Why isn't Letterbox more available?

Discussion of programming on TCM.

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

Post Reply
Hollis
Posts: 695
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 4:38 pm

Why isn't Letterbox more available?

Post by Hollis »

Hey there, good afternoon,

I've noticed that on the majority of Encore channels, and even IFC and FMC, that most films seem to be shown "Panned and Scanned." Is Letterboxing prohibitively expensive? Are there other reasons why films are not shown in their normal ratio? Full screen presentations really do seem to take awy the peripheral facets of the movie. Like Sydney Pollack says in the TCM Letterbox feature, "I get the heebie jeebies thinking of Ben Hur panned and scanned." I get the same feeling watching a James Bond film or The Magnificent Seven, something important is missing, Can someone explain why the situation exists? As always, thanks very much.

Hollis
User avatar
Lzcutter
Administrator
Posts: 3180
Joined: April 12th, 2007, 6:50 pm
Location: Lake Balboa and the City of Angels!
Contact:

Post by Lzcutter »

Hollis,

The general argument usually centers around the fact that a large number of viewers are put off by letter boxing because they think that due to the matting of the screen they are missing part of the film.

The good news is that more and more viewers are becoming educated about letter boxing and with high def coming in 2009 whether we like it or not, 16x9 is going to become the norm.

Till then, it's a reason to appreciate TCM even more.
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

Avatar-Warner Bros Water Tower
Hollis
Posts: 695
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 4:38 pm

Post by Hollis »

Thanks Lynn,

I knew I'd get an educated answer before too long. It make sense that the matting would make the uneducated viewer think he/she was missing something. Hopefully, more viewers will see the TCM feature that explains it and realize that the Fullscreen version is actually cheating them out of an important part of the viewing experience. Thanks again.

Hollis
User avatar
Kyle In Hollywood
Moderator
Posts: 110
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 11:55 am
Location: Hollywood, CA

Post by Kyle In Hollywood »

Hollis -
Keep an eye on the Encore Westerns Channel. They slip in a letterboxed film once in awhile.

This month the channel is showing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in a letterbox format. And I believe the channel has shown The Wild Bunch in letterbox also.

kjk
Kyle In Hollywood
Post Reply