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June 05 2010

Why Buffy may never be Blu. Ever wanted to see Buffy on Blu-ray? Then you might want to check this essay out.

My DVD collection vastly outweighs my blu ray collection. I find the blu ray movement to be a too quick progression in order to push new-buy on media we hold dear.

Too quick for a new format. Dvd still holds imo.
When I first watched the show, every single episode from season 3 and onward was in wide screen and not once was I bothered by this... I'm thinking someone is overthinking this...
I don't think it's overthought.

True, when I'm watching something I intentionally can ignore things like this. BUT, to Joss's point in the DVD and to many viewers, Buffy works on the screen in full frame. In widescreen, it's appears to have been shot with very questionable skill because it was never intended to be viewed that way.

That said, I only agree that it probably won't be done as widescreen. It WILL show up on Blu-Ray, because eventually that's going to be the dominant format. And what are they going to do, not sell?

[ edited by azzers on 2010-06-05 09:27 ]
DVDs have been available for 13 years. It's hardly a new format.
I've never noticed either example that is mentioned in the article presumably because I accepted that the items in the background that were mentioned were actually part of the scenery .

So it seems you have to know that they were not supposed to be there for it to spoil the show .
If and when Buffy goes Blu (which would probably be a situation like Firefly, where the special effects shots will be upscaled to 1080p), it should be in full frame because that's the format the show is intended for. The images were composed for 1.33:1. Maybe the best example of this is in The Body (as Joss is fond of pointing out), when the paramedic towers in the frame and makes Buffy feel small and helpless. In the widescreen framing, there's open space to the side, ruining the shot.
Re Netflix. Some one sent us this email the other day.

Angel Season one in Widescreen 16:9 on Netflix Streaming

Not sure if you guys have covered this yet, but no DVD release of the first season of Angel has ever been released in this aspect ratio. It has always been in a square 4:3 format. So it was a bit of a pleasure to find it on Netflix Streaming this way. Also available in 16:9 are Buffy Season 4-7 (even though Netflix lists them on the site as 4:3 they are not) and Angel Seasons 1-5.

Just thought some folks would like to know.

While I agree that Buffy should stay full frame, and feel bad for Joss (and the other directors on the show) that Netflix and the like have chosen not to present it as intended, I do happen to have a perverse love of seeing background stuff at the edge of frame. Like the c-stand in the Initiative, or the wires under the keyboard, as mentioned in the article.

EDIT: Oh, also, does anyone know if Buffy seasons 1&2 were shot in regular or Super 16?

[ edited by Jobo on 2010-06-05 10:00 ]
Original aspect is what matters. I want to see the image as it was originally composed, not because widescreen is preferable for arbitrary reasons. Much like I would never, ever want pre-1950 movies to be chopped into widescreen format and played on TCM. I recently re-watched The Maltese Falcon, and it's a great movie -- I didn't once think, this would be better in widescreen.

A more pressing issue with me is the... graininess of the video image of the first two seasons. Season one, especially, looks pretty terrible. I'm not convinced that I would spend the money for Blu-Ray Buffy, but it might be worth it for the higher visual quality. Season one and the first part of season two: truly VHS quality.
Indeed, the increase of widescreen's availability--initial a great thing--has led to the unfortunate side-effect of many people assuming that widescreen is the way media should always be viewed... this is my big gripe about the HDTV my roommates have. It doesn't seem to particularly care if a DVD is meant to be full-screen or not. Also, I can't find the button to change that :p
Blu-ray has heaps more space than DVD. So people will be looking for stuff to fill up all that space, like 'specials', 'trailers', 'making-ofs', etc.

Why would they not just put 4:3 and widescreen versions on the discs and let the viewers decide for themselves? (Assuming they can't just force the aspect ration with software on the disc based on a menu selection...)

I get the point about original framing, etc., but I also quite like being able to poke around 'on the fringes' and see stuff that's technically 'out of frame'. (Same reason I like watching rushes/dailies, behind-the-scenes footage, etc.)

I'd really rather not have some zealot enthusiast telling me that my choice to do so is wrong, and that I must watch in 4:3.

[ edited by crystalsinger on 2010-06-05 11:44 ]
Maybe they should think ahead and consider how Buffy can be adapted for holographic tvs.
I agree with crystalsinger - put both versions on. Blu-ray is capable of seamless branching, so you'd be able to switch back and forth between each version. I get that Joss composed the show in full-frame, but I watched the show mostly in widescreen (I have the Aussie DVDs) and I was never really bothered by it, plus I think the show looks great and epic in 16:9 for the most part. Yes, there are a few problems like what was covered in the essay, but when all you can name is a few scant moments over the course of a 144-episode series, calling widescreen Buffy "an ill-advised atrocity" is an exaggeration - especially when you can just avoid watching those episodes in 16:9 through the aforementioned seamless branching. So once again, I say to include both versions, and perhaps an introduction where the aspect-ratio issue is concretely explained, allowing for viewers to make an informed decision.

Also, dottikin, are you seriously suggesting that cropping a 4:3 film into 16:9 is the same as expanding a 4:3 show into 16:9 using footage from the original film? Because it really, really isn't.

The cost aspect is definitely an issue, but I think a good remastering could be very profitable - remember that the new transfer could also be used for a new 4:3 release of the DVDs, not just Blu-ray. I'm sure a great deal of fans would be happy to re-buy the DVDs if they got better PQ, whether that was just the improved transfer on DVD or full-blown 1080p on Blu-ray (not to mention that the Blu-rays could hopefully include lossless audio).
You know, I never even had the thought of "BtVS" in blu-ray nor do I really care if it does. I'd rather watch it in all it glory as when I first viewed it which was in the 4:3 full screen format. Seems to carry much more of the "impact" of the story.

Joss spoke on this matter and he used "The Body" as an example. When the paramedic was telling Buffy that Joyce had died, Joss wanted the shot of her face cropped in tight over the paramedic's shoulder with the sense her entire world was collapsing in on her. I later watched that same scene in wide-screen region 2 and I realized Joss was right. It didn't have the same "punch-in-the-gut" feeling as before. Some things are best viewed as its creator intended.

Oh, also, does anyone know if Buffy seasons 1&2 were shot in regular or super 16?

Jobo, don't hold me to it, but I seem to recall reading somewhere (?) that they were shot in regular 16mm.
I just don't buy that video quality is really an issue. Kevin Smith's Clerks is on Blu-Ray. Nuff said.
What I’d really like is to have BtVS season 2 redone in dvd, to remove the annoying graphics that slow down the process of watching an episode. The forced march through the faux graveyard seems to takes an eternity when all I want to do is get to the menus and see the episodes.
Nice to know that there's an upside for those of us not affluent enough to be able to afford to replace/add to our old stuff with newer tech. :)
The article mentioned that “Once More, With Feeling” was the exception. Releasing just that one episode on Blu-ray would seem like a worthwhile start.
I'm a film format purist myself, and if it was shot to be viewed in 4:3 it should be presented that way, just as if Firefly was shot to be seen in 16:9 it should be presented that way too.
Artistic intent rulez.
I don't think there was ever a 4:3 release of season 7, was that shot for widescreen ??
No, every episode of season seven was shot in 4:3. Now, you may be thinking of the various regional DVD releases, eyeboogers.

Which brings up a question I've always wondered. How was BtVS first aired in the UK? Just curious.
All that article did was show the authors ignorance for the format. Far and away, Blu-ray is a ridiculously good upgrade over standard def DVDs. There are rare exceptions, in which the transfers are terrible, but that's not the format's fault. Meanwhile, the 99% of films that receive a decent transfer blow their DVD counterparts out of the water.

What baffles me the most is the fact that the author thinks aspect ratio has ANYTHING to do with a planned release on Blu-ray. The Wizard of Oz was released recently on Blu in *gasp* 4:3...it's original format. No one seemed to care then. There is literally zero reason why Buffy or Angel couldn't be released on Blu-ray (and should be).

I'm a film format purist as well. Show it to me in the original aspect ratio, in the highest quality available. That's Blu-ray.
As I own all the regular Buffy dvds, it'll be hard to justify "re-buying" them all in Blu-Ray. Then am I just supposed to throw out the original dvds?

I heard that when you play a standard dvd on a blu-ray player, it still ends up looking better than when it's played on a standard player. Obviously not the same high quality as a blu ray disc, though, but still a noticeable upgrade right?
'As I own all the regular Buffy dvds, it'll be hard to justify "re-buying" them all in Blu-Ray. Then am I just supposed to throw out the original dvds?'

Just throwing this out here but you could, y'know, sell them? Or give them away to people who might like them?

'I heard that when you play a standard dvd on a blu-ray player, it still ends up looking better than when it's played on a standard player. Obviously not the same high quality as a blu ray disc, though, but still a noticeable upgrade right?'

This is what's called upscaling - basically, the SD picture is blown up to fill a high-definition screen, and if the player is capable of upscaling, which all Blu-ray players are, the processor will attempt to improve the picture using complicated algorithms based partly on the pixels of the picture data. The results vary from film to film, but overall, what you get is a small upgrade in picture quality to the point that the old 480p DVD doesn't look like hell on a 1080p TV. Indeed, most of the time, it's still worth upgrading to Blu-ray - a 480p transfer that's been fiddled with by algorithmic guesswork still can't match a proper 1080p transfer originating from the often better-than-1080p digital or film source.
You could also donate them to your local library or a charity and get a tax writeoff.
"Buffy" can still be released at 4x3 on Blu-ray. I'd want them widescreen nevertheless, but there's no law that says all Blu-rays have to be 16x9.
I'd really rather not have some zealot enthusiast telling me that my choice to do so is wrong, and that I must watch in 4:3.

That's more than a little silly. Your choice is a version of the film not intended to be seen. Many films are shot 1.33:1, with information at the top and bottom of the frame never meant to be viewed. Should those all be released too, even though audiences were never meant to view the information in the shot?

This debate feels a lot like the widescreen vs. full screen debate before HDTVs became the standard; it seems more about people filling up their TV screens than actually seeing the intended image.
People seem to be confused on what BluRay is. It's not an alternative to DVD, it's a superior format that is replacing DVD. So obviously Buffy will eventually be on BluRay, everything will be some day.
Firefly on Blu-ray actually shares a lot in common with Buffy. Whedon’s sci-fi western was shot in HD. However, just like Buffy, the visual effects were done in post on standard video.


I'm pretty sure Firefly was shot on 35mm film (not HD video), but unlike Buffy, Joss always intended for it to air in 16:9 aspect ratio. IIRC, in the commentary track for Serenity (original series pilot), he said one of the first scenes he shot all but forced it to be viewed that way.

35mm film captures plenty of information for spectacular transfer to the Blu-ray format. But the problem for both series, as the article's author points out, is that the SFX were created after the downscaling to standard-def video.
Firefly's SFX were created after being down-scaled, too. The set still looks pretty good.

Even 16mm has more than enough information for 1080p.
By the way, season one of "The Twilight Zone" -- Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone", from 1959 -- is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray this September.

So there. Nyaah.
I find it funny that some Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans regard themselves as 'purists.' Paradox much?
You could also donate them to your local library or a charity and get a tax writeoff.

I didn't literally mean dump them in the garbage, but it's hard to justify buying something I already have, even if it is a slightly different format. (For example, I buy the monthly issues of Buffy Season 8 but not in addition to the collected editions.)
@Tin Ear Tom, Fox in the US still aired it in 4:3. In the commentary Joss said he'd hoped he could "force" them to air in 16:9 by shooting a scene in the pilot with characters standing at the separate far edges of the screen, but Fox didn't bite.
Break_Atmo, thanks for clearing that up. I don't currently have an HDTV or Blu Ray player (waiting for the prices to drop), so it's good to know the dvds I already have will most likely still look good on an HDTV/Blu Ray when I eventually get them. Once I have the tv and player, I'd switch to purchasing all dvds in Blu Ray, but til then, standard shall suffice.
@Tin Ear Tom - Thanks for the reminder. It was the HD remastered reruns I was thinking of. I've updated the essay with a correction at the bottom and credit to you.

@virtualpj - Calling me "ignorant" is neither appropriate nor apt. I direct your attention to this excerpt from the essay:
"These complaints are fairly irrelevant though, since there is no written rule stating a Blu-ray release must implement the widescreen format. The real roadblocks crop up when considering how much time, money and man power a video distribution company is willing to spend."
I was simply making a case for why the widescreen format affects the viewing experience of the show in a negative way.

Speaking of, those screen captures I presented are merely the tip of the iceberg. There are far more egregious examples throughout the entire series. For instance, I've heard there's a shot of Nick Brendon peering into a pit of some kind, and the widescreen version reveals an unidentified hand holding onto the back of his pants so he doesn't fall, but I could be myth-taken.

Having said that, the majority opinion (at least on this site) seems to be, "I don't care. Widescreen is too awesome for me to be bothered by or even notice such errors." :)

Some folks have suggested providing both formats. This is reasonable, but it does take up considerable space on the disc, reducing the image quality of both versions, thus taking things back to square one in terms of image quality.

A Blu-ray transfer is only as good as its source material and how much care and money is put into said transfer. Yes, Clerks is on Blu-ray, but unless the restoration consisted of a Wizard Of Oz equivalent scanning process with 8k resolution, you're not likely to find much difference (if any) between this and the Clerks X DVD.

Similarly, I submit the recent Blu-ray release of Spartacus. This transfer uses the original Universal print, not the far superior Criterion edition. This Blu-ray was made from a bad print choked with dirt, hair and scratches. To quote High Def Disc News: "....it seems almost like some of the scenes were shot with Vaseline on the camera lenses thanks to the excessive (and inconsistent) amount of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) use. Sure, some scenes like the close-ups hold a good amount of detail but at the same time the hairs, pores of people’s skin don’t stand out like they should — even for a film 50 years in age." "....he looks like he’s made out of wax almost or something. Even though the newfound amount of detail IS present, the choice to “smear” the noise and grain out was just a bad choice and in all honesty, LAZY. This is by no means a real restoration."

My point is, all Blu-rays are not created equal. If they were, there would be no Blu-ray reviews, ever. We wouldn't need them. We could just make a blind buy and they would always look amazing.

My essay is a plea for Fox to do it right. I list why it MAY never happen, but that if it does, there are steps to be taken for a proper, worthwhile transfer. It's very possible for Fox to do a simple port of the preexisting DVDs, in order to save time and money. Blu-ray is by its nature a vast improvement over DVD, but only when utilized accordingly.

For example, I own The Monster Squad on DVD, but have no need to double dip for the Blu-ray, as it's a straight port of the same image. All that extra disc space could have been used to make the picture better. As it stands, it's a bit soft, as was the case with many cheap film stocks of the 1980s'. Or, it could have been used to at least produce the Fred Dekker & Shane Black video commentary originally planned for the transfer.

Alternatively, I have Die Hard on DVD. It looks nice. No complaints. However, I recently purchased the Blu-ray for $10. It looks AMAZING! It's like seeing the film for the first time all over again!

Sadly, there is NO GUARANTEE that Buffy will eventually go to Blu-ray. Fox will only do it if there is enough of a demand and they know consumers will pay good money for it. Can you believe there are still titles out there that aren't even on standard DVD? Never mind HD! All of John Hughes' producing credits on IMDB have been AT LEAST distributed on DVD, except one. In 1998, Hughes wrote and produced a Breakfast Club-style, independent drama in West Chicago called Reach The Rock. You would imagine that after the man's passing last year, surely this remaining film would finally receive the DVD treatment. No such luck. It remains on VHS from Universal, the initial widescreen frame cropped out, possibly gone forever. :(
I don't understand the hype behind Blu-Ray. The Dark Knight looked only marginally better in Blu-Ray. I Love You Man looked terrible. Detailed to the point where the characters didn't look human. Who needs to see Paul Rudd's pores? Not me.

DVD is the perfect format. Blu-Ray gives me a headache.
If you think Dark Knight only looks marginally better, your eyes are broken.

Or you just hate the idea of a new format and are sort of biased against it, which is probably the case.
It will happen eventually.

Thanks to HD television, I've become quite the videophile. I want what I'm watching to look the best (and in the case of newer releases, how they are intended to actually look, which only Blu-Ray can accomplish).

I imagine we'll see all of Joss' major works on Blu-Ray one day, considering Buffy and Angel are all that is left.
Buffy is the number 1 thing I want on blu-ray. I've held off on buying that sweet tin DVD box set, in the slim hope they might release it on blu. I've been spoiling myself with uber-cheap Blu-rays for a while now, and DVDs just look terrible.
Don't hold your breath on this one. "Eventually" could be a very long time in the future. Will be very expensive to upscale all those special effects. Very. You will notice that not even all new TV shows are being released on BD these days. Don't expect older titles to be re-mastered and upgraded ay time in the near future.
Ultimately it is all about being on store shelves. When stores like Target shrink their tv-on-dvd shelf to such an extent that they stop ordering Buffy on dvd, then the studio will release Buffy on BluRay in order to remain on the shelves.
It wouldn't be expensive to upscale the special effects -- your Blu-ray player will do that for you after the fact. It'd only be expensive to re-render all of the effects to high-definition, which I can't see Fox doing. They didn't with Firefly.
To me, Firefly's special effects still look awesome, 480p or no.

Now Buffy's special effects? Even if FOX did pay to have them re-rendered in 1080p, I can't see them improving. They'd still look bad, they'd just look bad in high-def.

But I wouldn't care about that. Now what they should do, *if* they wanted to release it in widescreen, is go and digitally remove all the stuff you aren't supposed to see in the expanded frame. Wires, set equipment, other people, etc.

I'm all for artistic intent, and it doesn't bother me that my pretty TV isn't being fulled-up, but you have to admit, there's certain shots throughout the series that would look epic in widescreen.

Oh, OMWF Blu-Ray? Yes, yes, yes. It still annoys me that FOX didn't make the episode true widescreen on the DVD.
My daughter has a wall-size projection TV, and for her Blu-Ray makes sense. And even then, she's getting the more 'spectacular' films and shows (Earth, for example.) She's watching most things on regular DVD.

I have a 24" TV. No need for Blu Ray there.

I do like watching things in widescreen. If they were meant to be shown that way. Some things aren't (for example, Citizen Kane.)
I've, uh, never noticed any of these "little extras". Ever, In any of my season sets. On any DVD player or or TV I've used. And I just watched the series again recently. (And, yes, they are all the R4 versions.)
People seem to be confused on what BluRay is. It's not an alternative to DVD, it's a superior format that is replacing DVD. So obviously Buffy will eventually be on BluRay, everything will be some day.

Assuming the HVD format won't have taken precedence by then...

I find it funny that some Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans regard themselves as 'purists.' Paradox much?

I'm a professional still photography techie whose knowledge of the art form comes from the likes of Ansel Adams and his assistants. What can I say - these things bug me.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-06-06 18:35 ]
@kungfubear-thanks for the article. I had already read something similar in an article I read about the Highlander TV show (the reviewer referenced Buffy) being done on Blu-Ray. If they can get higher quality out of the video I'll buy in a heartbeat. Maybe we can start a petition to Fox to let them know "Do it (correctly), and we will buy!" I'd prefer they keep aspect ratio as originally aired if the shots are what the director intended. Which they probably are since the directors knew it was being aired in 4:3 (in US).
I would eat my pretty floral bonnet if TPTB ever thought it would be financially beneficial to redo the VFX and do HD transfers for 144 episodes of a television show like this.

But hoping for the one episode that was shot in a theatrical format, with way higher production values, the only one on the DVDs with lower resolution with the rest (windowboxing? WTF?), and perhaps the most popular episode of the show... to be released on Blu-Ray? Now that is an achievable goal, and one worth campaigning for.
Funny bit of cinematic trivia - films only started going widescreen in the 50s because the industry was afraid of competition from the emerging medium of tv which shared the same aspect ratio.
If they do not release the widescreen seasons in widescreen, you know what will eventually happen? Some technician will at some point take the 4:3 image and "zoom in" to it, to create new HD syndication masters. So really, it is best to use the actual widescreen version Joss shot (even if he doesn't prefer it). Otherwise, the show WILL be bastardized by someone uninformed. That's the nature of the universe -- to always do things wrong, unless someone steers it right.
@will.bueche As previously established, OMWF is the only episode of Buffy where the image was written, storyboarded, lit, framed and shot for the widescreen aspect ratio. There are no widescreen seasons of Buffy, despite Netflix, iTunes, Europe and Australia presenting them as such. That's the bastardization you're referring to, just in an odd, reversal sort of context. Angel, on the other hand uses an aspect ratio of 1.78: 1, which is widescreen. Furthermore, Serenity (the film) was shot on Super 35mm film in a more panoramic, epic scope of 2.35: 1. :)
KungFuBear, we'll just have to agree to disagree. It is not as if the monitors the dp stared at did not explicitly show what the widescreen image looked like. That these craftsmen and women knew to keep the important info within the 4:3 markings (and to not worry TOO much when something unwanted creeped into the frame, on those very rare times when something did just that) simply means they were alive and well in the time when 4:3 was more important. If they really meant for the sides not to EVER be shown, they could have hard masked them. But they did not. Maybe because they knew that someday (i.e. TODAY), they would come in very handy!
..."written"? Hee hee.
'Now Buffy's special effects? Even if FOX did pay to have them re-rendered in 1080p, I can't see them improving. They'd still look bad, they'd just look bad in high-def.'

It should be noted that if they did this, it wouldn't only improve the CGI. Right now, all scenes with CGI were rendered in 480i - including any scenes which were live-action but have certain amounts of CGI in them. So the live-action parts wouldn't have to suffer for the sake of the CGI.
@will.bueche Yes, "written". :) What I mean by that is, the script was written with the widescreen format in mind, so stage directions, character spacial relations and choreography were figured out to accommodate that. I just remembered I have the OMWF script book. Anyone who has access to the book, I recommend you go back through it to see what I mean.
If they really meant for the sides not to EVER be shown, they could have hard masked them. But they did not. Maybe because they knew that someday (i.e. TODAY), they would come in very handy!

Seems more likely they had more important things to worry about than doing something as drastic and irreversible at such an early stage of production.
Per the Joss man in an IGN interview:

"[...] It's not a widescreen show. We shot it in a TV ratio, and I am very, very specific with the way I frame things. To arbitrarily throw – and I love widescreen, but Buffy was never a widescreen show. It was an intimate, TV-shaped show. To arbitrarily throw wider borders on it, to make it more cinematic when I very specifically framed it."

And he goes on to talk about the widescreen UK sets:

"See, that is not the way I framed it. That's not the way it was meant to be seen, and therefore that's not the way I shot it. I'm preserving what I shot. The DVD is there to preserve what we made, for eternity. What we made, very specifically, was a certain shape. So I'm sure there'll be widescreen copies and there'll be arguments about what's better, but I'm not interested in – and I mean, I love widescreen. I'm a widescreen fanatic, when something's wide. When it's not, then I want to see it the way it was meant to be seen."

And it continues:

IGNFF: Were you not consulted for the U.K. sets?

WHEDON: No, I was not. Buffy was never widescreen. Angel is, Firefly was – and was not aired that way. [...] For me, Buffy is a different animal.
Yet another reason why I like Joss Whedon so much: he has such a strong sense of artistic intent in virtually everything he does.
In Joss' answer, he appears to be speaking about the earlier seasons which were shot in 4:3. He speaks out against "arbitrarily throw[ing] wider borders on" the top and bottom of the 4:3 image to create a fake widescreen. I agree with him, in regards to the earlier seasons!

In the next answer, the interviewer brings up the UK releases. You can't tell from the answer if Joss knew what format they were in. He just makes a general restatement that he likes Buffy in 4:3.

But realistically, for the last season (which was shot in widescreen), he wasn't even there ('cept the finale).

I'm sorry, I am against releasing the wide seasons in 4:3 next time. I'll buy it again if it is the way the UK saw it. Period.

[ edited by will.bueche on 2010-06-07 03:54 ]

[ edited by will.bueche on 2010-06-07 03:57 ]
The interview was posted a month after "Chosen" aired, the topic came up because of the Season 4 DVD, and he specifically referenced "The Body." "Buffy was never a widescreen show", said after every episode had aired, seems pretty unequivocal.
Let's see how he feels when the studio gives him a choice between having the 4:3 image zoomed in to create a fake widescreen, or, using the widescreen masters. Opinions change. At least with BluRay, they can make the side-masks optional (turn them on or off).
Joss is wrong saying Buffy was never broadcast in widescreen .

It was by the BBC from season 4 and it seems to have been a conscious decision by them .

SKY , the other broadcast of the series in the UK , broadcast it in 4:3 .
@garda39 Except that's not what Joss is saying. He's talking about how it was shot, how it was framed. The UK widescreen broadcasts and subsequent Region 2 DVDs are wrong.

@will.bueche Why stop there? How about a "Special Edition", Star Wars style? In this new and "improved" version, the image is now 2.40:1 SUPER widescreen, where you can see the camera monitors and Joss Whedon standing off to the side, wearing headphones. Angel runs Buffy through with a sword, sending HER to hell and Imperial Walkers now roam Sunnydale! :)

Let's take some of these liberties to other works. How about we colorize Clerks? Or better yet, In Cold Blood? To hell with cinematographer Conrad Hall! He's passed on!

I could go on, but you get the idea. If Joss shot for full frame, and intended us to see Buffy that way, who are we to argue? Reading numerous interviews, he's obviously strongly against Buffy in widescreen.
@will.bueche, you make it sound as if they decided to do Blu they would only give the option of screwing with the 4:3 image or using the widescreen versions that are out there. There is no reason they could't just do it the way Joss intended. Though I'd hope for an anamorphic transfer of OMWF.

@kungfubear, haha, Angel stabs first!
I think it'd make more sense to put Angel on blu anyway. It was a much more cinematic-looking show than Buffy was.

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