Oar, Oar, Oar

Terry H

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Everyone uses this term constantly but is there common agreement on what it means? Can anyone point to an authoritative source where the definition of OAR is written? Thanks.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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O.A.R. (not "oar") = "Original Aspect Ratio", that is, the ratio in which a film was originally exhibited theatrically. I'm not sure what is confusing about that.

Regards,

Joe
 

Patrick McCart

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OAR = original aspect ratio

Any ratio used for a film other than OAR, outside of filmmaker preferences, is Non-OAR. It's the Non-OAR titles you should avoid.
 

Peter Kline

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oar, as in "row, row, row your boat..." Or the name of the establishment in "Support Your Local Sheriff", i.e. "Madame's Oar House".
 

Inspector Hammer!

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One more can't hurt...

O.A.R. (Original Aspect Ratio) The aspect ratio in which a film or other mediums such as television shows are first envisioned, planned and then captured either on film or video by the filmmakers.
 

Andy_MT

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OAR = Only Aspect Ratio !!! (for the film in question)


but officially, the "Original Aspect Ratio" thing ...

perhaps someone should tell disney about it. they seem to be having trouble with this concept lately
 

Malcolm R

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One more can't hurt...
That one might.

Lots of projects are planned and "captured" on film or video in AR's other than what they are screened at (see the argument in the other thread about BTVS).

To me OAR is simply the AR of the project's original theatrical exhibition or television broadcast in its country of origin (unless the creator/director says otherwise).
 

Terry H

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I'm not sure what is confusing about that.
Well Joe, the problem is you ask a simple question and get three different definitions. Honestly, I always understood the meaning of OAR to be the same as you gave - the ratio in which a film was originally exhibited theatrically. As you can see, Patrick wants to add the caveat filmmaker preferences. I once found this a compelling argument but after a few years of observation and seeing how some films have been changed have concluded that filmmakers just cant resist the urge to tinker. I think their preferences change constantly. I'm not saying they should be ignored but I take this argument with a grain of salt. A rather large grain of salt. Then there is John who defines OAR as the way the movie was first envisioned, planned and then captured either on film or video . Note that John doesn't consider exhibition at all.
Minor differences? No. Not at all.
The OAR of films Shane and Giant were discussed here. Thread summary: both films negative is approx. 1.37:1 on-film. Both were originally exhibited theatrically at 1.66:1. Yet Shane was framed to be a 1.37:1 film.

According to the definition offered by Joe, the dvd Shane is not OAR. Patrick and John would both claim that it is. OTOH the pending dvd release of Giant, with an AR of 1.66:1, would be OAR according to Joe and Patrick. John would disagree.

See why I'm confused? I don't really care what the definition is but I do think we should at least be on the same page. Clearly, we are not.
 

Michael Harris

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The terms "Original Aspect Ratio" are pretty clear. What seems to be confusing is and the question should be "What is the OAR of any given film". What constitutes "original"? Film makers intent? How the movie was framed? First time it is screened in public? How I vaguely remember seeing the film at the local Bijou?
 

Peter Kline

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To possibly confuse matters more, many contemporary 1.85:1 films are also shot with 4X3 (1.37:1) in mind. The director and photographer are fully aware of positioning most of the human action towards the center and not really using the whole screen for important elements. The viewfinder shows outlines for both aspect ratios as well. That together with additional info on top and bottom makes the film suitable for either format. So OAR is a hedge. One is correct for theatrical exhibition and one for video. All bets should be off for anamorphic 2.35:1 films, however. (I think!)

Also, although many DVDs may have the proper aspect ratio in presentation, that doesn't guarantee that the image presented is exactly or even near the same as it was in a theatre. The American Wide Screen Museum has the following interesting expose:

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/lbx.htm
 

Patrick McCart

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Shane was shown at 1.66:1 ONLY because Paramount wanted to use the "In Widescreen!" tagline.

Shane was made with no intention whatsoever to be matted into widescreen. If you don't belive that, go rent or buy the DVD and watch it with mattes.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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The director and photographer are fully aware of positioning most of the human action towards the center and not really using the whole screen for important elements.
Nope. Most 1.85:1 films are shot at 1.37:1 and matted for projection. There is no need to "position the ... action towards the center..." and no failure to use the entire width of the frame. 1.85:1 films do use the entire width of the frame. It is the height they only use part of.

Shooting full frame (or "open matte" - that is, not matting the film in the camera) makes it easier to create a TV version of the film later, especially if the director and the DP are careful to "protect" the whole frame by keeping cables and boom mikes out of the shots. (Which they don't always bother to do.) But it is almost impossible to optimally frame a shot for two different aspect ratios at the same time, so generally the widescreen shot is "good" and the full frame merely "acceptable."

Terry:

I don't think there is any doubt about what "OAR" means. The discussions you cite are all about other issues - what transfer should be used for home video, or what went on with an extremely unusual case like Shane, shot on the cusp of the widescreen revolution with a studio that made a marketing decision and overrode the filmmaker. In 99 cases out of 100 "OAR" is unambiguous. Whether or not people want OAR on a DVD is another matter entirely.

Regards,

Joe
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Malcolm,

I see what your saying, however I still stand by my post, OAR is whatever the material was intended to be viewed at by the artist. Although I didn't word it like that originaly, people get the jist of it I think.
 

Allan Mack

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So what is the OAR of Kubrick's The Shining? The one shown in the theaters or the one Kubrick preferred?
 

Mike Knapp

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OAR = Original Aspect Ratio.

It is the aspect ratio that the film was seen in when first presented to theater audiences.

I created the term, so I get to define it.


Mike
 

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