Do Super 35 films are true widescreen films?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thik Nongyow, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a thought: do Super 35 films are true widescreen films, or they are not?
     
  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Absolutly! Either anamorphic, or Super 35, in the end the result is the same: getting the filmmakers vision and composition on the screen.
     
  3. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    A cheap way for widescreen is to cover up the top and bottom, the zoom out. I have a 35 MM Hard Matting camera. It was about 20 bucks. Anyway, I compared the view finder in it with a regular camera and it's zoomed out some. So, I keep it on Panoramic Mode most of the time. Zooming out will restore the top and bottom that got cut off, but will also reviel a lot more width. There are better ways also.

    Do they make anamorphic lenses for them fancy 35 MM cameras? That would be cool, and you don't waste resolution. Another question is, do the places that you get them developed support anamorphic pictures?
     
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Of course. Some people consider only anamorphically acquired films to be 'true widescreen', but that is illogical. Plus, of course, there is no difference between matted uses of S35 and 1.85:1 regular 35 which is matted too. Since sound isn't recorded in-camera it makes perfect sense to expose the full width of the negative. Thus using S35 to compose 1.85:1 would actually result in an image reduction in post and distribution.
    I have been quite surprised how misunderstood S35 is by members of this forum... It's just another method filmmakers utilize. And it's hardly new, as Hitchcock used the method. If you search in the 'Movies' forum you will find much banter on the topic...
    For just one perspective on S35 for anamorphic theatrical films:
    {O Brother, Where Art Thou? was also the Coen brothers’ first experience shooting in a widescreen format (2.4:1 aspect ratio), which Deakins had suggested because of the importance of the landscapes and the epic nature of the story. He recommended shooting in the Super 35 format, in part because he liked the perspective rendered by the spherical lenses he used while filming Kundun. “Every film defines its own palette of colors and textures,” he says. “I didn’t want glossy images. The spherical lenses have the effect of pulling the audience closer to the characters; it’s more intimate [than anamorphic]. To my mind, the feeling of depth recorded on Super 35 would augment the picture-book quality of the story.”}
    http://www.cameraguild.com/interview..._o-brother.htm
    If I were to purchase a new 35mm MP camera I would have it optically aligned for S35, 3-perf movement, and fitted with a 1.78:1 ground glass. I would have the largest exposed acquisition frame possible for HD broadcast/distribution of any video, 16, or 35mm camera system, with a raw stock savings of 25%.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    If you really very TRUE widescreen, 3 panel CINERAMA is the way to go.
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  8. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    I think ANAMORPHIC Panavision and Cinemascope movies looks pretty damn good.
     
  9. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    If Super 35 films are considered widescreen films, then a statement from a staunch pro-widescreen advocate who states that Super 35 and open matted films are not "true" widescreen is wrong?
    http://www.widescreen.org/faq.shtml#21
    (link courtesy of the Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page)
    I would like to mention that the advocate said in his FAQ that directors who release Super 35 or open matted films and call them "widescreen" are "hypocrites." He also refuses to use Super 35 and open matted films as widescreen or pan and scan examples.
     
  10. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Why are we even debating this issue? We all know perfectly well that it's not the WIDTH of the screen that matters, it's the COMPOSITION within it.

    If this were not the case, we would have to exclude films composed for 4x3 because they certaintly are not "wide". But that doesn't make their framing and composition any less important than films shot in the 2.35:1 AR.

    Bottom line, the ratio doesn't matter, it's how it's used. A film shot for 4x3 can look just as artistically pleasing than a film shot anamorphically.
     
  11. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    An argument over what constitutes "true" widescreen is largely a waste of time, because the term "widescreen" is becoming less and less useful. It begs the question -- "wide" in relation to what? Movies have been made in many different "widths", and now even video display devices offer a choice of "widths". That is one of the many reasons why, here at HTF, we prefer the term "Original Aspect Ratio" or "OAR".

    M.
     
  13. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    I wholly agree regarding OAR Michael, and John...
    But IMO such S35 queries are comparative to the same or similar ARs acquired otherwise. My posts on the topic are always in that technical context, as I have clearly stated time and time again that no AR is inherently better than another.
    Thus, if we were comparing S35 1.33:1 to other methods, I would be pointing out that S35 offers a larger exposable 4:3 aperture than regular 35mm, and is therefore a technically superior method of acquisition... Yadda, yadda, yadda... [​IMG]
     
  14. Tom Ryan

    Tom Ryan Screenwriter

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    It seems to me that widescreen should be anything that's composed for a width that is greater than 1.33:1. After all, widescreen is a relative term, right, it only makes sense in reference to the shape of a tv. It shouldn't matter how the material is shot; as long as it's composed for a frame that's wider than 1.33:1 then it should classify as widescreen. That's my rudimentary understanding of this issue.
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think of Super-35 films exactly as flat, or 1.66:1/1.78:1/1.85:1 films, which should be matted to allow the best composition.

    In fact, the prime thing to do with Super-35 is to use it for 1.85:1 presentation. You get more resolution, plus less picture wasted at 3 perf frame height (which is close to 1.78:1 on film).

    Super-35 can be an asset or a nightmare, depending on how it's used properly.
     

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