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Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

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Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Old 11-26-11, 11:20 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by annagranfors View Post
But bear in mind that Avid editing, especially in the earlier years, was primarily used to spit out an EDL (edit decision list) at the end of the cut (the tape outputs from Avid back in the early 2000s went only as far as Digibeta), and said EDL could then be used at various post-production facilities to create a master that was as large and pretty as the source materials would allow...
This sounds like what would be typical for a theatrical film, but all the evidence and testimony so far on the net is that Buffy and Angel were edited on video and finished on video, with the vast majority of it being SD.

Jay G.: if new masters for the UK DVDs were struck from the archival film, they'd have been better simply because of the 625-line/50 Hz nature of PAL vs. the 525-line/60 Hz NTSC.
This is assuming that 1) they made an archival film copy, instead of just having a master tape. 2) that if said archival film copy exists, it's of a higher resolution than NTSC.

I've A/B'd them (at least the BtVS DVDs), and they're distinctly better looking.
There's other reasons why the Buffy PAL DVDs could look better, starting with simply better authoring. It doesn't mean that they necessarily came from a better source. Also, the PAL DVDs have the 4% speedup issue:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffy_t...eed_difference

And despite Fox having been the production company for all of the BtVS series, WB has strict "film out" standards, so they'd contractually require the best possible quality...
I think your confusing WB studios with "The WB" network. The WB likely didn't care about future use of the program via syndication and video sales, since they wouldn't get a cut of it. Instead, they'd only care about how it looks on their network when it first aired. Since The WB wasn't airing in HD when Buffy was on their channel, they wouldn't have pushed for anything more than SD quality, and thus wouldn't have paid for the increased cost of HD.


Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
I don't care about what the creator "prefers"...I only care about how they actually aired on TV, and those later seasons were indeed 16:9
Buffy always aired in 4:3 in the US first, excepting the episode Once More with Feeling, thus making OAR for Buffy 4:3. What's available on Hulu or other Regions doesn't change the OAR.

Also, it's not just a "preference" for 4:3, Joss Whedon has stated that they shot specifically for 4:3, and always intended it to be shown that way. The fact that Fox has let 16:9 versions out there just means that Joss doesn't have 100% control over how the show has been handled.
Old 11-27-11, 05:55 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Add Netflix and iTunes to the ways you can see seasons 4 through 7 of Buffy and season 1 of ANGEL in widescreen.

As for the debate, in the past Mr. Z always had this odd stance that he knew more about this than Whedon and the producers, despite a ton of evidence - the episodes themselves and all the elements you're not supposed to see - to the contrary. The idea that if widescreen looks better, then Joss' preference is simply wrong.

For years debate always goes down the same path: "Whedon only directed a few episodes, what does he know?"

"what about all the other directors and cinematographers?"

"look at the framing, it just looks so much better in 16:9, who cares if there are effects shots that don't reach the frame edges or film crew members on the sides?"

Television, as has been mentioned endlessly in this kind of argument, does not have the same hierarchy film does.

A TV series executive producer is the Big Man/Woman In Charge, equivalent to a film director. What they say goes, hands down. What ends up on the screen each week is based on what they decide, just as a film director ultimately decides what ends up on the big screen.

Using a single episode of Buffy shot in widescreen intentionally to counter the argument over its presentation is silly, because all it does is re-enforce the fact that the musical episode was a one-off occasion.

The amount of camera equipment in the season 6 premiere's teaser alone is proof enough, just watch that camera crane shot as Willow is standing on top of a mausoleum in the cemetary while the others are searching for vampires to stake. Then the argument goes "well there are flubs all the time like boom microphones dipping into frame", but come on. The framing is expanded, revealing things that were well-hidden and are suddenly visible, so the framing was nothing but an afterthought, and since ANGEL seasons 3 to 5 were the only intentionally-shot-for-wide seasons, why don't those have the same issues at the frame's edge all the time, unlike seasons 1 and 2?

I think people like to argue about the aspect ratio of these two shows just like Star Wars fans like to bitch about the prequels. It just goes in circles and the only thing that ever changes is the jump in years from post to post.
Old 11-27-11, 03:23 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Joss Whedon *did* want BtVS to be seen in 4x3, with the exception of "Once More With Feeling", and as showrunner, definitely would have made that choice across the board, no matter who was directing/cinematographing (is that a word?). That's not at issue.

And yes, authoring counts re: UK DVDs. As does the fact that they're presented at 25 fps., thus accounting for the 4% speedup.

But, ah--"Once More With Feeling"...that's a topic worth discussion. I just played the UK and US versions of "I've Got A Feeling" simultaneously (UK/OPPO, US/Apple DVD Player). And I'm damned if I can hear a substantive change in key...I'm wondering now whether the BBC repitched the soundtrack to avoid the (admittedly small) chipmunk effect. I should've played the main title music as test, too, now I think of it, but I'm not about to set that up again right now. I *will* say that the 4% speedup's never bothered me in watching the UK DVDs. And, by and large, I don't see the boom mikes etc. unless I'm looking for them.

The thing about "Once More With Feeling", though, is that on the US DVD, it's letterboxed 16x9 and frankly hard to watch, whereas on the UK, it's true 16x9--and truly gorgeous by comparison. And obviously, all of the rest of seasons 4-7 have been given the 16x9 treatment. Whether the film-out (or original videotaped master, which you can be sure is not as low resolution as the broadcast masters) has enough video information to be given the Blu-ray treatment is, as far as I know, unknown.

To be sure, if that were to be done, some video magicks would have to be done to fix the boom mikes, FX, etc, and I'm not sure there's a market there for it (or, more to the point, whether Fox thinks there's a market). And, as has been stated, Joss always envisioned them as 4x3, and I suspect he'd have a large say in the matter. (Although, again, Fox, so it's possible he has no say.) But fixing them would be a relatively simple matter given modern software--and for FX, if the FX company backed up their projects properly, not that hard, either.

***

Truthfully, I stopped into this forum just to see if BD Buffy was in the works. Whether it is or isn't, I'm completely happy with the UK DVDs through my upscaling OPPO. Would I squee loudly if they put the necessary work into making BD versions of s4 through 7 (if possible)? Um, YEAH.
Old 11-28-11, 11:14 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
As for the debate, in the past Mr. Z always had this odd stance that he knew more about this than Whedon and the producers, despite a ton of evidence - the episodes themselves and all the elements you're not supposed to see - to the contrary. The idea that if widescreen looks better, then Joss' preference is simply wrong.
I'm not saying that Joss Whedon is wrong. He has his preference, and I, having watched the show both ways, disagree with him.

I also disagree with William Friedkin for tinting The French Connection purple, and with George Lucas for adding CG crap the original Star Wars movies. Filmmakers and TV producers are not infallible gods. Sometimes they make decisions that we as viewers won't agree with.

For years debate always goes down the same path: "Whedon only directed a few episodes, what does he know?"

"what about all the other directors and cinematographers?"

"look at the framing, it just looks so much better in 16:9, who cares if there are effects shots that don't reach the frame edges or film crew members on the sides?"
The visual effects for Buffy and Angel do extend to the sides of the 16:9 frame, in all but (I believe) two shots in the entirety of either series' run.

The problem with flubs on the sides of the frame has been greatly overstated by 4:3 purists such as yourself. You make it sound like every single shot has camera and lighting equipment at the edges of the screen. That's not even remotely true. The actual number of flubs per season is pretty small, and most of them aren't noticeable unless you know where to look. The show has just as many if not more flubs visible in the 4:3 safe area. Episodes of Buffy were produced very quickly, in the era before it was easy and cheap to digitally paint out flubs in post production. Gaffes like boom mics dipping into the frame are very common.

Look, if you prefer to watch Buffy in 4:3, by all means enjoy. I happen to like the way the episodes look in 16:9. C'est la vie.
Old 11-28-11, 11:17 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by annagranfors View Post
But, ah--"Once More With Feeling"...that's a topic worth discussion. I just played the UK and US versions of "I've Got A Feeling" simultaneously (UK/OPPO, US/Apple DVD Player). And I'm damned if I can hear a substantive change in key...I'm wondering now whether the BBC repitched the soundtrack to avoid the (admittedly small) chipmunk effect. I should've played the main title music as test, too, now I think of it, but I'm not about to set that up again right now. I *will* say that the 4% speedup's never bothered me in watching the UK DVDs.
Some people are more sensitive to the PAL pitch increase than others. It sounds like you're not sensitive to it. The pitch increase is incredibly clear to me when I watch that episode.
Old 11-28-11, 01:24 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
The problem with flubs on the sides of the frame has been greatly overstated by 4:3 purists such as yourself. You make it sound like every single shot has camera and lighting equipment at the edges of the screen. That's not even remotely true. The actual number of flubs per season is pretty small, and most of them aren't noticeable unless you know where to look. The show has just as many if not more flubs visible in the 4:3 safe area. Episodes of Buffy were produced very quickly, in the era before it was easy and cheap to digitally paint out flubs in post production. Gaffes like boom mics dipping into the frame are very common.

Look, if you prefer to watch Buffy in 4:3, by all means enjoy. I happen to like the way the episodes look in 16:9. C'est la vie.
Except I'm not a "4x3 purist" for Buffy and I don't watch the show in 4x3 either. I watch the widescreen versions only. I took every episode of both Buffy and Angel, converted them to mp4 format (thank you Handbrake), pitch-altered the audio for PAL seasons 4 to 7 of Buffy when converting, and have the entirety of both shows on my PS3 for easy access and viewing. Every episode that had a commentary still has it, as a secondary audio track. I had to include the NTSC 4x3 version of "Wild At Heart" for that commentary as well. I also included every single WB and UPN trailer (taken from various Buffy-based fansites and Youtube) as a way of rounding out the experience of watching it as it aired originally on TV.

I love the widescreen version of Buffy seasons 4 to 7 and seasons 1 and 2 of ANGEL (I got widescreen Angel season 1 by doing a little Hulu stream snatching, long before they screwed up and started airing a mix of 4x3 and 16x9 episodes later on), and I find those film crew / flub-by-expansion things more funny than distracting. The Buffy title sequence is interesting because the show title "breaks" apart to the edge of the wide frame, while the actor's names only appear within the 4x3 title safe area, where as you know the names sort of flash into the frame. The season 6 premiere is interesting because the recap is full of scenes from seasons 1 through 3, and they are a combination of 4x3 (with side borders), opened-to-widescreen and cropped to widescreen clips.

So I love and prefer to watch widescreen seasons 4 to 7 of Buffy and seasons 1 and 2 of Angel, but I'll never assume it to be correct. I'll never assume they were ever shooting for that kind of framing. I freely acknowledge how wrong it looks. I'm not a purist in that sense at all. I feel about it the way Tim Minear did when he said:

"I'll even admit that I sort of enjoy watching it that way - in the shots where it works (and it's only a happy chance that it does, )it work real well. But it's wrong I tell ya! Wrong!"

Edited to add:

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I also disagree with William Friedkin for tinting The French Connection purple, and with George Lucas for adding CG crap the original Star Wars movies. Filmmakers and TV producers are not infallible gods. Sometimes they make decisions that we as viewers won't agree with.
That's fine, but those are examples of changes being made years after the fact, altering what was long-established for decades. Hardly similar to a cinematographic choice being made during the actual production of a television series. The aspect ratio was established and it was only because Fox decided to change it for home video that this became an issue. Whedon didn't change it, therefore Whedon isn't wrong about anything. We prefer an alteration done after the fact that Whedon had nothing to do with. It's like the reverse of the Star Wars example where Lucas changed the movie, Fox didn't.

We like the wrong version, but the difference is I'm willing to admit that. No different than someone preferring a Pan and Scan crop of a movie over the widescreen version. It's the wrong one, and it's fine to like it but it's another to say "well the director was wrong to shoot it wide since the Pan and scan is clearly better".

I can admit it's wrong, but for whatever reason you can't. Fine. Regardless, enjoy the shows.

Last edited by Nick Martin; 11-28-11 at 01:48 PM.
Old 11-28-11, 01:58 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
I'm not saying that Joss Whedon is wrong. He has his preference, and I, having watched the show both ways, disagree with him.
With Joss though, it's not a preference, but an original intention. 4:3 is OAR for all of Buffy and the first two seasons of Angel, because that is what they shot and composed for.

You're fine to have your preference for something other than OAR. Where you tend to cross the line is to extrapolate from your preference the intentions of the creators of the show in an attempt to "legitimize" your preference, which is just wrong.

For example, one of your earlier quotes in the thread:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
I know that Joss Whedon has said that he prefers the show at 4:3. That's fine, and I respect that. But having watched both versions of Seasons 4-9, it's clear to me that his DPs were actively composing for the wider frame in most episodes, and the 4:3 versions look unnaturally cramped. I consider both versions to be legitimate.
You cross the line in that quote.

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
I also disagree with William Friedkin for tinting The French Connection purple, and with George Lucas for adding CG crap the original Star Wars movies.
The problem with those examples is that those were alterations made after the fact, decades after the original release of the film. With Buffy and early Angel, the 4:3 versions were the original releases, and the 16:9 versions are the alterations, meaning you're siding with Lucas and Friedkin in preferring an altered version instead of the originally intended and released version.

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
The visual effects for Buffy and Angel do extend to the sides of the 16:9 frame, in all but (I believe) two shots in the entirety of either series' run.
Nick Martin already stated in the first page of this thread that the first two seasons of Angel do not have effects extending to the sides of the 16:9 frame, with visual examples of some errors.

I do agree that focusing on the "flubs" that the 16:9 version reveals isn't productive, but that's because it's not necessary. We have the show runners on the record stating what the intended aspect ratios for the shows are for their respective seasons. Even if the 16:9 area was completely protected in every shot, or the image was altered to remove any errors, it still wouldn't be the OAR or intended ratio for Buffy or the initial seasons of Angel.
Old 11-28-11, 03:27 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

These 2 shows on Blu are my top wants for Blu TV shows. Buffy = my favorite show ever.
Old 11-29-11, 02:57 AM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Buffy was just okay. I can't stand the series now though. Like most of TV from the mid 90s, it's aged terribly.
Old 12-01-11, 12:20 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
You cross the line in that quote.
Heavens to betsy! Somebody call the aspect ratio police!

The problem with those examples is that those were alterations made after the fact, decades after the original release of the film. With Buffy and early Angel, the 4:3 versions were the original releases,
Fine, then I disagree with George Lucas for creating the character of Jar Jar in the prequel trilogy. There, analogy restored.

Nick Martin already stated in the first page of this thread that the first two seasons of Angel do not have effects extending to the sides of the 16:9 frame, with visual examples of some errors.
I can't speak for the first season of Angel, because DVD editions of it were released 4:3 worldwide. But the DVD editions (even in the USA) of Season 2 were 16:9, and I don't recall any pillarboxed effects shots. There were a couple in Buffy (Season 4, IIRC, though it's been a while), but literally a couple, meaning two, not some huge preponderance of them. In fact, I think it was the same shot repeated twice.
Old 12-01-11, 12:39 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
I can't speak for the first season of Angel, because DVD editions of it were released 4:3 worldwide. But the DVD editions (even in the USA) of Season 2 were 16:9, and I don't recall any pillarboxed effects shots.
The Netflix and iTunes episodes of Angel season 1 are widescreen, and several transitional shots in "Eternity" are 4x3 pillarboxed.

Shots in episodes like "Expecting" and "Judgment" have a black border on one side of the screen, the former looking almost like the edge of the film stock or something, since it fades to black rather than it being a solid border.

There's only one pillarboxed shot on the season 2 DVD, a transition in the episode "Dead End".

The screencaps I posted are more to do with how selective the framing was, because with the expanded frame ruins some in-camera effects like Angel working out with a punching bag in "Hero", or the mirrors of the fitness club in the season 2 premiere, or the shot of Angel grabbing a man in a hotel who suddenly isn't there while Angel's still holding his hands up for the over/over/two-shot in "Parting Gifts".

I just purchased the pilot "City Of" on iTunes, and I'm going to make some screencaps of it. The shot of the vampire being kicked out the building window has the film camera in the reflection on the right.

There are more of these kinds of issues in season 1 of Angel compared to season 2, but considering how cinematic the show is compared to Buffy, it benefits from the wider presentation much more than Buffy ever did.

Angel's double-stake in the "City Of" teaser is great in the wider frame, as shown in the season 2 credit sequence.

(EDIT: All of the shots in City of that come from seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy are widescreen, not pillarboxed or zoomed. )

If you watch the show on a screen without overscan it's much more obvious than on a TV with overscan would look.

Last edited by Nick Martin; 12-01-11 at 12:55 PM.
Old 12-01-11, 01:09 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Heavens to betsy! Somebody call the aspect ratio police!
I notice you don't actually deny what you did, which was basically putting words in other people's mouths (the cinematographers) based on your own personal preference.

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Fine, then I disagree with George Lucas for creating the character of Jar Jar in the prequel trilogy. There, analogy restored.
Still a bad analogy. Many people may hate Jar Jar, but he was undeniably intended to be in the film. You're akin to someone that prefers the Phantom Edit of the film, which is an version altered by a third party without any input from the original creative team.

Again, you can prefer whatever version you want. Where you crossed the line, and thus differ from Nick Martin, is in your attempts to claim your preferred version is somehow "legitimate" in terms of how the show was intended to be seen by its creators.
Old 12-01-11, 03:52 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
the shot of Angel grabbing a man in a hotel who suddenly isn't there while Angel's still holding his hands up for the over/over/two-shot in "Parting Gifts".
Sounds like the pilot episode of Firefly, in the shot where Wash holds his hands up in the steering position but there's nothing in them.

Firefly, it should be noted, was always composed for and aired in 16:9 widescreen.
Old 12-01-11, 03:52 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Again, you can prefer whatever version you want. Where you crossed the line, and thus differ from Nick Martin, is in your attempts to claim your preferred version is somehow "legitimate" in terms of how the show was intended to be seen by its creators.
I've had this argument with you before. I'm not particularly interested in rehashing it again now.
Old 12-01-11, 04:14 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Sounds like the pilot episode of Firefly, in the shot where Wash holds his hands up in the steering position but there's nothing in them.
Indeed it's the same thing:

Here's the close-up of the man Angel is grabbing:


Here's Angel miming grabbing him in his close-up:

Last edited by Nick Martin; 12-01-11 at 04:45 PM. Reason: made images clickable thumbnails instead.
Old 12-01-11, 04:44 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Here are some examples of the wide framing from the pilot:


This one shot was used in the ANGEL season 3 credit sequence where it had a right side border, but is full 16x9 for the actual episode here:




Sawyer's seen better days:










The next few Buffy shots were reused as flashback scenes.

This is from Buffy season 2: "Innocence"


Buffy season 2: "I Only Have Eyes For You"


Buffy season 3: "Anne"








Camera is seen in the window reflection:


Only example of pillarboxing in the pilot:
Old 12-01-11, 04:45 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
I've had this argument with you before. I'm not particularly interested in rehashing it again now.
Funny, because you seem fine with rehashing other things:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Sounds like the pilot episode of Firefly, in the shot where Wash holds his hands up in the steering position but there's nothing in them.

Firefly, it should be noted, was always composed for and aired in 16:9 widescreen.
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
This reminds me of the scene in the Firefly pilot episode in which Alan Tudyk is grabbing and shaking empty air where the steering wheel should be. Whedon even makes fun of it in the commentary track. I don't recall anyone ever arguing that Firefly was composed for 4:3.
You're right that a single flub doesn't discount a certain aspect ratio. However, the preponderance of "flubs" introduced in the WS versions of Buffy and early Angel does suggest that the shows probably weren't composed for them.

Then there's the case of OAR, which aspect ratio the shows were originally broadcast as. While not a strict indicator of how the creators intended, it can point to it, especially for later seasons of Buffy, which still aired in 4:3 even when UPN was broadcasting other shows like Enterprise in letterboxed WS on their analog channels.

Add in the fact that Joss Whedon, show creator, executive producer, and runner for the majority of their runs, and Tim Minear, a show runner on Angel, have stated what the shows were composed at, and the evidence is overwhelming.

The WS versions may be interesting as curiosities, and even preferred by some, but for all of Buffy and the first two seasons of Angel, 4:3 is the official and originally intended aspect ratio.
Old 12-01-11, 05:01 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
The WS versions may be interesting as curiosities, and even preferred by some, but for all of Buffy and the first two seasons of Angel, 4:3 is the official and originally intended aspect ratio.
Indeed.

The widescreen is wrong, and it's also funny and at times it looks really cool (though in Angel's case it always looks cool), all at the same time.
Old 12-01-11, 05:03 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
Here are some examples of the wide framing from the pilot:
Thanks for the screenshots, they're very interesting.

Are there any screenshots of the 4:3 versions of these for comparison? To me, the shot of Cordelia making claws looks like it might be cropped from the 4:3 version.

Angel Season 1 is interesting, as the WS version must've been created recently, as Fox originally stated they had no WS master for it:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/internation...ason-2-wd.html

Found this interview with Joss:
http://movies.ign.com/articles/425/425492p10.html
IGNFF: Did it surprise you the reaction that the lack of widescreen for Buffy season four on DVD got here in the U.S.?

WHEDON: People were upset, right? I haven't seen the season four package ... it contains a disclaimer from me as to why it's not in widescreen, that I wrote. It's on it, it comes with it. It's not a widescreen show. We shot it in a TV ratio, and I am very, very specific with the way I frame things. To arbitrarily throw and I love widescreen, but Buffy was never a widescreen show. It was an intimate, TV-shaped show. To arbitrarily throw wider borders on it, to make it more cinematic when I very specifically framed it. Think of "The Body" the episode "The Body"...

IGNFF: Right, which I've seen in widescreen and full frame...

WHEDON: How could you have seen it in widescreen?

IGNFF: The U.K. sets are in widescreen.

WHEDON: Good. See, that is not the way I framed it. That's not the way it was meant to be seen, and therefore that's not the way I shot it. I'm preserving what I shot. The DVD is there to preserve what we made, for eternity. What we made, very specifically, was a certain shape. So I'm sure there'll be widescreen copies and there'll be arguments about what's better, but I'm not interested in and I mean, I love widescreen. I'm a widescreen fanatic, when something's wide. When it's not, then I want to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

IGNFF: Were you not consulted for the U.K. sets?

WHEDON: No, I was not.
Old 12-01-11, 05:55 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Angel Season 1 is interesting, as the WS version must've been created recently
I don't know what the story is, but I can't imagine that's true. Widescreen clips from season 1 were used throughout the rest of the series.

::staying out of the rest of the debate::
Old 12-01-11, 06:08 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

I can make some 4x3 caps from the actual DVD set for comparison, no problem.

The resolution of those pilot screencaps is 640x360, so the DVD caps will be larger when I make them. I didn't resize, those were just the default resolution.

Edit:

There's a site called Buffyworld.com that has screencaps from every episode of both shows, so I'll pull some from there that match the ones I made since that would be easier to link.

Last edited by Nick Martin; 12-01-11 at 06:20 PM.
Old 12-01-11, 06:44 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

These are 4x3 screencaps from the Buffyworld website for Angel's pilot.

I saved these to my photobucket in order to make them clickable thumbnails, but the originals can be found on this source page:
http://www.buffyworld.com/angel/screencaps/A001/

On that Buffy site if you look at the screencaps, you can see they are at their default resolution of 640x480, or 4x3. If you click on them you will see an upconverted version at 960x720.









direct comparisons:

4x3:


16x9:


4x3:


16X9:


Buffyworld doesn't have a screencap of Cordy making claws but this is from the same scene:



Jumping ahead, this is the window shot from the 4x3 version:

4x3:


16x9:


Having seen them in action, the widescreen version of ANGEL is not cropped to create a widescreen frame, but the opposite. Every shot is simply expanded at the sides.
Old 12-01-11, 09:43 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
I don't know what the story is, but I can't imagine that's true. Widescreen clips from season 1 were used throughout the rest of the series.
Well, this is what I found (and linked to before)
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/internation...ason-2-wd.html
Given the Ho-Ha over the release of "Angel" in full frame rather than widescreen we thought we should go to the top and ask the U.K product manager why this release isn't widescreen. The bottom line is that no widescreen masters exist for "Angel" Season 1. Clair (the product manager) says:

"It was picked up everywhere for TV in full frame, so when we came to do the VHS it was done in full frame and when L.A came to do the DVD they also did that in full frame."

So the bottom line is that as far as we can see there is no widescreen master available for the show. Note, I'm not saying that there are no widescreen material for the show only that there is no DLT master available at this time.

However Clair tells me given the amount of interest in the show work has started on Season 2 and that has been transferred widescreen. There are no current plans to re-release season 1 and Clair imagines that the U.S release, when it comes, will be full frame as they will be using the same DLT's (the digital master tapes) as us.
So the UK product manager for Fox Video thought there was no Widescreen master tape for the DVD. Of course, maybe there's a difference in understanding here: Maybe Mutant Enemy had a WS master, but hadn't transferred it to a "master tape" used for broadcast/home video purposes.


Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
Buffyworld doesn't have a screencap of Cordy making claws...
Thanks for looking. I found my own source for the 4:3 version, and made this screencap:



The 16:9 version again, for comparison:
Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
So it looks like a straight center crop.
Old 12-01-11, 09:53 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Nice.

Direct comparison (made while you edited the post, sorry to repeat):





Both appear to have the same height.

I should add that the only season of either series available in HD right now, is ANGEL season 5 and that's only through the iTunes store.

The iTunes store has one other HD and widescreen exclusive as well, being season 1 of Everwood which was 4x3 on DVD and on television.

It's 720p for both.

This kind of thing is what makes this topic fun. Visual aids
Old 12-01-11, 10:18 PM
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Re: Buffy or Angel on Bluray?

Originally Posted by Nick Martin View Post
This kind of thing is what makes this topic fun. Visual aids
Isn't it?

BTW, comparing the screenshots led me to think that the straight center crops of all the WS shots for 4:3 is pretty compelling evidence for the show(s) being deliberately shot for 4:3, while "protected" for WS.

For example, earlier I posted this quote from J. Michael Straczynski, talking about Babylon 5:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...6169eead66459c
We *somewhat* compose for standard aspect ratio, but often our directors frame quite a bit off center, or have stuff going on over in the edges, or otherwise work to make the whole thing interesting when it's returned to widescreen format
Bolded for emphasis. With the framing off-center, the 4:3 version had to do a lot of pan-and-scanning across the frame in order to capture the proper action.

Thinking about Firefly, I remember first seeing the WS versions and noting how much was off-center, meaning the 4:3 versions must've been heavily P&S as well. Of course, it's hard to find the 4:3 images of Firefly, since it was never released onto video that way and the WS version so quickly supplanted it. However, checking a lot of the WS shots shows that a straight center crop of the show would've been impossible.

For example, this image from the pilot:


Of course, we know the pilot was shot before FOX declined showing it letterboxed for analog SD (it was shown in anamorphic 480p on digital). So, how about a shot much later in the series:


Again, a lot of the action is off-center.

Plenty of other screenshots at these links. Some could work as a straight center-crop, but a lot wouldn't, showing what a show shot for 16:9 should actually look like, even when the producers know a lot are only going to see the 4:3 P&S job.
http://zeppelin.dreamwidth.org/139695.html
http://ftgetgo.wordpress.com/tag/firefly/

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