690567, I think having both versions available is the way to go|
Posted by handle, Mon Dec-29-14 12:57 AM
First, i think The Wire would have been shot in HD if the budget allowed. I know Lucky Louie was shot in 4:3 on VIDEOTAPE to try to make it look like Roseanne, but frankly technology has moved along. (And Larry Sanders Show was in 4:3 and shot on film AND video tape - HBO's not afraid to let the producers do what they want.)
The 4:3 ratio was to make it look like documentary or news footage - and that's fine - but news footage is 16:9 today - so updating The Wire for 16:9 makes sense. The difference between TV format and film format has lessened.
From Davidsimon's blog:
In fact, Bob had asked before filming The Wire pilot in late 2001 for a widescreen aspect ratio. He correctly saw television screens growing wider and 16:9 ratio becoming industry standard, and coming from the feature world, it was his inclination to be as filmic as possible. But, to be honest, The Wire was at its inception a bit of shoestring affair and expectations for the drama at HBO were certainly modest. Filming in letter-box was more expensive at the time, and we were told, despite Bob’s earnest appeals, that we should shoot the pilot and the ensuing season in 4:3.
A 4:3 show does look very dated now.
Hell, the Hogan's Heroes 16:9 HD transfers look pretty great, and most of the Seinfeld HD transfer work too.
(I watch a lot of stuff in 4:3 - I do think having the originals included on the eventual blu-ray releases would be very nice too.)