Buffy Season 1 DVD... what gives?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Susilo, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Just bought DVD Season 1 DVD. The picture quality is as ugly as sin.

    extremely low contrast and too much red.

    I've had both my TVs ISF calibrated and I have to double the amount of contrast, cut the color by 25%, upped the brightness by 25% in order to see the pictures properly.

    Why can't anybody do a color correction before mastering the DVD?

    Oh also, the loudness level is extremely LOW too. Usually I watch any DVD with the setting anywhere between -35db to -30db. For this DVD I have to crank it up to -20db.

    Sad sad sad. Sigh. At least it's only US$30.
     
  2. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    ooops, wrong forum, this should be in software. Can the moderator move this thread to the software area?

    Thank you.
     
  3. Greg Z

    Greg Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, grain I can live with, but the picture is just so damned DARK! Dark scences are just unwatchable without cranking up the brightness and contrast.
     
  4. Jason Quillen

    Jason Quillen Supporting Actor

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    Yep, i've had the R2 release for a year now and I really had to crank up the brightness whenever I watched it, Its just the way it is - BTVS was extremly low budget in Season 1. To be honest, it doesnt get a hell of a lot better in Season 2 (But there is improvment). Its just something we have to accept. Just be glad we finally got the show on DVD over here! [​IMG]
    JQ
     
  5. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    with the show popularity, why can't anybody balanced the contrast, brightness, and color level? I know that it won't cost them alot since they don't need to do it scene by scene but just a general setup (set and forget type of deal). Worst case scenario is that they need to setup once per episode.
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    In defense of these dvd's, i'm willing to bet that the show is presented accuratly on these discs. I'll be getting my set on Friday. This is how the first season looked, it was a new show, and the quality wasn't their yet because of the budget. They will get better as we get more seasons trust me. But season one was always like this, so it won't bother me a bit I don't think.
    When I get them, and they do happen to look different than I remember, I will speak up though.
     
  7. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Well season one and two were VERY dark and unfortunately that is actually the way it is. Compared to the TV re-broadcasts in syndication, it is a little better.
     
  8. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    don't get me wrong, I'm all for accurate rendition. However, I don't think the producer of this series intentionally makes the parameters this off.

    It's a pain to change all the ISF calibrated settings just to watch a DVD.

    If it is supposed to be kinda dark, kinda reddish, that I can live with. However, without the changes mentioned above, this DVD is very unwatchable (dark scene of the episode with the praying mantis teacher, for example, I can not see anything other than a moving object when they are in the basement at ISF default setting)
     
  9. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    I think the darkness is, for better or worse (well, worse), indicative of what aired. Joss Whedon makes a remark on the commentary track about how it's so dark in the annointment scene that it's unclear what's happening precisely.
     
  10. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    From DVD File:

     
  11. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    I don't watch Buffy, never have, but I'm looking forward to this DVD set to bring me into the world of one of the busiest TV threads there is... Hopefully I'll end up enjoying the show as much as you guys. I have a feeling I will feel like Ron when he got the X-Files on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  12. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    The quote from the DVDFile review is dead on. The dark, dark look on the Buffy DVDs is from the cinematography. If you increase the contrast on your calibrated set, you'll get the impression that you have a properly balanced picture, however the only extra detail you'll see in the dark areas would be digital artifacts.

    I'd even add that the post production might have factored in to the less than stellar look of the show. These episodes were most likely edited on video. There appears to be some very bad grain reduction applied in the post-production as well, smearing the image. To take advantage of five years improvement in handling film to tape transfer would require a very expensive process of retransfering all the original film elements and reconforming the masters to match the original programs. That is if the original film elements are available and workable.
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Frankly, this is about 3x better than any previous presentation of Buffy, especially in the deep dark blacks, and the aforementioned Words Of Whedon on the subject. This is what the master tapes of the show look like. Don't worry, they got a lot more money for Season 2, and a lot more than that (and started shooting 35mm) for Season 3.
    Also, the lighting in Praying Mantis is intentional. The puppet is REALLY cheesy if you look closely [​IMG]
    Basically the upshot is
    No money+16mm+low lighting=dark murky grain city
    Jeff Kleist
     
  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    [Zip button button button button zip click]
    Okay, the flame suit is on.
     
  15. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    You've got to shoot that Mantis in shadow, or we Babylon 5 fans will all recognise it as the infamous Mantis guy whose name sadly escapes me.
    This was a really funny comment when I started, too... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    When is this thread getting moved to the software section?
     
  17. Craig P

    Craig P Stunt Coordinator

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    The "infamous B5 Mantis guy", N'Grath perhaps?
     
  18. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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  19. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Really? Shame!
    I'd just like to point out that Season 2 does not look better IMO nor that of the majority who bought it. Especially the first disc which is very poor indeed.
    There's a sequence where they look in someone's locker in which the black is just a fuzz of artefacting.
    Oddly, those discs with commentaries appear to have been far better mastered than the others.
    Season 1 looks very good, I think. The dark is intentional and also the low grade film...
    I am guessing Season 3 looks really good but I'm waiting to see if I can get it cheap, though it is hard to resist Faith!!! Of course, [rant]if it had been widescreen I'd have bought it the day it came out.[/rant] *sigh*
     
  20. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Yep, N'Grath is the man(tis) I meant. Physical makeup and creature effects are/were done by the same guys for both shows; I've often wondered if thats one of the sources of Xander's B5 fandom.
     

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