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. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    These are closer to what I observed in the sampling. It isn't that I'm looking for lots of additional content on the sides or that I want a 16:9 image. If I was involved in the decision making I would have just said go with the 4:3, better safe then sorry. Given that if the decision remains the same, and this is what we are going to get, it doesn't look as bad to me as some of the initial comments suggested. Time will tell with the final release.
     
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  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    This thread is confusing.
     
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  3. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I can say A-M-E-N to all of this. But that's just my opinion. It's obvious some people are extremely passionate about OAR, to the point that there's simply no discussing anything with them. And I mean that going both ways - pro and con OAR.


    Gary "not going to get too upset either way with this issue as long as we aren't talking that horrid Route 66 release type stuff" O.
     
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  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And that's one of the things that has befuddled me about this thread. In my mind, this thread has been an excellent example of a fair and civil exchange of ideas and viewpoints on a subject of which people have very strong views.

    So I don't know why you'd emphasize here that OAR zealotry has been polarizing. I have been amazed at the lack of vitriol and vituperation in this thread.
     
  5. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Tell you what if someone from the con OAR group can present an argument that doesn't involve (a) filling your TV screen which I accept some may prefer but doesn't really fit with the ideal of this forum or (b) a subjective opinion involving a discussion on the relative merits of the show being reframed and what is or isn't lost which is no way to release a show as everyone's opinion on it will differ, I will happily debate the issue.It seems to me that this entire thread was started to promote TV shows being released in widescreen for the sake of it, was met with resistance and has mellowed into a sort of attempt to argue the relative quality of particular frames or technical differences/limitations as a justification that it might be ok. I may come across as particularly strong on the issue, but there was a point in the early days of DVD where OAR was by no means certain. Since widescreen TVs are now the predominant model, the same issue is coming up again but now with regard to 4x3 images. Disney releases it's older classics in DisneyView because it thinks people can't cope with black bars, TV shows like Friends being broadcast and then released in widescreen only. I'm happy for dual releases to give people the choice but I would hate to be in a situation where OAR is not a choice and I have little doubt that most people outside of enthusiasts like those here aren't that bothered either way. That's why arguments are particularly strong on this issue and why the need for OAR as the default release is something that should not be open for debateAnd of course it's not life or death, but in the context of this particular forum and subject, it is an important issue.
     
  6. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Okay, I'll amend my original comment by changing one word. Instead of stating that "there's simply no discussing" I'll say "there's simply no convincing." I do think there are some folks that are pretty dug in on the issue.


    Gary "to each his own - I don't really have a dog in this one" O.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm not going to start screaming at those that disagree with me but I am absolutely dug in on the subject and I don't see how people at a board like this can't be. It would be one thing if we were talking about a show made in the last 20 or so years where they composed for a 1.33 but shot it 1.78 in order to future proof the series but shows that were shot 50 years are undeniably intended to be seen at 1.33.
     
  8. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I hear ya. I feel that way whenever someone insists that TV today is as good as TV from yesteryear? :D


    Gary "sorry, I couldn't resist" O. :)
     
  9. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    So basically, while I probably agree with what you refer to as a common belief by anyone true to this forum most of the time, but might allow compromises in a few cases where I don't see any negative ramifications, then my opinion at those time is highly questionable and not in the spirit of the forum?

    Interesting that you bring up the years as part of the argument, because I would suspect that zoom-boxing and over compensation for possible overscanning would be more common to shows developed in the earlier years of TV then the more recent years. If you've read my posts, I'm not promoting widescreen over 4:3 for TV, and I'm totally against taking a 4:3 and chopping off content from the top and bottom that is obviously faithful to the intent. All I have stated is that if legitimate information is available on the sides to support a widescreen presentation with no real deficit from the top and bottom then I'm not going to oppose the release. And if someone is going to attack it saying it is cutting heads off the screen, and there is no evidence in a particular release to justify it, then I think it is fair to question their comments.
     
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  10. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Well stated observation.
     
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  11. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I'm not con OAR so I can't help you there. I'm not pro reformatting, so no help there

    However, what I will say is that if a TV shows was filmed and displayed zoom-boxed for over 40 years and then released open matte with additional content on the sides, top, and bottom then even if the aspect ratio stays the same, it has been reformatted. New content being seen in the presentation for the first time is new content regardless off whether it is just added to the sides and changes the aspect ratio, or added all around and maintains the aspect ratio.

    So if I was to promote the purest view of the intent in how it was broadcast then I would have to say the image has to reflect the zoom-boxed presentation and anything else is false, even if it maintains the aspect ratio. But I'm not that much of a purest and it doesn't sound like anyone else has come out to make that claim.
     
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  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Brad, where I find fault with this distillation of your premise is that such an effort would be subjective in a couple of different ways. Firstly, the people who are creating the product are going to be making decisions that are going to be changing the look of the work. After all, who is the arbiter of what is "legitimate information?" Who is to decide that, in this case, "widescreen will be better" than the OAR?

    And, some viewers are going to look at the results and think it is well done and others are going to look at it and think it is not well done. In a hypothetical situation, one viewer may be good with the revisioned Lost in Space, but another viewer may not be (not because it is not OAR, but they may just not like the new composition). However, if the series was released in its OAR, there isn't really any way that both sets of viewers couldn't be happy with the effort (based on composition). It would remove the subjectivity out of the equation (at least in terms of its composition) for both production and consumption.

    The best case scenario for all concerned would be for the transfer to remain as faithful as possible to the original series. Then, everyone should be happy.
     
  13. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    I think the question of aspect ratio is best left to the viewer themselves -- if your bluray player or tv has an aspect ratio adjuster to turn 4:3 into 16:9, great. Some Panasonic flat screen displays have 14x9 and 'zoom 1' and 'zoom 2' to adjust it to 14.5-15x9 ratio.

    I'll admit, there are films that should never be touched by anyone, either in the business or holding a remote control -- Laurel and Hardy for example are unwatchable in widescreen -- who wants to see the guys wearing half a hat each through the whole picture?

    On the other hand, I often tinker around with some 70s tv shows and they play very well, adjusted (by the viewer) to widescreen. I was watching "Barnaby Jones" last night and the opening title sequence plays as if it was ready made for widescreen displays.
     
  14. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    I would expect that usually the filmmakers would have framed their shots in camera in a certain way, likely to be the whole 4x3 frame and that is the correct AR to go with. They are after all composing shots using the camera, not a TV that overscans or displays zoom=boxed images. But then equally its is going to depend on each show I suppose
    See this is where you lose me I'm afraid. What your argument appears to be, and forgive me if I'm making an error, is that as long as we aren't losing image when adjusting the AR its OK. What exactly is "legitimate information" ? Surely the "legitimate information" is what the filmmakers wants you to see within the original frame of the show ? Everything else is redundant. You don't leave a character or detail outside the frame of a shot with the idea that this will be relevant to the shot for future widescreen releases. What is important to the shot is already there. Adding information to the sides is just as bad as cropping information. It's redundant, adds nothing to the image except allows to fill the screen with something other than black bars (hence the use of the terms "protect for 16:9" rather than "composed for 16:9" ).
     
  15. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Keep in mind those shows were shot in such a way they would allow for foreign theatrical widescreen presentations (usually 1.66:1 as it was mostly European film releases). Thus, their format was "flexible" from the get go.

    If you watch the bonuses for The Persuaders Blu-ray release, you can see them shooting a scene. There are no marks on their viewfinder, they just shot for the entire 1.37:1 area of the neg, but you can see they keep the essential action center of the frame, and also that they shoot not close, but a bit back from the action (ie knowing the frame would be zoomboxed later).

    I also agree that showing the entire frame in 4/3 usually makes no more sense than showing 1953+ films shot open matte in open matte. However, you will find no fan, anywhere, arguing about the presentation being off (with too much dead space top and bottom) as long as the presentation is in 4/3.

    For some reasons, arguments only start when the presentation goes widescreen, even thought 1.77:1 widescreen, if transfered carefuly, respect more the initial top and bottom information has it would have been seen on then tube TVs, than any "off" presentation showing nearly the entire frame.

    I think the Avengers demonstration on page 1 clearly shows this. The StudioCanal remaster in this instance reveals the whole frame, making the viewer feel distant to the action, whereas the old A&E DVD just showed something close to what the original 4/3 TV would. The "wider" version keeps the old A&E top and bottom intent, while opening the sides, letting the action feels less claustrophobic (if you watch carefully the 4/3 version, Steed is dangling really close to going off the frame at a couple of points, while he just moves cooly through the space in the wider version).

    Also, a HUGE problem in showing off the complete top and bottom, is that you can see sometimes the actors leaning down in some shots for no reason (actually, they are leaning to stay within range of the top and bottom action safe) and it looks ridiculous. There is NEVER a problem with this when you extend the sides.

    In other words, revealing the whole top and bottom, changes the intended perspective of the shot, whereas revealing more info left and right, is never detrimental (except in a few instances where you would see the edge of a set, but this is very rare). You will see more often microphones dangling, or wheels of the cameras, with more top and bottom shown, than with more left and right shown.
     
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  16. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Sounds exactly like protecting for widescreen to me which is not the same as composing for it and is dead space.
    Not sure I follow your logic here. Do you know the reasons they were filming like this or are you making an assumption based on what you think the reasons are for what you see. Why couldn't they be simply shooting a bit back from the action because that is how they were framing the shot ? If they have specifically stated this is why they were composing a shot that's fine, but I dont see how you made the jump here.
    Id imagine that is because the filmmakers composed for the entire frame in 4x3 in camera. But again it depends on the individual show
    The nature of TV shows means that we are talking about changes to OAR that predominantly began life in 4x3 and of course that necessarily is going to mean arguments about widescreen. It is absolutely no different than arguing that widescreen films should be opened up to fill a 4x3 frame. Its just that that argument has largely been settled as a result of the shift to HD widescreen TVs.
    Im not going to second guess the filmmakers but how do you know the intent wasn't to keep the action claustrophobic ? Ok you personally might not agree with that decision and prefer an alternative, but it is the filmmakers call.

    Personally Id just take each show as it comes but try to get the filmmakers involved or look at the production notes etc to determine what was intended. I would imagine there are very rare cases where the actually intent couldn't be determined if the studios wanted to.
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    So who makes the determinations as to is the transfer is done "carefully" or if that additional side information is not "detrimental?"

    This is what I was talking about in an earlier post about the subjectivity of the process on both the production and consumption ends. You are asking for artistic decisions to be made when, in many cases, the artists who created the original product are no longer available to do so.

    Replicate the original intended image (which everyone here so far, I believe, has agreed would be fine) and we'd have a bright, shiny new product seen as originally intended. There'd be no guessing as to whether it would be okay to take the original 1.37:1 and stretch it to 1.66:1 and then take it even further to 1.78:1.
     
  18. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    The reviewer seemed pleased with Man in the Iron Mask, but he didn't remark on whether it was cropped or opened up. The screen caps looked acceptable, but I have no comparison.
     
  20. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Thank you, added Man In the Iron Mask. Here's a comparison with the 4/3 DVD.

    The DVD clearly shows copious amount of headroom, as do most TV shows listed here in their previous 4/3 incarnations. The image just look wrong, as wrong as any unmatted film would on past VHS masters.

    The Blu-ray restore what can be considered a correct film framing.

    [​IMG]
     
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