This blog has received a lot of attention in the last few days. I am thankful to all the people who linked it and wrote about it for making this happen. To bring attention to the problem was all I intended to do when I started making this screenshots comparisons.
I have read a lot of the comments posted everywhere and would like to say a few things:
Some people don’t seem to understand what am I complaining about. They look at the screenshots and somehow they don’t see where the big deal is. I don’t really think there is anything to say to these people. The reason I decided to just post screenshots instead of write something about the importance of framing and composition in film was because I thought the screenshots were a simpler, better way to understand the magnitude of the problem. If you still don’t get it after looking at the screenshots, I don’t think any words can change your mind.
Some people have pointed out that it isn’t Netflix who decides to crop films, but the film studios who send them the wrong versions. This may be true, but I don’t think it changes anything. I’m paying Netflix for a service: if it doesn’t work as it should, I complain to them. It is their responsibility to make sure the studios send them the right versions.
Actually, Netflix agrees that this aspect ratio issue is a problem that should be solved. The same declaration has been given to many different media after they put themselves in contact with Netflix:
"We do not crop. We want to offer the best picture and provide the original aspect ratio of any title on Netflix. However, unfortunately our quality controls sometimes fail and we end up offering the wrong version of a title. When we discover this error, we replace that title as soon as possible.”
Actually, there is a known case of Netflix replacing a title with a wrong aspect ratio after receiving complaints. Director Wayne Kramer wrote on his Facebook page:
"One of my films (Crossing Over) was showing on Netflix in a cropped aspect ratio (1.78 instead of 2.35) and I wrote to Reed Hastings directly, voicing my disapproval. Within just a few weeks, Reed had the correct aspect ratio version replace the cropped version. Filmmakers need to be WAY more proactive about this stuff.”
I’ve received some messages telling me about other films showing in a wrong aspect ratio on Netflix. I encourage you to keep doing this, makes it easier for me to find new examples, but don’t be upset if I don’t upload screenshots of every film you tell me about. It is not the purpose of this blog to make a list of all the films showing wrong in Netflix, but just to show that this happens and how bad can it be. If we want this situation to change what we need to do is call Netflix every time we see a film with a wrong aspect ratio. Remember they have promised to replace the titles “as soon as possible”.