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 Post subject: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2023, 01:38 
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When a film is shot in Panavision widescreen then formatted to 4:3, the picture is, without a doubt, Pan & Scan. But if a film is shot on 35mm, then matted to widescreen for theaters, and then released on home video in 4:3, does that always make it a Pan & Scan picture?

I ask because some of the releases I've been seeing here are labeled as Pan & Scan when they're really Open Matte. Until a proper comparison can be made, it got me thinking as to how many other Pan & Scan releases are actually Open Matte.


Last edited by kt7000 on 09 Jun 2023, 22:32, edited 2 times in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2023, 01:51 
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kt7000 wrote:
When a film is shot in Panavision widescreen then formatted to 4:3, the picture is, without a doubt, Pan & Scan. But if a film is shot on 35mm, then matted to widescreen for theaters, and then released on home video in 4:3, does that always make it a Pan & Scan picture?

I ask because some of the releases I've been seeing are labeled as Pan & Scan when they're really Open Matte. Until a proper comparison can be made, it got me thinking as to how many other Pan & Scan releases are really Open Matte.


I'd say that most 1.85:1 movies shot to be half-way between theaters and TV home releases could be P&S or Open Matte.

The base information that were used only mentioned basic aspect ratios, and without any other information, the default ratio was set to P&S.

Without a proper visual check, it's hard to tell which path was taken: open matte or additional matting/scanning.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2023, 14:03 
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It varies greatly. The only way to know is to watch each movie with with some sort of reference.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2023, 15:21 
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This is also the same case for older DVDs where you have full screen on one side and widescreen on the other.

I know The Driver on DVD has the open matte on one side and matted 1.85 widescreen on the other.

I just watched Pumpkinhead on DVD, it says it was modified to fit your screen but appears to be open matte, but I haven't seen the widescreen to compare.

kt7000 wrote:
it got me thinking as to how many other Pan & Scan releases are actually Open Matte.

And how many Open Matte are actually pan and scan :shock:


Last edited by rein-o on 13 Jun 2023, 00:36, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 12 Jun 2023, 22:33 
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In addition to what others have said, many films will have a combined open matte + pan & scan when a film was released for home video in the age of the CRT TV. T2 and Robocop are good examples of this. The only one movie I recall is a straight open matte from the widescreen is Rain Man and I literally went through the entire movie to check every scene. Regardless, I still prefer the widescreen because that is usually what the director intended for us to watch (but not always).
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2023, 13:58 
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The first release of Star Trek VI on DVD was open matte but in a terrible non anamorphic release in 4:3 format. With black borders on all sides if you viewed it on a HDTV. Probably decent on a 4:3 crt.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2023, 17:48 
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skyjedi2020 wrote:
The first release of Star Trek VI on DVD was open matte but in a terrible non anamorphic release in 4:3 format. With black borders on all sides if you viewed it on a HDTV. Probably decent on a 4:3 crt.


Aren't you glad this never took off, I am.
They were calling it windowboxing and it would have sucked hard to have this on 4.3 formats.

Glad we now have flat screens without if any overscan to cut off.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2023, 03:19 
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kt7000 wrote:
When a film is shot in Panavision widescreen then formatted to 4:3, the picture is, without a doubt, Pan & Scan. But if a film is shot on 35mm, then matted to widescreen for theaters, and then released on home video in 4:3, does that always make it a Pan & Scan picture?

The answer is not always clear. Sometimes, regular filmed scenes were made in 4:3 even if they were composed for 16:9/1.85:1, but special-effects scenes were truly made in 1.85:1. "Back To The Future" is supposedly an example of this.

As others said, the only way to know for sure is to watch the full movie while comparing to a "correct" version. I much prefer for the studio/home-video company to do this properly from the start, but as we all know, for a big part of the laser disc format's life, lots of shenanigans were done and poor decisions were made, all to pander to the ignorant crowd who insisted "I want my whole TV screen to be lit up!". :sick: :thumbdown:
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2023, 17:23 
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The Running Man seems to be open matte too: https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/01041/ID ... ng-Man-The
I found Open Matte caps here: https://www.bookofthedead.ws/online_por ... x-set.html
I could compare them to my Laserdisc.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2023, 19:40 
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One way you can be sure a specific scene, if not the whole disc, is open matte, is if a microphone or other unintended object appears in the open-matte area. I just watched "Wavelength" the other day and I saw a microphone at about the 15-minute point. I am pretty sure "Coma" and maybe "9 to 5" had microphones appear briefly, too. All of these discs are early-to-mid-1980s USA releases.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2023, 12:25 
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When a film is shot in widescreen but then cropped to 4:3 for home video, it's typically called Pan & Scan. But if it was originally shot on 35mm and matted for theaters, it might actually be Open Matte when released in 4:3 on home video. It's not always easy to tell just from the aspect ratio.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2024, 20:23 
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Is there a way to tell? Ie, picture moves from Left to Right
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2024, 22:11 
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elieb wrote:
Is there a way to tell? Ie, picture moves from Left to Right


Yeah…but sometimes only once or twice in a film, which can be very hard to see. I remember some very obvious panning and scanning on the US VHS of The Professional, this seen where the dude is swinging an axe from extreme right to extreme left and they followed it back and forth and it was pretty bad.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 16 Mar 2024, 06:54 
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kt7000 wrote:
When a film is shot in Panavision widescreen then formatted to 4:3, the picture is, without a doubt, Pan & Scan. But if a film is shot on 35mm, then matted to widescreen for theaters, and then released on home video in 4:3, does that always make it a Pan & Scan picture?

I ask because some of the releases I've been seeing here are labeled as Pan & Scan when they're really Open Matte. Until a proper comparison can be made, it got me thinking as to how many other Pan & Scan releases are actually Open Matte.


I asked the webmaster about this and he said most "unknown" discs in the database were initially flagged as P&S in the database. If it's not marked on the cover and someone hasn't checked, they just defaulted to that. So I think there's a lot of Open Matte LDs that are incorrectly listed on lddb.com just waiting for people to update them. I actually found a few in my collection recently...2 that were actually open matte, and another that was listed as academy ratio but should have been listed as open matte (since it was 1:85:1 theatrically).
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 17 Mar 2024, 03:18 
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I am sure that you are right, pliablefoe. I remember when I got my Criterion widescreen version of North By Northwest, and I saw a scene with Cary Grant and another man at a bus stop, on opposite sides of the screen. I thought, "Wow, this scene must have been ruined on the full-screen version of this movie". I was very surprised when I checked the original MGM disc and found that it was open matte.

North By Northwest was filmed in VistaVision, so I am not clear on how a 1.33:1 version that is not cropped or panned and scanned even exists.
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2024, 22:41 
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Rule of Thumb for me is:

If the finale aspect ratio, as listed by IMDb is 1:85.1 it is an open matte film and I'll buy the LD. If the finale aspect ratio is 2:something, I'll buy the DVD...
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 Post subject: Re: Are Most Open Matte Releases Mistaken for Pan & Scan?
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2024, 00:31 
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Top Gun was shot on Super 35 I believe so the full screen THX disc is open matte. I'll have to keep looking so far, all I have been able to purchase is the widescreen copy.
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