Aspect Ratio Documentation

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

  1. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I think it's not about documentation, but about making bucks. People there probably struggle to keep their jobs and salaries... hence, they must shout at reunions about 1.37:1 or 1.33:1 or whatever being the right aspect ratio and Bob and other alumnis here being wrong, because if you / we get proven right, their whole pathetic careers might go down the toilets, along with their monthly earnings, which is all they care about.

    That's the only explanation: they pose themselves a specialists to people who have the checkbooks but can't tell otherwise, except when someone scream / shout at them in the room that others on the internet are unreliable. Damn the documentation, I saw the movie when I was seven!

    EDIT: This post incidentaly, begins page 166. The format must be 1.66!
     
  2. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    That video was the best laugh I've had all week.

    I'd like to think that eventually, WB, Universal and Sony will get around to doing these "right," but now I'm simply falling under the mindset of "who cares anymore?"
     
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  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    At least we know from Bob's comments about Dial M and Creature that Warner and Universal are willing to accept his documentation.
     
  4. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    The Beaver has just posted a review of Melville's Deux Hommes dans Manhattan. Date is 1959, but AR is 1.33. Now, I recall that Bob posted a reply a while back about when les francais began the shift to widescreen, but surely it should have been way waaaay before '59? If you take the Beaver's screencaps, and crop to 1.66 using a common centre, the images look fine; and the title block looks to have been set up for at least some kind of widescreen, with oodles of space above and below. Should the Cohen disc be widescreen?
     
  5. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    This is still the 166th page so that means the film is 1.66:1
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I think France is one of the exceptions. Godard was still making films in 1.37:1 well into the sixties.
     
  7. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    Neckniscope, processed by Necknicolor. This was the Transylanian standard.
     
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  8. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    There were no rules in France, however, Melville was always one of the then rare french directors with an American fixation. I'm going to get the Blu-ray of Deux Hommes dans Manhattan, but from the captures Beaver posted, it's definetely not a 1.37:1 film.
     
  9. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    There is now a review up on Blu-ray.com with a large number of screen shots - there is not a one of them that looks composed correctly - in fact they look awful at 1.37 and would look so much better at 1.66 and even better at 1.85 or 1.78.
     
  10. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Yeah, my feelings exactly. The amount of mere space makes them look -- abandoned, somehow.
     
  11. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I'm not sure in which of the hundreds of subforums the thread is hiding, but the 3D expo this weekend was wonderful, well done Bob, and everyone else that put it on.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Adam, it's located in the 3-D subforum. Here is the link.
     
  13. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    While doing research for our HOUSE OF WAX article - http://www.3dfilmarc...om/House-of-Wax - I came across this lost June 1953 quote from Alfred Hitchcock on 3-D and widescreen.

    DIAL M was in pre-production at the time.

    Hitchcock-June-1953.gif
     
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  14. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Bob,
    What was the AR for the Russian Robinson Crusoe shown in the 3D Expo? It didn't seem Academy.
     
  15. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    No, it was not Academy.

    I'm not sure. I'll try to find out.
     
  16. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    The aspect ratio of ROBINSON CRUSOE was about .95-1, slightly thinner than a square.
     
  17. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Jack. Those Russian clips and Crusoe were amazing!
     
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  18. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    I wish Stephan would put his seminar and or the Russian films he showed on blu-ray so that I could get to know them better. But he made his feelings on that very clear. I agree they were amazing and years ahead of what was being done in the USA.
     
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  19. AllenPerks

    AllenPerks New User

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    Quite a few questions for Bob. I'm not sure if you'll be able to answer most of them but here goes:Would the new scenes in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! have been composed with flat widescreen in mind? 1.37:1 was clearly the intention for the Japanese footage, as Japanese cinema had not dipped its feet into widescreen until 1957 (and even then it was limited to CinemaScope derivatives, with flat widescreen not coming until the late 1970s, apparently), but the new scenes shot specifically for the American version leave me wondering. Guy Roe was the film's cameraman, and he had composed previous films in flat widescreen, so it's not as if he was oblivious to that kind of filmmaking, but in GKOTM numerous compositions are fairly tall and don't mat particularly well. Even though the Criterion restored version is definitely not zoomed in considerably - you can occasionally see the rounded corners - I still have trouble framing it in such a way that all the new footage looks equally good. Could Roe have chosen to shoot for 1.37:1 to match the Japanese footage? If it wasn't composed for 1.37:1, then my guess is 1.66:1 with a bit less matted on the top than the bottom.

    And while the iconic title card looks very snug when centered and matted as wide as 1.85:1, large portions of the end credits drift off the screen no matter how you mat them. If we're going by the blocking of the end credits, then this movie was not intended to be matted at all, but it still seems just so odd to me... why would an American theatrical movie in 1956 with a seasoned DP like Roe at the helm have such an ambiguous aspect ratio? Could the end credits' blocking have been a mistake, and the film was truly meant to be matted? If the film wasn't intended to be matted, would it have been matted in theaters anyway? As 1.85:1 had become the non-anamorphic standard by September 1956, would most theaters have shown the film in that ratio regardless? I know the film premiered at Loew's State Theatre on April 27 1956... would they, or very many other theaters, have still possessed the old lenses and masking plates necessary to show the movie in 1.37:1, assuming that is the film's intended ratio after all?I really appreciate the work you've put into debunking unsubstantiated claims, all by researching and presenting period documents as evidence. In film restoration, the scientific method is always preferable to rumors, speculation, revisionism and denial of the facts. A thousand thanks!
     
  20. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank you very much Allen, I appreciate your kind comments.

    GODZILLA was always intended for standard ratio presentation domestically. Here's the original listing from the May 12, 1956 issue of Boxoffice.

    So far as how it was presented, I would suspect Loew's State - being a flagship house - would still have had the proper lens and aperture plates to run it as recommended by Embassy-Toho in 1.37:1.

    Godzilla 5.12.56.jpg
     
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