Buffy/Angel and widescreen

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Simon Massey, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Fox UK have apparently confirmed that Buffy Season 4 (6th May 02) and Angel Season 2 (March/April 02) will be released on DVD in widescreen.
    What was interesting was they said that whilst Season 1 had been filmed with widescreen in mind, there were no widescreen masters of Angel Season 1 because ALL the TV markets had picked the show up in full frame. They also said that there is no plan to release the US version in widescreen either because they will be using the same masters.
    She did point out though that as the Region 1 release was some time off that could change by the time they release it in the US
     
  2. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the update Simon.
    I was having a difficult time trying to remind myself this was FOX and I was not supposed to have negative feelings towards them as they haven't let me down so far...
    Looking forward to Series 2 [​IMG]
    Angela
     
  3. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Paging Jeff Kleist, White courtesy phone. Jeff Kleist, to the White courtesy phone.
    If Lord Joss wants me to watch the series in 4x3 than thats what I'll do. Trust in the Lord.
     
  4. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    J6P = Joss Six Pack?
    Sorry, Jeff. [​IMG]
     
  5. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Quite the reverse, surely? If they shot for 4x3, which he says they did, then the non-OAR J6Ps are the ones clamouring to fill their widescreen TVs aren't they?
    Oh what a tangled web gets woven when the subject of widescreen and TV shows comes up...
     
  6. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    By the way, thats not meant as an acusation at all; I'm just saying that judging who is 'right' in this case about aspect ratio is a nightmare. Personally, I think 4x3 looks fine, 16x9 looks ok too, and I don't really mind what one the disc is in too much. So its probably me who is the J6P, if anyone.
     
  7. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    I thought Angel season 1 was filmed in widescreen and cropped for an Original TV Aspect Ratio of 4:3; i.e. it wasn't filmed in 4:3.
    As far as I am concerned, if a director composes in widescreen (but "protects" for 4:3) then the OAR is still widescreen. This has nothing to do with filling TV screen area. On the other hand, if it was filmed in 4:3, intended for 4:3 broadcast, then the OAR is 4:3, and I'll be quite happy buying the 4:3 DVD.
    But no doubt the High Priest of Joss will explain all. [​IMG]
     
  8. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    Hi,
    > What was interesting was they said that whilst Season 1 had been
    > filmed with widescreen in mind, there were no widescreen masters of
    > Angel Season 1 because ALL the TV markets had picked the show up
    > in full frame.
    Yeah, apparently the BBC doesn't count. As far as I'm aware they aired it in WS, didn't they?
    Chris
     
  9. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Christian: No, the BBC didn't air Angel in widescreen, though the fourth season of Buffy that aired alongside it was presented at 16x9.
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  10. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    All I know is the Buffy musical episode "Once more, with Feeling" looked fantastic in 16x9!
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  11. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    The BBC didn't screen Angel at all - its on Channel 4. I think its the case that they were aiming the framing at 4x3 for the first two seasons of Angel, with 3 being more aimed at the 16x9 framing. I might be wrong.
    And yes, 'Once more with feeling' looked very nice at its intended 16x9 - plenty of nice shots that were blatantly "isn't it great we don't have to worry about the 4x3 version".
     
  12. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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    Hi,
    Right, that was Buffy, not Angel. I stand corrected. [​IMG]
    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  13. James Landau

    James Landau Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Thank you my sons, I hath heard thy call. Phillip, 10 Hail Josses for you!
    Like Angel, OMWF was windowboxed so that none of the frame is lost to overscan.
    Buffy is shot 4:3 protecting for 16:9, except with OMWF, which is 16:9 OAR. In season 2 of Angel, they were concentrating more on the 16:9 side, and with season 3, and Joss basically leaving the show in David Greenwalt's capable hands, Greenwalt got permission to go widescreen on the broadcast.
    Fox has confirmed that no widescreen transfers of Angel Season 1 exist. I'm suprised that Joss concented to seasons 4 and up (when they started shooting Super35*grrr*) being widescreen. If this is indeed the case.
    Lama lama ding dong
    Jeff "Insane High Priest o' Joss" Kleist
     
  16. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    I should point out that the Fox rep didn't say that Angel Series 1 wasn't filmed in widescreen, just that it there wasn't a widescreen master available.
    I may be reading between the lines, but the impression I got was that since a future US release looks a long way off, such masters could be created by then.
    I hope so because Buffy look so much better to me in widescreen, and I would imagine Angel would benefit as well.
     
  17. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I am curious about how one shoots for 4:3 and protects for 16:9. Does this mean that they matte to 16:9 and then extract the framed 4:3 image from the center of this? (sort of how HDTV shows shot on video are handled). This seems like a waste of negative space, but then again, it is probably more than good enough for video resolution.
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  18. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Ken: In an attempt to be 16x9-friendly, virtually everything television show shot on film nowadays is shot in widescreen, often on Super16, Super35, or 3-perf 35mm. The vast majority of these are cropped for broadcast, though the OAR in nearly all of these cases would still be considered 4x3. Most of these shows are framed for 4x3 but shot 16x9-safe, so it's not too terribly different than the open-matte debate. Wider isn't necessarily better, though some series do frame more specifically for 16x9 than 4x3.
    I'm just sort of parroting what I've heard elsewhere, so someone with more direct experience (as in, any) in this area may be able to offer more useful information.
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  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Adam,
    I wasn't as interested in debating the merits as I was in how the matting/cropping is handled. I assumed "protecting" for 16:9 means framing 4:3 within a 16:9 window center extraction so that the extraneous side info is their if "needed". Sort of like open matte film transfers but in the opposite dimension. That is how shows shot on video like sports and the Tonight Show are handled. I do not know if this assumption is correct, though, and was looking for verification from anyone who knows.
    Regards,
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  20. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Well as I understand the 16:9 protected for 4:3 (it's that way round IMO) means that the 4:3 area sits within the 16:9 and that no action falls outside its limits. This is how the BBC have done it since they began their 16:9 policy. They broadcast on conventional TV in 14:9 rather than 4:3.
    I would be very surprised if Joss has any control over what Fox output for Buffy's DVDs. I'm sure he can make requests but that's about all.
    Buffy S4 has been broacast and recorded by many people in widescreen in this county. Fox are not so stupid as to ignore this.
    They have also received numerous emails and so forth from irate UK fans asking for widescreen. Hence they listen and give it to us. Thankfully, IMO.
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