[Tig] Subject: Weird anamorphic squeeze on Fox Movie Channel - TheLongest Day

Tom Nottingham nottinghams
Mon Feb 28 18:35:54 GMT 2005

In my long association with Fox, The Longest Day is one film on which I
never had the privilege to work. However, that said, I am somewhat familiar
with the history on this title. There are actually two versions of the film,
Domestic (for US), and international. I am not sure what the exact
differences were except that they are different cuts. We discovered this
problem while attempting to lay back Domestic subtitles to a letterboxed
textless transfer of the international version. For this reason, vidiofont
titles were generated in an edit situation to make the titles fit. Since
this was a very expensive process, the existing transfer seen on cable dates
from the 1980s. I don't recall any sizing problems in the textless transfer,
but in the 1980s, less attention was paid to such technical matters. It was
common practice to place the subtitles under the picture in the matte on
letterbox titles because it was a little easer on the eyes. It is done less
today because most scope titles are transferred or down converted in
squeezed 16X9 mode, and that makes subtitles harder to place. The standard
for title placement has always been safe title, so it any are off the edges,
I would suspect the monitor. I have seen this title broadcast many times,
and I don't recall any width problem, but anything is possible through the
round robin.

The confusion on Cinematography results from different unit companies (with
different directors) filming the various foreign language sections of the
film. The fourth name being dropped is probably politics.

Tom Nottingham

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org [mailto:tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org]
On Behalf Of Jeff Kreines
Sent:	Saturday, February 26, 2005 2:25 PM
To:	tig at tig.colorist.org
Subject:	[Tig] Subject: Weird anamorphic squeeze on Fox Movie Channel -
TheLongest Day

Thanks to Sean McKee and Digital Vision AB for supporting the TIG.
Happened to watch "The Longest Day" on the Fox Movie Channel (kind of a
really lame imitation of Turner Classic Movies) in the US last night.
OK, not a very good film, but what bizarre credits!  Tommy Sands and
Richard Burton?  Music by Paul Anka, Mitch Miller, and Maurice Jarre?
And what happened in the cinematography credits?  The Oscars database
says this:

"CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White)

The Longest Day -- Jean Bourgoin, Walter Wottitz, (Henri Persin)
[NOTE: Originally, the three names of Jean Bourgoin, Henri Persin and
Walter Wottitz (as listed on the Official Screen Credits form) were
announced as nominees for this film in this category. The credits from
the film listed four Directors of Photography (in the following order),
Mr. Persin, Mr. Wottitz, Pierre Levent and Mr. Bourgoin. The program
for the Awards ceremony and even the official letter from Price
Waterhouse with the results of the final voting for the awards listed
the three names as winners in this category. At some point, the name of
Henri Persin was dropped from the nomination, as his name has been
'whited-out' from the official wording for the nomination certificates,
and the nominations and winners lists the Academy publishes do not
include his name. The Academy's records and files give no reason for
this exclusion.]"

But on to my complaint:

It was nearly unwatchable for other reasons.  They had stretched out
the image (which was letterboxed, with subtitles below the image) so
that the left and right edges were cropped off, and all objects were
"squashed" -- too wide.  Even the subtitles were cropped off, by
several characters, at times.

Do they actually look at what they're broadcasting?  It's obvious that
something is very very wrong.

I won't start on the terrible digital cable compression artifacts...
frankly, there should be a class-action lawsuit about those!

Jeff "channelling my inner curmudgeon" Kreines

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