Why are there so many jerks!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LaMarcus, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Well I guess their not really jerks but they still "P" me off as such (directors). How come so many movies are in 2.35:1? If widescreen tv's are 1.77:1, and 1.85:1 still fills the screen. Then why do 2.35?

    It makes me so mad, I just bought lord of the rings, and I was praying that it would be 1.85. I zoomed in on the picture to see how much of a impact it had being fullscreen, and it was like watching a different movie. Man that sucks.

    And how come I have overscan on 2.35 but not anything under that?
     
  2. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    I wouldnt go so far as to calling them jerks. Save that for the Pan & Scan promoters. Im no expert, but here is my opinion. It is as much the same way with surround formats on the dvd. DTS DLPII DD DDEX DD THX DDTHXEX THX THX7.1 THXEX9.1.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    You'll get used to it. I agree with the above. Maybve one day TV's will be 2.35:1. Perhaps they wont even be TV's but just a display wall in your house. Until then, try to enjoy it.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    This is an interesting statement- as I have a 16x9 projections screen, and find 2.35:1 movies to be equally impactful. In fact- I simply mask off the black areas- and thus they fill the visible screen area just fine.

    I'm curious how unused space about and below the image would have such an impact- especially when compared to cropping off a section of the film.

    I guess, to me, it's like saying that my sip of Pepsi is better becuase the glass was all the way full-- since the size and shape of the glass is 100% independnt of the content of the pepsi- I have trouble seeing how the two could be related.

    -Vince
     
  7. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I disagree with that statement. Because if it were not for me and the millions like me they who would they be making movies for? I feel they have a obligation to the movie goers as well as the movie purchasers. We give them our money, and support, they should try to please us as well as themselves. You spend your money at a theater, you spend your money at retail store same thing to me. I know the politics behind that go deeper but still.
     
  8. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    LaMarcus,
    There are no "politics" at play when a director decides the aspect ratio of the movie. It's all in the presentation and the fact is that a 2.35:1 presentation (or wider) gives a more panoramic view of a film and allows the viewer to see MUCH more information that they would in a narrower format. Sorry, but the politics comment was laughable to me. It is your viewpoint that seems a bit narrow (like the image you prefer) minded. [​IMG] (jk)
    Concentrate on the movie and not the bars and they'll disappear. Regards.
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    LaMarcus,

    I think you're being a bit short sighted on the issue of a sip vs a gulp. In the theatrical environment, the 2.35:1 aspect actually presents more picture - hence the gulp. When you're looking at your home system, I think you have to discard the standard "fill the screen" and "more is better" concept to realize you should wathc the film, not the bars.

    On a side note, the HTF is PRO-OAR as part of the site mission statement. You can feel free to advocate altering of film maker vision to better suit your desire of how things should look- however the HTF is not a the place for that particular persuit.

    -V
     
  10. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    LaMarcus,
    I am sorry but you seem to represent a distrubing trend of people who want their entire screen filled on the assumption that they are being ripped off, and that stance it really little different to that of those who support pan & scan.
    The fact you zoomed Fellowship of the Ring and felt it to be a more impactful image in filling your screen tells an unfortunate story... that you would sacrifice the artisitic integrity of a film and the intent of it's director and cinematographer just to satisfy your demands. I have heard of many HDTV stations cropping scope based features back to 1.78:1 anamorphic just so they fill the consumers screen, which is a sorry, sorry state of affairs.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    you zoomed the picture? ack! [​IMG]
    the way i look at it -- 2.35 movies look great in the theater. you get so much visual information...some scenes just blow me away. i'm grateful for the theatrical presentation and try to understand where the director is coming from.
    when you're watching it at home on a small tv, of course the impact isn't going to be as great. but, i'd still rather see all of what the director intended.
    i must admit though...in a way lamarcus, i sort of agree with you! because i don't have a widescreen or projector...i'm a little bit "happier" when the movie is 1.85, but that's just me being selfish and wishing i had a widescreen!
     
  12. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    WHOA, whoa, whoa!! Just take a breath[​IMG] !! I feel like I'm back in high school and in the principles office, all of these administrators!![​IMG]
     
  13. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Dan, love the Last Crusade quote by the way, I wonder how many people catch that.
     
  14. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    The scope screen of a movie theatre is there to be used.
    There are some filmmakers who I feel certainly shoot scope/super 35 for no real reason. I think when Robert Zemeckis shoots in such a way, he wastes a lot of the image left and right of frame, and I just wonder why he bothers. The framing on his 1,85:1 features is excellent (Cast Away, Roger Rabbit, BTTF...etc). Many filmmakers shoot 2.35:1 just because it's their definition of a movie, and they should not do that. Good filmmakers will go with an aspect ratio that lends itself best to a story.
    In your case of zooming FOTR, what you saw zoomed was still the composed wider frame of super 35. Had it been shot flat, the images would have been quite, quite different. Zooming the OAR of the film to fill your TV was in no way a good indication of what any of the film would have looked like had it been 1.85:1.
    Look at Spielberg, he is brilliant at picking ARs for his movies. Minority Report was his first super 35 feature, and his first 2.40:1 ratio movie since Hook (1991). Between Hook and Minotirty Report, every film he made in between was really well suited to the 1.85:1 flat frame. Kubrick too was a genius at framing his films in the best possible way that suited the story he was telling.
    I'm a director in practice myself, LaMarcus (You'll be happy to hear I have mostly shot 1.33:1 16mm in the past and my first feature is to be super 16, matted to 1.85:1 [​IMG] ) and I have to stress, the descisions a director and a cinematographer make are not descisions that are made for their own personal satisfaction.
    The best intentions of the film director and the cinematographer are to convey images on screen that lend themselves best to the story that they are trying to tell. A wonderful example of this fact is Fellowship of the Ring (and its two upcoming sequels)... The epic scale of such a film just begs for the wider frame, those beautiful New Zealand locations cry out to be portrayed in such a way.
    You'll note that all these movies so many deem as epics, Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus, Fellowship of the Ring, Gladiator, 2001...etc, these films all actually benefit from use of the wider frame.
    It's not always a desire for scale either, the descision can be made much for the want of a specific composition in the image. Look at Wes Anderson's films Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums... Anderson's main desire for shooting scope on both movies was his like of having a number of actors in shot at any one time. The wider frame alows us to get close to the characters, and in other instances be put at a distance from them. A LOT goes into working out the framing of shots in movies, and your brain is so advanced it actually decipher the meaning of a shot without you even having to think about it.
    Let's create a hypothetical movie. Consider a scene where a sad character sits alone in the park bench, a wider frame would work well for portraying a greater sense of distance and isolation for that character, and your brain would work that out in an instant, you wouldn't even think about it, it's just how you immediately react to the visual image... Good filmmakers and DPs have a good understanding of how the brain works, and how we as viewers perceive the images we see on screen. They put a lot of thought into portraying the right message in a single shot.
    I hope I have furthered a little more understanding from the filmmakers point of view on the matter. I am all to pleased to discuss this in further detail, I just want to make it clear that the filmmaker, the best of them, does what they feel is best for the story, and never for personal satisfaction.
    Dan
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  16. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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  17. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    I can give you a nice example of how 1.85:1 framing works better than anything wider too. There are many, but notable to me are Juarrasic Park, and Das Boot.
    Many wondered why Spielberg did not shoot Jurassic Park in scope, they thought it was ideal for the wider frame and indeed, some cg tests were framed at such a ratio. Spielberg was smart though, 1.85:1 worked better for portraying the height of the beasts. Again, the descision was made as a visual aid to the telling of the story.
    In Das Boot's case, the tighter 1.85:1 framing is used to portray a crampt feeling within the submarine, and it works a treat. Spielberg's Pvt Ryan used the same ratio for similar effect. The tighter ratio gets us right in there, in the midst of the action and it makes for a harrowing "being there" experience. A wider ratio on Pvt Ryan would not have worked as well, it would have distanced us too much from the troops which is not what the story called for.
    Watch a whole bunch of movies, heck even some of those that I have mentioned, and you should get a sense of how one ratio works over another in regard to assisting the story being told to you, regardless of the size of the screen that you are watching it on.
    Another nice 2.35:1 example, though in my eyes a dreadful movie, is Pearl Harbour. Check out those dramatic shots of the vast sea of planes flying toward the harbour.... try and picture it framed in 1.85:1. The scale of the moment just wouldn't come across as well as it does in scope.
     
  18. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I actually prefer the wider scope for feature films, especially in the theater. I was just in the theater a few weeks ago and the screen looks strange to me because it was only 16x9 or 1.85:1 (I can't tell the difference on the big screen). I have gotten so used to the 2.35:1 screen that it looked silly that the viewing area was so small in the theater with only 16x9.

    Next time you go to the theater keep your eyes open and try to remember to notice what aspect ratio the film is in.
     
  19. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I too am one that prefers the wider scope of 2.35:1 movies in the theatre although LaMarcus, I can understand your viewpoint. Many of us may have been there too when we first started out in home theatre.
     
  20. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You will love 2.35:1 once you really start to notice film composition. Try anything by David Lean (Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over the River Kwai) for an example of epic filmmaking in scope.
     

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