Shape Shifting, Addendum + Anticipating Console-ing Passions

I have had a chance now to compare the 4:3 and 16:9 versions of first-season ER and this confirmed my speculation about how the show was shot in the mid-90s. In shooting the show, the camera framed a common topline for different aspects ratios. In preparing the 16:9 transfer, the producers cropped a sliver of the bottom of the 4:3 frame, but added extra space on the sides of the image. Here are a couple of comparisons from the episode "Love's Labor Lost," originally aired 3/9/95.

If you look at the bottoms of the images, you can see that the 4:3 version has a slightly lower frameline. Perhaps not quite as low as the diagram I made to illustrate my earlier post, but still lower. Not sure this rises to a level of enormous significance (maybe this is the sort of thing derided as "merely academic"), but there is a certain pleasure just in knowing things.


Looking forward to seeing some of you later this week at CP in Santa Barbara. I've been reading about the Experience Music Project conference in blogs (for instance, at Zoilus) and was struck by this description at Dial "M" for Muscicology:
Everybody wants to hate on the EMP pop conference, because everyone hates and fears critics, professors, hipsters, and academic conferences. Getting a bunch of hipster critics and professors together for an academic conference just seems unnatural and wrong, an affront to all that's decent. Just as soon as I came to town I read a piece in the Seattle's alterna-weekly The Stranger that offers an excuse: it's just a bunch of harmless nerds getting up and geeking out about their favorite music, like fifteen-year-old kids playing each other their favorite records in the basement or, for that matter, like Star Wars obsessives showing off their action figures. Which I thought was probably bullshit, because it sounds so self-serving. We don't judge! We love! We're cute and brainy and don't even notice our cultural authority! But actually, it was kind of true. This was maybe my favorite conference ever, partly because the papers were generally so good and partly because there was a vibe of total geeked-out unironic love and enthusiasm that just doesn't come naturally to academic gatherings.
No comment here, just a link and a quote and something to think about.

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