Aspect Ratio 'The Sandman': Netflix Explains the Conscious Creative Choice Behind the Divisive Skewed Images

Aspect Ratio ‘The Sandman’: Netflix Explains the Conscious Creative Choice Behind the Divisive Skewed Images

With Neil Gaiman’s highly anticipated “The Sandman” arriving on Netflix this week, some viewers have been quick to comment on the show’s aspect ratio looking slightly off.

“Why did everything look so stretched up? Does it have to be dreamy and am I just an uncultivated swine or is something wrong?’ user early.

“Sandman” viewers first noticed the skewed depictions in trailers for the series, which sparked some trepidation among fans of the original comic book series. The distorted visuals were not isolated to the trailer and remained a mainstay in the series itself.

Some wondered if a technical problem was causing the distinctive images. However, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that image distortion is a deliberate creative choice on “The Sandman.”

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

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

Throughout “The Sandman”, distorted visuals show the cast with elongated faces and stretched images, giving the series a surreal feel.

Will Baldy, Sam Heasman and George Steel are the cameramen of the show. The group has not yet commented 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 work to create image distortion. Alternatively, using an old-fashioned wide-angle lens with the distortion on the sides would produce stretched images.

So you don’t have to repair your TV and adjust your aspect ratio. “The Sandman” looks exactly the way the creators want it to be.

Check out some of the series’ viewers’ concerns below.


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