What's new

Edwin-S

Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
9,020
The other thing with digital IMAX was cheaper installation costs which allowed them to reach markets where a standard IMAX screen just wasn't economically feasible.
 

sbjork

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
182
Real Name
Stephen
You'll occasionally find a filmmaker who will sound off when they're unhappy with the way their movie was released on home video, but I suspect in a lot of cases they fear biting the hand the feeds them and opt to keep their mouth shut. So unless you hear affirmative confirmation that the video release is correct ("Yes, this is exactly the way I want it!"), in most other cases we may never know who made the decision or why.

There's something missing there -- it may well be true that in a lot of cases a director wouldn't want to bite the hand the hand that feeds them, but the reality is that in a lot of cases, the director simply doesn't care. Those of us who are obsessed every last bit of technical minutiae (and I'm one of that group) sometimes forget that filmmakers don't necessarily care as much as we do. I did a review of a director's cut UHD where I couldn't find any information online about cameras used, shooting formats, or what kind of DI was involved. I was able to get a hold of the director, but he openly admitted to not being a technically-minded person, and he really didn't know. He gave me the email address for his DP, and the funny part was that even the DP said that he wasn't really a technical person. I had to go back and forth with him a bit, and even had to read between the lines and make an educated guess on something (the DI) where he wasn't really clear.

Not only that, but the director wasn't even aware of the fact that his commentary track from the non-director's cut wasn't included, or that some of the features from the previous disc had been shortened. This was a physical media release of a movie near and dear to the director's heart, but he didn't pay attention to it because he just wasn't a home theatre person.

That's not the only time that I've had conversations like that, either. There are plenty of directors who sweat bullets over the technical presentations of their films on home video, but in some cases, we worry more about the director's intent than the actual director does.
 

Edwin-S

Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
9,020
The aspect ratio of the UHD release became a topic of discussion, due to the lack of a VAR release on the disc.
 

Wayne Klein

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
113
While your argument comes from a good place, the flagging sales of physical media, coupled with the added discs that would be needed to present all possible versions for some of these movies, really render this a fiscally unpalatable option for studios, some of whom are already on the fence about whether they should continue investing in delivering physical items to a shrinking consumer base.

I think the argument about "theatrical/original aspect ratio", "director's intent" etc. needs to evolve to account for current times.

Yes there was a time when things were black and white. Things were shot in 1.66, 1.85, 2.35 to 1 (etc.) and then unceremoniously chopped off (or in a minority of cases, opened up) to fit on a 4:3 TV. Back then, it was simple. Give us how it was shot and presented theatrically.

What many forget is that one of the big reasons Hollywood went to wider screens was to get butts back into seats, to draw people away from their TVs. Remember earliest films were shot in 1.33:1 which is why TVs followed that format.

Well Hollywood needed to get butts back in seats again with the mass proliferation of DVDs, BDs and large screen TVs that became more affordable in the early 2000s onwards. 65" TVs used to be the domain of the HT aficionado. Now I know new houses that come with 65" TVs pre-mounted onto the walls. IMAX ratios was one of the results of that strategy to give people a reason to come back to the theaters. So for films shot in VAR, is there truly an OAR? Can a Director have more than one intent?

To the latter, I'd say yes. Many (most? all?) who shoot in VAR are shooting it to be safely conveyed in normal theaters that lack the ability to show VAR, and for places that have the various iterations of IMAX (I'm not fully conversant in IMAX theaters but I know some have been labeled as "faux" vs. real IMAX). It's no longer black and white as to what OAR is, or even Director's Intent, IMHO.

While I'd love a "here's all the possible ways it was shown" version as Edwin espouses, the realist in me knows it's not going to happen due to the economics of it all. As much as it pains me (and my several thousand strong physical movie collection) to say this, the answer may lie in streaming options.

One thing I will say Disney has done well is presenting the ability to watch IMAX enhanced (yes it's not the true full IMAX aspect ratio, but rather an in between state designed to mostly fill our 16x9 screens) or the fixed aspect ratio version.
Well Curse of Frankenstein was released by Warner Archive in multiple aspect ratios and that wasn’t exactly a new release. Seems to me it would be a selling point with A Smaller market.
 

Edwin-S

Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
9,020
I bought the 4K of DUNE, but it took some time to decide to do that. If the package had contained the 3D version then it would have been a no brainer to purchase it. In fact, I would be buying a lot more UHD releases if they contained the 3D version of a film; however, studios have decided they don't want that money.

Disney is a good example. I would buy 4K releases of their films if 3D versions were in the box. They don't, so why would I purchase a 4K 2D version that is already on D+? There is no point in doing so.
 

Vincent_P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
Messages
2,074
Re: the film-out and people suggesting they should have filmed out to 65mm instead-

The film-out was done to an extremely fine-grain, extremely slow (1 ASA!) Kodak intermediate film stock. The intention was to emulate the grain structure of having shot the entire film on IMAX negative stocks (which for most productions would often mean 500 ASA filmstock being used for many scenes, and I believe the slowest Kodak camera negative stock is 50 ASA sunlight-balanced), and after extensive tests, they found that outputting to that 1 ASA intermediate stock in 35mm and rescanning it in 4K gave it that "IMAX grain structure" look. Given how insanely slow and fine-grained that 1 ASA stock is, I doubt anything would have been gained by doing a film out to a larger version of that stock.

Re: the IMAX versions, some of the effects shots are actually *wider* in the 'Scope version. The IMAX versions of those shots are "cropped" left/right. Now, these shots were *composed* so that the main, important picture info would fit in the 1.44:1 center, but they were rendered out at a full 'Scope aspect ratio with "extra image" at the sides, basically the opposite of what usually happens with IMAX presentations ("opened up" left/right here as opposed to top and bottom).

Vincent
 

noel aguirre

Premium
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
1,092
Location
New York City
Real Name
noel
Watching the 3D blu- ray I just received from Amazon and it is EXCELLENT. Like watching a different film compared to the 2D- the conversion is excellent- bright, sharp and really makes it more engaging. Eventually I will buy the 4K- like next Black Friday.
 

Rob W

Screenwriter
Joined
May 23, 1999
Messages
1,020
Real Name
Robert
The other thing with digital IMAX was cheaper installation costs which allowed them to reach markets where a standard IMAX screen just wasn't economically feasible.

IMAX had no choice but to go digital once they transitioned their business model to Hollywood features on two or three week runs . Only a very few locations could generate enough revenue to cover the insanely high cost to produce IMAX feature film prints which cost 10-15 times that of 35mm prints.
 

Rich Vincent

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
Messages
9
There have been discussions regarding aspects ratios as long as there have been publications and websites devoted to home theatre. The problem all of them seem to lose sight of when it comes to formats like Cinerama and IMAX, is they are not about the aspect ratio. They are about the experience

Both formats were intended to go beyond the field of vision. In the case of Cinerama, the point was to surround the viewer with the image and "tickle the peripheral vision". The height of IMAX was intended to have the sky extend above the viewer just as it does in real life.

Indeed, traditional IMAX framing calls for the screen to be divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Thus the top third is just supposed to be sky or whatever else would rise above the viewer. The center of interest should be in the center third. This requires the camera to pull back.

There is simply no way those experiences can be replicated on a home theatre video screen. All you end up with is a smaller center of interest.
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
8,437
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
There have been discussions regarding aspects ratios as long as there have been publications and websites devoted to home theatre. The problem all of them seem to lose sight of when it comes to formats like Cinerama and IMAX, is they are not about the aspect ratio. They are about the experience

Both formats were intended to go beyond the field of vision. In the case of Cinerama, the point was to surround the viewer with the image and "tickle the peripheral vision". The height of IMAX was intended to have the sky extend above the viewer just as it does in real life.

Indeed, traditional IMAX framing calls for the screen to be divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Thus the top third is just supposed to be sky or whatever else would rise above the viewer. The center of interest should be in the center third. This requires the camera to pull back.

There is simply no way those experiences can be replicated on a home theatre video screen. All you end up with is a smaller center of interest.

While the rest of what you say is true enough (w/ perhaps some exceptions), opening up to 16x9 (for the IMAX sequences) wouldn't actually make the center of interest smaller.

Ultimately, the best way to approach it is probably to provide the shifting AR as an user-selectable option... probably via seamless branching if the IMAX sequences don't add up to too much running time (to require too much space on the disc)... It shouldn't need to be either-or...

_Man_
 

sbjork

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
182
Real Name
Stephen
While the rest of what you say is true enough (w/ perhaps some exceptions), opening up to 16x9 (for the IMAX sequences) wouldn't actually make the center of interest smaller.

Ultimately, the best way to approach it is probably to provide the shifting AR as an user-selectable option... probably via seamless branching if the IMAX sequences don't add up to too much running time (to require too much space on the disc)... It shouldn't need to be either-or...

_Man_
Everyone's mileage may vary, but I've always found that opening up from 2:35:1/2:20:1 to 1.78:1 still produces a different psychological effect than watching an entire film in 1.78:1/1:85:1. Because it's opening up from the narrower horizontal image, it looks "bigger"than it really is. You still get some of the sensation of extra height like in a full 15/70 presentation with mixed ratios, albeit much less so. It may just be my brain playing tricks on me, but that's what it does. So I'm fully in favor of getting the IMAX footage opened up to 1.78:1 on UHD.

Mind you, I'm only talking about a larger projection screen here. I think that effect will probably be insignificant or even non-existent on a smaller flat panel.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
349,596
Messages
4,885,415
Members
142,627
Latest member
tskogg
Recent bookmarks
0
Top