[Tig] Down with 4x3!

Bob Kertesz bob at bluescreen.com
Sat May 28 21:49:25 BST 2011

I don't know if this is even worse, but here's a story:

So I'm shooting a promo (for a network that does everything in-house) for the
upcoming season of a very popular and contentious reality show on a Sony F35
going to an SRW recorder, and I'm talking to the producer about his delivery
formats and whether he wants frame lines on the monitor if we need to protect
for 4:3, and his response is:

"Yes, I want framelines. We've developed our own workflow in house. What we do
is, we take the 16:9 HD footage, downconvert it to 4:3 center cut, edit it
that way, then when we're done, we upconvert and expand it to 16:9 HD for

After being speechless for about a minute (a VERY rare occurrence for me, as
those who know me will attest), I say "But not only are you losing part of the
image, the final stretch-o-matic image you're generating makes everyone look
fat, and even fatter as they move toward the edge of frame. Not to mention the
severe quality loss in downconverting, editing in compressed mode, then

His response was "We ran focus groups on this, and if the people even noticed
what was happening, no one mentioned it. No one cared. It works for us."

So there you have it. The people racing to the bottom now have rockets
strapped to their backs.


Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California
bob at bluescreen.com

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