TALK STORY

Firefly in High-Definition - coming soon to Universal HD

POSTED BY: SIMONF
UPDATED: Friday, September 1, 2006 12:53
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Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:41 PM

SIMONF


I'm hoping this means we'll see an HD-DVD Firefly release sooner rather than later.

http://www.tvweek.com/page.cms?pageId=212

Quote:

Firefly' Gets Hi-Def Makeover
UHD to Premiere Cult Hit in HD

The fan base for Joss Whedon's space-Western TV series "Firefly" has grown exponentially since its short-lived 2002 run on Fox. Canceled after 11 episodes due to low ratings, published reports said the series went on to sell more than 300,000 copies when released on DVD the next year.

The sales impressed Universal, which greenlighted Mr. Whedon's feature film spinoff "Serenity." The film was released in 2005 and garnered rave reviews from critics and fans, but only managed to break even at the box office. Even after three years on store shelves, "Firefly" earlier this week ranked 36th in DVD sales on Amazon. The more recently released "Serenity" ranked 64th.

Now the series is being made available in HD. Twentieth Century Fox Television has remastered the show's 35mm print to 1080i high definition for a Sept. 24 debut on UHD, a network spokesperson confirmed.

The unveiling of a widescreen HD version format of a short-lived 2002 series is as unusual as the program's resurrection as a cult hit and theatrical movie. Typically a series is either shot in widescreen high definition and broadcast that way, or shot on video or film in standard 4:3 aspect ratio.

But "Firefly" was shot on film (which can be converted to HD) and in widescreen, two years before Fox started broadcasting HD programming.

According to the "Firefly" DVD commentary, Mr. Whedon (best known as the showrunner for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel") battled with Fox over the widescreen issue. He said he filmed the show's actors on the extreme sides of the frame so Fox would have no choice but to air the show in his preferred format.

It was one of several battles between Mr. Whedon and the network, which aired episodes of the serialized drama out of order and pre-empted the show with sports. But Mr. Whedon's seemingly impractical decision to shoot "Firefly" in widescreen aided the show's DVD sales (collectors prefer that format)which in turn spawned the movie, and now enables a proper HD presentation.




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Friday, August 4, 2006 12:52 AM

ANNIE


Yay!!!!
I am definitely asking Santa for a High-def dvd player this Christmas!

Sex and violence on the big screen, where it belongs.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 8:40 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


I think a bit of clarification is in order. First off, what is UHD? Are we talking about an HD broadcast signal, something that is available on digital satelite and cable systems? It is obvious they are not talking about HD-DVD, because if that was the case you know we would have heard about this release a long time ago. Besides, September 24 is a Sunday, and almost all dvd releases are on a Tuesday.

Any other info on this would be greatly appreciated.




wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 8:55 AM

SIMONWHO


UHD = Universal High Definition, a TV channel.

And this is so great - a whole new way of appreciating Firefly. A pity we won't have examples of it in time for Serenity 3 (the UK convention) but still, great news regardless.

I wonder what the work entailed though - the CGI would have been rendered at the detail level of normal TV - would they have gone to the trouble of re-rendering?

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Friday, August 4, 2006 3:54 PM

JUTIN


hell yeah... I am there I am there... hopefully Cinemax is still showing Serenity in HD after the series runs through all of the episodes.

Quote:

Originally posted by Annie:
Yay!!!!
I am definitely asking Santa for a High-def dvd player this Christmas!



The series will eventually be released on Sony Blu-Ray... not HD-DVD... FOX has announced that that is the HD home format that they'll be releasing titles for... I'm just clarifying to help you out

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Friday, August 4, 2006 4:25 PM

CAIN


WOW!! Fantastic news !!!

If you are on Time-Warner Cable and can receive HD programming, you can get UHD.

I just checked the schedules for September, and there it was Serenity Part 1.

I can hardly wait !!!!!

--- Cain


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Friday, August 4, 2006 7:22 PM

THATDUDE90210


Mark Knox, "the HD-DVD guru" of Toshiba the company behind HD-DVD, sounds like a fan of the Serenity/Firefly verse in this interview (towards the end of the video):
[url] http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=7&article_id=1
664&page_number=2


Looks like Serenity & Firefly will be split between the two completing formats for now.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 8:51 AM

MGORMAN


That is sooooo shiny! I'm thinking more and more that I should get a HD DVD player/TV!

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 1:05 PM

THEHOPGOBLIN


Quote:

I wonder what the work entailed though - the CGI would have been rendered at the detail level of normal TV - would they have gone to the trouble of re-rendering?


As a CGI artist who uses Lightwave (Which, in the 'making of' Firefly I was pleased that they used) - there is not much difference between HD/Standard - just higher levels of Anti-aliasing and rendered at higher resolution. Going over the stills from the series, I don't think they spared expense in rendering in 'low res' just for TV. It was really good quality, same as BSG.

Should not be a problem be it HDTV or Standard. They did it good the first time :D


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Saturday, August 5, 2006 6:50 PM

HEIGHTSRAIDER


I think this is great news, and not just because the series is going to be re-aired.

Why spend the money to convert it to HD? Why re-air it again?


Maybe, just maybe, television execs have noticed the huge fan base for the show, and are gauging interest in a revival?

I understand Sci-fi re-airing the series before the movie came out, and also replaying it since then, as they probably bought the rights for a set period of time, allowing them to air it when they want.

But why put it on a new station?


Who owns UHD, by the way?

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Saturday, August 5, 2006 10:17 PM

THEHOPGOBLIN


Being that its "Universal High Definition" I would assume Universal.

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 2:13 PM

SHINEYED


If you can get Dish Network or Direct Tv, UHD is avaiable on both. ### with Dish Netowrk it is totally free for HD equipment. If you would like to record your "Firefly" in HD you can pay a one time upgrade fee of $200 and get an MPEG 4 HD recorder similar to Tivo ### for my taste it's better. It will hold up to 30 hours of HD and 200 hours of SD. I personally don't care about SD.

UHD is a subsidirary of NBC along with the Sci-Fi channel. Since they have got the goods already yhey might as wel make the most of it. I will certainly be recording it in HD.

The HD DVD of "Serenity" is mind boggling on a 1080P monitor. I would suggest if you are looking at HD TVs, make sure the TV you get has HDMI 1080P input. They are generally the same price range and you get much more for your money. If you would like to contact me about anything Email me at omegasat1@yahoo.com and I will help steer you in the right direction. The world of Hi-Def is shinyer than you can imagine.

Shiney Ed

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Monday, August 7, 2006 5:09 PM

TENTHCREWMEMBER

Could you please just make it stranger? Stranger. Odder. Could be weirder. More bizarre. How about uncanny?


All I know is that is a great birthday present that they are giving me! Now if I can just get someone to give me an HD television on that day too...



BWAH!
TCM

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 8:05 AM

SKEVLIN


I wouldn't get your hopes up, they are just upscaling the video. That channel also shows Night Rider, Quantum Leap, and a few other shows that were not shot in HD. The picture is better than SD, but not as good as shows that were shot in HD to begin with.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006 11:24 PM

PIK


Quote:

Originally posted by HeightsRaider:

Maybe, just maybe, television execs have noticed the huge fan base for the show, and are gauging interest in a revival?



We can only hope and pray. The question may be weather Joss would go back to Fox for such a revival, and would he even be able to? Would Universal hold rights over any future Firefly content due to Serenity? I'm not an expert however so I don't know if Fox would automatically hold rights over a new TV show coz they own the original season.
Anyone want to shed some light on that?

"... ... Yup. That went well."

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Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:10 AM

SIMONWHO


Quote:

Originally posted by Skevlin:
I wouldn't get your hopes up, they are just upscaling the video. That channel also shows Night Rider, Quantum Leap, and a few other shows that were not shot in HD. The picture is better than SD, but not as good as shows that were shot in HD to begin with.



That was my first thought but the article does make it sound like they're going back to the original film footage to get the requisite increase in picture quality. We'll know in a month's time I guess.

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Friday, September 1, 2006 12:34 PM

69RDRNR


I didn't see this mentioned in the thread, but Battlestar Galactica (the new series) has also been shown on the Universal HD channel. Also the article specifically states that Firefly was originally shot on "film" and of course in a widescreen format and is being remastered in HD. Remastering in HD generally yields a better picture than simply upconverting the resolution as one might see in many of the currently available DVD players. UHD is part of NBC Universal Cable Networks which also includes Sci-Fi Channel.

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Friday, September 1, 2006 12:53 PM

KANEMAN


Good call thatdude!!!!!!!!!!!!!Well, it's fu*kin true!

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