From :
    : "'Angel' is a widescreen show, starting with the second season,"
    : Whedon said. "So that is presented widescreen."

    Tim Minear has clarified this comment: what Joss meant to say was
    that the _third_ season is when Angel went widescreen, not the
    second. This is when the WB started broadcasting it in 16:9 letterbox.
    Tim also said that unlike on Buffy, Fox never asked Mutant Enemy about
    their opinion on 16:9 DVDs; they just went ahead and released the
    second season in 16:9 over their heads! He has also said that although
    some shots work well enough in 16:9 (by pure chance), others make
    "our work look quite shoddy" and that the Angel 16:9 DVDs of season 2
    is a good example of "why releasing something that was intended to be
    viewed in full frame should NOT be issued in 16x9."

    jagu, Jan 17, 2004
  18. Kevin

    jayembee Guest

    He also very deliberately shot "Once More, with Feeling" in
    Actually, no, that wasn't the only one. The first aired episode
    ("The Train Job") was also letterboxed on the standard channel.
    I remember being disappointed when the show "switched back" to
    4:3 the following week.

    -- jayembee
    jayembee, Jan 18, 2004
  19. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    The first broadcast episode, "The Train Job" was also aired in
    letterbox. Fox doesn't have a "policy against letterbox"; they just have
    a bias against it. The X-Files episode "Triangle" was also broadcast in
    letterbox, and in some rare instances they have aired random movies in
    widescreen (usually a partial 1.78:1 ratio regardless of OAR).
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 18, 2004
  20. Kevin

    Justin Guest

    ThePunisher wrote on [Sat, 17 Jan 2004 18:42:04 -0000]:
    Nope. The 16:9 version if the open matte of the 4:3
    Justin, Jan 18, 2004
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