ATTN JMS: Someone has lied to you

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Nov 4 04:31:34 EST 2000

From: navoff at (J. Potts)
Date: 3 Nov 2000 07:53:17 -0700
Lines: 51

I've been reading the newsgroup lately and the comments from others
that it appears the top and bottom of the eps are being cropped to
give the show the appearance of wide screen.  Tonight I ran a little
test and guess what?  They're right.

I had been watching The Geometry of Shadows with an eye for how the
scene would look with the sides cropped for the U.S. audience and
time and time again, found that the framing of the shot would have
resulted in a very bad looking scene unless you used pan and scan.
I recall you saying that you had deliberately framed the shots so that
the central portion of each shot would fit an American TV screen but
that there were extra bits on the sides.

As an example, take the scene in GoS where Londo goes to Sheridan
to convince him he should have an audience with the Technomages.  In
one shot, we see Londo's torso in the foreground on the far right. 
In the background on the far left is Sheridan sitting behind his desk.
This is the way the scene looks in the "wide-screen" version that aired
this week on SciFi channel.

I then pulled out my Columbia House tape of the same episode and queued
it up to that same scene.  Once again, Londo and Sheridan are framed
from left to right *exactly* the same.  The next shot is of Londo, showing
his face and torso, standing on the far right, talking to Sheridan who's
off screen to the left.  In the U.S. video tape, we see *all* of Londo's
hair, in the SciFi channel version, the top of Londo's hair is chopped

So, one of two things has likely happened,

1) Someone used the U.S. masters and cropped the top and bottom and gave
that to the SciFi channel claiming they were converted from the PAL masters,

2) Someone made PAL masters by cropping the top and bottom of the scenes
and gave that to the U.K. which, subsequently were converted back to NTSC
for the SciFi channel.

Since I don't have a PAL capable VCR, I can't verify which version is the
more likely of the two scenarios.  Either way, someone got paid for a job
they didn't do and has lied about it.

Frankly, this pisses me off.

"How many slime-trailing, sleepless, slimy, slobbering things do you know
that will *run and hide* from your Eveready?"
                               --Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 3 Nov 2000 14:58:51 -0700
Lines: 13

Yeah, we've been discussing this for a while now...check the other threads.


(jmsatb5 at
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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