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Don't worry guys, Joss intended Buffy to be full frame!

Don't worry guys, Joss intended Buffy to be full frame!

 
Old 04-23-03, 07:31 PM
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Don't worry guys, Joss intended Buffy to be full frame!

from thedigitalbits.com
"Next, we've been getting a lot of complains from fans about Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season being in full frame aspect ratio, and not anamorphic widescreen. We contacted Fox, and now we've got official word from series creator Joss Whedon on the issue. Here's what he has to say:

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM JOSS WHEDON

Gentle Viewer:

No doubt you are looking over this scrumptious BUFFY package and exclaiming "No @#$%ing letterboxing? Whutzat? GYPPED!" Possibly you are breaking things. Please calm down. The fabulous episodes of BUFFY (and that one crappy one, sorry about that, seemed really cool when we wrote it...) were not shot in a widescreen format. They were shot in the TV 4 by 3 ratio. Now I'm a letterbox fanatic, but not just because I crave th' wide. I want to see the whole screen, as framed by the director. The BUFFY's I (and others) shot were framed for traditional TVs. Adding space to the sides simply for the sake of trying to look more cinematic would betray the very exact mise-en-scene I was trying to create. I am a purist, and this is the purest way to watch BUFFY. I have resisted the effort to letterbox BUFFY from the start and always will, because that is not the show we shot. This is. So enjoy! Stop breaking things. You're getting the best presentation of -- let's face it -- the best Television Drama since MATCHGAME '79. Bye for now!"
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Old 04-23-03, 09:57 PM
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The remainder of the post...

No offense Rypro 525, but here's the remainder of the post from http://thedigitalbits.com:

For those of you also upset that Dark Angel: The Complete First Season is full frame as well, we're told that series creator James Cameron wanted it that way too. Go figure.

I'm just going to say right now, that this seems a little disingenuous to us here at The Digital Bits, given that both Dark Angel: S1 and Buffy: S4 are already available on other regions on DVD in full anamorphic widescreen. So our feeling is that there's something else going on here. And the reality is, because the sets are available in 16x9 in other regions, a LOT of fans are going to be pissed. And we think rightly so.
I, for one, am annoyed. Sure, some can argue that the OAR is, indeed, 4:3. However, if there are 16:9 versions of the show available, that's what I'd want to see.

I was pretty happy that Angel (not Dark Angel) made the switch to widescreen in the third season (I think). I wished that Buffy had done the same, but the reasoning from Joss Whedon apparently was that Angel is a more cinematic show and Buffy is more of a traditional TV show. That's undoubtedly why he chose to release it 4:3 in the US.

Ya know, in Europe widescreen is an accepted format. In the US, we still have too many luddites (i.e. Joe Six Packs) who "hate dem dang black bars." *sigh*
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Old 04-23-03, 09:59 PM
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Both my Dark Angel and Buffy S4 are on their way across the water....
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Old 04-23-03, 10:05 PM
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Given the number of frame captures I've seen from the widescreen Buffy that show things you aren't supposed to see, I'm going to have to disagree with The Bits on this one. Buffy is a 4:3 show and should remain that way.
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Old 04-23-03, 10:05 PM
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Doesn't bother me seeing as how people are saying that you can see camera and crew off the sides on the widescreen episodes. Now a show like CSI which was shot and brodcast in widescreen, thats a different matter.
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Old 04-23-03, 10:23 PM
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I've seen seasons 3-5 of Buffy and 1-3 of Angel on R2 DVD. I've never noticed anything like cast or crew off to the sides. There were some wide shots on Buffy where the corners were black from the wide angle lense, but very rarely (mainly wide shots of the school in season 4). There was also a shot in Restless where Xander is crawling through the back of the ice cream truck and the window turned into a blue screen.

So none of the R1 buffy sets are going to be widescreen? What about Angel, seasons 2 and 3 are widescreen in R2.
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Old 04-23-03, 10:25 PM
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Even if the 16x9 versions add more to the left and right, the cramped formatting of the 4x3 versions works well for this show. Through all the adventure and humor, it's always about a young girl forced into something she didn't want. The square confines of the 1.33 aspect ratio help that effect IMHO.
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Old 04-23-03, 10:43 PM
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But the fact is it was filmed and even released already in widescreen, and in the coming years as more and more people have 16x9 televisions they're going to wish they had the widescreen version.
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Old 04-23-03, 10:51 PM
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Re: The remainder of the post...

I don't understand why people are annoyed... The fact that widescreen exists does not mean that it is the appropriate ratio to see it in, anymore than the fact that fullscreen exists for a movie means we should watch it in fullscreen.

OAR for Buffy, according to Joss, is 4:3. Watch "The Body" in 4:3, then watch in 16:9. It is obvious that it was filmed with 4:3 in mind. Same goes for "Hush." Both important episodes look just wrong in 16:9.

Originally posted by DVDude!
No offense Rypro 525, but here's the remainder of the post from http://thedigitalbits.com:



I, for one, am annoyed. Sure, some can argue that the OAR is, indeed, 4:3. However, if there are 16:9 versions of the show available, that's what I'd want to see.

I was pretty happy that Angel (not Dark Angel) made the switch to widescreen in the third season (I think). I wished that Buffy had done the same, but the reasoning from Joss Whedon apparently was that Angel is a more cinematic show and Buffy is more of a traditional TV show. That's undoubtedly why he chose to release it 4:3 in the US.

Ya know, in Europe widescreen is an accepted format. In the US, we still have too many luddites (i.e. Joe Six Packs) who "hate dem dang black bars." *sigh*
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Old 04-23-03, 10:54 PM
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Say, you're right. So I suppose I should sell my current Citizen Kane, Wizard of Oz, Star Trek TOS, Nosferatu (silent), Passion of Joan of Arc, Snow White, Dumbo, Sports Night, Simpsons, or any other TV show DVD just because they'll eventually be re-formatted to fit my 16x9 TV (which I do own BTW)


This issue is no different than a movie filmed softmatte. Just because the black bars are covering up some image on the top and bottom doesn't mean that's a bad thing.
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Old 04-23-03, 11:48 PM
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No, that's not the same at all. Buffy and Angel are being filmed in widescreen with fullscreen in mind, and are even being released in widescreen. I was under the impression the reason both versions exist is so the networks have a choice between ordering widescreen or fullscreen. Buffy's was just never ordered in widescreen, Angel has. I guess I don't understand why it was filmed that way and why it was released that way in R2, if it was only intended to be shown in fullscreen.
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Old 04-24-03, 12:07 AM
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Re: The remainder of the post...

Originally posted by DVDude!
I was pretty happy that Angel (not Dark Angel) made the switch to widescreen in the third season (I think). I wished that Buffy had done the same, but the reasoning from Joss Whedon apparently was that Angel is a more cinematic show and Buffy is more of a traditional TV show. That's undoubtedly why he chose to release it 4:3 in the US.
You're right about this - I'm pretty certain that Whedon said this way back on one of the interviews on the Buffy S1 set. So, no need to suspect a cover-up or a change of heart to please the corporate suits.
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Old 04-24-03, 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Brian_92gsr
I guess I don't understand why it was filmed that way and why it was released that way in R2, if it was only intended to be shown in fullscreen.
Is it possible (and I'm really asking, so don't read any sarcasm into this) that this is the reverse of what get OAR-fetishists' panties in a bunch in R1? Meaning, are 16:9 screens so commonplace in R2 that "formatted to fit your screen" means sometimes expanding a full-screen OAR release to a wide-screen format (assuming the proper source materials exist)? I don't know, I'm just wondering....
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Old 04-24-03, 12:36 AM
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Buffy seems to be the Justice League situation in reverse.

I think the concious decision to air the musical episode, and only the musical episode, in widescreen in the US goes pretty far to support the idea that 4:3 is Buffy's intended AR.

Keeping framing safe for a widescreen presentation makes sense. Not only is there the prevalence of widescreen sets in Europe to consider, but it makes sense for airing in the semi-distant future (When J6P isn't going to want grey bars on the side of his picture.)

I know Whedon has been saying Buffy was never intended to be a 16:9 show since Angel went widescreen in the US. This was his position long before the R1 S4 DVDs were finalized, so I don't see what The Digital Bits is finding so suspicious about the whole thing.

Black bars, gray bars, I don't care. Just give me the show as it was meant to be seen.
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Old 04-24-03, 02:15 AM
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There are framing errors in the widescreen Buffy episodes.

Joss has said that the intended AR of the series is 4:3.

This is a non-issue.
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Old 04-24-03, 03:32 AM
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I think full-screen is whats right and i would rather have it that way. But if they were to make a widescreen version also and sell it on the Fox website then i would buy both versions
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Old 04-24-03, 05:51 AM
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I just want the OAR - or intended aspect ratio in this case. If Whedon says it's 4:3 then that's fine by me. In all fairness that's how I'm used to viewing it on TV so I don't understand the complaints.
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Old 04-24-03, 05:56 AM
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I dont mind the full screen aspect if thats the way its made to be seen, nothing is lost as if it was shot widescreen and then pan and scanned, and i prefer to not be raked over the coals importing the series from overseas, I can have 2 sets for the price of one from overseas.
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Old 04-24-03, 02:35 PM
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Didn't Digital Bits used to be pro-OAR? Not anymore, apparently.
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Old 04-24-03, 02:43 PM
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OAR should always mean what the director intended.. Buffy was ment to be on 4:3 so deal with it.

You purest are always bent on what the director intended.. this is it. Learn to live with it. the extra image on the sides of the widescreen was not intended to be there. I'm sure you might even find flaws such as boom mics crew members standing there and so forth.
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Old 04-24-03, 02:48 PM
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OAR = Original Aspect Ratio..

the Originally intended aspect ratio for Buffy was 4:3.
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Old 04-24-03, 02:58 PM
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I understand some confusion among the masses, and we all knew that "I want this formatted to fit my screen!" would remain an issue with 16x9 TVs, but I'm at a total loss to understand the Bits statements on this. I, too, presumed they were a pro-OAR site.

Then again, I wouldn't have believed that Disney would be awarded "DVD Studio of the Year" by the Bits either.
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Old 04-24-03, 04:00 PM
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Well, DVDFile appears to be addressing the issue by reviewing the R2 set.

The gist is that Whedon's opinion should have weight, but he's wrong, and the widescreen version is better ("Buffy just looks better in widescreen. Anyone with an eye for photographic composition should be able to recognize that." and "the wider framing really opens up the image, providing a nice sense of balance and a cinematic feel, and it makes the 4:3 version looks positively cramped and uncomfortable.")

I have to wonder why we never see these types of reviews for DVDs that have been open matte'd for 4:3. I remember reading some information that indicated Harry Potter had been framed with a 4:3 presentation in mind, and that the fullscreen DVD might in fact look just as good/better than the widescreen version. Never really caught on with review sites, though.

Last edited by Jlbkwrm; 04-24-03 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 04-24-03, 04:01 PM
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I believe the show was shot using Super 35 film. Which, from what I understand, basically means that they actually filmed a much larger picture and then framed it during editing for its TV ratio. The reason widescreen versions exist is because someone took the Super 35 originals and framed them for widescreen instead. So not only will you see stuff on the sides that you shouldn't (because the original frame ratio wouldn't have shown it), but also many special effects are programmed under the assumption the show will be shown in a certain ratio and so you may see black bars on the sides suddenly during a full-screen special effect.
So in short, just because a show can be made widescreen doesn't mean it was intended to be that way.
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Old 04-24-03, 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by C Roberts
I believe the show was shot using Super 35 film.
In a commentary from the first season DVD Whedon states that the first two seasons were shot in 16mm, and thereafter 35mm. He could easily have meant Super 35...
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