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Aspect Ratio Documentation

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    Both the theatrical and the extended versions of "Carnival Of Souls" on Criterion's 2-DVD set are 1.33:1. They look right to me, for what that's worth.
     
  2. James 'Tiger' Lee

    James 'Tiger' Lee Second Unit

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    I think Carnival is 16mm...
     
  3. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    For those that can view cross-eyed 3-D, here's a little GOG treat for you.


    If not, just look at those faded frames from the one side compared to the exact same left/right bottom frame after Greg Kintz does his amazing restoration work.


    MoreColor_CE_3D.


    MoreColor_2D.


    With additional dirt/damage clean-up by Thad Komorowski (http://www.thadkomorowski.com/portfolio/digital-restoration/) GOG will truly look better than ever before!
     
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  4. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    The Beaver has some screencaps up for a restoration/reissue of Milos Forman's The Fireman's Ball, from Arrow Video, who have chosen to issue it full-frame. However, all the caps have ample room up top, and many of them have a lot of room down below too. Admitting that screencaps are not the best way to judge, even so, this seems to me wrong. Even if Czechoslovakia was still showing films in 1.37 in 1967 -- though Russia wasn't, as witness Bondarchuk's massive War & Peace, completed in 1966 -- Forman would surely have been aware that internationally, it would be projected at least in the 1.66 ratio, and possibly even in 1.85. I attach a couple of the Beaver's caps, with the European 1.66 marked, and the North American 1.85. To my eye, the shot of the women is clearly composed with at least 1.66 in mind.


    large_the_firemens_ball_X06_blu-ray_.

    large_the_firemens_ball_subs_blu-ray_.
     
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  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I thought the same exact thing when I saw the caps.
     
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  6. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    That's a bit like saying that flat Hollywood productions should be presented full-frame because that's how they would have been shown in Eastern Europe at the time. Many pre-widescreen films can be cropped to 1.66 and look just fine. And War and Peace was shot in 70mm.
     
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  7. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Er, no it isn't like saying that at all. If, by the late 1960s, 1.37:1 was still the de facto Eastern European and Russian theatrical exhibition ratio then maybe so. But we already know that it wasn't. Looks like Arrow have boobed.
     
  8. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    On the basis of what? Everything I've read says that Russia and most of Eastern Europe (aside from Poland) retained 1.37 up until at least the 1970s and into the 1980s, excepting scope and 70mm films, of course.
     
  9. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    First Spaceship on Venus, DDR (East German) film, shot in 2.35:1 in 1961. So the question then would be: was it shot for export only? Seems doubtful, to me at any rate. Plus, eastern bloc countries did show western films, some of them, some of the time, so their projectionists would need to be equipped properly for flat (1.85 & 1.66) widescreen and for anamorphic. War & Peace (2.35) was also a huge deal, designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, meaning that theatres would need to be set up to show it, even in 35mm prints. My original point was a little smaller, however, that Forman and his DP, based on the screen caps, appear to have composed so as to have the image protected in (at least). It would be better, of course, to see things in motion, to see whether the DP tilts up to keep heads within the widescreen frame line.


    As to normative ratios in the East, I've followed this thread since the beginning, and it's now so huge that I can't honestly remember whether or not anyone has posted documentation on this; hence my original post.
     
  10. seangood79

    seangood79 Stunt Coordinator

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    I showed a print of Loves of a Blonde a few years ago, the Criterion DVD and film cans said 1.37. But for the hell of it I teched the first reel in 1.66. I thought it framed nicely with camera movements keeping bodies in frame, but the subtitles were getting cropped, so it played in Academy.
    Still, my opinion is not as good as documentation or Milos Forman's word, which I have yet to see.
    The Criterion website doesn't say it's director approved transfer. Does anyone know differently?
    What about the Arrow disc?
     
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  11. KMR

    KMR Stunt Coordinator

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    Of course, what a video transfer presents as "full frame" may not actually be that. You can't necessarily determine what the upper and lower margins of a widescreen version (any aspect ratio) would be, *IF* you don't also know how zoomed-in is the version you're looking at.
     
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  12. Gary Couzens

    Gary Couzens Stunt Coordinator

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    I posted this as post #5933 but talking of East/Central European aspect ratios, I'll repost it below for convenience:
     
  13. Gary Couzens

    Gary Couzens Stunt Coordinator

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    I just asked this question of a certain person involved in this release, and he says that the ratio of The Fireman's Ball is cinematographer-approved. The one for Closely Observed Trains (also 1.37:1) is both director- and cinematographer-approved.
     
  14. Gary Couzens

    Gary Couzens Stunt Coordinator

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    And the same certain person (Michael Brooke, in case you couldn't guess) has just sent over the transfer info from the booklet (some of the paragraph spacing has disappeared in the cut/paste):


    ABOUT THE RESTORATION The Firemen’s Ball was restored in 4K resolution by the Czech National Film Archive, under the supervision of the film’s original cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček. The primary aim of the restoration team was to achieve the appearance of the film as it was screened during its first run in the Czechoslovak distribution in 1967 and 1968. Historical research revolved around three key questions: the film stock that was used for distribution copies (Orwocolor, from East Germany), the aspect ratio of the projected image (1.37:1, or Academy ratio), and whether this initial version included an onscreen explanation that the film was not intended to offend firemen (this turned out to have been added to distribution copies in March 1968). The original materials for the restoration were from the NFA and from the laboratories of Barrandov Studios, and carefully examined to establish which contained the best image and sound quality. The data for the images was generally taken from the original negative, with a few exceptions. When the technical state of the negative turned out to be too poor, the intermediate positive was used. Both elements were scanned in 4K and 10-bit color depth. The resulting digital intermediate went through a simulation of the original laboratory procedure for the setting of colours in distribution copies. The original 1967 Orwocolor copy served as a reference, and the restoration team and Miroslav Ondříček made the final assessment during a calibrated screening and comparison of the 35mm copy and the new digital version. Marks from mechanical damage and dirt were also removed – first automatically through the computer software, and then on a much greater scale manually. Digitisation of the sound started from the optical soundtrack on a 2009 copy held by the film laboratories in Zlín and from the preserved magnetic tapes at Barrandov Laboratories. While magnetic tapes are usually preferable as a source material for digitisation, in the case of The Firemen’s Ball, only one fifth of the whole film survived in usable form (i.e. as a complete sound mix), and so the optical soundtrack from the 2009 copy was used for the greater part of the restoration. During the digitising process, the parts that originated from the optical soundtrack turned out to be especially in need of considerable modification, generally in the form of noise reduction and the elimination of unwanted sounds caused by damage to the element. Sibilants and a few distorted points were treated individually. The final mix was spectrally and dynamically unified so that the use of different source materials was not audible. The film was restored with the participation of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the National Film Archive of Prague, and Czech Movies Foundation. The restoration took place at Universal Production Partners (UPP) and Soundsquare, and the following people participated in the project: NFA: Michal Bregant, Jitka Kohoutová, Vladimír Opěla, Jeanne Pommeau, Jana Přikrylová UPP: Jiří Čvančara, Ivo Marák, Jan Zahradníček Soundsquare: Marek Klasna, Pavel Rejholec FAMU and Association of Czech Cinematographers: Marek Jícha, Jiří Myslík Plus: Anna Batistová, Tereza Frodlová, Miloslav Novák
     
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  15. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    I would strongly suggest in the future that Central and Eastern European films be viewed before accusations are thrown at the labels putting them out in 1.37:1, as has previously been gone over in this thread, the rules that applied to the US, UK and much of Western Europe during this period simply do not apply to them.


    I have The Fireman's Ball but I haven't watched it yet, though I have watched Criterion's Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and can assure all that it is composed 1.37:1.

    It was, along with 'Scope. Same applies to Japan.
     
  16. revgen

    revgen Screenwriter

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    I was looking at the DVDBeaver caps of Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine yesterday, and the image on the Blu-Ray has the appearance of being vertically stretched. The AR of the blu-ray is 2:35. On a hunch, I decided to resize the images to 2:55 AR. The 2:55 images look more naturual to my eyes.

    Unfortunately, I have no access to studio documention or other sources to know what the proper ratio for the film is.

    Here are the original and resized caps. Click to view full-size images. What are your thoughts?

    2:35 (Blu-Ray)

    [​IMG]

    2:55 (Resize)

    [​IMG]

    2:35 (Blu-Ray)

    [​IMG]

    2:55 (Resize)

    [​IMG]

    2:35 (Blu-Ray)

    [​IMG]

    2:55 (Resize)

    [​IMG]

    2:35 (Blu-Ray)

    [​IMG]

    2:55 (Resize)

    [​IMG]

    2:35 (Blu-Ray)

    [​IMG]

    2:55 (Resize)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Didn't that vertical stretching appear on a DVD release of Bikini Machine few years back?
     
  18. revgen

    revgen Screenwriter

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    Good question Charles. I rented the DVD from Netflix a long time ago. I don't remember if it was vertically stretched. I do remember the picture quality looking terrible.
     
  19. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    I just noticed that while this alleges that there were three key questions, it never ANSWERS the question about projected aspect ratio, and I suspect that is because, in 1966, the film-makers knew very well that it would be projected widescreen in most of the world, so they protected for that.
     
  20. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    The questions have been answered, and you can find the answers in the brackets next to the questions (the third one makes this explicitly clear)! It's hardly a difficult question to answer anyway when you have the DP on hand to supervise the restoration*. You think whilst they were sat in the screening room with the DP, meticulously going over the colour, that he just decided to keep mum about the aspect ratio being wrong? Or that no one would have clarified this with him? It being one of the questions they were most concerned about!


    *He also supervised the previous transfer as well, and Milos Forman approved it. Nor is he in the habit of playing revisionist, as he was quite happy to approve the widescreen transfer of If....
     
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