AVS Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Wasn't sure where to put this. 

 

Found this today and thought it was a great. 


The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio 18:16 

by Filmmaker IQ

Something here to go with that.  http://widescreen.org/aspect_ratios.shtml
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,702 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

You have many good points. :) 
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,225 Posts
I think it is just a question of how detailed you can get without losing the audience. For example I counted 42 different aspect ratios in IMDB, and 26 of those were used for more than one movie, and 18 were used for more than 10 movies.


You could write a book on the topic, but you would not sell very many copies. Also, neither the video or the written article discussed the questionable practice of creating distribution prints and distribution media in aspect ratios other than the original theatrical aspect ratio. I don't think any discussion of aspect ratios is complete without at least a passing mention of why OAR is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,702 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy  /t/1525137/the-changing-shape-of-cinema-the-history-of-aspect-ratio#post_24601595


I think it is just a question of how detailed you can get without losing the audience. For example I counted 42 different aspect ratios in IMDB, and 26 of those were used for more than one movie, and 18 were used for more than 10 movies.


You could write a book on the topic, but you would not sell very many copies. Also, neither the video or the written article discussed the questionable practice of creating distribution prints and distribution media in aspect ratios other than the original theatrical aspect ratio. I don't think any discussion of aspect ratios is complete without at least a passing mention of why OAR is important.

As I said in the article, I think the video's length works against it. If this were a 3-minute YouTube clip with a cursory overview of the topic, I could forgive it a lot of omissions. But its 18-minute length suggests that it's a comprehensive guide to the subject, which it absolutely is not. All of the issues I pointed out could be cleared up with an additional 5 minutes. A viewer who's already committed to watching 18 minutes will not be bothered by an extra 5. Impatient viewers would have already given up after the first few minutes anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
John Belton's book goes very much in depth about the history of widescreen. It's been around a lot longer than people think. In fact the Lumiere brothers shot their films with 1:66:1 format I think because their film stock was for shooting 3x5 postcard like photos. At the end of the 1990s I purchased the Kino DVD of their first films and the collection of shorts done by current filmmakers using an original Lumiere camera (which also doubled as a projector).
http://books.google.com/books/about/Widescreen_cinema.html?id=PKUfAQAAIAAJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
I watched the video last night. He missed the fact that widescreen was first tried in the late 1920s and several films released in "Grandeur". The 1929 crash was credited for it's failure. Also the Widescreen Museum has articles on how film gauges didn't get standardized until the 1920s (also effecting aspect ratio).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,225 Posts
You could write a work of any length on this highly detailed topic. A 20 hour video would still be incomplete, but would lose 99.9% of the audience. Ultimately it is a matter of when you pause and summarize the remaining material. A lot of people here at AVS suffer from "the critic's disease", they simply don't like the flavor of anything until after they have peed in it themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,702 Posts
Skimming over material would be one thing, but the video makes a number of claims that are just outright factually incorrect. It says that the aspect ratio for CinemaScope was 2.35:1 from the start and even shows a still from The Robe with that number imposed over it. Yet that movie was actually 2.55:1. CinemaScope was reduced to 2.35:1 a couple years later in order to fit stereo audio tracks onto the film prints.


Again, if this were a 3-minute summary overview, I would probably forgive it mistakes like that. At 18 minutes, it's inexcusably sloppy and poorly researched.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy  /t/1525137/the-changing-shape-of-cinema-the-history-of-aspect-ratio#post_24626480


A 20 hour video would still be incomplete, but would lose 99.9% of the audience.

An 18-minute video has already lost 90% or more of the audience. If you're going to make somethinmg like this, you should put in some effort to do it correctly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,702 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138  /t/1525137/the-changing-shape-of-cinema-the-history-of-aspect-ratio#post_24655013


Do you see much of anything other than 1.85, 1.78 HD, and 2.35 anymore?

Well, there are movies with alternating aspect ratios for IMAX footage (The Dark Knight, Tron Legacy, etc.). The video fails to acknowledge IMAX at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z  /t/1525137/the-changing-shape-of-cinema-the-history-of-aspect-ratio#post_24658148


Well, there are movies with alternating aspect ratios for IMAX footage (The Dark Knight, Tron Legacy, etc.). The video fails to acknowledge IMAX at all.

True. To be honest, I assumed that IMAX footage was 1.78 because of how it was presented on video. It wasn't until I did some reading that I realized how erroneous my assumption was. These days, 1.78 has replaced 1.33 as the TV standard, and with the exception of IMAX, most movies seem to be shot in either 1.85 or 2.35. Most of the rest seem to have become historical curios. As far as the history goes, I think most others have more or less fallen out of favor. Since no one shoot 35mm anymore for photography, 3:2 is gone. The European ratio/Super 16 1.66 has more or less fallen by the wayside from what I can tell, and since I don't think anyone will be shooting 70mm ever again, 2.20 is probably just a curio now too (PTA even chose to shoot his 70mm footage for The Master in 1.85). As you point out, there are several other historically: 2.55 for early CinemaScope, 2.59 for Cinerama, 2.76 or 2.93 on some films back when in those Ultra Panavision 70 presentations. Obviously, while I wouldn't want anyone hack up those films for video releases, it's not the kind of thing which is likely to ever be seen again for exhibition. Beyond this, though, I think larger issues are A) people who don't like the dreaded "black bars" and just "want to fill the screen" (people who should seriously no longer be allowed to watch films
), or B) stuff like Super 35, open matte, etc, where different versions allow for different exhibitions. Obviously, there's going to be a broad variance in opinion, but it should come down to the correct image rather than more or less of it. Or, the case of someone like James Cameron, who shoots the film in such a fashion as to allow it to be projected in multiple ratios. And then of course there are the many controversies about films and how they're presented on video. Like you said, there's a lot of ground to cover.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top