Originally Posted by aaronrun
How can you say this! A quick search yielded this list of 1.78 sources:
As has been said many times, the ratio of scope (say >2.00:1) to "flat" (say 1.78:1-2.00:1) is about 50/50. What you're missing is that scope was created, intended to be wider
than flat. See the link in my signature, there's a great video of one of the original "advertisements" for cinemascope from Fox, back when it was brand new. It states very clearly it was intended to be larger/wider than flat.
Now Avatar is a member of a very small group of films that I'm going to (probably incorrectly) label "large format". Avatar, and small portions of The Dark Knight and Transformers 2 were shot
in IMAX, with the intent that those IMAX-shot scenes be larger, potentially much larger than either scope or flat presentations.
Right now, Avatar is the only current/recent full-length movie shot entirely in IMAX, (as I said, TDK and TF2 had small portions). Now the thing is, a "normal" constant width 16:9 setup is not the right way to show these films either. What you need for these three films is essentially a 16:9 screen who's full height is only used for IMAX titles. The rest of the time it should be masked down to scope height and run CIH. I call that approach CIH+IMAX.
If you're talking about these three films in particular, then I agree, you are sacrificing something with a scope screen. But like I said, IMO those three films (only one of which, TF2, I actually saw in IMAX at the theater, the rest I saw scope) are far, far too few to justify a CIH+IMAX setup.
The rest of content you cite was shot with the knowledge/intent that it be shown at the same height as scope films, but narrower. Look at it this way, essentially from the first films to today, cinema has gotten wider and wider, but the height has remained constant, with a few exceptions like the IMAX format (which is actually 1.44:1)
In my scenario, I could buy a 96 inch wide 16x9 screen which would diplay 110 inches of 16x9 and 104 inches of 2.35 content. Going CIH, the 2.35 would show at 104 inches but the 16x9 drops to 82 inches. I kinda want to be in your club but I don't know how you guys get past this. Masking seems like the only real solution as Fleaman and Harkness have done.
You have to stop thinking in terms of "inches" and look at your theater as an entire system/experience. More inches is not better or worse, you have to take the whole system into account.
What I find is that for most content, on a 16:9 screen, if I were to place my seating for optimal 16:9 content viewing, it would result in scope being far, far too small. Likewise if I setup my seating for optimal scope viewing, (most) 16:9 is far to big.
Conversely, with a scope screen, I find that pretty much everything is a pleasing size, essentially that it's the height that most determines how "big" an image feels.
So what you do is find that relative
screen height which you like, and set up your system for that, and use a scope screen. You may end up liking 3 screen heights, for your 16:9 screen that would be a seating distance of about 13.5 feet. If you were to go scope, that would change to about 12 feet. So a 1.5 foot difference in your seating would give you essentially the same 16:9 experience you'd get on the larger screen, but your scope films would appear 78% larger.