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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You give it up for the Yorkie?"
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February 03 2003

'Once More With Feeling' DVD released in the UK on April 14th. The extras should be a featurette and a trailer.

But if you're like me, you may have already ordered it from Germany as it is released there on the 15th of this month.

Damn, I ordered that one too. I'd prefer a UK version.
On the technical specs for those German DVD's, it has the aspect ratio as 1:33 to 1. Is that true? If so, yuck.
What does that mean?
It's a ratio that expresses the length of the screen to the width of the screen. The TV set standard is 1.33 to 1, or roughly squarish; this standard was set, because at the time (late 40s/early 50s), the standard aspect ratio for a movie was 1.37:1. However, to compete with TV, movie producers often turned to anamorphic lens which created aspect ratios of 2.35:1 or even larger. Today's American movie standard is 1.85:1 (the European standard is often 1.66:1). Once More, With Feeling was shot and exhibited in the US in a 1.85:1 ratio (but I guess both Buffy and Angel are all shot in this ratio), but the German DVD has only a ratio of 1.33:1, which means it was either re-matted (which is more likely, because even at the higher aspect ratios, most cinematographers and directors will put the action at the center of the frame) or pan & scanned.
There's a very good article on all aspects :) of widescreen here: http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/index.html
Putting a reduced aspect ratio version of OMWF on a DVD seems like a major gaffe to me. Not only would it diminish (if slightly) Joss' beautiful direction and visual sense of the ep, but it would undermine one of the major, major points of DVDs - getting the uncut, unaltered, canonical version of an episode.
Shroomy, I believe Buffy and Angel are shot in 1.78:1 including Once More with Feeling.
Thanks for all the info!
A great version of OMWF was just uploaded to alt.binaries.multimedia.buffy-v-slayer yesterday. They are reposting all of season six in widescreen SVCD.

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