Pseudo-Widescreen

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveK, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I rarely watch television (preferring to watch DVD), but the other day I was watching a bit of "Stargate" on Sci-Fi. The program is broadcast in widescreen (about 1.85:1), but as I was watching it, I felt that it did not really take advantage of the widescreen format. The camera still made rapid cuts from one character to another during conversations, and most characters were shown in the close-ups typical of the 4:3 format. Why film in widescreen if your shots seem to be composed for 4:3?

    It also made me realize why many people don't have a problem with P&S versions of movies: they are simply accustomed to close-up shots and rapid cuts from one character to another, since that is how most television programs are filmed. Having grown to love widescreen, I find the closeups and rapid camera movements very irritating, but now I can understand why most people don't seem to notice it.

    I realize that television directors are much more accustomed to the 4:3 format than the 16:9 format, and it may be a while before they learn to use the wider format effectively. I also realize that even if they don't take advantage of the widescreen format, more television shows (and commercials) being filmed in widescreen may at least help to acclimate the public. I've never heard anybody complain about a widescreen program, and certainly not a widescreen commercial or music video.

    What are your thoughts?

    Steve K.
     
  2. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Actually, this is not due to 4:3 but due to the material being meant for the small screen. TV has just learned that close ups work better on the small screen than do two-shots or medium shots.

    The widescreen is just a nod to the inevitability of HDTV. But even when that gets here it's still going to be on a 'small screen' compared to most movie theaters.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  4. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Lew, Enterprise is also shown wide.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    As someone who has seen both the 16:9 and 4:3 broadcasts of this season of SG-1, I can tell you it is DEFINATELY composed for wide
     
  7. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Ed is also true 16x9 (doesn't have the built-in black bar which makes it look windowboxed, like Angel, Enterprise, ER).

    I was watching CSI: Miami in HD, and then watch my 4:3 recording of it on tape, and it's almost like watching two different shows.
     
  9. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the comments. I don't know if the episode I referred to was a current episode, or if it was a rebroadcast of an earlier show. I'm glad to see more shows going to widescreen, as it can only help the acceptance of widescreen DVD, and may even accelerate the sales of 16x9 televisions. Time will tell.

    Steve K.
     

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