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Why is DVD set of Kung Fu Season 1 letterboxed?

 
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Lucas



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:44 pm    Post subject: Why is DVD set of Kung Fu Season 1 letterboxed? Reply with quote

It's Widescreen - 1.77. Was it shot that way, or has the TV aspect ratio changed slightly from the 1970s?
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Oz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as with a lot of TV back in the 60's/early 70's, the series was actually shot on 35mm film, before it was then slapped on to video.

If the DVD producers have done their homework, they worked off the original negative instead of the tapes that have been running on late night TV for thirty years.

Or, they might have pulled the old sneaky low budget move of simply adding black bars to the top and bottom of the screen. But I doubt it.
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TheAngryJew
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew the old man would come in handy for this question. That series was a bit before my time.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worth catching up with it. I used to watch it after Quincy MD and Streets of San Francisco!

Klugman, Douglas, Malden and Carradine, all in the one night.

Good times, good times (which, incidentally, was on at 5pm the same day).
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the Grinch
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched it when I was too young to understand, but it must've been good, because it appealed to both me and my brother who was 7 yrs older.

Easy credit ripoffs...
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Lucas



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Oz. This strikes me still as odd. Wouldn't the filmmaker have made the film with the 1.33 aspect ratio in mind? So wouldn't the 1.77 be a different composition than what was intended, since they never would have dreamed of a letterboxed tv show back then. Just cruious.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are episodes of the Twilight Zone out there on old film reels that are also shot like that. I've seen them screened at retro houses back in Australia, and you'd swear it was shot for the cinema, basically because the equipment they used back then was feature film equipment. TV cameras were electric and had to be plugged in, so anything shot outside a studio (most of Kung Fu) had to go with film cameras instead. And since, at the time, those cameras weren't really made for TV, the aspect was a feature film standard which would then be cut back to video size for TV broadcast.

Even now, pretty much everything is filmed with much larger field of vision than what is actually used in the finished product. If you've ever seen a movie on a big screen where the projectionist has it aimed too low, you see booms dropping an and out all over because those are included on the reel.

But later, when the editing takes place for video, the editor goes in closer, cuts out what isn't needed, and 'perfects' the picture that we see - changes color balance, goes in closer, obscures a background imperfection, whatever. So if they were shooting Kung Fu on film, they probably only used the center two thirds of the image for most of the action, but for the DVD they figured they might as well use the originals.

Which is pretty cool.
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lindy03



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
Worth catching up with it. I used to watch it after Quincy MD and Streets of San Francisco!

Klugman, Douglas, Malden and Carradine, all in the one night.

Good times, good times (which, incidentally, was on at 5pm the same day).
I watched Quincy & Good Times. But, the rest? Bla

C'mon...I'm a girl! I hated Star Trek because my brothers liked it so much.

OOOO! But, I miss The Rookies & Emergency (wasn't that the name of it?)
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
Even now, pretty much everything is filmed with much larger field of vision than what is actually used in the finished product. If you've ever seen a movie on a big screen where the projectionist has it aimed too low, you see booms dropping an and out all over because those are included on the reel.


If I'm not mistaken, a lot of TV was shot 1.77:1 beginning in the mid 90s, in the hopes that reruns would be easy sells when widescreen TV sets became the norm. Directors would frame the shot for 1.33:1 and leave extra space on each side.

Dave
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Lucas



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I believe that is true, just like Hollywood films that are 1.85 are shot with the TV aspect ratio in mind, so they commonly add screen image and not subtract it.

It just surprises me that something that was never intended to be shown widescreen (Kung Fu) would improve with that presentation.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it might not improve, being as the picture will not make full use of the screen size. But it's nice to have anyway.
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Lucas



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Oz!
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