Why You See “The following film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen” Message

The message that reads “the following film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.” is often taken by people to mean that they’re missing out on a lot of the movie the way it was created, which is correct since the movie has been effectively cropped, meaning that there are several parts of the original frame that aren’t being shown. For instance, in the theater, you see everything that the director intended to shoot, from one side of the screen to the other. But in a home video, you might lose up to 1/4 or more of the original image, which is something that many cinephiles can’t stand since it gives them the idea that many others might not have the same frame of reference for what’s going on in the story. This is true if one uses the fullscreen option when watching a movie since it will crop out a good part of the picture in order to preserve the ratio that’s needed to give the best viewing experience. However, if one uses the widescreen function, there is much more to see, though the ratio might be a bit screwy depending on your TV. In the long run, a lot of people simply don’t care unless they take their movies this seriously. Many of us just want to be entertained, but it can be noticeable when the movie has been altered since when characters look at something off-screen that should be visible at the moment it’s hard not to notice.

As far as the overall quality of the movie, that depends mostly on a person’s TV and whether or not the settings are capable of picking up the details that the movie offers in the desired manner. The message has little to do with the overall quality of the picture, since like it or not, the director isn’t going to format the movie for so many different possibilities when it comes to where the movie will be displayed. The cropping is about all that this message concerns, no matter what many cinephiles want to state. Those that want to point out just how ‘dire’ this situation is are usually those that worry over every little thing within a movie from the smallest detail to the most grandiose and have a hard time just sitting back and enjoying a movie since they can’t turn this annoying quality off. In some cases, it’s helpful, especially if they happen to be in the film industry and are responsible for making a movie look as good as it can. In many other cases it’s simply annoying since despite respecting the fact that such things are important to these individuals, it’s quite irritating to hear a person jabber on about the ratio of a screen, the tint, the light to dark ratio, and many other aspects of a film that have nothing to do with the story that’s unfolding on the screen. Plus, several cinephiles will go on to describe just what you’re missing with one shot or another when all a person really wants to do is watch the movie. At that point, all a person can do is take a deep breath and think to themselves ‘to each their own‘.

How much a person can see in the movie is rarely a big problem for a lot of people since they just want to watch a good story and enjoy themselves. But it is a little annoying when watching a movie in the theater and seeing the whole thing, only to come home and watch the same movie months later while realizing that a good portion of the scene has been cut out due to formatting. It’s a formality though, not a major issue since it can be remedied given that most TV’s do come with the option of widescreen and fullscreen. With such standard settings, it’s kind of hard to imagine anyone really having an issue any longer with this kind of message. Plus, those that still have DVD and Blu Ray players should know that there are options to buy a widescreen or fullscreen edition of pretty much any movie that’s still on the market. There are still plenty of people that haven’t gone to streaming entirely, as some folks want to keep their DVD and Blu Ray libraries that they took the time to compile. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had bookcases filled with DVD’s from wall to wall and had them stacked in piles along the floor from wall to wall as well, but there’s only so much room for each and every title that a person wants to keep around, and unless an individual is willing to turn their living room into a cathedral with DVD spines staring at them in various colors, streaming is the way to go. Plus, streaming usually comes through with the same options so a person doesn’t have to worry about formatting. Modern solutions and all that…

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