Buffy the Vampire Slayer in HD for the first time - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:23 AM
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Default Buffy the Vampire Slayer in HD for the first time

Good news but the show would appear to be cropped:
http://www.pivot.tv/shows/buffy-the-vampire-slayer
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:07 PM
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On the slow tv nights if this show is on LOGO or some other channel I might catch a few hours worth.

Bought the entire series dvd set from UK for about $40 a while back.

Seeing these specs though on the cameras and lenses it is hard to know for sure if it is cropping or opening the matte as it says "intended ratio" :

Aspect Ratio 1.33 : 1 (all seasons) (intended ratio)
1.78 : 1 (seasons 4-7) (BBC broadcasts)


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Old 08-25-2014, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Krawk View Post
Seeing these specs though on the cameras and lenses it is hard to know for sure if it is cropping or opening the matte as it says "intended ratio" :
The first two seasons of Buffy were shot on 16mm film. The show had a budget increase and moved to 35mm in Season 3.

Film-based TV shows are typically shot in 3-perf format, rather than the 4 perfs used in feature films. This leaves each frame with a shorter height and an aspect ratio close to 16:9. This saves a lot of film stock, and also happens to be a good fit for HDTV. However, when Buffy was produced, HD broadcast was not an option. Joss Whedon claims that the entire series was composed for 4:3, which was extracted from the center of the 16:9 frame.

The show was broadcast in 4:3 from beginning to end. The American DVDs are all 4:3.

When the show was released on DVD in Europe, Seasons 4-7 received 16:9 video transfers that expose extra picture information on the sides. Once in a blue moon, you'll see a piece of camera or lighting equipment appear at the side of the frame, which wouldn't have been visible during broadcast. (The frequency of this has been really blown out of proportion by people who insist on the 4:3 versions, but it is noticeable a few times.)

On those European DVDs, clips from the earlier seasons that appear in the "Previously on" recaps have also been formatted to 16:9 and appear to have extra picture on the sides as well.

I've watched those European DVDs and personally prefer the 16:9 framing most of the time, but the official word from the producers is that 4:3 is the "OAR."

The spin-off show Angel premiered at the same time as Buffy Season 4 and was always shot on 35mm. The first two seasons were broadcast in 4:3. From Season 3 onward, the show officially switched to 16:9 production, and episodes were aired in letterbox format on the WB network. The DVDs worldwide are 16:9 from Season 2 onwards. Joss Whedon has made some contradictory statements about whether Season 2 was composed for 16:9 or not.

The final season of Angel (Season 5) was the only season of either show that was actually broadcast in high-definition. Because the show's VFX were all rendered in standard-def, the image quality would dramatically drop during any shot with CGI in it (much like the Blu-rays for Firefly).
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Josh - Joss Whedon himself probably never knew what was going on and what should go on, etc.

I think we've all seen the framing of a camera and often times something as low-tech as electrical tape showing the "safety zone" where each shot was to be framed. Since the outer boundaries you mention that show camera equipment from time to time were far and few, I think as home viewers we would not mind the very so often zoom in or P&S (for the 16:9 ration that is) to hide this visible equipment. This would be less distracting than say an intentional blur on the frame to cover the equipment.

When I bought the UK set I was not even thinking AR at the time, was thinking the UK set was $40 and the US set was >$120. Looking back though, am glad I got the UK set for AR reasons.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Krawk View Post
I think we've all seen the framing of a camera and often times something as low-tech as electrical tape showing the "safety zone" where each shot was to be framed.
What the people who argue against the 16:9 versions forget is that Buffy had plenty of flubs in the 4:3 portion of the frame as well, like this microphone that swings into the picture and nearly bumps the actress on the head:



Buffy was a low-budget, quickly produced series and is filled with sloppy mistakes no matter which aspect ratio you watch it at.

Quote:
Since the outer boundaries you mention that show camera equipment from time to time were far and few, I think as home viewers we would not mind the very so often zoom in or P&S (for the 16:9 ration that is) to hide this visible equipment. This would be less distracting than say an intentional blur on the frame to cover the equipment.
These days, the studio would digitally paint out the camera equipment, if they bothered to make that much effort.

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When I bought the UK set I was not even thinking AR at the time, was thinking the UK set was $40 and the US set was >$120. Looking back though, am glad I got the UK set for AR reasons.
Sadly, the UK DVDs are in PAL format and the speedup is pretty obvious in the audio, especially poor Alyson Hannigan's voice.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:16 PM
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Sadly, the UK DVDs are in PAL format and the speedup is pretty obvious in the audio, especially poor Alyson Hannigan's voice.
I never noticed it but then again,
Does this not depend on your player's rendering of the data that is available? Having been shot on film, 24fps film on a 50hz system is quite doable.
Much like a 4:3 pulldown when watching 24fps film on regular 60hz NTSC, the extra frames are interpolated in between what the source has and the audio is played at the proper speed. Was not the early days of dvd plagued with players (Toshiba anyone) that had audio-sync issues for the same reasons?

In the long run then, a 24fps source on a 50hz system being pulled down to play correctly on a 60hz system the audio should still be correct.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:23 AM
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I never noticed it but then again,
Does this not depend on your player's rendering of the data that is available? Having been shot on film, 24fps film on a 50hz system is quite doable.
Much like a 4:3 pulldown when watching 24fps film on regular 60hz NTSC, the extra frames are interpolated in between what the source has and the audio is played at the proper speed. Was not the early days of dvd plagued with players (Toshiba anyone) that had audio-sync issues for the same reasons?

In the long run then, a 24fps source on a 50hz system being pulled down to play correctly on a 60hz system the audio should still be correct.
No. PAL video inherently has speed-up, unless the content was originally shot at 25 fps or 50 Hz (i.e. programming that was explicitly produced for European TV).

Feature films and American television programs are shot at 24 fps. PAL video runs at 50 Hz (interlaced, which is equivalent to 25 progressive fps). No pulldown is used when converting 24 fps to 50 Hz. The content is simply sped up to 25 fps then interlaced.

Once a program is authored onto a PAL DVD, converting it back to NTSC does not remove the speed-up. In this case, a pulldown process is used to convert the 50 Hz to 60 Hz, retaining the original PAL playback speed. If the content was sped up during the PAL conversion, it remains sped-up.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:11 PM
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I'd be interested in having the whole series on blu-ray, along with Charmed, for the right price, no matter if 4:3 or 16:9, although I'll admit that my interest in both series have faded a lot over time.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:38 AM
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Hi. You can see all this HD version's flaws here:

youtube.com/v/F28XcxHxH6k

You can find Joss Whedon's, David Fury's and Steven DeKnight's answers in it.

Below are the last reactions of three members of the original team:

Mark Metcalf (The Master) on his Facebook Page: "I probably should know more about this before I open my big mouth but from the little I do know Fox has made a mess of remastering the great work of Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar and all the other actors, directors and technicians who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show and the work were important to me at the time and there are fans throughout the world that still get inspiration from the little girl with the big wooden stake and her struggle for justice and a simple dinner date in a nice black dress. This is worth a look."

Aaron Miller by private message: "I was the post coordinator for Season 5 and we actually made a list of 16X9 fixes for every show that would need to be done when the show was remastered for HD. [Fox] definitely did not contact me at any time."

Aaron Miller:
"Here's a comment from my post supervisor/AP that I worked with on Buffy. He was a post PA on Season 1 and moved up to AP by Season 6. He and I both went to work on Firefly so we did not do Season 7:

[Brian Wankum:] Thanks for asking! I am a little torn. The true purists should only ever watch the 4:3 standard def original release versions (exception being the "Once More With Feeling" which was intended to be shown widescreen). Not only is the framing as was originally intended, but i suspect that there will be lots of details in sets, props, costumes and makeup that might not hold up in HD.

That's for the purists. BUT... Right or wrong there is a large population of average Joes who just want the picture to fill their frame. The same group who 15 years ago would have preferred the center cut to the black bars on top and bottom. Would be a shame for a whole new generation to miss out just because they (or their local TV station which is more likely) got turned off by black side bars. I agree that if it must be done there's a better way to do it. Season 1 was 16mm 4X3 so there is no way to make it 16:9 without blowing up the image. One of the things that bugs me the most about the ones I have seen is that top of show credits appear over peoples faces. We always had a rule to keep credits below the chin in closeups. Starting with season 2 we shot 35mm composed for 4X3 but protecting for 16X9. After we delivered the 4:3 air master I would sit down and watch the 16:9 version and take notes and do blowups and repos where necessary to avoid crew, equipment and ends of sets in shots. We called these the "16X9 safe masters" and archived them with everything else. I thought these were pretty cool to watch, the problem is when they went back to negative for the HD rexfer in this latest release it looks like they did not consult the original for either color timing or re-framing reference. I'm sure the stories and characters will hold up but it's too bad more care was not taken. Nobody asked me, but if they did I would have loved to have consulted on this. Probably could have organized a crowdsourcing effort of comparing the originals to the re-transfers. Lots of crew alumni with lots of love for the originals would have likely participated. Maybe for the 4K/3D version?"

He probably meant they started shooting 35mm with season 3. Season 2 was (super) 16mm.

Note that the video was also shared by Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), James C. Leary (Clem), David Fury, Tim Minear (producer, writer and director on "Angel" the TV show) and Nancy Holder (writer).
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