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B5 Crusade Box Set -- 4:3 ?


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42 replies to this topic

#1 of 43 OFFLINE   RichD

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Posted September 06 2004 - 04:43 AM

DVDAnswers has the Crusade 4-disc box set artwork, a street date of December 7, MSRP of $59.98. That's all good. Then it mentions that the feature will be shown in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Is this correct? I hope not. Seems a funny thing for Warner to do after getting the series and movie sets done right. Foolscreen = no sale for me.

#2 of 43 OFFLINE   Jari

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Posted September 06 2004 - 05:02 AM

Must be some kind of typo. I still wish Warner would have released all B5 sets in 4:3 though... I hate cropping and constantly changing video quality.

#3 of 43 OFFLINE   Britton

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Posted September 06 2004 - 05:10 AM

Crusade was originally broadcast in 4:3 as was B5. As a matter of fact, if the WB had release B5 in 4:3, there wouldn't have been those upconversion problems during the CGI sequences and scenes where live action and GCI were combined. When the Sci-Fi Channel got the rights to air Crusade in 2001, they showed it in 4:3 too. Maybe for consistency it would've been nice if Crusade was redone in widescreen, but at least now the CGI stuff should look much better than it did on the B5 DVDs.

#4 of 43 OFFLINE   Rob T

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Posted September 06 2004 - 01:41 PM

This is what JMS had to say about the issue on the newsgroup:

>Not widescreen then?

Alas, no.

The reason that WB was able to release B5 wide is that TNT had paid to have
them re-telecine'd to that format. It would take about two hundred grand to go
through and do that with Crusade...and even though they've now grossed about
half a BILLION dollars on the B5 dvd's to date, they don't seem inclined to
want to spend that.

(Needless to say, my last profit statement showed the show still in the red,
which gets increasingly hysterical as time passes.)

jms


#5 of 43 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted September 07 2004 - 01:07 AM

Actually, Im glad. I am sick of the compromised quality of the DVDs as a result of the widescreen transfer. The shows were broadcast 4:3 and while they may have protected for 16:9 in the future, they haven't done for the effects shots. They should have released the entire B5 as 4:3 or redone the effects in 16:9. I realise they didn't know how successful the DVDs would be, but I am hoping they may go back at some point and do one of these 2 things.

#6 of 43 OFFLINE   Moe*A

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Posted September 07 2004 - 04:34 AM

Unfortunately the effects could not be done in 16:9 as some one at WB had done some house keeping and all the original SFX files had apparently been deleted, it would have been way to expensive to redo all the effects from scratch.

With regard to the JMS quote, is he indicating that B5 never made a single cent of profit? I find that so hard to believe with how much cost controlling went on, the number of times its been repeated on TV, the number of counties it been shown in, VHS and DVD sales not to mention all the other manner of merchandising sales. Is this what they call clever accounting? Why would WB even consider a film project if B5 has never made any money?

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#7 of 43 OFFLINE   David_Blackwell

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Posted September 07 2004 - 05:03 AM

I love studio accounting. Of course, I probably will never understand how their accounting systems work (maybe something to do with getting around some tax laws (or less taxes on gross revenue) and I won't comment on this further).

Yep, somehow the original SFX files got lost for Babylon 5.
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#8 of 43 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted September 07 2004 - 07:21 AM

Quote:
Yep, somehow the original SFX files got lost for Babylon 5.

I know, which is why they should release the series in 4:3, since the only other alternative of completely re-doing the effects is not cost-effective

#9 of 43 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted September 07 2004 - 10:28 AM

Quote:
Is this what they call clever accounting?


Sounds like it. Some participants in a project get paid as a percentage of its profits. Creative accounting can be used to make it appear the project didn't make a profit, or made a very small one. Paramount claims Forrest Gump never made any money, to use one notorious example.

#10 of 43 OFFLINE   Phil L

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Posted September 07 2004 - 07:42 PM

Quote:
Is this what they call clever accounting?


I'd rather call it theft but that'll do.

#11 of 43 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted September 07 2004 - 08:31 PM

Since people have asked about it, I will note that JMS has commented on the accounting here.

Quote:
>How does it actually work out that that is the case? If WB-at-large
>posts no profit, the shareholders will sue. Do all shows produced by
>WB (or any company like it) produce profit statements for show-runners
>which depict a loss?

No, studios as a whole always show a profit from a corporate perspective. But
it's what the people who make the shows get, which is never factored into the
corporate statement, that is flexible.

It's all an issue of what's called "cross collatoralization of revenue
streams." What that means is what elements are allowed in to define what makes
net profit. If net profit means the studio can hold back only the costs of
production, PR and film distribution costs, all of which can be
tallied...there's a net.

But all too often there's a category called "miscellaneous overhead" which can
be, well, ANYthing, any expense can be counted against the revenue from a show
or movie. If a set burns down on movie Bbeing shot in Latvia, they can put the
costs of that against show A's profits.

At the end, by putting those costs against the show's profits, by golly the
studio shows a profit...it's the individual component of that, the show, that
doesn't.

jms


(By the way, going OT, but does anyone know what SFX Magazine did to JMS? I note that all his posts, as logged at JMS News, state "permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine", and I have often wondered why.)
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#12 of 43 OFFLINE   Joshua_W

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Posted September 07 2004 - 11:45 PM

The SFX situation is complicated.

You can read about it here.

Reading the full thread will also give more perspective on the matter, and has a few posts by JMS.

#13 of 43 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted September 08 2004 - 12:19 AM

Well, in any event, I am looking forward to Crusade on DVD. I thought the show was really good and it never got the chance it deserved -- much like the way Futurama, The Simpsons' little sibling, wasn't given a chance. I thought Gary Cole was a good choice for the captain, and I was looking forward to getting to know the other characters. Cheers to Warner for getting this out this year.

#14 of 43 OFFLINE   Chris Roberts

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Posted September 08 2004 - 03:58 AM

I didn't like this show. The techno-mage character was too annoying. Takes over the ship whenever he wants, can solve everything himself, knows everything about everything. They didn't even need other characters. And the music was horrible and intrusive on dialog. It was a mistake not sticking with Christopher Franke.

#15 of 43 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted September 08 2004 - 04:48 AM

I also wasn't crazy about the new style of music. I find it very distracting in "A Call to Arms"

#16 of 43 OFFLINE   GarySchrock

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Posted September 08 2004 - 06:12 AM

I found that as presented by TNT, the show really sucked, and just didn't make a whole lot of sense. When the SciFi channel reran it, and ran it in the preferred order, suddenly things started to click, and I found I enjoyed the series a lot more. I can only assume the dvd's will be in the preferred order. I do feel the show had a lot of potential, but was never really given a chance. I mean hey, we all know the first season of B5 was slow to get going, but at least ultimately was given a chance and flourished. Who knows if Crusade would have, but I like to think the possibility was there.

#17 of 43 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted September 08 2004 - 08:05 AM

As I recall, the show was cancelled before it even started airing...

#18 of 43 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted September 08 2004 - 09:32 AM

Quote:
As I recall, the show was cancelled before it even started airing...
Yep. TNT promoted it as a "Limited Series" Posted Image
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#19 of 43 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted September 08 2004 - 10:03 AM

Funny that TNT was the savior and death of the franchise in a single year. They must have gotten someone else in charge that decided to take the network in a different direction.

Ric

#20 of 43 OFFLINE   Will_C

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Posted September 08 2004 - 11:02 AM

I never got to see any of the Crusade episodes, so I'm glad to be getting them. Ric, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the score for ACTA sucked. I didn't want to believe Franke was responsible for that dredge. I'm glad to know it wasn't his.
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