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The Wire Season 4/5


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#1 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:54 PM

I've just picked up seasons 4 and 5 on DVD. This is a great show, one of the best bits of TV I've ever seen.

BUT, the framing is driving me crazy. most of the time it's ok, but all too frequently there are shots with absolutely no headroom, in fact shots where top of frame is just above the eyebrows. I'm not just talking about CUs, but Mid shots as well, and on a few occasions, even wide shots!

Anyone else noticed, or is it just me?
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:04 PM

Actually, scratch this question. It seems to be a problem with Apple DVD player, as the VLC player show the shots with plenty of head room.
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:14 PM

It's a regular problem. Nothing beats VLC.

On the topic, I absolutely LOVED the wire. I watched all the series in record time.....I can't really think of a tv drama to better this.
Such a shame that in the UK we don't have a channel that will take the risks that HBO takes in the US.....and shoot 2perf 35mm! ;)

Edited by Serge Teulon, 17 February 2009 - 06:14 PM.

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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:26 PM

It's 35mm? Are you sure? Looks more like 16mm to me.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:32 PM

iirc all of the mentioning I've heard of The Wire has been Super-16mm. I can't think of any shows working on 2-Perf 35mm.
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:37 PM

As of season 5 the show still had an AR of 4:3, so it couldn't have been 2 perf 35mm.
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#7 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:04 PM

You could well be right about the wire being on s16mm....I did however see a behind the scenes photo somewhere and it had a 435 in there.

Additionally, I'm under the impression that most dramas from HBO are shot 2-3perf 35mm.....or at least until about a year ago.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:13 PM

Actually Serge, you may well be right. I think I'm getting "The Wire" confused with "The Shield"
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#9 Mike Williamson

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:46 PM

Seasons 1 -3 of "The Wire" are some kind of 4 perf 35mm, don't know whether it's Academy or Super. Seasons 4 & 5 are 3 perf 35mm but framed for 1.33 aspect ratio, presumably just to save some money on stock costs. Pretty sure it was a Panavision camera package throughout. There's an article online somewhere that discusses this, if I recall correctly, the primary reasons for maintaining the 1.33 AR was that it feels more like real life and less like a movie according to David Simon. Actually, I just found the article here's a link.

I'm halfway through season 4 (so no spoilers please), but I can definitely see a difference in resolution between the newer episodes and the first three seasons. It's definitely an amazing show, I got the complete "Wire" series and the first season of "Mad Men" for Christmas and I'm loving both of them, it seems like the high end TV shows keep getting better.
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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:34 AM

As DP Dave Insley explains in that article, they're cropping the 3 perf frame to 4:3, which makes it considerably smaller than Academy. This is probably what gives it that almost 16mm look
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#11 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:51 PM

I downloaded the series.....it's interesting that, even though they cropped it 1.33, they still shot it on 35.

To all UK'ers....imagine that here!!! :lol:
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:02 AM

The Wire is by far my favorite TV show ever. I think it's the series that inspired all those other series to have longer story arcs, which I love.

Additionally, I'm under the impression that most dramas from HBO are shot 2-3perf 35mm.....or at least until about a year ago.

3 perf yes, but I haven't ever heard of an HBO show shooting 2 perf. Of course, I could be wrong.
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