Aspect Ratio Documentation

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

  1. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I don't have the title yet in my collection, but was wondering if I should pick it up. When I saw what ratio it was in I figured I better go the leading expert on such things just to make sure. ;) I think I will hold off for now and see if someone releases it on Blu in its most likely correct AR.
     
  2. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Not sure but I remember the Criterion being framed tight. There was a DVD reissue in France a couple of years back, I'll check it out.
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I remember back in the 2002 days, the common knowledge/received wisdom was that 1960 was the super special magical amazing switchover year, that when the number switched from 5 to 6, that's when everything became instantly widescreen all the time. Anything not hardmatted and not anamorphic from 1959 or earlier was absolutely suspect and no one could really know what the right ratio was because as everyone knew, when there was a 5 in the date, chaos reigned everywhere!
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank goodness Jack Theakston began his dedicated research on setting the record straight on aspect ratios in 2005!
     
  5. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    When it comes to non U.S. and U.K. productions, the rules have to be a bit different. I think only specific research on a title by title basis is useful.

    Bob le flambeur, for instance, I can assure you all is framed at 1.37:1, despite the time it was made. One scene I just checked is early on and takes place in a bar. Bob is sat at a table, with the camera filming him face on. The camera pulls back in preparation for him rising, and as he does so his head reaches the top of the 1.37:1 frame and remains there for a few moments as he addresses a companion, still sat down.

    If you crop this scene, the pull becomes pointless, as Bob's head rises out of frame regardless and for a few moments he addresses his companion whilst cut off at the nose. There are a few other examples like this, and I found them after a less than 5 minute flick through of my Criterion DVD. The whole film cropped even to 1.66:1 I don't think could be bearable (assuming the Criterion transfer isn't heavily zoomed, though we don't have a reason to think it is).

    Whether it's Indian, Japanese, or more "western" film making from France, the same rules just don't seem to apply. Both Godard and Tati have made it clear they made many of their post-widescreen era films in 1.37:1, in some cases using non-anamorphic widescreen on some pictures and then going back to 1.37:1. It seems like it was a whole different ball game over there.
     
  6. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Very good points, Eddie. Thanks for checking the transfer.
     
  7. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The Criterion disc is heavily zoomboxed. Here's a cap comparing the Criterion and a frame grab of the neg (see the round corners).

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I browsed through the Criterion disc and came into this very bizarre credit quirk:

    [​IMG]

    When the rolling credit finally appears (the DP one is the start), it appears out of thin air, about 48 pixels above the bottom. This DP credit is the one that starts the roll, and when it comes up it pushes away the card above it.

    Would that mean the transfer is unmatted too much? I'm not familiar with the rules regarding those old credits rolls, but my take would be that the credit would not appear out of thin air, but out of the masked border. This shouldn't happen.

    Interestingly, if you substract the number of pixels inclusive of this credit line (so that it remains hidden until it start to roll), top and bottom, you end up roughly at 1.66:1 on the other frame grab. I say it's a 1.66:1 film.
     
  8. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    Well I'll just shut my big mouth. That'll teach me to use a DVD as any sort of reference.
     
  9. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    A manipulated transfer on DVD?I'm shocked!
     
  10. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    We'd better not even get into the gambling then....
     
  11. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    Cohen are releasing Melville's follow up to Bob le flambeur, Deux hommes dans Manhattan next month, though I don't think they've announced the aspect ratio. His film after that was Léon Morin, prêtre, which was presented 1.66:1 by Criterion. Anyone familiar with the film or it's production know the correct AR?
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    Hope I am not creating a storm but the last three Bomba titles of the series, THE GOLDEN IDOL (Jan 1954 release), KILLER LEOPARD (Aug 1954 release), and LORD OF THE JUNGLE (Jun 1955 release) are being released by WAC in widescreen 1.85:1. Some other Internet sites, that are unreliable, are listing the aspect ratio as 1.37:1, which I would believe that ratio was used for TV telecasts. I know that Monogram made a habit of filming 6 or more titles back to back then sitting on them and releasing them periodically over a couple of years. There is a distinct possibility that LORD OF THE JUNGLE (Jun 1955 release) could have been filmed in the spring of 1953, as could be the others. So the question is are these three titles comparative to SHANE in that they were filmed before widescreen was adapted and composed for 1.37:1 but marketing took over and forced them out at 1.85:1? I know this cause a snicker or two but do find this interesting. THANKS.
     
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  13. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Glad to hear it, all three were composed for widescreen.

    BOMBA AND THE GOLDEN IDOL began filming for 1.85:1 on September 8, 1953.
     
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  14. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone have access to a print of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?" Was it hard matted and what ratio?
     
  15. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    Thank you, while I was having some up loading issues and making my question witty and complicated you swiped down a gave a perfect answer.
     
  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    That's fine Allen, I"m glad to help.

    KILLER LEOPARD was filmed in May 1954 and LORD OF THE JUNGLE was filmed in February 1955.
    1.85 is correct for all three.

    Eric: I have access to a print of WONKA and will check it for you tomorrow.
     
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  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    This is the kind of post we need more of - the zoomboxing on that disc is outrageous. Everyone assumes Criterion is always perfect - apparently not.
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm confused by your post, which purports to show a "frame grab of the neg."

    What neg? Or is it a fine grain? I see no perfs. Is this element RA or FA?

    Seriously, what do you believe this image tries to tell us?

    RAH
     
  19. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    It's cropped out that's why there are no perfs. I've found it from a third party source. The purpose was just to show how zoomboxed the Criterion is (watching the Criterion DVD, you can can see people are cropped out of frame left and right, the top being really tight). However I suspect the zooming is inconsistent thorough the movie.
    I'm trying to get hold this afternoon of a copy of the recent french reissue on DVD which I believe was recently remastered in HD.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    But w/o perfs, and not knowing precisely what the element is, all is guesswork.I don't like to guessRAH
     

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