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The cable station Pivot is currently airing reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but to the dismay of creator Joss Whedon and the fans, the series is being aired in fake widescreen. It was originally shot in 4 x 3 ratio, as was the standard at the time, but it's being hacked up to fit modern widescreen TVs. (Apparently, there are also some other weird technical issues.)

http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Wh...68952.html

This frustrating news story reminds me of when, a few years back, Warner Bros. released some DVDs with Looney Tunes on them with fake widescreen, chopping off parts of the image that ruined gags or muddled important plot points.

Why are studios and networks so dumb? It took them years to get on board with the idea of releasing and airing movies in widescreen, but they entirely missed the point. It used to be that they thought, "Audiences want their entertainment in a square shape," and now apparently they think, "Audiences want their entertainment in a rectangle shape. How about simply "Audiences want their entertainment in the shape that it originally aired (or was filmed), regardless of what size that is"? It's really not that hard, people.
Ummm... personally I am getting more impatient as time goes on watching old 4:3 shows on my 16:9 so I disagree. The black bars just plain annoy me, so I prefer chopping to convert and have done so on a few projects for my own use/personal library.

Some REALLY important points though, you just can't chop off the top and bottom and render a new version. In my projects nearly every scene has custom "conversion" to ensure the focus of the scene is not lost. Sometimes an individual scene might start toward the top and gradually move toward the bottom, or vice versa, otherwise I'm frustrated in exactly the same way you mention.

Secondly, I will only "convert" 1080p because I'm left with a perfectly acceptable 720p in 16:9 or if I'm really keen for as much quality as possible I'll get a resolution of 1440x800.
OAR or get out. Fake widescreen bugs the crap out of me.
Avid4D Wrote:Ummm... personally I am getting more impatient as time goes on watching old 4:3 shows on my 16:9 so I disagree.
What does patience have to do with it?

Anyway, a fan edit to make something into fake widescreen is one thing, that hurts no one. The problem with studios changing the aspect ratio is that it doesn't give the consumer a choice. (Except the rare times where they include both versions.) Once they hack it up, that's it. We're all stuck with a version some asshole decided was better than what the director intended. The director. Also known as the person who spent months thinking about what every single shot meant to them and what served it best. The "fill my TV" reflex is so obnoxious.

To the studios that release something in an altered ratio rather than what it was filmed in, I say FUCK YOU.
I'm not really sure how and such, but didn't bionicbob manage to make his Star Trek edits in 16:9 from an originally 4:3 format without cropping/zooming in? I'm not sure how he did it and can't remember/find the thread for it. I'm pretty sure it was with Avisynth or VirtualDub. Think it was the latter.

Can't believe people like 'us' (regular joe's) can do it right while TV networks or other professional editors screw it up all the time...

Uncanny Antman Wrote:What does patience have to do with it?

Anyway, a fan edit to make something into fake widescreen is one thing, that hurts no one. The problem with studios changing the aspect ratio is that it doesn't give the consumer a choice. (Except the rare times where they include both versions.) Once they hack it up, that's it. We're all stuck with a version some asshole decided was better than what the director intended. The director. Also known as the person who spent months thinking about what every single shot meant to them and what served it best. The "fill my TV" reflex is so obnoxious.

To the studios that release something in an altered ratio rather than what it was filmed in, I say FUCK YOU.

^This. All of the above. Forget what I said. Just... all of the above.
Kal-El Wrote:I'm not really sure how and such, but didn't bionicbob manage to make his Star Trek edits in 16:9 from an originally 4:3 format without cropping/zooming in?
That's not possible. Without cropping, new image info would have to come out of nowhere to fill the void. (That's if you're using an existing release. If someone has access to the actual negative, there's often extraneous info depending on how it was shot.)
Kal-El Wrote:I'm not really sure how and such, but didn't bionicbob manage to make his Star Trek edits in 16:9 from an originally 4:3 format without cropping/zooming in? I'm not sure how he did it and can't remember/find the thread for it. I'm pretty sure it was with Avisynth or VirtualDub. Think it was the latter.

Nope. When I was a wee little newbie fan editor and did not properly understand my tools or craft, I made my first Trek edit in 16x9, unaware that my iDVD program did not recognize 16x9 encoding and automatically converted my early edits into 4x3 LetterBox format.... d'oh! LOL! I have since learned, thanks to this Forum, how to "trick" iDVD into maintaining the OAR.

Another classic show Warner Bro. converted to widescreen for DVD is the first season of David Carradine's KUNG FU. Thanks to fan outrage, seasons two and three are in their original 4x3, but I am still stuck with season one all chopped and cropped.... unhappy.
Wasn't Buffy filmed in widescreen? I recall seeing widescreen screenshots (widescreenshots?) back in the day with extraneous info such as actors half-in the frame, waiting for their cues.
Avid4D Wrote:Ummm... personally I am getting more impatient as time goes on watching old 4:3 shows on my 16:9 so I disagree. The black bars just plain annoy me

4:3 is a different style of filmmaking (If used right). More personnal, more intense, more focused. Wide/scope is about beauty, scale, awe. You wouldn't say, "I like only portait paintings, so I want all my paintings in landscape wether the artist painted them like that or not". Because a decent film, like a paiting has been carefully composed for that exact shape of screen. Even if you don't cut out some important plot detail, you are still skewing the intended experience. Messing with framing on a faneditis fine but the official source should always be presented correctly. Or like several Blu-Rays I have ('Touch of Evil', 'Curse of Frankenstein' etc), have multiple ratios available in one package.
Watching the comparison videos it seems that Buffy WAS filmed in widescreen (judging from certain scenes), and if this was the case why would there be a need for the editor to crop frame to force the 16:9 aspect ratio?
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