Smallville not composed for widescreen

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Waterperson77, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. 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.
    Waterperson77, Dec 9, 2003
    #1
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  2. Waterperson77

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Waterperson77" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    Joshua Zyber, Dec 10, 2003
    #2
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  3. Waterperson77

    CLOSEDOWN8 Guest

    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
    CLOSEDOWN8, Dec 10, 2003
    #3
  4. Waterperson77

    Richard C. Guest

    It is composed for widescreen.
    The SIDES are cut off to show it on 4:3 sets.

    ============
    "Waterperson77" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    : 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>>>>>>>>
    Richard C., Dec 10, 2003
    #4
  5. Waterperson77

    Richard C. Guest

    "CLOSEDOWN8" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    : 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?????????????
    Richard C., Dec 10, 2003
    #5
  6. From on top of The Wall I yelled "YOU! YES YOU Richard C.
    <>! 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
    Brian \Demolition Man\ Little, Dec 10, 2003
    #6
  7. >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.
    Waterperson77, Dec 10, 2003
    #7
  8. >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.
    Waterperson77, Dec 10, 2003
    #8
  9. > What the hell is MAR?????????????
    >


    I think it's "MUTILATED ASPECT RATIO"!!! ;)
    Waterperson77, Dec 10, 2003
    #9
  10. >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
    Waterperson77, Dec 10, 2003
    #10
  11. Waterperson77

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Waterperson77" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I don't know what MAR means,


    Modified Aspect Ratio.
    Joshua Zyber, Dec 10, 2003
    #11
  12. >o 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. :(
    >


    Yes, one of the episodes I was talking about, the ome originally aired 4:3 but
    later rebroadcast in widescreen was from either season 1 or 2. But the season
    1 dvd set is in widescreen.

    However, the "1961" ("relic") episode, where you can not tell which charachters
    you're watching in the widescreen version (or what time period you're watching
    in the widescreen version), but can tell which charachters you're watching in
    the 4:3 version and which time period you're watching in the 4:3 version is a
    current season 3 episode!!!

    Therefore, logically, I can only come to the conclusion that the current season
    of Smallville (season 3) is STILL being composed for 4:3

    There's nothing wrong with that.

    The problem is that the dvd sets are being released in the wrong aspect ratio.

    for their respective seasons.
    Waterperson77, Dec 10, 2003
    #12
  13. Waterperson77

    CLOSEDOWN8 Guest

    >Modified Aspect Ratio.

    Yeah, "Modified" is what I meant but "mutilated" is appropriate as well.
    --------------------------------
    "That's the worst reverse-acting I've ever seen!" -Sam Raimi
    CLOSEDOWN8, Dec 10, 2003
    #13
  14. Waterperson77

    Richard C. Guest

    "Brian "Demolition Man" Little" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    : From on top of The Wall I yelled "YOU! YES YOU Richard C.
    : <>! 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. :(
    :
    ================
    Strange........all the other HD 16:9 network shows are cropped for the 4:3 versions.
    Richard C., Dec 10, 2003
    #14
  15. Waterperson77

    Smaug69 Guest

    "Richard C." <> wrote in message news:<3fd67a45$0$7484$>...
    > "CLOSEDOWN8" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > : 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!


    Yeah, but what is the OAR of a TV show that is shown simultaneously on
    analog TV as 4:3 and in 16x9 on HDTV? Do you have to pay close
    attention to try and determine if a shot is better composed for one or
    the other?

    Smaug69
    Smaug69, Dec 10, 2003
    #15
  16. Waterperson77

    Richard C. Guest

    "Smaug69" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    : "Richard C." <> wrote in message
    news:<3fd67a45$0$7484$>...
    : > "CLOSEDOWN8" <> wrote in message
    : > news:...
    : > : 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!
    :
    : Yeah, but what is the OAR of a TV show that is shown simultaneously on
    : analog TV as 4:3 and in 16x9 on HDTV? Do you have to pay close
    : attention to try and determine if a shot is better composed for one or
    : the other?
    :
    ================
    In most cases, it is cropped for the 4:3 showing.
    OAR is 16:9
    Richard C., Dec 10, 2003
    #16
  17. According to IMDB.com the technical specs of Smallville are:

    Laboratory
    Rainmaker Digital Pictures Group Ltd., Vancouver, Canada

    Film negative format (mm/video inches)
    35 mm

    Printed film format
    Video (HDTV) (seasons 2-)
    Video (NTSC, anamorphic 16 : 9) (season 1)

    Aspect ratio

    1.78 : 1





    "Waterperson77" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    >
    >
    \Mighty\ Mike Blues, Dec 10, 2003
    #17
  18. Waterperson77

    Mark Spatny Guest

    Waterperson77, says...
    > However, the "1961" ("relic") episode, where you can not tell which charachters
    > you're watching in the widescreen version (or what time period you're watching
    > in the widescreen version),


    That is just flat-out wrong. I watched this episode in High Definition,
    and I had no trouble understanding which characters and time periond we
    were in. Some of the things that might have clued you in would be hair,
    costuming, props, color timing, and about a zillion other clues. If you
    were confused watching widescreen, you were blind.
    Mark Spatny, Dec 11, 2003
    #18
  19. Waterperson77

    Mark Spatny Guest

    "Brian \"Demolition Man\" Little" <>,"Brian \"Demolition Man\"
    Little" <> says...
    > 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. :(


    I don't know about season 1, but Smallville's post production was 16x9
    HD starting in season 2, with a center extraction for 4:3. You would
    gain picture, not loose it, in the widescreen version.
    Mark Spatny, Dec 11, 2003
    #19
  20. Waterperson77

    Mark Spatny Guest

    Smaug69, says...
    > Yeah, but what is the OAR of a TV show that is shown simultaneously on
    > analog TV as 4:3 and in 16x9 on HDTV?


    I would answer that by saying whichever format they do their post
    production and editorial in is the correct OAR, and in most cases that
    is 16x9. Almost all shows that post in HD these days shoot for 16x9 but
    keep it safe for the 4:3 crop. The only 16x9 shows I can think of that
    still compose for 4:3 are FOX shows that do their post in anamorphic
    NTSC instead of HD. Those, and maybe a few sitcoms.
    Mark Spatny, Dec 11, 2003
    #20
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