TV shows and TV movies gone W I D E

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by HDvision, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Thanks, will add the mini-series. I also realise the original Bourne Identity TV movie with Richard Chamberlain is also in 1.77:1 on DVD.

    Here's a trailer for Lonesome Dove focusing on the differences between square and widescreen format "as meant to be seen"
     
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  2. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    The 1987 TV-movie The Quick and the Dead with Sam Elliott received a widescreen DVD release by Warner all the way back in its 2004 release and its more recent re-release again, I don't know if it played anywhere theatrically like this and this is the reason or it's just some fancy studio idea. There's a commentary track with director Robert Day that I haven't listened to yet, maybe he talks about it but in general I prefer all made-for-TV productions to be presented the way they were shown originally and that includes the later Columbos.
     
  3. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Thanks, amazon lists it as widescreen 1.33:1, just as it does for Bourne Identity (both are widescreen 1.77:1) LOL.
     
  4. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Some caps from The Quick and the Dead
     
  5. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I think it's a bit misleading to say that the original miniseries was "originally intended" for widescreen. That is total BS. The show was shot 4:3, but Kenneth Johnson, when he heard rumours that WB were thinking of releasing it theatrically overseas, decided to shoot it to where it would work in both 4:3 and wide ratios, because he was (understandably) POed when the studio chopped up his Incredible Hulk movie for theatrical exhibition.
    Just because he was protecting the image for possible theatrical exhibition is way different than saying it was the "originally intended" ratio, because we all know that in 1982-1983, no one was shooting network television with anything other than 4:3 being the primary aspect ratio. Sure, some folks were shooting widescreen-safe for stuff that they thought might get foreign theatrical exhibition, but that's a totally different thing.
    So, I accept one might consider 16:9 as an alternate aspect ratio for the first mini-series, but it is not the original aspect ratio. I really think WB should have made a dual-layer disc and made it to where the widescreen one was on one side, and the 4:3 uncropped on on the other side. That way, both factions (OAR vs fill-up-the-screen) would have been happy. As it is, I shall just have to stick to my 4:3 VHS version for now.
    V: The Final Battle most definitely was not even shot widescreen-safe. As you guessed, WB probably issued that in 16:9 to match the other mini-series. The cropping is (reportedly) a lot worse on that one than in the original mini (think "Kung Fu" type cropping).
     
  6. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I actually was thinking about the same... My take on it is Kenneth Johnson, when overseeing the new transfer, realised it could be reformated to widescreen (as exposed above, series and TV movies were then shape shifters and could accomodate sightly different kind of framing even if the neg is 1.37). I've watched the wide versions years ago, and thought I like wider, it seems more compromised than for example any episode of The Avengers or The Prisoner ever would. This is something we will probably discuss here along the way... Steven Spielberg Duel or his Columbos crop perfectly to widescreen, whereas some other director's might not look as good. UK TV series were then shot by high caliber movie directors, it might explain why their footage crops perfectly, while actual TV director's might not.

    The second V series doesn't look as bad as Kung Fu because Kung Fu looks like a crop of a crop (like if you would crop the above A&E Avengers episode to widescreen without using the sides). Maybe it's just center cropped without regard to common top, I don't know, I will order them again to watch them (my collection was stolen recently).

    I think each show / TV movie / Mini series is a special case and needs to be treated accordingly when it comes to going wider. Will update the first post accordingly.
     
  7. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Regarding Duel, look at this example frame ;)
     
  8. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Just found some others TV movies gone wide on DVD from an older thread here

    The Heist with Pierce Brosnan
    Traveling Man with John Lithgow
    From The Earth to the Moon (HBO series)
    The Josephine Baker Story
    The Late Shift
    Mistrial
    And The Band Played On
    The Second Civil War

    Will add them with relevant links later
     
  9. MBrousseau

    MBrousseau Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello!
    Some time ago, I captured an example of Bewitched show on DVD. There was this episode where Dr. Bombay is watching in retrovision a scene from an encantation he did in order to cure Samantha. He does that by projecting an image on her fridge. The picture is then shown a larger aspect, probably full 35mm.
    So, this fridge framed picture must be how a full 35mm widescreen aspect Bewiched would look like on Blu-ray. Wouldn't that be swell? Well???? ;)
     
  10. LeoA

    LeoA Screenwriter

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    That projected image is far from widescreen. The aspect ratio of that full frame is approximately 1.43 or so.
    By comparison, 4:3 is 1.33 and 16:9 is 1.77. So that image is far closer to the proportions of 4:3 than it is to 16:9.
    And even if you lop off the extra space above and below your 4:3 frame and just included the extra bits on the sides, your aspect ratio is still only 1.47 or so. You don't gain much and you're still closer to the proportions of 4:3 than you are 16:9.
    I think the recent Dick Van Dyke Blu-Ray set shows you what the experience would be like with those little bits of extra space that you didn't see before.
    DVD screencapture....
    Blu-Ray screencapture...
    And realize that the black pillarboxing on both sides of the picture represents what you'd see on your HDTV.
     
  11. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    That's interesting, but you can't tell if the Bewitched image on the fridge is the full width. The show was shot in 35mm so the complete exposed frame would be 1.37:1. There's probably more of it, but it demonstrate the show is zoomboxed on DVD, like most 4/3 transfers of those shows are.

    I'm currently watching Remington Steele on DVD, and something interesting is that the footage projected in the theater during the opening credits is about 1.66:1.

    It's shot in Panavision, so I think this is another show that would benefit of an Elvis / V / Columbo kind of wider transfer, thought it's not airing wider as far as I know.



    I'm not familiar with the Dick Van Dyke show, but the DVD crop is about 1.27 while the Blu is 1.33. The Blu is probably just the correct original TV airing aspect ratio.

    EDIT: I managed to find one frame example from Remington Steele. The opening credits clips are reframed in the theater to 1.66:1 by a combination of losing a bit top and bottom and expanding on the sides. Definetely smells like a can go wide Panavision show.
     
  12. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I don't think Martin meant to say the projected image on the fridge would be widescreen. He meant to say it might be the total or near total 1.37:1 exposed frame on the negative.

    It's not a piece of the neg so we can't affirm it's the total exposed frame, but here's how it would roughly look in 1.66:1. Rather than letting TV stations butcher the 4/3 masters by zooming them up to 1.66, the copyrights owner would be wiser to go back to the negative, scan them thoroughly from left to right, and send them genuine 1.66 version that extend the sides and do not loop off the common topline. I wouldn't mind rediscovering Bewitched in a wider format on Blu-ray also ;)




     
  13. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    HD,
    Thanks for the comparisons with the 2 versions of DIck Van Dyke.
    If we were to see some re-releases of some of these olders shows on near 1:66 to 1 ratios, I'd have to rethink my "no double-dipping" rule.
     
  14. KMR

    KMR Stunt Coordinator

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    Please be aware that "in Panavision" is usually taken to mean the Panavision anamorphic process, which squeezes a very wide image onto the full 35mm frame. The image is then "unsqueezed" to its 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 image during projection.
    Many, many films and TV shows are also shot "with Panavision cameras and lenses". This is not the same thing as "in Panavision". They are using spherical (not anamorphic) lenses.
    I am not aware of any TV show that was shot "in Panavision". It would seem to be a waste of resources (the time taken to deal with the extra considerations for anamorphic process) when nearly half of the image is going to be totally ignored in broadcast.
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    While it's not Panavision, there's one example I can think of- Star Wars: The Clone Wars is framed at 2.35 (though it's run on TV at 1.78 and the correct 2.35 AR is seen on video). Also, they talked about shooting the fourth season of Breaking Bad at 2.35 but it never happened.
     
  16. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Although there are cases where "Filmed in Panavision" clearly doesn't mean what it is supposed to mean.
    Source: Seinfeld
     
  17. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Remington Steele have the Panavision credit at the end of each episode. (see capture below), as do I believe most Columbos.

    Actually, many TV shows and TV movies from the sixties on were shot in Panavision. It doesn't mean they are anamorphic (as I believe, there are two different kinds of required credits on programs shot in Panavision). In the case of Steele, it means the 4/3 versions you see, as available on DVD, are extractions from within the larger 1.37:1 area, and that there is more image on top, bottom, and the sides.

    I think there is a misconception that the intended format dictate the form (ie a TV movie might be adaptable to widescreen because it might be intended also for foreign cinema release, whereas a TV show might not). It's wrong, the technical equipment used influence that first, and the way it's shot second.

    A show marked as shot in Panavision, generally is "adaptable", give or less a few zoom-ins in case of studio equipment appearing at the edge of frame (which are pretty rare anyway, thought they are noted by many, as the case of 24 season 1 in widescreen). For the way it's shot, see for example Duel, which, assuming the DVD shows the whole frame, is clearly composed for widescreen, with tons of dead space top and bottom.
     
  18. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    As an addition, for the Remington Steele capture... basically it will be shortened to 1.47:1 when / if a wider version is made, with the remaining .30 additional info on the sides being taken from the whatever information is shot on the original negative. Probably .10 added on the right, and .20 added on the left.

    The only way you would see it is if a TV or monitor screen is shot in a particular episode, where you will clearly see it will have a bias on the right.
     
  19. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Just added a bunch of TV movies and mini-series gone W I D E S C R E E N in the first post. Will update with proper links to amazon later.
     
  20. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    With all due respect, I dug up the Image DVD of that episode ("Sol And The Sponsor") and found the exact frame. The example used above as the "DVD screencapture" does not show the full image that I'm getting:
    [​IMG]
    Look at the area on the right of the screen. The picture over Laura's shoulder is seen in full on my DVD, yet the capture given as an example has part of that picture chopped off. The left side of the frames look about the same in the two DVD captures. [edit: Now that I compare both at the same time, I can see that my DVD capture has more info on the left, too!]
    To be sure, the Blu-ray example does indeed add a tiny bit of info on the left side of the image, but in none of these are we approaching anything that could remotely be called "widescreen".
    Harry
     

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