Whats The Deal?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Hector de leon, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. Hector de leon

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    A while back I was telling my brother how widescreen is how a movie is originally presented and that it shows more then the full frame vhs tapes of the same movie. Well, I get an eerie evil grin from him the next day. I knew something was up. He was SO pleased to point out my error and tell me that I was wrong about what I told him about widescreen representations. The movie was "The Sixth Sense". He noticed on one particular shot that you could see Haley's feet and on the widescreen it didn't show. Now correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought widescreen showed everything the director wanted the public to show? What gives? And I apologize If this has been discussed or if I'm being redundant. Are there other movies that have had this done?
    [​IMG]
    thanx in advanced
     
  2. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Screenwriter

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    Hi Hector. I'm sure there are people who can and will explain this better than me or link you to another thread that will go into much more detail. What you and your friend have seen, I imagine, is what's called open matte. Basically, when they made the full screen version of the movie they removed the borders around the edges of the frame. This will allow you to see more of what was shot in the upper and lower part of the film, but it is not exactly what the director intended you to see. Another classic example is Pee Wee's Big Adventure. There is a scene where Pee Wee is pulling chain out of a compartment of his bike. In full screen, you can actually see the chain begin fed through the bottom of the compartment. When it is correctly viewed with the OAR, this is not noticeable. I'm supposed to be trying to keep this simple so I'll stop there. Hope it helped.
     
  3. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Widescreen generally shows more picture then an Academy ratio film.

    However, it does not mean that all widescreen films are pan & scanned for presentation on 1.33:1 monitors.

    Most 1.85:1 Academy Flat films are matted for widescreen presentation. Meaning that the film is shot at the 1.33:1* Academy ratio. The director and director of photography then go through the film to decide how to frame the film for widescreen presentation.

    There is also Super35 photography which also uses mattes to create the widescreen presentation. Again, the film is shot at 1.33:1 and the director & director of photography decide the AR for the film, then frame & matte the proper AR.

    By using matted widescreen, you can protect a film from being pan & scanned or cropped for presentations on 1.33:1 monitors. You simply remove the mattes and expose the full-frame.

    Now Original Intended Aspect Ratio is still very important even when using mattes. The matted widescreen version of the film is how the director wanted the film to be presented.

    BUT...

    Some films are matted for widescreen presentations when the director's intention is an Academy presentation. Some films from Stanley Kubrick are this way and Night of The Living Dead is also this way.

    Sam Raimi did approve the matting of Evil Dead from its original full-frame presentation to widescreen for the new Anchor Bay DVD release.

    *1.33:1 is the accepted ratio for Academy films. The original ratio and the one seen through viewfinders is generally 1.37:1. Even when a film is presented in full-frame, it might be cropped slightly.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  5. cafink

    cafink Producer

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  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The simplest way to put it:

    Just like how a photograph or a painting is matted in a frame, this is the way most 1.85:1 and 1.66:1 films are filmed.

    Basically, they're made with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and later matted in theaters by the projector or matted on video. Many films have microphones and dolly tracks visible where the mattes would be (The Godfather and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure for example) while many could very well be shown at 1.33:1 without exposing stuff like that.

    But the whole idea is showing the best composition. In fact, nearly all of these "open matte" films tend to look much better in terms of composition when matted correctly.

    I've seen 1.85:1 films with the mattes not added that look very strange. Too much headroom and sometimes it can ruin the mood (such as a tight frame becomes a looser frame.)

    On the other hand, the 1.33:1 Kubrick films look fine either way. Help!, which is 1.66:1 "safe-matte" (Meaning it's meant for a matte which makes the image 1.66:1) but it looks fine in both 1.33:1 and 1.66:1.
     
  7. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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  8. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Thanks, Eric...you beat me to it! [​IMG]
    (That's not sarcastic or anything, either...I'm really grateful!)
     

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