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Smallville not composed for widescreen

 
 
Waterperson77
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      12-09-2003
After seeing some Smallville episodes, it's hard for me to believe that the
show was composed for widescreen. Everything I've seen goes against it being
composed for widescreen and for it being composed in 4:3

An episode that the WB originally broadcast in 4:3, but later broadcast in
letterboxed widescreen, I watched on a 4:3 tv in both instances (so this is not
from any overscan on the tv), and the widescreen picture had less picture info
on the top and bottom and no extra picture info on the sides.

I'm not against matted widescreen when composed for that way, but in this case,
you could not tell at all through the whole episode that Lex Luthor was bald
(since all the shots were near his eyes).

And Lex Luthor being bald is a vey integral part of the Smallville (Superman)
storyline. If it was composed this way, (so you can't tell that Lex Luthor is
bald in any of the episodes), then it's very poor storytelling technique and
very poor filmmaking technique.

Also, the released season 1 dvds state that the episodes are "matted
widescreen", which disproves peoples' statements that the 4:3 portions of all
widescreen tv shows is just a center extraction of the wider 16:9 picture.

On Smallville, the 4:3 has more picture information.

Again, I'm not against matted widescreen, however there's also another episode
of Smallville where you totally lose the intended composed effect when viewed
in widescreen format.

This second episode was the recent "1961" aka "relic" where the composers went
to great lengths to do a Wizard of Oz style effect.

the 1961 sequences were intended to look different than the 2003m sequences so
that you would imediately know if the charachters you were viewing were the
2003 charachters (Clark Kent and Lana LANG) OR the 1961 charachters (Jor -El
and Lana's aunt) played by the same actors without any dialog spoken, simply by
the fact that the 1961 sequences were letterboxed and the 2003 sequences
weren't letterboxed, within the same episode. (ala Wixzard of Oz's black and
white for all Kansas swquences beginning and end, and color for all Oz
sequences).

When viewed in widescreen, you completely lose this intended composed effect on
Smallville and you no longer know which time period the charachters you're
watching are in or are supposed to be in (unless you've seen the episode in 4:3
before).

Therefore, I can only come to the conclusion that the Smallville dvd set is not
being released in it's proper intended aspect ratio.


 
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Joshua Zyber
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      12-10-2003
"Waterperson77" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I'm not against matted widescreen when composed for that way, but in

this case,
> you could not tell at all through the whole episode that Lex Luthor

was bald
> (since all the shots were near his eyes).
>
> And Lex Luthor being bald is a vey integral part of the Smallville

(Superman)
> storyline. If it was composed this way, (so you can't tell that Lex

Luthor is
> bald in any of the episodes), then it's very poor storytelling

technique and
> very poor filmmaking technique.


So you're saying there's not a single shot in the entire episode where
you can see Lex's head? No shots where he's sitting down while someone
else is standing? No shots where he bends over to pick something up or
nods his head? Nothing?

> Also, the released season 1 dvds state that the episodes are "matted
> widescreen", which disproves peoples' statements that the 4:3 portions

of all
> widescreen tv shows is just a center extraction of the wider 16:9

picture.

The "matted widescreen" wording on Warner Bros packaging is their
standard blurb for anything in a 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 aspect ratio,
regardless of the actual filming technique. They also call all 2.35:1
movies "scope" even if they were shot in Super35.

I'm not saying you're wrong (I haven't seen the DVDs in question), but
the language on the packaging proves nothing one way or the other.


 
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CLOSEDOWN8
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      12-10-2003
You know, the "widescreen is always better" mentality is no more ignorant than
a preference for fullscreen. The people who want their $5,000 16x9 TV screens
filled up are no worse than the morons who want their $85 19" 4x3 filled. The
sad truth is this: a film released in MAR fullscreen will meet with outcry but
a MAR widescreen release, which happens all the time with TV-on-DVD, is totally
accepted. Such shows may have been simultaneously aired in both standard 4x3
and HD 16x9 formats but it doesn't take a cinematographer to see that most 16x9
TV shows on DVD were clearly composed for 4x3 broadcast.
--------------------------------
"That's the worst reverse-acting I've ever seen!" -Sam Raimi
 
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Richard C.
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      12-10-2003
It is composed for widescreen.
The SIDES are cut off to show it on 4:3 sets.

============
"Waterperson77" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
: After seeing some Smallville episodes, it's hard for me to believe that the
: show was composed for widescreen. Everything I've seen goes against it being
: composed for widescreen and for it being composed in 4:3
:
<<<<<<<<<blathersnipped>>>>>>>>


 
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Richard C.
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      12-10-2003
"CLOSEDOWN8" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
: You know, the "widescreen is always better" mentality is no more ignorant than
: a preference for fullscreen. The people who want their $5,000 16x9 TV screens
: filled up are no worse than the morons who want their $85 19" 4x3 filled. The
: sad truth is this: a film released in MAR fullscreen will meet with outcry but
: a MAR widescreen release, which happens all the time with TV-on-DVD, is totally
: accepted. Such shows may have been simultaneously aired in both standard 4x3
: and HD 16x9 formats but it doesn't take a cinematographer to see that most 16x9
: TV shows on DVD were clearly composed for 4x3 broadcast.

=========================

Many of us DEMAND OAR - ALWAYS!

cropping in any manner to fill a screen is ignorance!


p.s. What the hell is MAR?????????????



 
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Brian \Demolition Man\ Little
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      12-10-2003
From on top of The Wall I yelled "YOU! YES YOU Richard C.
<(E-Mail Removed)>! Stand still laddie. Oh, and which one is Pink?"
> It is composed for widescreen.
> The SIDES are cut off to show it on 4:3 sets.


No Richard, at least the first season of "Smallville"
is matted to 1.78:1 on DVD. I can't comment on
Season 2 or 3 because I don't have the specifications
on how it was filmed.

--
Brian "Demolition Man" Little


 
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Waterperson77
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      12-10-2003
>So you're saying there's not a single shot in the entire episode where
>you can see Lex's head? No shots where he's sitting down while someone
>else is standing? No shots where he


well, there wasn't any shots in that particular episode where you could see
that h was bald. ( I forget the episode title).

I haven't watched the season 1 widescreen discs yet, so there may indeed be
some shots in those episodes where you can tell he's bald.

>The "matted widescreen" wording on Warner Bros packaging is their
>standard blurb for anything in a 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 aspect ratio,
>regardless of the actual filming technique. They also call all 2.35:1
>


okay. you're point is taken and accepted. I wasn't unaware that Warner Brothers
did that.

However, my point is that on the episode "1961" (or "Relic"), in the 4:3
version (if you can call it a 4:3 version), when you see Tom Welling , you
immediately know whether you're watching Clark Kent or whether you're watching
Jor-El, and when you see Kristen Kreuk, you immediiately know whether you're
watching Lana Lang or whether you're watching Lana's aunt.

But in the widescreen version, when you see Tom Welling, you don't know whether
you're watching Clark Kent or whether you're watching Jor-El, until something
else in the episode tells you later on. And when you see Krristen Kreuk, you
don't know whether you're watching Lana Lang or her aunt.

well okay, with Kristen, you could kind of tell by her different hairstyle when
playing Lana's aunt.

But I think there were also some other charachters (some of them playing the
same charachter in different time periods) where you can't tell what time
period it is in the widescreen version until certain things happen.

Now, if they alter the widescreen version so that the 2003 segments are 4:3
while the 1961 segments are widescreen, then you know something's up when you
shouldn't, since all of the episodes on dvd are widescreen from the very
beginning of season 1.


 
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Waterperson77
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      12-10-2003
>You know, the "widescreen is always better" mentality is no more ignorant
>than
>a preference for fullscreen. The people who want their $5,000 16x9 TV
>screens
>filled up are no worse than the morons who want their $85 19" 4x3 fille


youi are completely correct. I prefer oar. Not everyone reads all posts or has
the time to, so I'll say here that I complained about Smallville dvds not being
4:3 and about Mr. Bean dvds not being 16:9 widescreen.

>s: a film released in MAR fullscreen will meet with outcry but
>a MAR widescreen release, which happens all the time with TV-on-DVD, is
>totally
>accepted.


true. I don't know what MAR means, but from the context of this discussion and
your post, I'm assuming that it stands fdr

"Mutilated Aspect Ratio".

Even if that's not what it stands for, I like that term, and I think I'll use
it from now on where appropriate. Mutilated Aspect Ratio.

>Such shows may have been simultaneously aired in both standard 4x3
>and HD 16x9 formats but it doesn't take a cinematographer to see that most
>16x9
>TV shows on DVD were clearly composed for 4x3 broadcast.
>--------------------------------


you are once again correct, and as long as we're on the subject of Smallville,
the original George Reeves Superman series actually proves the point!!!!

The later episodes of Superman (George Reeves version) were composed to be seen
in color. But were originally aired in black and white, because there weren't
really any color tv sets at the time. And most tv stations were still only
capable of broadcasting in black and white at the time.

The composers (and producers) knew the show would only be seen in black and
white on the original broadcasts. But still composed the later episodes for
color.

From everything I read, the episodes of Superman that were composed to be seen
in color were never ever seen by the public in color until over a decade later
when the show was released (or re-released ?) in syndicated reruns!!!

Another composer that I read filmed all of the episodes of his show in color
even though he knew it would only be seen in black and white uponn original
broadcast was Walt Disney (regarding his Disneyland/Walt Disney Presents)
show.

I don't know why some of the episodes only seem to exist in black and white now
(when they used to be rerun on The Disney Channel), but I also have a VHS copy
of a Jack Benny Show with The Beach Boys and Walt Disney as a guest on it. The
show on my VHS tape is black and white and labeled such on the box, but when
watching the show, Jack Benny mentions that the show is in color!!!

And from the way it played, it seems that it was indeed color on it's original
broadcast. But the VHS release is black andd white and so it seems like only a
black and white copy of this color show exists.

If a color copy of it exists, I would like to have a copy of it on dvd.

The couple of segments relating to Walt Disney and Jack Benny were very
hilarious, in my opinion.


 
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Waterperson77
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      12-10-2003
> What the hell is MAR?????????????
>


I think it's "MUTILATED ASPECT RATIO"!!!


 
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Waterperson77
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      12-10-2003
>It is composed for widescreen.
>The SIDES are cut off to show it on 4:3 sets.
>


Not from the lettterboxed version that I saw.

I compared the exact same episode when broadcast in 4:3 and whenre-broadcast in
widescreen, on the same tv, with the same vcr, and there wasn't any extra info
on the sides of the Smallville episode in the widescreen letterboxed version,
and there was less picture info on the top and bottom in the widescreen
letterboxed version.

Therefore, it;'s indeed matted widescreen and filmed in 4:3 (might be composed
for 16:9, but is filmed in 4:3 from what I've seen, and also from what I've
seen, seems to be composed for 4:3).

The only way I can think of that you might be correct is if the WB incorrectly
showed it by zooming in on a 4:3 portion of it and then adding black bars at
the top and bottom. (which I doubt they did, and even if they did, that still
doesn't explain the "1961" ("relic") episode where through most of the episode,
you can't tell which charachter you're watching in the widescreen version, (or
which time period the events are taking place in), but in the 4:3 version, you
immediately know which charachter you're watching and what time period the
events are taking place in.

Therefore, it seems to me that Smallville is definitely composed for 4:3


 
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