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Old September 6 2013, 10:39 AM   #108
Start Wreck
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Again, the series was composed for 4:3 television and therefore came with the inevitable compromise (to make sure you cover all the action on the bridge from left to right) that you have image areas overhead and especially at the bottom ("crutch" space) with really not that much worth showing.
Okay, I appreciate you finding a picture that demonstrates what you mean, but I'm not sure it's indicative of the entire series. I've just gone through some screencaps for one episode, and already found several that don't have wasted space at the top and bottom. Eg.

How would you crop those without losing important parts of the picture? Or this one:

You could crop that without losing anything important, but you'd be left with a very cramped frame, shaved heads at the top and/or peeking heads at the bottom.

Sure, if you have a shot where you need to see fully left and right, inevitably you will have more top and bottom space than you need (as per your example)... but I'm not convinced that happened very often. Did you notice how often Picard and Riker stand right next to each other on the bridge, to keep them together in the frame? When they made Generations, they had to put additional consoles on the left and right, because otherwise there was too much empty space!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Start Wreck wrote: View Post
They'd shoot it differently. Shots would be framed and composed differently. More 'spread out', less vertical layering, much like they did for Generations.
So... what? If you accept that TNG was shot a particular way to account for its 4:3 ratio, and a film like Generations was not, then you have to accept that changing TNG to a 16:9 ratio (whether by expanding or cropping) would produce an unintended result, counter to the compositional intent. In other words, the composition would be ruined. It would be made worse than it was because it's no longer composed correctly for its ratio.

If they re-made TNG today, you can bet it would be done at 16:9, no question about it. But that's not what's happening here!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
We could just use the screencap I just linked and wonder how the director Corey Allen would have had positioned a "widescreen" camera. Probably exactly like in the 4:3 image but with less overhead and crutch space.
But we could also look at countless examples where there isn't any overhead or crutch space, and the whole frame is utilised properly.

Framing and composition are very important in creating asthetically pleasing scenes. Even if you could expand a shot without losing any information, you still destroy the composition, because the relative positioning changes. You no longer have focal points along the lines of thirds, you no longer have even spacing around things, and so on.


I know you don't seem to think this is important in "just a TV show", but I'd argue it very much is. Just as much as in a movie or anything else. They may not have had as much time back then to carefully consider all of their shots like they would in a multi-million dollar movie or whatever, but let's not downplay the directors' efforts by reframing things as if it's not important!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
There will come a time when 4:3 will no longer sell as good as it still does.
I'd rather TNG not sell for what it is, than sell well as something it isn't. Gene Roddenberry be damned!
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