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« #105 : June 25, 2012, 04:46:03 AM »

Normally they had / have marks so that they can exactly see what they will have on the screen.

Another way is, like Mike said, to mask the camera lens. Then the extra space on top and bottom can't irritate, but then you risk to have mics and other unwanted things in the full frame aspect ratio, which then became visible on the full screen home video versions. And in former days one advantage of the flat image was that they could show it on home video open matte full screen, and that is much, much better than a pan & scan version of a 2,35:1 film, which looks horrible. But that was for many years often the only way to watch a film if you couldn't catch it in a theatre.

OuTA was not the only film which was not shot in 2,35:1 in consideration of the home video and TV market.

The other way round in the 50s and 60s many films were only shot in 2,35:1 because they made all their money with the theatrical release, and TV was not a market, but only a rival which they tried to beat with a much bigger image.
Hawks despised 2,35:1, and after shooting Land of the Pharaohs, one of the earliest widescreen films, never returned to the 2,35:1 aspect ratio.

« : June 25, 2012, 04:57:25 AM stanton »

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« #106 : June 25, 2012, 05:41:15 AM »

I only know European equipment. See attached images of the viewfinders. If it was decided to go for 1:1,85, one had to compose in the head. Some made scratches on the viewfinder or other marks. But these were less 'comfortable' times. I'm sure most people would be more than surprised to learn what actually CAN be seen through a 35mm (camera)viewfinder. Not that much :). Everything had to be mathematics (Focus pulling, exposure of course ..).
And when you mention the older cameras with external viewfinders, you couldn't even exactly frame because the image in the viewfinder was not the same as the frame in the camera gate.
Nowadays you have external 'viewfinders' as big as TV-screens. Or at least as big as a box of cigarettes. It is much easier but less adventurous.

That safe area is a thing of the past as well. PC's etc. shows 100% of the filmed (or released) image while old TV-sets varied on that field. So you needed a 'safety area' to make sure all important information (especially titles, credit sequences) was 'safe'. I learned the hard way. When I edited my first Digi-Film PASSION & POETRY my viewfinder did not show 100% of the filmed image, rather 95%. So I had unwanted stuff on the left and right sometimes. Later when I edited I was still into that 'safe area' thing so I didn't care about picture content outside of that area (animated photos for instance. Sometimes the edge of the photo was not visible (of course) in the wanted frame, but beyond the 'safe area'. At the first public screening I was shocked to see unwanted stuff at the edges here and there. I wasn't into that new technology yet and didn't think of the fact that beamers of course have no masking. Much unlike 35mm, where you NEED masking. So later on I had to mask the film slightly at the right and left for the DVD release ..


« : June 25, 2012, 05:44:28 AM mike siegel »


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« #107 : June 25, 2012, 06:29:52 AM »

I guess that the advantage of shooting it in 1.37:1, rather than shooting it in 1.85:1, is that for the home video release, which is in 1.37:1, you can use the full image, rather than panning and scanning the 1.85:1 image into 1.37:1?

(I really don't know anything about technical terms and I'm kind of learning as I go from these boards and Wikipedia, so please excuse my ignorance on these matters, and some of my posts in which I am struggling to find the correct words to say what I'm thinking cuz I don't know much about this stuff, or the technical terms. I only started being aware of all this technical shit within the past couple of years  :-[ )

From the couple of minutes of 1.37:1 image that we do get in the trailer, it is quite clear that there is a shitload of extra headroom that doesn't belong there; there are so many long shots that don't belong. I guess that seeing the 1.37:1 image is instructive to know what was cropped to achieve the theatrical (ie. proper version) of the movie, but it certainly has no legitimacy as a version of the movie.

It's interesting what stanton says that Hawks hated 2.35:1 after shooting Land of the Pharaohs in it: perhaps the fact that LOTP was a miserable failure (sending Hawks to a 4-year European retirement ) had something to do with it? maybe he just wanted to disavow anything that had to do with LOTP?

« : June 12, 2014, 05:49:37 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #108 : June 25, 2012, 06:43:33 AM »

Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.


----------

Anyway, does anyone have an opinion on the cropping of Rio Bravo, ie. the chopping of the heads? Maybe they should have shot it a bit longer so that the heads wouldn't chopped?

Also, anytime you zoom in on an image, it loses some quality. Cropping automatically zooms the image. So if the long shot was taken in 1.37:1 and now it is cropped to 1.85:1 and looked like a medium shot, won't the image lose some quality? So wouldn't it be better quality if it had actually been shot in widescreen?

« : June 25, 2012, 09:21:20 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #109 : June 25, 2012, 08:16:13 AM »

Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.

If your TV monitor has a pillarbox setting (where you can see black on all 4 sides) you may be able to take the correct AR there.



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« #110 : June 25, 2012, 08:17:45 AM »

Like I said, film makers in the 50s/60s/70s had to live with those problems. There were many cinemas that projected films the wrong way. They still do by the way. Each theater has something in common: they have a certain screen and when the projector is installed (no matter which decade) lenses / angles etc. are chosen to fill that screen. It has not much to do with us Cineasts who want to see exactly what the film makers filmed / composed etc. Nobody really gives a damn except cinematographers / Directors and some (true) filmlovers.
So when you make 1000 shots for a feature film there will be shots when you will wind up withan unwanted chopping effect. But that wasn't a matter in the old days, it was just common and not controlable. Lots of re-run theatres loved their new widescreens so much, they tried to fill it up no matter the correct screening aspect ratio. Believe me, the last detail they would discuss on location back then was ''But if we go in that close his hat might be chopped off..''. THey had other problems and priorities and knew that their film who be screened in many different aspect ratios. The films were (much) better, but the technical aspect of projection was not even close to nowadays standards. Not everywhere of course, I used to skip the 'bad' cinemas and only went to the ones where I knew the show would be fantastic. Incl. Sound, focus etc.
 
I once discussed this matter with an old director who hated Scope. At the end I said ''Apart from my artistic arguments there's one reason why Scope isn't that bad: at least you have no foolin around in cinemas around the world when it comes to projection - Scope is Scope.'' He said ''You certainly have a big point here.''

Both Hawks and Ford hated Scope. Hawks did it because it was a big production (he made it for the money and to go and see Egypt). William Faulkner spent enourmous amounts of (Warner Bros.) money to order expensive wine from France & Italy to the set. They had a great time. Ford just tried it out in 1955, wasn't happy and returned to non-anarmophic process (except for CHEYENNE AUTUMN which was a 70mm production).
Hawks said: ''Scope is only good for filming snakes, a dachshund or lines of people. Nothing you use that often..''




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« #111 : June 25, 2012, 09:28:19 AM »

Interesting,

On Frayling's commentary of GBU (during the scene with the dying Bill Carson), Frayling says that Fritz Lang said that Scope was only useful for snakes and dead people (something like that). I am sure that both Hawks and Lang didn't say the same line. I guess it is one of those statements that has over the years been screwed around with and attributed to different people. But no matter what the precise quote is and no matter who said it, I guess the point is that the old-school directors had a hard time adapting.

I didn't know Ford didn't like wide-screen. The Searchers is in widescreen. And Monument Valley is so much more beautiful in widescreen.

I guess that for film noir (and Lang was one of the great noir directors), 4:3 may be good to bring out the claustrophobia of the tight, dark, gritty, dangerous city streets and alleys. But not for the Western. IMO,  widescreen is one of the best things that ever happened to the Westerns. (Maybe second to color film!) So much of the Western is about the landscapes, which are greatly improved with widescreen.Can you imagine Leone's Westerns in 4:3? PERISH THE THOUGHT! 4:3 black and white may have been great for film noir, but there ain't nuthin like Technicolor widescreen for the Western!

« : June 25, 2012, 09:31:12 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #112 : June 25, 2012, 11:08:31 AM »

Ford and Hawks didn't love to made 2,35:1 films, but they did widescreen films, like anyone had to do after the mid 50s. But they preferred the smaller 1,85 to the extravagant 2,35. And 1,85 was mostly done by masking an 1,37:1 image. Ford's The Searchers was btw shot in widescreen, but as it is VistaVision it is still only in 1,78:1 (or maybe again 1,85:1 like the DVD is). The Tin Star or Gunfight at the OK Corral also used this aspect ratio.

I also prefer generally widescreen for all types of films, but apart from that for me western landscapes (and westerns generally) look in b/w as good as in color.

Many of the early 2,35:1 films look pretty uninspired in their use of widescreen. Hathaway used it beautifully in Garden of Evil, but in From Hell to Texas nearly everything happens in the centre of the image, and the space on the sides isn't good for anything.

I just recognized how much better a visually thinking director like Lean used it in Bridge on the River Kwai compared to a theatrically trained director like Joshua Logan in Picnic. Sex Lies and Videotape is an excellent example of a more modern use of 2,35:1 in a film which is mainly set inside rooms and in which people talk all the time. It looks absolutely stunning.

Imo generally modern directors use widescreen better than the directors did back in the 50s.

« : June 26, 2012, 05:15:40 AM stanton »

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« #113 : June 25, 2012, 11:54:43 AM »



(I really don't know anything about technical terms and I'm kind of learning as I go from these boards and Wikipedia, so please excuse my ignorance on these matters, and some of my posts in which I am struggling to find the correct words to say what I'm thinking cuz I don't know much about this stuff, or the technical terms. I only started being aware of all this technical shit within the past couple of years  :-[ )



This site may be helpful for you to get an appropriate overview over most of the common aspect ratios:

http://www.dvdlog.de/filmformate/filmformate-en.htm



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« #114 : June 25, 2012, 12:02:25 PM »

Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.

Or to make the image smaller on your TV with the help of your dVD player.

Quote

Anyway, does anyone have an opinion on the cropping of Rio Bravo, ie. the chopping of the heads? Maybe they should have shot it a bit longer so that the heads wouldn't chopped?

As I said I don't remember when watching the Rio Bravo DVD that I thought anything was chopped. But I watched yesterday the early scene in which Claude Akins lies unconscious on the ground of the Saloon, and yes, it looks a bit strange
Quote
Also, anytime you zoom in on an image, it loses some quality. Cropping automatically zooms the image. So if the long shot was taken in 1.37:1 and now it is cropped to 1.85:1 and looked like a medium shot, won't the image lose some quality? So wouldn't it be better quality if it had actually been shot in widescreen?

Yes it loses some quality compared to an old 1,37:1 film. Same goes for the 35 mm anamorphic films as the 2,35:1 image is squeezed 2:1 on the same 1,37:1 negative.

70 mm would be the superior choice, but that was in the end too expensive, and only rarely used.


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« #115 : June 25, 2012, 12:23:29 PM »

NOTE: Though I know that 1.33:1, 1.35:1, and 1.37 aspect ratios were used, for all future posts, for simplicity's sake I will use the simple term "4:3" to refer collectively to anything in those aspect ratios

I guess one advantage of shooting in 4:3 and then cropping the top and bottom to make it widescreen for theatrical release, as opposed to shooting it in widescreen, is that when the videotapes were released for home viewing in 4:3, they could just use the full image, rather than panning and scanning a widescreen film. Neither one is ideal, but I would certainly have preferred to see the full image (even though only part of it was intended to be seen), rather than having it panned and scanned. Too much is better than too little. (Of course, the best option was to have black lines on top and bottom and show it in the intended theaterical aspect ratio as dvd's do now, but studios were too stupid to realize that we wanted to see the full image).

Thanks for the link, stanton. I've tried reading the definitions of various terms on some sites, but I don't understand a lot of it (i think  many of 'em presuppose that you know more than I do. I don't know anything about film  :( ). I won't bother you with providing me an extensive lesson, but can if it is possible to briefly explain to me what "anamorphic" means, I'd appreciate it. I know that that word refers to widescreen images, but what specifically? Ie., anamorphic as opposed to what? (I know about Cinerama, how that was proected on 3 rounded screens -- hence How the West Was Won looks ridiculous on dvd. Does the word "flat" simply mean "as opposed to Cinerama"?). ( i do not understand what i've read about 'em online) , so if it is possible to briefly explain the following terms, I would appreciate it; -- but if it is too much of a hassle, PLEASE do not bother:
1) Anamorphic; 2) Flat 3) Hard Matte vs. Soft Matte

When it says a 4:3 image was "masked" for widescreen, that just means that the top and bottom were covered up so that a widescreen image was shown on the screen? As opposed to the camera "masking" the image, ie. not using the top and bottom of the frame, so that only the "middle" (ie. widescreen" portion of the frame was used), so that on the film itself, only a widescreen image was used?

Finally, is all 35MM film in 4:3? So any widescreen movie shot in 35MM film used some way, such as masking or matting or whatever, to only show part of the image that was shot?


many, many thanks to you guys. if you can explain it in 60 seconds or less, I'd appreciate it. If t's 61 seconds or more, then PLEASE do not bother  O0


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« #116 : June 25, 2012, 03:29:40 PM »

At first forget what I wrote about VistaVision and The Searchers in one of the above posts. It is not an anamorphic widescreen process. I have corrected it.

1. Basically every 35 mm has an aspect ratio of 1,37:1. And basically for all widescreen images exactly this 35 mm film stock is used. Now and then.
So basically the same film stock was used for the most common formats, for 1,37:1, for 1,85:1, for 2,35:1. And we will ignore here all the exceptions which are also mentioned on that website.

2. Before 1953 nearly every film was shot in the 1,37:1 aspect ratio, and for that simply used the complete frame. (But check the part about silent film)

3. After widescreen was established in 1953 the 1,37:1 aspect ratio nearly completely vanished.

4. To get a widescreen image basically 2 processes were commonly used:

a) Masking for an 1,85:1 (or in Europe partly 1,66:1) image. This is also called Flat Widescreen. Or only Flat.

b) Using anamorphic lenses to get an 2,35:1 image.

5. Anamorphic means that they use a special lens in the camera, an anamorphic lens which squeezes the image from e.g. 2,35:1 down to half of its size, and then needs a similar lens in the cinema projector which expands it back to 2,35:1.


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« #117 : June 26, 2012, 01:44:20 AM »

At first forget what I wrote about VistaVision and The Searchers in one of the above posts. It is not an anamorphic widescreen process. I have corrected it.

1. Basically every 35 mm has an aspect ratio of 1,37:1. And basically for all widescreen images exactly this 35 mm film stock is used. Now and then.
So basically the same film stock was used for the most common formats, for 1,37:1, for 1,85:1, for 2,35:1. And we will ignore here all the exceptions which are also mentioned on that website.

2. Before 1953 nearly every film was shot in the 1,37:1 aspect ratio, and for that simply used the complete frame. (But check the part about silent film)

3. After widescreen was established in 1953 the 1,37:1 aspect ratio nearly completely vanished.

4. To get a widescreen image basically 2 processes were commonly used:

a) Masking for an 1,85:1 (or in Europe partly 1,66:1) image. This is also called Flat Widescreen. Or only Flat.

b) Using anamorphic lenses to get an 2,35:1 image.

5. Anamorphic means that they use a special lens in the camera, an anamorphic lens which squeezes the image from e.g. 2,35:1 down to half of its size, and then needs a similar lens in the cinema projector which expands it back to 2,35:1.

yeah in the bonus features on one of the Dollars dvd's, they showed how they did the Techniscoope process; they showed how it was a squeezed image (2 for the price of 1) and they had to take the film and expand it to look normal

Thanks  O0


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« #118 : June 26, 2012, 03:00:50 AM »

Our beloved Italian 60s format TechniScope is a very special case. Because the image was not squeezed while filming, only for producting the needed standard Scope-prints for projection. It's advantages where half price (on film stock) and artistic possibilities because when filming with Scope lenses there used to be a lot of restrictions (technically).

Here's a nice website, in Spanish but the images tell it all.

http://www.google.de/imgres?q=techniscope&hl=de&sa=X&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&rlz=1I7ADBF_de&biw=1280&bih=852&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=chRqfxV83MnQ3M:&imgrefurl=http://www.zonadvd.com/modules.php%3Fname%3DSections%26op%3Dviewarticle%26artid%3D378%26page%3D7&docid=_DqXTbKVMYXpZM&imgurl=http://www.zonadvd.com/imagenes/articulos/cine_formatos/techniscope01.jpg&w=450&h=253&ei=tYLpT7mGMsnUsgau4NTgDg&zoom=1
One thing that confuses many people is the term 'WideScreen'. It is wider than the old
Academy (1:1,33 / 1:1,37) format, but it is not CinemaScope. WideScreen is anything
between 1:1,66 and 1:2 maybe (some VistaVision screenings). From then on (1:2,35
- 1:2,55; the early very wide Scope) the process of projection is anamorphic (squeezed)
and therefore referred to as 'Scope'

You asked something again, maybe I didn't explain it in total: When it comes to masking
the Academy format for a WideScreen effect, there are 3 ways:

- masking in the camera. The camera gate already measures 1:1,66 or 1,85. The final
film print looks like my posted SILENZIO frame.

- masking in postproduction. The film is shot 1:1,37 and the black bars are added optically
while making the the final film prints.

- masking in the projector. Used to be the standard procedure. The good thing: you
can watch it any way you choose (even open matte for TV as you mentioned before)
and it was easier to handle for the projectionist - the frameline was easy to control, when
you project one of the other two solutions theres almost no tolerance.
The bad thing: because it is so easy to project,  the frame line is now controlled by the
projectionst, not by the creative power behind the film.



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« #119 : February 23, 2013, 11:12:18 PM »

Rio Bravo is one of those movie I only like because of the characters and their stories. It definitely has class. I love the scene where Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson are singing, with the duke himself watching, smiling. To me, scenes like that are gold because you really feel for these characters, and with them singing together shows that they are working together, which in a way strengthens the chemistry between these characters. Even thought I'm 19 years old, I think the pathos created by these characters is sorely missing in today's movies.


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