Cruel Intentions - matted?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chip_HT, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Chip_HT

    Chip_HT Second Unit

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    I was watching this film the other night, and decided to check out the FS version to see what the difference was. It looks as if the film was matted (I think this is the correct term), where it was filmed 4x3, and then cropped to make widescreen. Is this the case? I couldn't really tell, because I couldn't see both versions side by side.
     
  2. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Yes, it's matted

    However this is obviously an intentional choice by the film-makers.

    The movie has some greatly framed shots, and the full-frame version had wayyyyyyy too much headroom.

    It's also "soft-matte" which means that there's actually a little bit of information on the sides that you do get with the widescreen version.

    Hard-matte is when they film in 4:3 and just cover the top and bottom for widescreen.
     
  3. Joshua_W

    Joshua_W Second Unit

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    Almost every 1.85:1 film made is going to be matted to widescreen from a 4:3 image.
     
  4. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Sort of; when a film is "hard-matted," it's been filmed with spherical lenses, but it is matted on the film negative itself. That means the 1.85:1 (1.66:1 or whatever) area is all the picture information there is. It then has to be panned-and-scanned for a 4:3 presentation.

    "Soft-matte" means that the mattes in the aperture plate mask the top and bottom of the screen, yielding a ratio of 1.85:1 (1.66:1 in Europe). These films are usually filmed in the full 1.37:1 ratio, but intended for 1.85:1. When transferred for a 4:3 presentation, this allows for more information at the top and bottom, but there may still be some panning and scanning. There are actually relatively few straight open-matte transfers out there; there is usually some zooming in at least in some shots to cover boom mikes and other such objects.
     
  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Just a clarification. The film is not "filmed" 4:3 per say. The 4:3 negative is exposed, but the director does not frame for or even care about the area outside the widescreen frame. This clarification is necessary to counter the inevitable "well it was filmed 4:3, that is the correct aspect ratio" arguments (Kubrickian anomalies and stupid out-of-context Cameron quotes aside). I assure you, for 99% of matted movies, the widescreen image is either denoted by lines or masked off entirely in the camera view at time of filming.
     
  6. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Check out the part where Reese gets out of the pool.
     
  7. Mathieu Lalonde

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    And that is why you sometimes see a boom microphone hanging into the shot in some films; it is usually in the area outside the 1:85 frame...
     
  8. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    This statement is incorrect. Many smart D.O.P.'s and directors, while framing for 1:85 will still pay attention to the material outside this area to protect the framing for the inevitable tv and video markets where the film might be viewed open-matte, and for European markets which often run films in 1:66 .
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Chip, always remember this, it's all about the composition. It's all about how shots are framed, what is included, what is left out. Most people see what you saw and automatically assume the worst, that they're somehow being lied to about OAR and that indeed full-screen is better because you get more picture.

    A good way to look at it is this, if you were going to take a photograph of a large group of people, you must first compose the photo, place the taller people in back, shorter people in front, tell the ones on the sides to scoot in more and leave out any unwanted objects like cars or over hanging tree branches. When you snap your photo it comes out just as you wanted.

    Shooting a film or television show is no different.

    Whatever the format, Super 35, Panavision, hard-matted, soft-matted, in the end it doesn't matter, it's the composition that counts.
     

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