Will a Star Trek series ever be non-oar?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dave Mack, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey Y'all!

    Why I'm asking is I just saw that "How William Shatner predicted the universe" or whatever the show was called on TLC(?) last week and noticed that ALL of the show clips, TOS, TNG, DS9 etc were all cropped to a WS ratio.
    With HD on DVD around the corner, do you think that Paramount might try pulling this?
    Interesting.....

    [​IMG] d
     
  2. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    dunno about last seasons of Voyager but all of the trek before that are P&S only. TV was square back then and they made the show with that in mind.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I have a feeling that angry Star Trek nerds would burn Paramount to the ground if they even think of messing with the aspect ratio of ST. [​IMG]

    Seriously though, I've seen similar comments and I don't think it will be that big of an issue. The overwhelming majority of HD buyers will only want OAR and the second they don't get that, they will raise hell and the studios will get the message that people don't want 4:3 movies/TV altered (much as they don't want that for SD DVD).
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    4:3 does not equal "pan and scan". Something shot with spherical lenses on regular 35mm film has an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 and doesn't need to be panned or scanned for television. That's its native aspect ratio. You only pan and scan a wider image to fit into a 4:3 frame.

    A number of shows in the mid to late 90s shot on Super35 - which means they don't really have a "native" aspect ratio. They were desinged to be cropped/matted to 4:3 for their original network broadcast and to 16:9 HD syndication. (Babylon 5 is the best known example, although problems with their 4:3-only effects shots and Warner Bros. losing all the CGI files meant that much of the effort was wasted. Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman - of all things - may have been the first to shoot Super35 with an towards HD syndication.)

    I'm not sure how the earlier Trek series handled this, but chances are that Voyager took this approach from the beginning and TNG and DS9 may have switched at some point in their respective runs.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    oh, you know what i mean joe =). i misused the term. and i meant 4:3, not p&s.
     
  6. DaveMK

    DaveMK Agent

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    Why would they ever feel the need to do this?

    For the tiny, tiny minority of people who would want to see TREK zoomed into a WS format, all they need to do is push the 'ZOOM' feature on their remote.

    This would do the exact same thing--
    trim off the top and bottom of the picture making it appear as wide-screen.

    They wouldn't outrage the 99% of the trek fans by releasing non-oar Trek, for the benefit of the 1% who could get the same effect by pushing a button.

    And yes, I know studios have done this a couple of times with other tv shows, with less than rabid fans, to universal complaints.
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Star Trek: TOS was shot on film and is a good candidate for a future HD release. The framing for TOS looks "pretty good" at a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. (It may have actually been shot "protected" for that aspect ratio as were many TV series shot on film in the late 60's through the mid-80's.) However, it gets way too tight at 1.78:1. I predict that if Star Trek:TOS is ever released to HD-DVD and/or Blu-ray, it'll be formatted for 1.66:1.

    Star Trek: TNG and Star Trek: DS9 will probably both forever be anchored in the 4:3 aspect ratio and with NTSC resolution due to the way they were shot and edited. Even 1.66:1 is way too tight for those shows. (I suppose they could be "re-composed" for 16:9 by zooming and tilting; but they still wouldn't benefit much from HD resolution, so what's the point?)

    Star Trek: Voyager is ... interesting. There are rumors that starting with Season 4 the show was shot in such a way that it could be re-composed for 16:9 HD. I guess we'll find out if those rumors were true in a couple of years!
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Sorry, it is sometimes hard to remember who is likely to know what obsucre technical fact, and lots of folks who are new to the hobby lurk in these threads - so I think it helps to be clear and careful about terms like P&S for the sake of the newbies.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Every show and movie composed for 1.33:1 will be in jeopardy of being released MAR in HD just as Widescreen material was released MAR for decades on standard television.
     
  10. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Believe me, I'm not advocating this at all, it was just weird that someone cropped ALL the clips for this special. And there seemed to be some care done in the framing to not chop the top of heads off etc... Now the special was shown on regular cable not hd, so the WS concept was just silly to begin with. But honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if they do this.
    FIRST TIME EVER! TOS IN WIDESCREEN!!!!!!
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    It didn't air in HD on The History Channel, but it has aired in HD on Discovery Asia and Discovery Cananda, and will probably run on Discovery HD Theater at some point here in the States. Many shows produced for widescreen HD are mastered only once - in 16:9 - and letterboxed for SD broadcast.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    If any TV show is released in a non-OAR format in HD, it is off my purchase list.
     
  13. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Great post, Joe B!

    Never heard that!
    Seven of Nine in HiDef...
    DROOL!!!
     
  14. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Who wants a non OAR anything? Cropping ST to 1.66:1? Leave it alone, jeez.
     
  15. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    If they somehow managed to expand the frame, rather than crop it, it would be a disaster for any effect shot. (R2 Buffy, anyone?)

    In terms or image quality, I don't know - on my standard LCD monitor, season 1 of DS9 looked disgusting, whereas latter seasons just looked soft in appearance. On my conventional TV, season 1 looked great. I would guess that some shows simply couldn't make the transition to HD successfully.
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    On my new Plasma TV, I am still in the paranoid break-in period. So I watch 4:3 material in zoom mode. With Star Trek TOS, there have been several scenes where the top of actors heads are cropped and or stuff below is cropped. On the whole, it's tolerable. I have not sampled TNG or DS9 on this new set yet but I have seen seen Voyager and the same can be said, though for the most part, it's watchable.

    In zoom mode, TOS does not suffer in image quality. Could be the scaler of my set, but it just looks terrific! And the funny thing, when I watch in 4:3, it's really odd that it actually looks square! It's an optical illustion. Though watching leterbox on my old 4:3 set wasn't a problem. Funny how that works.

    Agreed, leave it OAR.
     
  17. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    TOS could be shown in HD because it was shot on film and the SFX were composited optically on film. I would want the OAR!!

    Why TNG and up until Enterprise were not shot and protected at 1.78:1 and the effects only rendered at NTSC resolutions (some say that even Enterprise's SFX were not HD, though the framing and principal photography was designed for HD) is an object lesson in stupidity. High Def. TV was being discussed at that time and 1.78:1 was the defacto ratio standard even back then!

    This goes for other shows that stayed in 1.33:1 land when HD was very much being planned for.

    If they try cropping or tilt and zooming any movie or TV show that was composed for 1.33:1/1.37:1 to 1.78:1 I won't be buying it!!

    Dan
     
  18. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    They were. There is NO drop in quality between the set footage and the opticals. I watched seasons 2-4 in HiDef 1080i.

    TNG's FX being what was at the time the first digital composites was a budgetary decision. The show was already one of the most expensive, editing and compositing on film was considered too expensive. Roddenberry wanted the show to have a large amount of VFX that the original did not.

    Note I also said edited. TNG was shot on film but all elements were then transferred to D-1 tape for electronic editing. To get higher resolution from TNG they would have to...

    A: find and retransfer all the original film elements.
    B: redo ALL the visual effects shots. With the exception of the ships (shot motion control on film), stuff like starfields & phasers were all done in the digital bay.

    We're talking millions of dollars here. Aint gonna happen. [​IMG]
     
  19. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    though I agree it won't happen, they should. At the premium that they sell this franchise above all others they sure as heck should. We are going to get gouged on these no matter matter what, they should at least give us the courtesy of making it right.
     
  20. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Say it cost them 20 million.
    Is that close?
    Say 100 million!
    And they would sell, what, 20 million sets (copies)?
    No, say 5 million sets (copies).
    That would be $20 more per set (copy).
    That could fly. On HD!

    Or, am I not even in the ballpark?
     

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