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Star Trek: TNG getting HD conversion even though it's impossible

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Johncv, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Sep 28, 2011 #41 of 328
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Yes...directors of that period wouldn't arbitrarily leave dead space at the tops and bottoms of the frames just in case it would some day be cropped to 16:9. In close-ups (of which there are many in most TV shows), you will lose the tops and bottoms of the characters' heads, e.g.

    It's interesting to watch the Babylon 5 DVDs. JMS was very forward-looking, and decreed that they should be shot open-matte (an aspect ratio between 4:3 and 16:9), and be framed so that it could be cropped a little one way for the regular broadcast, and a little the other way for eventual 16:9. Some directors got it, and some didn't. And you could always tell when they didn't very easily...chins and foreheads got cropped in the close-ups.
    Wow, sarcasm. THAT'S original!

    :D
     
  2. Sep 28, 2011 #42 of 328
    DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and probably uncalled for. Apologies to Bierboy.
     
  3. Sep 28, 2011 #43 of 328
    IndyJones1023

    IndyJones1023 Auteur

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    Yeah, that was one man, one showrunner's vision. Not a bunch of different directors run thru the mill.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2011 #44 of 328
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    It's more than just whether space was left on the top/bottom of a frame.

    Again, going back to the Buffy example (just because it's where I recall another major debate happening about releasing a 4:3 show re-edited for 16:9) this is (as DVDTalk.com transcribed) from the commentary from the Buffy episode "The Body.":
    Again, there were probably more than a few directors on TNG that wouldn't have a particular "artistic vision" like Joss did on Buffy. But there may have been some that did.
     
  5. Sep 28, 2011 #45 of 328
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Right, but my point was just that regardless of the level of artistic vision, they would have used all of the 4:3 frame. Ergo, cropped chins and foreheads.

    The kind of care Joss talks about in that example is just bonus cropping suckage on top of the normal cropping suckage.

    Now, maybe Bierboy is less sensitive to that kind of stuff. But I know there's a movie theater here in Minneapolis (sadly, the one closest to me) that routinely overscans (that's probably not the right technical term) movies. And it doesn't take any necessary visual information out of the picture (unless there are subtitles, the bottom line of which usually are off the screen), but the (mis-) framing of the image drives me crazy, to the point where I can't enjoy the movie. So I don't go there any more (they also like to lower the brightness of the bulb, which makes the movies darker and murkier than they were meant to be).
     
  6. Sep 28, 2011 #46 of 328
    JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Yeah and that gives me pause because it seems obvious to me that CBS Video did not spend enough money to get the TOS HD release correct.


    TNG had showrunners who set down edicts as well though.
    Seasons 1 & 2, it was primarily Roddenberry and Maurice Hurley.
    Season 3-7, it was Michael Pillar and Rick Berman.

    And I think that most (if not all) of the directors would have framed for 4:3 during TNG's run as that was all that was really out on the market.

    As Rob points out, in 1994, it was very forward thinking for JMS to be shooting with 16:9 in mind.

    (Although I recently noticed that in 2001, the headrest displays in the Pan Am spaceclipper appear to be 16:9.)
     
  7. Sep 28, 2011 #47 of 328
    Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    Regardless how badly any given director might have wanted to shoot in widescreen, the fact is that when ST:TNG was in production, TV was 4:3.

    The directors were stuck with 4:3. It was never going to be anything but 4:3 as far as they knew.

    Therefore, they composed the frames to look correct in 4:3.

    To change the aspect ratio would be to alter their intended composition. Period.

    It's not a matter of whether you (meaning anyone reading this, not only Indy) or I or the director preferred widescreen (generally speaking, I indeed do). It's a matter of the source material being composed by the cinematographer to look right in 4:3. It will look "less right" in any other ratio.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2011 #48 of 328
    Bryanmc

    Bryanmc I'm normal.

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    I've been keeping this in mind as I've been rewatching the series. There's no way it would do well with a crop to 16x9. Some of the framing is super tight (almost too tight for 4x3 IMO) and would just be awful cropped.

    I sure hope they don't crop anything. The show was shot for a 4x3 frame, it should be preserved that way. I see no benefit to cropping it.
     
  9. Sep 29, 2011 #49 of 328
    SimonGoodwin

    SimonGoodwin New Member

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    Woooow.... Bring back ST:TNG :)
    Let's just hope they get the GFX right!
     
  10. Sep 29, 2011 #50 of 328
    doom1701

    doom1701 Time for a new Title

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    I still haven't seen anything that actually explains what "recomposited" means, and if it's a good thing or not for the FX. We know that it won't be a CGI redo, like with TOS. The best explanation that I've read is that the FX shots were shot on 35mm and composited on video, so they can go back to the original 35mm film, get the base FX shots, and rebuild them.

    But there doesn't seem to be a concensus on whether or not those FX shots do exist on film.
     
  11. Sep 29, 2011 #51 of 328
    Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    The Digital Bits is reporting that the Blu-ray will contain the episodes in the original 4:3 aspect ratio. There is also a trailer for set...
     
  12. Sep 29, 2011 #52 of 328
    DougF

    DougF Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...

     
  13. Sep 29, 2011 #53 of 328
    Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    IIRC CBS digital used almost identical wording in some copy about the HD remastering of ST:TOS "[widescreen] versions may be created for certain distributions", or words very close to that.
     
  14. Sep 29, 2011 #54 of 328
    Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    The trailer shows camera negatives being loaded into the scanner, and then it morphs a negative image into a positive.

    So, yeah, the only high resolution medium that exists of the show is the camera negatives.

    Wow! That is really a lot of work!

    I'll buy it just to see how well they did with the conversion.
     
  15. Sep 29, 2011 #55 of 328
    Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth I prefer if remasters don't screw with the aspect ratio. I've got those Babylon 5 on DVDs and, IMHO, reframing them fpr 16:9 didn't turn out all that well. (Now some of that is that JMS's plan to redo the CGI fell through, so all the space scene's are cropped down from 4:3, but even the normal stuff doesn't work as well)

    And like you said that's a show where they at tried to frame thing for the possibility of later widescreen conversion, so they don't have to crop much, mostly just show more content to the side. I can't image what a mess it would be to take something that wasn't framed to go wider and just make it shorter to fill out a TV. Ug.
     
  16. Sep 29, 2011 #56 of 328
    JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    I'm not sure either.

    I was hoping that someone like Bryan or Indy would have more insight on what they mean by "recomposited".

    Good to know.
    Thanks.


    Interestingly enough, the new CGI for TOS was rendered at 16:9 but was also supposed to be 4:3 friendly.

    Of course then you still have to crop the live action for 16:9.. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Sep 29, 2011 #57 of 328
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Can someone tell me what "trailer for set" means? I'm following the technical discussion fairly well but I'm not familiar with that term.
     
  18. Sep 29, 2011 #58 of 328
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    There is a trailer [for the] set [of episodes they are releasing.]

    A few words got dropped. :)
     
  19. Sep 29, 2011 #59 of 328
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Ok...thanks.
     
  20. Sep 29, 2011 #60 of 328
    Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    Yes, should have been "trailer for the set". Little editing mistake...sorry for the confusion...
     

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