Aspect Ratio Documentation

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    What perturbs me is that reframing Shane on a shot by shot basis means that what we're going to get on BD is a version that we've never seen and that neither the director, nor cinematographer intended to be seen.

    What we should be getting is the film framed as Loyal Griggs shot it, and also the film as released, the one that won an Oscar for cinematography and which paved the way for the widescreen revolution. In an ideal world...
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  3. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Good idea Robert :)
     
  4. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I watched the Warner Archive release of While the City Sleeps today, one of my favourite Fritz Lang films, and the presentation was widescreen (1.78:1 I think). I also have the UK release which is 1.33:1 which looks much better. The Warner print looks very 'tight' in some scenes. The region 2 release has some good special features (galleries, press book etc) and I recommend it. This is one I would like on Blu-ray but I am not very optimistic.
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    This was shot in June/July 1955 and was certainly composed for widescreen. I just watched a clip on the TCM site and there's no question as to the intended widescreen composition.
     
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  6. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    Bob, thanks for your comments. When I have seen it on television in the UK it has been shown at 1.33:1. Presumably it could have been shown theatrically in either aspect.
     
  7. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    By mid-55 just about every theater would have been at least 1.66 widescreen if not full 1.85
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  9. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    This would have been in the dying days of RKO and I guess not all of the films they distributed around this time would have SuperScope in the titles.

    As you say much care has been taken with framing but I prefer the 1.33:1 on balance, just a personal preference because until I watched the Warner Archive DVD this is how I had always seen the film. Thanks again.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    You're very welcome, Keith.

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Superscope conversion was announced on April 12, 1956 and was only applied to foreign distribution of the film.

    Here's a poster from Belgium:

    While-the-City-Sleeps-Super.gif
     
  11. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Production began on June 3, 1955 at California Studios under the title "News is Made at Night."

    It was originally produced for United Artists distribution but was sold to RKO on November 18, 1955.

    Bert.JPG
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One more question is the aspect ratio seen by Academy members in 1953. It may well have been 1.66 C.RAH
     
  13. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Archers missing. Very unsettling..
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    That's precisely what I'm alluding to.
     
  15. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Any yet check out the top of the two doors 50 seconds in - very, very typical Lang framing of a frame within a frame within a frame, which is completely lost once cropped.

    Also, the establishing shot 5 seconds in - crop it centrally you lose half the car, which is very carefully kept fully in frame at the bottom, and half the windows and doors kept carefully in frame at the top.

    Other shots, I agree, have lots of head room.

    Steve W
     
  16. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The shots you mention are probably zoomboxed? I would need to check on both DVD versions.
     
  17. JohnWeller

    JohnWeller Auditioning

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    Was Ed Wood's Jail Bait a widescreen film - released '54, shot mid to late 1953.
     
  18. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    JAIL BAIT was shot in July 1953 but is 1.37. Wood's first widescreen film is BRIDE OF THE MONSTER which began filming late October, 1954.

    I’ve just finished doing some research in Variety and have some interesting notes to share.

    UPDATE: After posting the information here, I've decided to write an article that will be expanded with images and posted on our website.

    I'll let you know when it's on-line.
     
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  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Plus ca change...
     

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