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Dave Spiceland writes:
 
)       Another problem [with letterboxing] is the fact that some directors
shoot wide screen
)better than others. Some directors "put" things in the screen (2 people
)talking, etc.) that can be completely missed if you see it cropped on
)television.
 
Just wanted to say that even when you note that a director isn't using the
widescreen very well when you watch a letterboxed video, you've just
learned a lot more about the film and filmmakers in question than when you
can't tell what is being done with the whole frame in a pan and scan
version.  For one thing, and this relates to the TV commercial discussion,
you sometimes see directors and cinematographers using 'scope purely for a
more prestigious look in the theater and on laserdisc, without using the
'scope well, and with a constant eye towards TV and videocassette cropping.
 And this, I think, in an interesting development in terms of how trade
practice changes to accomodate ancillary markets.
 
-PBR