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Aspect Ratio Documentation


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#4861 of 5632 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted July 11 2014 - 08:38 AM

How exactly would you crop to 1.85 credits and an opening scene that was window boxed?



#4862 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 11:20 AM

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I just posted this information in another thread and wanted to share it here.

 

The first release with a mag/optical track was KISMET on December 23, 1955.

 

It wasn't until April 1957 that the practice became standard with the release of BOY ON A DOLPHIN on April 10, 1957.

 

Fox also had mag/optical prints available in April 1957 on THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES.

 

Mag-optical-Kismet.gif

 

Mag-optical-Bus-Stoop.gif

 

Magop2.gif


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#4863 of 5632 ONLINE   EddieLarkin

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Posted July 11 2014 - 11:47 AM

Unfortunately Fox did Bus Stop at 2.55:1 on the Blu-ray. The opening titles are not centered, but shifted to the right now.



#4864 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 11:55 AM

It began shooting in mid-March 1956 so the action should be composed for 2.55:1. Does it look correct?


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#4865 of 5632 ONLINE   EddieLarkin

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Posted July 11 2014 - 01:31 PM

I didn't notice the date on the clipping you posted earlier. Odd that they claimed Bus Stop will be photographed to project with the new standard, 6 months after Bus Stop had already started shooting (and after it had already premiered?!)! I imagine the titles were centered for 2.35:1 projection, but the action is 2.55:1 as you say. This cap demonstrates this well:

 

http://www.blu-ray.c...2428&position=4

 

The divider in the window at the rear of the bus is dead centered.

 

Then again, if mag/optical tracks first appeared in Dec 55, isn't it possible Bus Stop was photographed 2.35:1, and the October memo was referring to it in retrospect? What did the trades recommend?



#4866 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 01:48 PM

The August 18, 1956 Boxoffice review lists 2.55:1.

 

I believe the Fox memo is referring to future release prints. It's odd they would reference a film that had been in release for several months.


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#4867 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 02:38 PM

BUS STOP finished shooting in late May, 1956.

 

In the June issue of International Projectionist:

 

Mag-Optical-June-1956.gif

 

On June 14, Variety reported:

 

 

Engineers at 20th-Fox are still working to perfect the combination optical-magnetic prints which 20th plans to put Into use starting with "Bus Stop."

 

 

The World Premiere was at the Warner Theatre in Atlantic City on August 15. It went into wide release later that month and there is no further mention of mag/optical for the film.

 

I believe, based on the June 14 report, that the system was not ready when it went into release and BUS STOP played in 2.55:1.

 

The first mag/optical release from Fox would then be BOY ON A DOLPHIN on April 10, 1957.


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#4868 of 5632 ONLINE   EddieLarkin

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Posted July 11 2014 - 02:44 PM

Well, that's good enough for me. Thanks Bob! Glad to know Fox got it right after all.

#4869 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 02:48 PM

Here is the source for this myth:

 

 

John Belton, 'Widescreen Cinema' (Cambridge, MA, Harvard UP, 1992), p. 154

 

Fox's campaign to convert the nation's exhibitors to stereo magnetic sound had proved only partially successful. Though all of the 3,234 theaters that had installed CinemaScope by April 1954 had bought stereo as part of the entire package, exhibitor resistance to Fox's stereo-only policy throughout 1953 and the spring of 1954 forced the studio to begin releasing CinemaScope films in three different versions - with monaural optical, with one-track magnetic, and with four-track magnetic soundtracks. In June 1956, in order to reduce the costs involved in striking separate optical and magnetic release prints, Fox announced that it would release all future productions, starting with Bus Stop, in a combined magnetic and optical format which was subsequently referred to as 'magoptical' and which provided both kinds of tracks on a single print.[footnote] At the same time Fox also abandoned its 'Fox hole' perforations, returning to the larger ones favoured by the majority of producers and exhibitors. However, in order to add an optical soundtrack to its revamped CinemaScope film frame, Fox was forced to reduce the picture area by 10 per cent. This step reduced the overall aspect ration from 1:2.55 to 1:2.35, which remains the current anamorphic aspect ratio for release prints in use today.

[footnote] According to Aubrey Solomon, Fox saved $3 million annually by using magoptical prints: Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (Methuen, NJ, Scarecrow Press, 1988) p. 89.

 


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#4870 of 5632 ONLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted July 11 2014 - 04:57 PM

Here is the source for this myth:

 

THAT'S IT!!!!  That's EXACTLY where I read it (I remember now  :) )



#4871 of 5632 OFFLINE   AnthonyClarke

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Posted July 11 2014 - 06:24 PM

It's actually black bars top and bottom and both sides, in other words a window within the 4.3 frame.  

Yes, I've seen that done too. But common practice here in Australia for TV broadcast was to do letter-boxing just top and bottom in a tantalising taste of widescreen. Titles finished and the screen would magically expand top and bottom to fill the complete screen .. without us having any idea how much side info was being lost.



#4872 of 5632 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted July 11 2014 - 07:59 PM

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is a prestigious and highly influential organization within the motion picture industry. From their website https://www.smpte.org/

 

The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 650 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. More than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world, sustain the Society.

 

Every year, they publish a journal outlining the important technical achievements that took place within the previous year.

 

In these publications, the SMPTE present accurate information which is not subject to hyperbole.

 

I just came across the following entry in their May 1954 Journal.

 

Wide-Report-SMPTE-5.54.gif


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#4873 of 5632 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted July 11 2014 - 08:28 PM

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I've had contact with several Mag/Optical Fox prints in the past.

To me, in the Home Cinema environment there were problems.

First, running the prints, you had to changeover to the smaller Fox Sprockets.

Secondly, the Optical track was very narrow and this led to very poor quality sound including lots of distortion.

 

Here is a sample of 35mm Mag/Optical from "South Pacific" (1958 faded Eastman)

sp1.jpg

 

[font="georgia, serif;"](The broken sprocket holes indicate this print has been incorrectly run on standard size sprockets) [/font]

 

[font="georgia, serif;"][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Doug.[/font][/font]



#4874 of 5632 ONLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted July 12 2014 - 12:08 PM

I was wondering if this was one of those scene in S.Pacific that was tinted from the get-go. Normally, with faded colour, you can bring it back somewhat, but no matter what I do with this, it retains a kind of monochromatism that seems undefeatable. Of course, I'm not an expert, but below is the best (quick) result I can get. 

 

S.Pacific shot.jpg



#4875 of 5632 ONLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted July 13 2014 - 02:06 PM

On that showing, we can state, with an appropriate certainty: that Marty was composed for 1.85; that in a context of widescreen vs full frame Mann consulted with both his bosses and other directors before embarking on his first feature; and that Kino is probably working from a zoomed in master. 

 

Thought I would "out" myself on item #3: review and screencaps are up at the BR.com site, and I have to say, it doesn't look like a zoomed-in master to me, that is, now we have new evidence, I have to ammend that statement, given that most of the screencaps show enough head-room to crop to 1.85. Of course, without a fragment of negative, it's impossible to be definitive, but it looks like it hasn't been zoomed in. 



#4876 of 5632 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted July 13 2014 - 02:14 PM

... without a fragment of negative, it's impossible to be definitive, but it looks like it hasn't been zoomed in. 

 

There is an element of cropping of the full frame; see here.


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#4877 of 5632 OFFLINE   Dr Griffin

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Posted July 13 2014 - 02:29 PM

There is an element of cropping of the full frame; see here.

 

Less information top and right.



#4878 of 5632 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted July 13 2014 - 02:36 PM

...plus a sliver more on the bottom.

 

[color=rgb(0,128,128);]Nice haircut! ;) [/color]



#4879 of 5632 OFFLINE   Dr Griffin

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Posted July 13 2014 - 02:39 PM

No way to see an actual frame from some original elements?



#4880 of 5632 ONLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted July 13 2014 - 05:17 PM

Not unless some of our projectionist, or ex-projectionist members happened at one time to clip out a souvenir frame, as has been known to have happened now and then.  :D






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