Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by otomo, Sep 1, 2013.
I actually already mentioned that earlier in this topic, that TOS-R was broadcast in Japan in 16:9.
Your memory serves you well. Widescreen (standard resolution) CRT TVs were introduced in Europe in the 1990's, widescreen HD CRT TVs were introduced in Japan in the early 1990's. The Japanese had come up with their analogue MUSE HiVision HD Format, but the Americans didn't want to adopt that as they saw digital technology show up at the horizon and rather wanted to wait.
But, as a matter of fact, by 1987 there was talk in the entertainment industry (including Paramount Studios, no doubt) about the future "wide-screen" television where the original US approach favored an aspect ratio of 15:9 or 1.66:1.
In a non Star Trek related AV forum one guy claimed he had talked to Rick Berman and Brent Spiner and according to one or both them the TNG DPs had been supposedly asked to composite their images in a fashion that could enable a future widescreen extraction but not all directors adhered to that.
But, of course, since nobody mentioned it yet, it might be a good thing to actually ask several of the original TNG directors of photography if that is true rather than to assume that 4:3 is all they ever did or wanted.
And how they like to see their work presented on a flat widescreen.
I think that has more to do with the TV rather than aspect ratio.
When most people had 4:3 TV's some disliked WS releases. (Even when I had a 4:3 TV I favoured films in WS). Now that most have WS TV's 4:3 is disliked.
Due to black bars. But after a while you don't notice them. On either format of TV
Essentially true, but from a videophile's point of view it's a little more complicated.
James Cameron authorized the 4:3 release of The Abyss (hopefully by the end of this year finally available in HD on Blu-ray) both in widescreen (i.e. 2.35:1 letterboxed) and a director-approved Pan & Scan 4:3 version.
His argument (in a letter accompanying the Pan & Scan LaserDisc box): film has a resolution exceeding current FullHD and 4K UltraHD. Go for letterbox and you'll even loose more picture resolution, facial "body language" and other details get lost.
Go for Pan & Scan and you get optimal detail resolution within the restraints of 4:3, but you'll loose picture information left and right.
Given the FullHD resolution of contemporary flat screens, we get the original 4:3 TNG picture but not the full image resolution (in terms of overall picture detail).
I think the general issue many fans would be having with a reformatted and trimmed widescreen release of TNG is that they would know and possibly notice that previous picture information is missing. I sympathize.
When Cameron's Titanic was released in 2.35:1 widescreen I knew that that film had been shot with Super35 cameras and that the black bars at the top and (especially) bottom were covering up image information, which wasn't fully revealed until the 3D "open matte" re-release version.
I don't know if I still want to watch the "matted" 2.35:1 version.
Please don't feel offended but I think the inevitable loss of picture information is at the core of this debate on behalf of 4:3 since it began two years ago.
I frankly can't imagine the majority of 4:3 advocates stitting in front of their screens when watching TNG and marveling at the stunning image compositions of the TNG DPs...
I don't think you have to marvel at something to think it's superior to something else. TNG just looks better in 4:3, because it was composed that way.
Anyone see this commerical yet? Couldn't help but think of this thread.
Maybe not, but I frequently marvel at the horrible 16x9 versions of old TV shows I see from time to time. I've seen various examples of '80s and '90s dramas and sitcoms and they are almost all terrible. Cramped close-ups, credits skirting the edge of frame, opening credits pillar-boxed because they just couldn't make them fit without losing important info...the list goes on.
These horrible 16:9 versions are mostly the result of just zooming up the existing 4:3 image (as some have suggested to do by remote control to satisfy those in want of TNG widescreen ) but here it would / should take more amount of work, especially when to apply zoom (e.g. wide shots of bridge scenes) or when to access unseen areas left and right on the camera negatives (e.g. close-up shots) as Maxwell Everett correctly pointed out.
A good argument on behalf of TNG in 16:9 (at least for the first season) would be that we could enjoy ILM's standard VFX footage in its widescreen glory, which is currently presented panned & scanned.
A very simple solution would be to include both carefully prepared widescreen and 4:3 versions on the Blurays.
That's what I thought originally, but this would require the double amount of data storage space on a Blu-ray disc. It's not just to have black covering bars left and right of the 4:3 image but would require an extensive amount of reframing, horizontally and vertically.
James Cameron provided a film of the full Super35 camera negative from Terminator 2 and there you could see how the 2.35:1 and 4:3 extraction frames constantly moved.
According to my technical knowledge you can't do that on Blu-ray, yet.
And waaaay more than twice as much effort to make it.
Nobody asked for my opinion, so I'm going to offer it. :-)
I'm a purist when it comes to aspect ratios. I want to see films and TV shows in the aspect ratio they were originally shot for. I want to see the shot as the director and cinematographer originally composed it. I don't want any changes, even minor ones such as removing "extra space" above someone's head, because that's not the way the shot was originally framed.
Therefore, I am more than willing to accept the black bars either above and below, or to the left and right of, the image. I would never want to see TNG converted to 16:9 any more than I would like to see TWOK in 4:3. To me, it's the same as taking old episodes of classic TV shows like I Love Lucy and colorizing them just so they look "modern." Leave things from the past alone. Let them look like they were from the past. Don't force them to be part of the modern era of filmmaking.
That being said, I understand that what I am saying is just my opinion, and that others are certainly free to disagree. I certainly have no objection to CBS producing a 16:9 version of TNG to satisfy those fans who want it, as long as the original 4:3 versions also remain available. My problem comes in when you have a situation like George Lucas where someone wants to declare "my new version is better and you should never see the original version ever again."
The business with Lucas is especially damning since the Libary of Congress selected SW for preservation over 20 years ago, and yet that preservation did nothing to stop GL from messing and re-messing with it, all to the film's detriment.
One part of this messing with aspect ratio business is that folks seem to not be concerned with the framing, and that is troubling to me because the framing is a significant part of the storytelling process. Likewise, any process that shrinks or bloats or otherwise distorts the image so it happens to fit the shape of your display is image denigration, and why, in an era of HD with 4K on the horizon, are you wanting to trash the image?
I'll never understand the advocating of changing the aspect ratio for TNG or anything else. If the preserved 4:3 image bothers some people, why don't they also complain about 2:35 shot films featuring black bars at the top and bottom part of their TVs? I'm glad CBS decided to stick with the original aspect ratio, much like they did for TOS, and hopefully with DS9. It is not necessary to alter the image just to appease a group of people that seem to be allergic to black bars. If that means they'll never get into the show because of an aspect ratio that doesn't fit their screens, tough shit for them. They're no different than those who didn't give TOS a chance just because of old 1960s F/X not living up to ILM standards. Just be grateful TNG is getting a remaster at all. I was one of those who actually doubted CBS would ever take on a project of this magnitude, and with every new HD image released I'm still impressed. That's why I'm not too tough on the HTV S2 work because I'm still amazed that I'm getting to see HD quality footage at all.
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