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[Proposal] Buffy the Vampire Slayer series remaster
#1
I heard about the fact Buffy in HD had some problems, but I had not investigated about this since lately... and the situation is a lot worst than X-Files, for example...

First, follow these links to get an idea (if you don't know anything about this):
https://horrorbuzz.com/2016/12/02/buffy-...reactions/
https://buffy.fandom.com/wiki/User_blog:...%27s_HD%3F
http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2015/03/...d-but.html

So, in few words, here are the problems:

Aspect ratio 
Joss Whedon clearly stated that Buffy was intended to be shown in 4:3 (hence, 1.33:1 is its OAR) - apart one episode, "Once more with feeling", which had to be in widescreen.

HD version often crop abruptly the image, leaving important parts outside - sometime on all four sides! - while other times zoom in, worstening the previous situation... other times has more image on sides but less on top and/or bottom; in few (or many?) occasions, crew and stage things could be seen...

Here you can have an idea of the different framing sizes - a playlist of all seasons: 
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...0VcR8OLytw

Color grading
Not only colors are different in HD, but often brightness too; there are some scenes that used some filters that perfectly showed up in SD, while completely ruined in HD (like some day for night scenes); sometimes, brightening shots reveal stunt doubles...

DNR
It seems it is set too high, and the usual "wax skin" problems arise often.

SFX
Some special effects are remade from scratch; even if some are great, others seems out of place, like when vampires are killed - in SD, they became dust, in HD they seem to evaporate!

What could be the solutions?

Aspect ratio
The ideal solution would be to use the OAR - or, better, IAR of 1.33:1. Even if I agree, I'd prefer to get best of both world - as you can see in the previous videos, it could be wise to use UAR to get more image, or overlay HD version on top of SD when HD frame is contained inside SD, to get more resolution.

About crew and stage things - and unwanted character: whenever possible, I'd digitally mask them whenever possible, or crop the affected side(s).

Color grading
I'd use SD as color and contrast reference; only in case HD had a better color (it seems some episodes in the later seasons have it), I'd leave it as is.

DNR
A nice grain plate from film always help!

SFX
I'd leave the old "dust" ones, and eventually use the new ones - of course, taking in account UAR or hybrid version.

Video sources for SD would be NTSC DVD 1.33:1 (seasons 1 to 7), PAL DVD 1.33:1 (seasons 1 to 3), PAL DVD 1.78:1 (seasons 4 to 7); for HD, there are various ones; I guess the best ones should be WEB versions like Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, but there are various HDTV versions like Pivot, French 6TER, and SyFy; eventually, they could be combined to get better quality.
Audio source could be DVD - at least, it has several foreign versions; also, it could be used to get related subs.

Just written this article to discuss about a possible restoration - it doesn't mean I'd do this, though! Happy
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#2
Some info that may be helpful:

- Seasons 1-3 were filmed on 16mm film. As such there's not really much more visual information than in the original 1.33:1 frame, so the 16:9 versions of the first three seasons have the top and bottom cropped off.
- Seasons 4-7 were filmed on 35mm film in widescreen, but framed for 4:3 from the get-go. Against creator Joss Whedon's wishes, the full 16:9 versions of these episodes were sold outside the US, hence the 16:9 PAL DVD sets.
- Season 6's "Once More With Feeling," the only episode filmed with the intention to air it in 16:9, is presented in widescreen on the US DVD, but it's non-anamorphic and *windowboxed* (presumably to compensate for overscan on CRT TVs). The PAL set is anamorphic with no letterboxing or windowboxing.
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#3
What are the chances of Disney doing a proper remaster on Blu-ray now that they have bought Fox?
In addition - it gets a reboot/spinoff soon and it might be released on Blu-ray like Charmed did.
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#4
(2018-11-18, 10:08 AM)farerb Wrote: What are the chances of Disney doing a proper remaster on Blu-ray now that they have bought Fox?
In addition - it gets a reboot/spinoff soon and it might be released on Blu-ray like Charmed did.

Chances are slim. Disney buying Fox's catalogue is all about having a shitload of content for their upcoming Disney+ streaming service. That's the future of home video. I'd expect the Mouse to stop making discs pretty soon to force people to subscribe. That's part of the reasons I wish Comcast had won the battle.
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#5
I could maybe see them doing a new remaster for their streaming service, but I think it's unlikely. And I'd still expect seasons 1-3 to be cropped to 16:9, unfortunately.

They're already doing a sequel series/reboot, though, aren't they? Or is that in limbo now thanks to the Disney buyout?
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#6
Hy =)

If you want to remaster the Series, i would help you =)
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#7
Not a fan of the series, but I watched a Youtube video about the remaster and in my opinion, it's completely unsalvageable. The missing parts due to reframing, the badly redone special effects, the DNR, it's just garbage. The only thing you could reasonably do is regrade. I guess you could use the DVDs to restore the original image with AutoOverlay, but even then you'd still have the excessive DNR issue and even if you regrade the new footage, I'm not sure whether your algorithm would be good enough to fit them perfectly to the DVD. All that aside, we're talking many many hours of footage and manual detail adjustments. I just don't see it being feasible unless you're very obsessive about the series. Big Grin Hell, I love X Files but nevertheless I'm not motivated enough to fix the Blu Rays.
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#8
I followed this, IMHO what one should do is rip the best versions (ie first seasons in 4/3, others in widescreen from the DVDs) to make a best collection.

Josh Whedon is a rapist so his opinion doesn't matter. He is a trash human being. Nothing that he says has credence.
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#9
(2019-04-19, 09:56 PM)Stamper Wrote: Josh Whedon is a rapist so his opinion doesn't matter. He is a trash human being. Nothing that he says has credence.

Um...no he isn't. He's cheated on his wife, but that doesn't make him a rapist. Where in the hell did you get that?
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#10
Well there's been this torrent of online reports. But we should probably not go there lol.

Just trying to point out the guy especially after the Justice League fiasco, but it was clear before, always quipped nonsense.

It was evident regarding the Buffy situation, where he produced widescreen versions that aired in europe and other countries from the get go, but then denied the US audiences claiming the show was meant to be 4/3 when in reality, he just didn't care to produce properly framed widescreen for his show, when every other show producer was doing it.
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