Aspect Ratios

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Hershel_S, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Hershel_S

    Hershel_S Auditioning

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    I am very much looking forward to the upcoming article on aspect ratios.
    I have always thought that wide screen movies began in the early 50's (CinemaScope) by 20th Century Fox to get people back into the theatres and away from that new thing at home called Television.
    However, recently I saw a restored version of a 1930 film called THE BIG TRAIL starring John Wayne.
    I looked it up on the Internet Movie Database website (www.imdb.com) and under Technical Specs, it says it was filmed in 70mm 2.1:1 ratio! In 1930??
    I hope the background article on this topic will cover some of these very early efforts at wide screen films that took at least a couple more decades to catch on.
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    We'll attempt to lightly cover the early wide screen, which goes back a full century. Stay tuned.

    And welcome to the forum.

    RAH
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The Big Trail was one of the very first sound 65mm films. (Biograph used 70mm and other wide gauges in the 1910's for a limited time) It was in fact shot on normal 35mm at the same time to allow all theaters to show it.

    The aspect ratio was 2.13:1 due to the sound being on the film as an optical Movietone track. Later 65mm/70mm films had the 2.21:1 aspect ratio due to the entire picture area being used and the sound being on magnetic tracks around the sprocket holes.

    Also, the "other" 1930 65mm production worth mentioning is The Bat Whispers. It was supposedly the inspiration for Batman...and has since been restored due to funds from none other than Hugh Hefner. (It too was filmed on 35mm at the same time...The Bat Whispers, not Hefner.)
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You mean ... 2001 wasn't the first widescreen film ever? [​IMG]
     
  6. Hershel_S

    Hershel_S Auditioning

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    Patrick, Vince and Robert Harris,
    Thanks for the replies and the info you are providing. It's an area of movie craftsmanship I love reading about.
    Vince - I'll check out the sites you referred me to, thanks.
    Thanks for welcoming me to the forum.
    I'm one of "those" who always wished for those "black bars" years ago (not saying how many) before home video was born and my family and friends looked at me with a strange look. I knew one day I would be redeemed..but of course, they don't remember now [​IMG]
     
  7. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    Hey, my grandma played an extra in "The Big Trail". Can't point her out though.
     

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