Size of shadowrama figures

You’re watching computer movies on your Y2K imaging machines?

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We only get to see the cut off seats because we’re all watching everything on devices that show all the way to the edges of shows that were intended for devices which only did that if you were a weirdo who opened up their TV and turned the little knobs inside. We also get to see sometimes strange parts of the set that never would have shown on tv in their day, so they didn’t bother correcting the shots.

I think everyone doing tv production understood about extending beyond the safe area. The safe area was just a guide to make sure the important stuff got seen on the most brands of television. It wasn’t the line beyond which nobody could see. But, you could expect nobody to see all the way to the very edge, which is where, presumably, the luminance keyer effect on BBI’s editing machine stopped effecting. Or, maybe the original shot of the seats was bigger and, otherpresumably, they made it smaller with visualeffects and the edge you can peek through is where the original shot ran out of shot.

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The cutouts Mike used as decoys in Hobgoblins were a LOT bigger than the actual subjects were.

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Late to the party, but another vote for larger silhouettes in the new seasons. It’s almost like they aren’t there now, and certainly limits the visual gags compared to earlier seasons.

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It doesn’t happen in every episode, just a few here and there. So it wasn’t a machine limitation, but rather something that happened on those particular days. This is the kind of error I am all in favor of fixing in a remaster, unless they choose to fill the space with a CGI Jabba.

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I vote for gizmoplex television mode to hide the previously unseeable defects.

I like the smaller silhouettes, it makes the theater seem HUGE.

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I remember an interview with Joel regarding the size of the shadowrama. He said that in Manos Torgo has Cloven Hooves, and you can’t see it through the entire episode due to the seats being in the way. This is why CT had scaffolding in the corners. It could also be part of the reason that they are smaller in the new seasons (in addition to widescreen.)

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I can see a visual gag for some as-yet-to-be-produced episode where Cambot, the SOL projector, or gravity is on the fritz for at least one movie segment, and <HOST> and the ‘bots are sitting sideways or even upside-down on the screen. There’s even precedent!

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I think the smaller silhouettes might be a point of principle for Joel. If you check out KTMA episodes, the size is much closer to the modern version. When the show moved to Comedy Central one of the changes they required was the larger size. Part of this was visibility – because viewers are stupid and can’t figure out what’s going on – but also so the “safe area” for TV didn’t cut so much off the bottom. Joel hated covering up so much of the movie, and now what he says goes.

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Here’s the Kickstarter post from Joel where he talks about the theater sizes (towards the end): Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 by Joel Hodgson » Some Notes on the "Lost" KTMA Episodes — Kickstarter

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I think this is just a rumor. I’ve looked for Torgo’s cloven feet in Manos and throughout the film he just wears normal shoes. Torgo being a satyr might have been the intent in Manos, but like a lot of things in that movie it’s something they couldn’t afford to do properly.

But the size of the theater seats does boil down to wanting to cover up less of the movie, because Joel never wanted them as big as they were. But they ran into many problems with them during KTMA, as most TVs in the 80’s and 90’s weren’t perfectly edged and had more rounded ends, which meant Crow was cut off from the frame in most households. And there was one case in which a woman’s reception of KTMA was so bad that the theater seats were cut off entirely and she called the network to complain she was “hearing voices” while she was trying to watch a movie.

There are more flaws by design in the formatting of the theater seats to TV ratios in the 90’s to be seen if you pay close enough attention. In season two and maybe early three there are episodes in which the theater silhouettes don’t reach the corner of the screen and there is a sliver of the movie that you can see there. It was very much a cutting corners measure of “nobody is going to see this section of the episode, so who cares?” But if you look at them on Shout’s DVD releases, it’s very noticable.

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I miss the last generation of CBS late night shows.
I like the jimmys fine and Colbert is still good (thou not as good as the Report) but since Dave and Craig Ferguson left their CBS gigs it is just not the same.

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