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Old October 19 2012, 02:15 AM   #1
Dream
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Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

I'm getting ready to see this series for the first time, and was very surprised to see that the back of the dvd says this show is in widescreen. But wasn't B5 orginally aired like DS9 in fullscreen?

I'm not one of those people that always say widescreen is always better, I go for the OAR. I think I would have prefered if they had released the show on fullscreen as it was shown on tv.

How does B5 look in widescreen? Would it be better to see the series in fullscreen by zooming in?
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Old October 19 2012, 02:19 AM   #2
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

It was shot in widescreen. However, the CGI was rendered in fullscreen. Therefore, any shot which is all CGI or is a composite shot is cropped at the top and bottom to fit the widescreen presentation. It's not ideal, but it's the format you'll mostly see it available in today.
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Old October 19 2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

If I remember right, it was shot in widescreen; but they didn't seem to take it seriously that it would ever be broadcast in widescreen. As a result, you have some scenes in season one where you can clearly see crew members in the background; some shots of the end of the set (where a wall just ends for no reason); and I think that there are also a couple of boom mikes that creep in.
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Old October 19 2012, 02:53 AM   #4
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

TemporalFlux wrote: View Post
If I remember right, it was shot in widescreen; but they didn't seem to take it seriously that it would ever be broadcast in widescreen. As a result, you have some scenes in season one where you can clearly see crew members in the background; some shots of the end of the set (where a wall just ends for no reason); and I think that there are also a couple of boom mikes that creep in.
URG! I hate hearing that.

I heard that the UK released Buffy on widescreen season sets and they ended up having the exact same problems that you mentioned in your post. Whedon never intended that show to be in widescreen unlike Angel.

When will people realize that OAR is the most important thing and not widescreen? Widescreen is not always better!
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Old October 19 2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

The widescreen is B5's original aspect ratio. Straczynski had it framed for widescreen because he figured that HDTVs would be A Thing in the not terribly distant future.

The CGI wasn't rendered in that high of a resolution because they were using Amigas, and they figured it would be easier to re-render the CGI in whatever higher resolution became the standard down the line. No one expected the master files to be lost.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:10 AM   #6
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Timby wrote: View Post
The CGI wasn't rendered in that high of a resolution because they were using Amigas, and they figured it would be easier to re-render the CGI in whatever higher resolution became the standard down the line. No one expected the master files to be lost.
The master files were lost? What's the story behind that?

Does this mean Babylon 5 will never be released on Blu-Ray since it will be too costly to redo all the CGI?
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Old October 19 2012, 03:20 AM   #7
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Dream wrote: View Post
Timby wrote: View Post
The CGI wasn't rendered in that high of a resolution because they were using Amigas, and they figured it would be easier to re-render the CGI in whatever higher resolution became the standard down the line. No one expected the master files to be lost.
The master files were lost? What's the story behind that?

Does this mean Babylon 5 will never be released on Blu-Ray since it will be too costly to redo all the CGI?
Exactly what I said: Warner Bros. lost the original CGI master files. The Lost Tales used fan-made models for the CGI.

It's possible that someone will go back, re-scan all of the Babylon 5 footage, remaster the episodes, and redo all the CGI and it would be glorious. But it's more likely that I will be the first man on Mars.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:21 AM   #8
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Dream wrote: View Post
TemporalFlux wrote: View Post
If I remember right, it was shot in widescreen; but they didn't seem to take it seriously that it would ever be broadcast in widescreen. As a result, you have some scenes in season one where you can clearly see crew members in the background; some shots of the end of the set (where a wall just ends for no reason); and I think that there are also a couple of boom mikes that creep in.
URG! I hate hearing that.

I heard that the UK released Buffy on widescreen season sets and they ended up having the exact same problems that you mentioned in your post. Whedon never intended that show to be in widescreen unlike Angel.

When will people realize that OAR is the most important thing and not widescreen? Widescreen is not always better!
Well, considering the shows you've mentioned were shot in the 90s, I think it's a little silly to get upset about them "realizing" anything.

I doubt this kind of thing really happens too much today.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:37 AM   #9
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Timby wrote: View Post
It's possible that someone will go back, re-scan all of the Babylon 5 footage, remaster the episodes, and redo all the CGI and it would be glorious. But it's more likely that I will be the first man on Mars.
Didn't Trek fans once say TNG would never get remastered and put on Blu-Ray? Didn't they say it would cost too much and be too time consuming?

Quick! Someone needs to do a Babylon 5 remake movie and it needs to turn into a huge hit!
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Old October 19 2012, 03:43 AM   #10
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Dream wrote: View Post
I heard that the UK released Buffy on widescreen season sets and they ended up having the exact same problems that you mentioned in your post.
Starting with season 4, yeah. When I watched Buffy on Netflix last year, it was the same; seasons 4-7 were streamed in the widescreen format. It was quite obvious just by watching that the show wasn't meant to be shown that way. Boom mikes, cameras, crew members. One instance that stuck with me was during Buffy's vision quest in "Intervention", when it was just supposed to be her and the First Slayer in the desert, and you see some guy there in the shot (No, not the Cheese Man; that was in "Restless" ).
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Old October 19 2012, 03:53 AM   #11
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Should Babylon 5 be remastered?

I just read that topic. I didn't know the budget for this show was that low! I thought it was at big as TNG.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:56 AM   #12
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Chris3123 wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
I heard that the UK released Buffy on widescreen season sets and they ended up having the exact same problems that you mentioned in your post.
Starting with season 4, yeah. When I watched Buffy on Netflix last year, it was the same; seasons 4-7 were streamed in the widescreen format. It was quite obvious just by watching that the show wasn't meant to be shown that way. Boom mikes, cameras, crew members. One instance that stuck with me was during Buffy's vision quest in "Intervention", when it was just supposed to be her and the First Slayer in the desert, and you see some guy there in the shot (No, not the Cheese Man; that was in "Restless" ).
Thank god I'm a Buffy fan living in America!

'Hugs Buffy dvds'

Damn, Whedon should have really demanded Warners release Buffy in fullscreen everywhere. Too bad he wasn't that well known back then instead of being big shot Avengers Whedon right now.
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Old October 19 2012, 04:14 AM   #13
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Stop this, you're making my SciFi gland swell up with bile

JMS Future Proofed it by filming in Widescreen from the mid-late 1990s before anyone else did, and WB did him from behind...without grease

B5 is my all time favorite show (DS9 directly behind it, and Doctor Who will always have a top 5 place along with Farscape and Blake's 7)

No, WB has no faith in the Franchise (and maybe the ratings prove that lack of Faith?) and will never spend the kind of money required to "TNG Remaster" the B5 DVDs
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Old October 19 2012, 04:46 AM   #14
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Dream wrote: View Post
When will people realize that OAR is the most important thing and not widescreen? Widescreen is not always better!
It's not just TV shows, a lot of the movies shown in widescreen on TV channels are cropped to fill the screen. I often find myself watching a movie and thinking it just doesn't look right and go to IMDB and find it was shot 2.35:1 or whatever.
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Old October 19 2012, 04:48 AM   #15
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Re: Is Babylon 5 suppose to be seen in widescreen?

Timby wrote: View Post
The widescreen is B5's original aspect ratio. Straczynski had it framed for widescreen because he figured that HDTVs would be A Thing in the not terribly distant future.

The CGI wasn't rendered in that high of a resolution because they were using Amigas, and they figured it would be easier to re-render the CGI in whatever higher resolution became the standard down the line. No one expected the master files to be lost.
Nope, not the case. Everyone knew widescreen was just around the corner, and it was producer John Copeland who convinced WB to let them film it wide.

http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen1_07_4

As for the CGI. As Copeland explained, there was never a plan to re-render for widescreen –it’s just a much repeated myth. It was rendered in 4:3 - not because of hardware limitations - but due to a penny pinching short sighted decision (which saved 75 bucks an episode).

Even though jms has said for years that it wasn't possible – after reading the following he admitted that he’d foolishly believed what he was told by Netter at the time, and would have paid for it himself if he knew about it.

http://www.themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scro...m#Screen1_01_4
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