How long will it be before Buffy(tv series) goes Blu?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bryan^H, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    If it happens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Blu-Ray will be my absolute must have. No price too steep, no packaging too big. I'd buy it in a second. Actually I'd probably buy 2 copies,(one to keep sealed) that is what being a insanely obsessed fan is all about. I love this show, but I heard it might be a nightmare to remaster in HD because of the type of film used in the early seasons. No matter, Fox take your time...I'm expecting it[​IMG]
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    As far as tie-ins go, Fox could be tempted to cross-promote Whedon's new TV series, Dollhouse, by releasing the first season of Buffy on BD at the beginning of next year. I think this would be a great time to test the BD waters for Buffy after some more players get into the field after the holidays. Additionally, since the first season is a half-season it should keep the price-point reasonable. Otherwise, it could be a long wait.

    Another interesting question is what aspect ratio would it be? Some later seasons were shot widescreen but not composed for widescreen if I recall correctly.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that Buffy was finished on video so it would be very expensive for Fox to release on Blu-Ray. Although I would have to imagine that Buffy is one of the shows that sells well enough that they may take a chance on it someday.

    Bryan, have you been reading Whedon's Season Eight comic books? If you're a hardcore fan enough to buy a copy of the set to keep shrinkwrapped, you'd love them.
     
  4. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Yes. I haven't started the Fray crossover issues yet. Can't wait to read them.
    I also collect screen used props of the show(only the Fox COA's will do). Can't stop collecting...think there may be something wrong with me[​IMG]
     
  5. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Joss intended Buffy to be 1.33:1, he talks about this issue many times during his commentaries on the DVD's, the only episode that was intended to be viewed in widescreen was Once More With Feeling.

    Anytime you see Buffy in anything but 1.33:1 it is a false matting that's been added intended to fill television screens in other countries that were 16x9 (back when this show was in it's prime we were still all about 4x3 screens here).

    Many posts have covered this in years past here at HTF, so long ago that they probably aren't even in the archives anymore.

    So in light of that I would expect the show to be 1.33:1 on BD, it's an HD format and HD is 1.78:1 but we must still respect the OAR that Joss intended.
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Actually, the later seasons of Buffy do not have added matting (on the top and bottom), rather they shot the later seasons in widescreen but matted the United States version on the sides, and removed the matting from the sides for the European airings. The directors of photography were told to compose for the American broadcast.

    I'd like the later seasons to be presented on BluRay in widescreen, via opening up that side matting. It is true that the directors did not really care about the "extra" room on the sides and so occasionally you see a light stand on the side or a boom mike darting in from the side, but, 95% of the time the extra image on the sides is just fine.

    Widescreen presentation of the later seasons of Buffy would be a nice incentive for me to trade up this series from DVD to BluRay. (Since I already bought the show on DVD, I'd like an incentive such as this to persuade me to buy it again on BluRay).

    Perhaps the BluRay authors could come to the rescue: Perhaps the BluRay discs could offer an option to "turn side matting on" to matte it to 4:3? That would be a nice way to let fans who want it in 4:3 to see it in 4:3, while still letting the full widescreen image be available to those who want something new.

    And about respecting Joss' vision, consider this: If the widescreen versions are not made available, stations that repeat the show will eventually start "zooming in" and chopping the top and bottom off to "make it fit" new tvs. We can stop this on the later seasons by presenting the later seasons in their open-matte widescreen glory.
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Right, I knew it was something along those lines, HTF member Jeff Kleist talked extensively about this in one of the old threads and cited numerous examples on how the European versions of episodes had extranious information on the sides because the 4x3 composition was opened up on the sides. One such example was from the episode Hush and even Joss himself talked about that in The Body and how important it was that Buffy remain tight in-frame and a majority of the screen be taken up by the shoulder of the ambulance driver.

    In any case, 4x3 for Buffy on BD would be required for me to buy them otherwise they will be ignored and i'll stick with my DVD sets.
     
  8. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I just finished rewatching the series all the way through for the 3rd time. The first 3 seasons look pretty bad on dvd. There are scenes that are horrible. I am not sure anything can be done to make them better on blu-ray unless they can go back and completely remaster from scratch with better stock. I would think that they used the best they had when they did the dvds so I am not holding out any hope that they could do anything better with the first 3 season.

    Having said all this, I would easily purchase this series on BD. [​IMG]

    Since Angel was 16x9 for seasons 2-5, I would also love to see it go blue.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The first two seasons were shot on 16mm film. Season three was the first one shot on 35mm, and season four was the first one that (mostly) protected for 16:9. Seasons 1-2 will never look as good as the others.

    Regards,
     
  10. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Yeah this is a very dark show. Not a lot of vibrant colors, just a whole lot of "nighttime scenes". I just started watching season 1 again, and that is what inspired this thread. Of any tv show, this is one I feel will benefit the most given an HD upgrade. It needs it.
     
  11. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Plus, many tv shows are crammed 4 episodes to a DVD, so they're already rather compressed (figuring it is about the same as a 160 minute movie). So some shows will look better on BluRay just from having room to avoid compression artifacts.
     
  12. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Not only were the first 2 seasons shot on 16mm film, but I believe that the whole show had post production done on NTSC video, just like Star Trek and most other shows of that era. Meaning unless they go back and rescan all of the film and reedit the show, recreating all of the computer generated effects shots, Buffy will never be released in any HD format.

    Doug
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    "Lonesome Dove" was just released on Blu-Ray. It looks to me like they did a digital "enhancement" to the scenes with opticals (visual effects, on-screen titles, all of which I believe were composited in the video domain), and the rest was transfered from film. The segments with opticals have noticeable video noise, but most of the rest looks pretty good. That would probably be the most economical way around things, and would keep the original effects and titles "bona fide" for the purists out there.

    Regards,
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Interesting. Not a great idea for an effects heavy show like Star Trek: TNG. I would think that would get really distracting jumping back and forth between 1080 and 480, Particularly when the 480 is interlaced. Star Trek also looks pretty soft even for 480.

    I've never seen Buffy so I don't know how effects heavy it is.

    Doug
     
  15. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    16mm and with very fast film stock for all the nighttime scenes. And even then they'd have to find all the footage to re-edit it. "For this shot we need Take 7 from reel 5 for scene 36 for 3.5 seconds, then cut to..."
    Would take FOREVER. That's if all the footage even CAN be found and is even in decent shape. Then re-do ALL the FX? It took them 2 years just to do 3 seasons of Star Trek. Buffy had seven seasons and had way more FX shots per episode in many instances.

    They could probably retransfer the video masters to DVD with much better results now than when they did do it. Give it a much higher bitrate, better compression. Won't look great but would be an improvement.



    [​IMG]
     
  16. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Exactly. And with Star Trek: TOS you are talking about relatively few effects shots. I think its unlikely that most late 80s and 90s TV shows will make it to HD unless they were actually completed on film, and most weren't. That or they just do some up conversion process and claim that its as good as true HD.

    I did discover that the 80s Columbo tv movies were completed on film even into the 90s when everyone else was cutting on tape. At least the episodes from that era that I have seen so far. They definitely show optical titles, not done on a video character generator.

    Doug
     
  17. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    [​IMG] My Oppo and PS3 can already do that!

    But just how many films got much better transfers a second or 3rd time on DVD, I'd bet that Buffy could look alot better on SD dvd if they made an effort.
     
  18. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    They might be able to improve the bit rate, but the transfer is what it is. TNG for instance is always going to look like a late 80s telecine transfer job.

    Doug
     
  19. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    That is true.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    So I guess the conclusion is that this might be too much effort for too little results?
     

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