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Academy Ratio question


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Mike_Heggemann

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Posted March 25 2003 - 06:35 AM

I posted the following comments/questions in another forum I frequent and got no answers or comments. I thought I would try here as well.

Here goes (BTW This is my first post, so if this question should go elsewhere, let me know or feel free to move it)...

Ok, I understand aspect ratios, but I don't understand this:

Most early movies were shot Academy Ratio, which was actually 1.37:1, they get shown on TV at 1.33:1 - so technically speaking, when these movies are released on DVD at 1:33:1, they should be listed as "Modified to fit your screen".

A case in point:
Talk of the Town - was filmed at 1.37:1, is on DVD at 1.33:1, and the back of the DVD says "Modified to fit your screen"

The Thin Man - was filmed at 1.37:1, is on DVD at 1.33:1, the back of the DVD says it is in its original theatrical ratio.

There seems to be no "standard" for the way companies label this. Why not? Or is it just accepted practice that 1.37:1 really means 1.33:1?
Michael G. Heggemann

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted March 25 2003 - 06:47 AM

With such a small difference in ratio, any noticeable change would disappear in the TV set's overscan.

-Scott

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Charlie Essmeier

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:21 AM

1.33:1 and 1.37:1 are essentially the same. The audio track takes up part of the 1.37:1 frame, yielding 1.33:1 as the result.

As others have pointed out, the difference between 1.33:1 and 1.37:1 is so negligible that I can't believe we're even spending time on the topic.

Charlie

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:26 AM

Quote:
1.33:1 and 1.37:1 are essentially the same. The audio track takes up part of the 1.37:1 frame, yielding 1.33:1 as the result.


You've got it backwards. In the days of silent films, 4-perf 35mm film had an exposed aperture of 1.33:1 (this is still the exposed aperture for Super35 productions). When sound-on-film was developed, the 1.33:1 frame was re-standardized to 1.37:1. Sound films done in the Academy Ratio have already had part of the film covered by the soundtrack, and there is no additional loss of the frame due to the soundtrack. Getting a 1.33:1 frame from a 1.37:1 sound film has nothing to do with losing part of the frame because of the soundtrack.

DJ

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Mike_Heggemann

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:35 AM

Quote:
the difference between 1.33:1 and 1.37:1 is so negligible that I can't believe we're even spending time on the topic.

I know that the difference is neglible - but my real question is why some companies bother to label them as "modified to fit your screen" when, for all intents and purposes, they are not modified.

I would think that they would not want to muddy the already confusing Aspect Ratio issue by bothering to put the "modified to fit your screen" on Academy Ratio movies.

For example: there are some "purists" (for want of a better word) who refuse to buy movies on DVD that are "modified" - what's to say that an uninformed "purist" wouldn't see the "modified to fit your screen" on the DVD and refuse to buy it just for that reason?

In other words, why increase the confusion in an already confused customer base?
Michael G. Heggemann

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:48 AM

Quote:
In other words, why increase the confusion in an already confused customer base?


Because the packaging is done by an equally-confused marketing department, and is not guided by some solid rule derived from film experts.

DJ

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted March 25 2003 - 08:20 AM

There are several DVD packages out there of letterboxed movies that say "modified to fit your TV," which clearly isn't true. There are others that incorrectly state the aspect ratio. So I wouldn't read too much into that statement being there. Never trust the packaging.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Mike_Heggemann

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:51 AM

Quote:
Never trust the packaging.
You mean like some of the packaging from Artisan Home Entertainment?

For example - the Doppelganger DVD I just pulled off my shelf that tells me that it is both "Formatted from its original version to fit your screen" AND is "Presented in the original 1.33:1 format!!!
Michael G. Heggemann


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