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Q re: Motion Picture Framing


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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Rob LoVerde

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Posted March 26 2009 - 12:39 PM

I've noticed that there are many films that were shot "full-frame", 1.33:1, yet are matted for a different exposure when viewed by the audience (1.66, 1.78, 1.85, etc.) for good reasons, I'm sure.

My question is: How do you know when a film has been shot at 1.33:1 and, therefore, has more coverage when seen that in that framing, as opposed to being "cropped" and matted for a wider framing?

Stanley Kubrick films like "The Shining" come to mind, where you actually see more in 1.33:1. Is there a simple way to determine which other films are like that without having been a part of the production?

Thanks to anyone who answers.

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted March 26 2009 - 01:03 PM

When I used to run projection at a megaplex in my law school days, several films would come with instructions in terms of what ratio they were to be projected at. Eventually, I got to the point where I could frame films shot flat (as opposed to scope) by sight. The practice to which you are referring is called "soft matting" or "protecting". Even so, many films shot soft matte would have equipment protruding into the frame, which would be your best clue when trying to figure out the framing (look out for boom mikes). The Disney films from the 60s would have instructions printed into the leader of each reel (project @ 1.75:1, for example).

The Kubrick films have been a source of hot debate around here, but production sketches have recently surfaced for The Shining showing that the intended ratio was 1.85:1. See here: http://img.photobuck....rt/shining.jpg
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Rob LoVerde

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Posted March 26 2009 - 05:52 PM

Thank you for your reply...that's great information.

Oh yes, I saw that in the STANLEY KUBRICK ARCHIVES book. Amazing!

By the way, I totally dig your signature. Posted Image