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Anomorphic Filming - Dying?


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35 replies to this topic

#1 of 36 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 23 2003 - 03:34 PM

I was a bit curious about something, I am not trying to start another Super 35 debate. But it seems like so many more 2.35:1 films are being done in Super 35 and not so much anomorphically anymore. I know that there are reasons to use Super 35, but it seems like anamorphic is slowly dying. Anyone have any insight into this?
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#2 of 36 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted March 23 2003 - 04:05 PM

Well, I think things are changing on some fronts...documentaries are becoming more prominent and virtually all of them are shot digitally. A lot of them are done in the Academy ratio (4:3) and a few in 16x9. Could cost or perceived easier handling of non-anamorphic cameras be the reason?
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#3 of 36 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 23 2003 - 04:16 PM

I don't know, I'm really looking to get some insight. I know there are reasons that Super 35 is necessary nowadays, but one could argue that it really is fake widescreen, not that it matters so much I guess. But I would be a bit saddened if Everything went to Super 35
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#4 of 36 OFFLINE   BarryS

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Posted March 23 2003 - 05:15 PM

This seems to be the case. Nowadays, more often than not movies are shot for 1.85:1. 2.35:1 movies are usually Super35, so it does seem that anamorphic formats like Panavision are going the way of the Dodo. Of all the films nominated for major Academy Awards this year, only Pedro Almodovar's Talk To Her and Phillip Noyce's The Quiet American are anamorphic scope films.

#5 of 36 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted March 24 2003 - 01:50 AM

Perhaps 65mm should make a revival. One can have greater depth of focus with it, if that's a concern.

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#6 of 36 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted March 24 2003 - 01:58 AM

If Michael Coate is lurking, he may have some statistics on this, because he actually keeps track of such things. My own impression is that there are just as many scope films as always, but there are more 2.35:1 films, so the scope films represent a smaller percentage.

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#7 of 36 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:07 AM

[quote] Nowadays, more often than not movies are shot for 1.85:1. [quote]

I wouldn't mind that one bit. This way I could fill my 16x9 screen whether it is anamorphically enhanced or not.

#8 of 36 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 24 2003 - 08:55 AM

"My own impression is that there are just as many scope films as always, but there are more 2.35:1 films, so the scope films represent a smaller percentage." I'm not sure I'm following what you are trying to say
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#9 of 36 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted March 24 2003 - 09:11 AM

He seems to be saying that the number of films shot using anamorphic lenses isn't falling; the number of films using a 2.35:1 aspect ratio is rising. It gives the appearance that filming in scope is falling in popularity, when it really isn't.
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#10 of 36 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted March 24 2003 - 09:14 AM

That's not what I "seem" to be saying; it's what I said. Posted Image

Again, I have no hard statistics, but my impression is:

1. There are just as many (if not more) films being shot with scope lenses today as there were, say, 15 years ago.

2. Today, however, there are many more films being framed for 2.35:1 using Super 35 that, in the past, might well have been framed for 1.85:1, because budgetary or technical constraints would have dictated against the use of anamorphic lenses. This is most noticeable among independent and low budget productions, but it can also affect big studio films (James Cameron is the most famous example, but there are others, including Scorsese).

3. Accordingly, the total number of films framed for 2.35:1 is greater than it used to be. But the number of such films shot with anamorphic lenses hasn't seen a similar increase.

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#11 of 36 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 24 2003 - 03:41 PM

Interesting that Spielberg shot MINORITY REPORT for 2.35:1, the first of his films in that ratio since the RAIDERS series, if I'm not mistaken.

#12 of 36 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted March 24 2003 - 03:50 PM

You're forgetting Hook. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Posted Image

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#13 of 36 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

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Posted March 24 2003 - 04:17 PM

[quote] Of all the films nominated for major Academy Awards this year, only Pedro Almodovar's Talk To Her and Phillip Noyce's The Quiet American are anamorphic scope films. [quote]
A shorter list than you think. The Quiet American was shot in Super 35 (despite what the IMDB tech page says. It is in error.)

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#14 of 36 OFFLINE   BarryS

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Posted March 24 2003 - 06:09 PM

Yes, Hook was Spielberg's last Panavision film. Unfortunate, though, since he almost always used to shoot in Panavision, until (I suppose) the advent of home video. The widescreen photography on such films as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark is beautiful. It's sad to see him give it up.

#15 of 36 OFFLINE   Kevin Korom

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Posted March 25 2003 - 12:54 AM

My understanding of Super35's current popularity is it lacks the optical distortions of anamorphic lenses. These optical issues raise havoc when adding CGI effects ala Harry Potter, LOTR, etc. You'd have to duplicate these effects in the digital domain, substantially increasing the difficulty of CGI production...
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#16 of 36 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted March 25 2003 - 01:42 AM

Yep until digital effects progress to the stage where the use of anamorphic lens is not a concern this trend will continue.
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#17 of 36 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:33 AM

What about if more films were shot digitally, such as Lucas did in ATOC. What is the principle there? Are there hard ARs for digital filming? I know ATOC was not shot in a matted widescreen format, since the FF version full blown P&S (Although I have never seen the FF version of this movie, I remember a comparison on the "Star Wars" website) Or, would 2.35:1 films shot digitally also have to utilize the anamorphic process? "The widescreen photography on such films as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark is beautiful. It's sad to see him give it up." I hope he decides not to break tradition and go Panavision for Indy 4
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#18 of 36 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:36 AM

[quote] Or, would 2.35:1 films shot digitally also have to utilize the anamorphic process? [quote]

So far, the only usage I know of of anamorphic lenses on digital cameras was for the dance sequences of Dancer in the Dark. The lenses were custom-made and were far from perfect, as any shaking caused some pretty bad distortion.

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#19 of 36 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:46 AM

Another reason so many widescreen films are shot in Super 35 is because there's no lack of lenses to choose from, and they're expendable during action scene shoots. Anamorphic lenses are simply too rare and expensive to be exposed to such hazardous conditions.

#20 of 36 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 26 2003 - 12:53 AM

"Another reason so many widescreen films are shot in Super 35 is because there's no lack of lenses to choose from, and they're expendable during action scene shoots. Anamorphic lenses are simply too rare and expensive to be exposed to such hazardous conditions." Would you even need anamorphic lenses if you shot digitally, or can the amamorphic distortion be done by the digital camera itself?
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