Any examples of how open matte ruins composition?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Kevin, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Kevin

    jagu Guest

    : >
    : > That's how I feel about the 4:3 composition.
    :
    : So you feel the 16:9 version looks better, fine. That doesn't
    : mean in any way that it was intended for that aspect ratio.
    :
    : >> Not to mention all the crew members and equipment that often make
    : >> surprise appearances in the 16:9 frame...
    : >
    : > Boom mics and other camera equipment make surprise appearances in the
    : > 4:3 frame as well. I suppose the show wasn't meant to be watched at
    : > either aspect ratio.
    :
    : This is an interesting argument that I've seen before:
    : "There are mistakes in the intended version, so
    : obviously adding more mistakes is no big deal."

    Especially since the number of visual bloopers in the
    16:9 frame _far_ exceeds any 4:3 mistakes. A rough estimate
    of mine would have that the average number of mistakes
    in one 16:9 episode is about equal to the total number
    of 4:3 mistakes during _a whole season_!

    Besides, a boom mic dipping into the frame is one thing. It's
    a mistake in the proper sense. Having equipment visible in
    the 16:9 frame _when the camera is locked down and no
    movement occurs_ is quite another matter! It can't be a
    mistake (unless the crew is quite incompetent); it must be
    with the knowledge that, yes, equipment is visible, but it's
    only in the 16:9 frame, which is okay cause we only care about
    the 4:3 frame because that is what will be in the broadcast...


    Jag
     
    jagu, Jan 20, 2004
    #41
    1. Advertisements

  2. Kevin

    jagu Guest

    : : > Sorry, but you just don't know what you're talking about. Everything
    : > was composed for 4:3 presentation except for OMWF in Season 6. End of
    : > story.
    :
    : Yes, but it's *badly* composed for 4:3. When you have 5 characters
    : standing in a line from one side of the 16:9 screen to the other, all
    : talking and interacting with one another, it looks pretty ridiculous to
    : watch the two people on the sides disappear in the 4:3 crop. I'm
    : thinking specifically of a shot in "Bargaining Part I" in Season 6 now,
    : but examples like that are incredibly common throughout the show.

    I'm not sure at all what you are talking about here. The only thing
    that I can think of that even remotely resembles what you describe is
    the scene outside the airport after Giles leaves. Except that Xander
    is disappears even from the 16:9 frame as the camera pans to Tara and
    Dawn. Was this scene really what you had in mind? I can't think of
    any other since all the rest with five characters seem to have them
    crowding the 4:3 frame with dead space on the sides...

    : Watching the show in widescreen has a much better sense of symmetrical
    : composition, and if it's true when Whedon insists that he never ever
    : ever intended the show to be seen in widescreen, then he should have
    : fired his cameraman.
    :

    Well, well. If Whedon intended the show to be seen in 16:9, the poor
    ol' cameraman should obviously be fired as well, since he seem incapable
    of keeping equipment out of shots :)


    Jag
     
    jagu, Jan 20, 2004
    #42
    1. Advertisements

  3. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    Perhaps not.

    Here's what my perspective boils down to: Filmmakers are not infallable
    people. I fully support the concept of OAR and director's intent and all
    that, but at the same time I have to recognize that I'm not always going
    to agree with the choices that get made. Sometimes filmmakers screw up.
    Sometimes they make bad choices. Sometimes the "creator's preferred
    version" of a project is not always the version that is actually the
    best.

    George Lucas thinks that the "Special Edition" reworkings of the
    original three Star Wars films were a great idea. I disagree. Kevin
    Smith thinks that Clerks looks great at 1.85:1 because "letterboxing is
    cool" even though every single shot in the movie screams out for an
    open-matte presentation. I disagree. Steven Spielberg thinks that the
    last wretched half-hour of A.I. was brilliant storytelling and the
    perfect way to end the movie. I disagree.

    Joss Whedon thinks that Buffy looks better in 4:3. I disagree.

    Life is complicated sometimes.
    Sometimes a flub is just a flub. They happen, and they don't prove
    anything one way or the other.
     
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 20, 2004
    #43
  4. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Rough estimate" being the operative words: "I say there's a zillion
    mistakes in that episode! BWAAA HAAA HAAA HAAAA!!"

    In the 22 episodes of Season 4, accounting for approximately 15 hours of
    program content, there are barely half a dozen widescreen "flubs", most
    of which are unnoticeable unless freeze-framed and specifically pointed
    out. In all of Season 5 I spotted exactly 3 mistakes on the edges of
    frames. I'm not done with Season 6 yet but haven't seen any so far.
     
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 20, 2004
    #44
  5. Kevin

    jagu Guest

    : : > Especially since the number of visual bloopers in the
    : > 16:9 frame _far_ exceeds any 4:3 mistakes. A rough estimate
    : > of mine would have that the average number of mistakes
    : > in one 16:9 episode is about equal to the total number
    : > of 4:3 mistakes during _a whole season_!
    :
    : "Rough estimate" being the operative words: "I say there's a zillion
    : mistakes in that episode! BWAAA HAAA HAAA HAAAA!!"

    My "rough estimate" is not grabbed out of thin air like your numbers.
    It is a conservative extrapolation based on the number of mistakes
    I've seen in the first halves of season 4 and season 5. The episode
    with the lowest number of mistakes in season 4 so far seems to be
    Living Conditions, with only four. If you are curious about them
    they are:

    * Outside Giles apartment in the teaser: stand with flag/reflector
    and other equipment is visible in the right side of the frame.

    * Shot of Buffy, Oz, and Willow in the cafeteria is cropped on the right
    side, sort of looking like a vignetting kind of effect.

    * Shot of Giles, Willow, and Oz in the foyer reveals a reflector behind
    Oz on the right side.

    * Dorm hallway when a student pokes his head out the door complaining
    about the noise shows a light stand on right side.


    Hush, which incidentally another poster suggested viewing for examples
    of why Buffy is really supposed to be 16:9, is probably in the top
    position with over a dozen mistakes, though this number is really not
    that exceptional.

    I'm not going to list them all but here are a couple:

    * Towards the end of the long take in the opening credits in Giles
    apartment, a reflector on a stand can be seen on the right side.

    * During Willow's wicca meeting, a mattebox causes mechanical
    vignetting on the top left/right sides of the frame.

    * When Buffy and Willow retreat to their dorm room, one pair of the
    venetian blinds has been yanked off the window, apparently for
    lightening purposes.

    * Flag on a stand in Xander's basement when Spike is teasing Xander.

    * In the opening shot of the lecture hall where Giles will hold his
    presentation the door marked 'exit' reveals this to be a soundstage.

    And many more exist, though to be fair, some are in the fast cut
    action scenes towards the end which makes some of them a bit difficult
    to spot. However, one worth pointing out is a second camera that
    intrudes so far into the frame on the right side that it actually
    makes it into the 4:3 frame. Hey! One 4:3 mistake, yay!

    Another worthwhile example would be the visual joke with the warning
    sign about using the stairway in case of emergency. In the 16:9
    version this sign is seen much earlier than intended, obviously
    creating a different reaction with the audience.

    But, if you want truly obvious mistakes, check out Goodbye Iowa from
    season 4, especially the initiative portion with Adam. Comments ought
    to be superfluous here!

    All in all, still having to review about half the episodes of both
    season 4 and 5, I put the average number of mistakes per episode
    around six. This is a low estimate! For instance, Fool For Love in
    season 5 has over twenty!

    : In the 22 episodes of Season 4, accounting for approximately 15 hours of
    : program content, there are barely half a dozen widescreen "flubs", most
    : of which are unnoticeable unless freeze-framed and specifically pointed
    : out. In all of Season 5 I spotted exactly 3 mistakes on the edges of
    : frames. I'm not done with Season 6 yet but haven't seen any so far.

    Funny, I spotted a couple of them yesterday when I rewatched Bargaining
    pt.1, trying to find the scene you described. For instance, look on the
    right side of the frame when the camera pulls in on Willow on top of the
    crypt in the teaser...Or in the final act when Buffybot rushes into the
    shot: "Willow, I need service!" These two are obvious; there are probably
    others less so...


    Jag
     
    jagu, Jan 21, 2004
    #45
  6. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    Which is far different from the claim that The Punisher was
    making that Buffy was "intended" to be shown in 16:9,
    a claim you were ostensibly defending.
    Except when they happen in part of the frame that was
    never intended to be shown. WS affectionados use
    examples of flubs in a 4:3 open-matte version of a
    WS film, such as those in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure,
    to help show why the intended ratio is better. I don't
    see why examples of mistakes outside the intended
    frame can't be used in the case of Buffy.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 21, 2004
    #46
  7. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    And how many of these would you have spotted if you weren't watching the
    episode frame-by-frame? In how many of them is your knowledge of what a
    flag stand leg looks like making you spot "mistakes" that otherwise
    appear as random background clutter in the set?
     
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 21, 2004
    #47
  8. Kevin

    Mike Jackson Guest

    What we need is some nice examples of how the open matte picture shows
    Personally (and I know many people will disagree with me) I feel that
    Stanley Kubrick's decision to have his films released in open matte on DVD
    destroys the composition. I have an example in my review of "The Shining"
    here:

    http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/shiningse.php

    (Of course, I just generally don't care for Kubrick too much, but I'm also
    hyperactive, so take me with a grain of salty Ritalin.)

    Mike Jackson
    Editor & Web Developer, DVD Verdict
    www.dvdverdict.com
     
    Mike Jackson, Jan 21, 2004
    #48
  9. Kevin

    jagu Guest

    : : > My "rough estimate" is not grabbed out of thin air like your numbers.
    : > It is a conservative extrapolation based on the number of mistakes
    : > I've seen in the first halves of season 4 and season 5. The episode
    : > with the lowest number of mistakes in season 4 so far seems to be
    : > Living Conditions, with only four.
    :
    : And how many of these would you have spotted if you weren't watching the
    : episode frame-by-frame? In how many of them is your knowledge of what a
    : flag stand leg looks like making you spot "mistakes" that otherwise
    : appear as random background clutter in the set?

    I don't know, I haven't really kept tabs on that. I caught the ones
    in Bargaining pt.1 without even looking for widescreen flubs. Some
    mistakes are obviously very minor and can easily be ignored; others
    less so. For example, even "ordinary" folks might wonder why there
    is a big ol' metal pole in the middle of the corridor at the end of
    Living Conditions.

    Is this really pertinent to the point at hand though? Even if some
    people don't recognize lighting equipment, I'm sure the crew is pretty
    familiar with it and don't want it in their shots if they really were
    interested in the 16:9 frame. I thought that was the meaning of
    "protected for 16:9."


    Jag
     
    jagu, Jan 21, 2004
    #49
  10. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    No I didn't.
     
    ThePunisher, Jan 21, 2004
    #50
  11. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    Let's see here....

    Since this was a response countering my claim that Buffy
    was composed for 4:3, it seems to me like you were claiming
    Buffy was composed for 16:9. Unless I was mistaken and
    you were actually saying that you feel the visual evidence
    shows that Buffy was intended to be viewed in 4:3.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 22, 2004
    #51
  12. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    So you've gone from saying there's "barely half a dozen widescreen
    "flubs", most of which are unnoticeable" in a season to conceeding
    that there is a much larger number of flubs, but they're still all
    unnoticeable.

    However, if such flubs are "unnoticable," why do film and TV
    crews even try and hide themselves? Apparently they shouldn't
    bother since nobody will notice them.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 22, 2004
    #52
  13. Kevin

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    I'm not conceding anything. I watched the entire season and only spotted
    6 examples. I've got a nice big screen, fine vision, and was even
    looking for them (though not to the exclusion of actually paying
    attention to the episodes). Is a flub really a flub if the viewer
    doesn't see it or know in advance that it's supposedly there?
    Some gaffes are within the tolerances of the production if the editor
    decides that the audience is unlikely to spot them. Having a crew member
    in the background scratching himself "ruins" the shot. Having the edge
    of a light stand visible in a cluttered set in a 2-second shot that pans
    quickly past it, usually that sort of thing doesn't call for a reshoot.

    Go rewatch your favorite movie frame-by-frame and count the continuity
    errors. I don't care what the movie is. I dare you. You'll hate yourself
    for doing it.
     
    Joshua Zyber, Jan 22, 2004
    #53
  14. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    Strange, in my dictionary the words 'intended' and 'composed' mean two
    different things.
     
    ThePunisher, Jan 22, 2004
    #54
  15. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    There's no getting through to him, if you go by his example then any film or
    TV program that is widescreen, and has mistakes outside the 4:3 center area,
    should only be viewed in 4:3
     
    ThePunisher, Jan 22, 2004
    #55
  16. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    For a film or a TV show, it is *composed* for the *intended*
    frame. Composition is an intentional process.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 22, 2004
    #56
  17. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    Is a flub not a flub if you personally didn't notice it? Others have
    noticed these flubs, some probably without even trying to. Again,
    there is a reason why film crews try to keep the number of flubs
    to a minimum. The fact that the number of flubs in an episode
    increases drastically in the 16:9 version is strong evidence that
    the 4:3 version is the intended version, and the one the film was
    composed and protected for.

    Reverse the situation again. If a 4:3 version of a film had
    repeated flubs in the frame that would not occure were it
    matted to a WS ratio, wouldn't you consider that evidence
    that the 4:3 version was not the intended ratio?
    Especially if they are outside the frame that the audience is
    intended to see.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 22, 2004
    #57
  18. Kevin

    Jay G Guest

    No, a film should be viewed in the ratio that it was intended
    to be seen in. In this case, Buffy was intended to be seen
    in 4:3.

    -Jay
     
    Jay G, Jan 22, 2004
    #58
  19. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    And what if the intended frame has two different ratio? which one is
    'right'?
     
    ThePunisher, Jan 23, 2004
    #59
  20. Kevin

    ThePunisher Guest

    Only in America it seems.
     
    ThePunisher, Jan 23, 2004
    #60
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.