Are newer movies being increasingly made closer to 16:9 or is 2.35 still king? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 36 Old 02-05-2012, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Then we have movies like Avatar that was presented in both 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 depending on the theater screen.

Yea this is a real exception to the rule. Basically only like 5 directors working could get away with this, the economics are just not there (not to mention that it basically forces you to shoot Super 35, digital or do a blow-up of anamorphic).

Avatar was actually composed for 1.85 and manipulated for 2.39 in some theatrical releases but it wasn't actually produced for 2.39. You can get away with this to a degree on a film that is basically all CG but on a live action feature it's a little tougher (as it is because home video and international deliverables are all over the map these days you often have to protect for every imaginable situation). I watch Inception (anamorphic) on HBO where they've cropped a 1.77 image out of the center, and it's not that impressive to me because it completely ruins the composition (which is more than just what the camera is shooting, it's art direction, background actors, lighting, colors, etc).
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post #32 of 36 Old 02-05-2012, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ABCTV99 View Post

Yea this is a real exception to the rule. Basically only like 5 directors working could get away with this, the economics are just not there (not to mention that it basically forces you to shoot Super 35, digital or do a blow-up of anamorphic).

Avatar was actually composed for 1.85 and manipulated for 2.39 in some theatrical releases but it wasn't actually produced for 2.39. You can get away with this to a degree on a film that is basically all CG but on a live action feature it's a little tougher (as it is because home video and international deliverables are all over the map these days you often have to protect for every imaginable situation). I watch Inception (anamorphic) on HBO where they've cropped a 1.77 image out of the center, and it's not that impressive to me because it completely ruins the composition (which is more than just what the camera is shooting, it's art direction, background actors, lighting, colors, etc).

Excellent info. It is further complicated by TV for a variety of reasons. In the late 90s a lot of episodic was starting to shoot Super 35. The ground glass lines were CIH, and we "protected the wings" that took the AR out to 1.78 for HD...which hadn't quite arrived yet. It was often a battle with the grips who had a good intution where the edge of the TV frame was for any given set-up (lens), and would place a flag near the edge...and some didn't like being chased out of the wings.

Around the same time I did a couple HBO movies that were shot 35 academy where we were supposed to frame 1.85 for international release, but still make a decent composition for TV. Not always easy since the top and bottom lines were considerably different in the two ARs. There is a fair amount of creative flexibility with regards to composing the width as in the wings in Super 35. But there is far less flexibility with what is acceptable with regards to framing headroom in a medium close-up, for instance. More than once I cringed at what a shot was going to look like on TV. As the old saying goes "Hair can't act."
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post #33 of 36 Old 02-05-2012, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ABCTV99 View Post

Avatar was actually composed for 1.85 and manipulated for 2.39 in some theatrical releases but it wasn't actually produced for 2.39.

Actually, it was filmed in 16:9 with 2.35:1 guidelines. It was intended to be shown in both formats.

Printed film format
35 mm (anamorphic) (Kodak Vision 2383)
70 mm (horizontal) (IMAX DMR blow-up) (dual-strip 3-D) (Kodak Vision 2383)
D-Cinema (also 3-D version)


Aspect ratio
1.78 : 1 (IMAX 3-D version) (2K 3-D version: constant image width venues)
2.35 : 1 (2-D version) (2K 3-D version: constant image height venues)
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post #34 of 36 Old 02-06-2012, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Actually, it was filmed in 16:9 with 2.35:1 guidelines. It was intended to be shown in both formats.

James Cameron has been protecting his shots for multiple aspect ratios ever since he switched to Super 35 with The Abyss. Like all of his movies since then, Avatar was actively composed for 2.35:1 during photography, with the rest of the frame kept "safe" for pan & scan. The decision to open the mattes to 1.85:1 for some 3D screenings was made in post-production. For a while, he continued to assert that 2.35:1 was the proper OAR for 2D. Later, he decided that he had "fallen in love" with the open-matte version and preferred that for both 2D and 3D.

The 16:9 Blu-ray transfer looks very loose and awkward to my eye. I prefer to crop it to 2.2:1, for reasons discussed in other threads.

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post #35 of 36 Old 02-06-2012, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Around the same time I did a couple HBO movies that were shot 35 academy where we were supposed to frame 1.85 for international release, but still make a decent composition for TV.

How common was this, really? I remember the controversy around the DVD release of the 1980s "V" miniseries, which was transferred at 16:9. The studio claimed that the show had been originally framed to be safe for European theatrical release. This triggered a lot of debate about how likely that really was.

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post #36 of 36 Old 02-06-2012, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

How common was this, really? I remember the controversy around the DVD release of the 1980s "V" miniseries, which was transferred at 16:9. The studio claimed that the show had been originally framed to be safe for European theatrical release. This triggered a lot of debate about how likely that really was.

I can't say how widespread it was since my time in TV movies was limited to a couple of years in the 90s. I was in the big feature track doing anamorphic and Super 35 features, but coincidentally shifted over to TV movies briefly to answer the call of a director who I had met on a big feature who was directing a pilot. That introduced me to a DP who did nothing but MOWs (TV movies), and I did a couple with him.

Whether or not it was a big deal (i.e. compromised composition) depended on the original format (35 academy, Super 35, or Super 16), and that was driven to a great extent by the time period in question.

Academy 35 could have a significant compromise IF both 1.33 and 1.85 were being served. It would be a lesser compromise if 1.66 was the theatrical format. Super 35 and Super 16 both have an advantage because the full aperture permits a common headroom/top frame line for both 1.78 and 1.33. Even 1.85 would be pretty close.

In retrospect, it was a waste to compose for 1.85. Neither HBO movie made it to the big screen except for the cast and crew screening. We should have used Super 35 instead of academy.

Back in the 80s they would have been shooting Academy 35. Super 16 and Super 35 weren't really used in this way until the mid-90s or so (although it may have been a bit earlier). In 1998 we did the pilot for The West Wing in Super 16, then switched to Super 35 for the series.
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