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June 2000, Week 2


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 12 Jun 2000 14:07:48 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (34 lines)
Scott replies:

> > Palma continually runs into trouble. He loves using split-screen
and split-
> > focus, which only works in widescreen. The recent pan-and-scan release of
> > SNAKE EYES had to resort to "letterbox" for one sequence because the
> > problem was so obvious.
> The tape of _Pillow Talk_ does this for some scenes (though interestingly,
> not in the main title). I know this because they were playing it at
> Suncoast. The only time I saw it it was on laserdisc, and a lot of scenes
> make you wonder how it would work in pan and scan. _The Wiz_ is in
> harmatted 1.85 and some scenes look incredibly stupid on video with
> characters half-in the image, while some scenes are letterboxed to
> eliminate that problem (actually, only the main and end credits, and
> Dorothy's "Home" solo, where characters appear at the left and right of
> the screen that are important).

That kind of thing also happens during the "rise to fame" montage in
TOOTSIE, which also uses multi-screening as "Dorothy Michaels" appears
on the covers of various magazines.

It is an interesting concession to issues of "intellectual property"
(and contracts, no doubt) that many wide-screen films will be presented
in pan-and-scan but the opening credit sequence will be in anamorphic
format (but not "unsqueezed") so that any characters, etc. appear
distorted, tall and thin. Look at the credit sequence in a standard
video version of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, for example.

Don Larsson

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