The Sandman: Netflix explains skewed aspect ratio as a creative choice

With Neil Gaiman’s highly anticipated The Sandman arriving on Netflix this week, some viewers have been quick to comment that the series’ aspect ratio looks a bit off.

“Why does everything look so stretched out? Should that be dreamy and I’m just an uncultivated pig or is there something wrong”, one user asked.

Sandman viewers first noticed the distorted imagery in the series’ trailers, which caused some trepidation among fans of the original comic book series. The distorted imagery wasn’t limited to the trailer and remained a mainstay in the series itself.

Some asked if a technical problem was the cause of the unmistakable look. However, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that the image distortion is a deliberate creative choice on The Sandman.

“As you’ll find, a lot of the environments in the series are surreal and we often say it would feel just like a dream,” the streamer said.

The series is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Tom Sturridge plays Dream – also known as Morpheus. He lurks in a realm called Dreaming, and when he is captured, his absence triggers events that alter both the sleeping and waking worlds.

In The Sandman, distorted images show the cast with elongated faces and stretched images, giving the series a surreal feel.

Will Baldy, Sam Heasman and George Steel serve as cinematographers on the series. The group has yet to comment on the type of lenses they used to film the production. For example, if vintage lenses were used and mixed with an 8K camera, the combination of old glass and a new camera could result in image distortion. Alternatively, using an old-school wide-angle lens would result in stretched images with the distortion on the sides.

So there is no need to fix your TV and adjust the aspect ratio. “The Sandman” looks exactly as its creators want it to.

Check out some concerns from viewers of the series below.

https://variety.com/2022/artisans/news/the-sandman-netflix-aspect-ratio-1235334453/ The Sandman: Netflix explains skewed aspect ratio as a creative choice

Charles Jones

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