‘The Sandman’: Netflix Explains Asymmetric Aspect Ratio as Creative Choice

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

“Why does everything seem so stretched up? Is this supposed to be dreamy and I’m just a filthy pig or is there something wrong? user asked.

“Sandman” viewers first noticed the skewed imagery in the show’s trailers, causing some trepidation among fans of the original comic book series. The distorted images weren’t isolated from the trailer, remaining a mainstay of the series itself.

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

“As you’ll notice, a lot of the environments are surreal in the show and we often say that’s pretty much what a dream would be like,” the streamer said.

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

Throughout “The Sandman,” distorted footage shows the cast with elongated faces and stretched-out visuals, giving the series a surreal feel.

Will Baldy, Sam Heasman and George Steel will serve as the series’ cinematographers. The band has yet to comment on the type of lenses they used to film the production. If, for example, vintage lenses were used and mixed with an 8K camera, the combination of old glass and a new camera could create image distortion. Alternatively, using an old-fashioned wide-angle lens with the distortion on the sides would create stretched visuals.

Thus, there is no need to repair your TV and adjust your aspect ratio. “The Sandman” looks exactly as its creators want it to look.

See some concerns from viewers of the series below.

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