Widescreen vs Pan and Scan [question]

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John DeSantis, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. John DeSantis

    John DeSantis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 1999
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was Playing around with my HT setup and needed to play a Movie. I choose Ronin. I first had the Widescreen version playing and started thinking about all the explanations about the benefits of Widscreen. There is a scene in Chapter 13 where a guy is controling a traffic light with a remote. The light is at the extreme left side of the frame but the entire light is visible. I thought "let me flip this over and check out that scene with the full screen version" I assumed that light would at least be partially cut out of the picture. But, it looked the same. The light was in full view. What gives? I've seen many of the illustrations that show material being cut out with Pan and Scan. Why was this scene not altered?
     
  2. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    According to www.imdb.com the film was shot on Super35, meaning that the 2.35:1 frame is taken from a 1.37:1 sized negative.
    For the full-frame version the studios often just show the full exposed negative size 1.37:1. This will sometimes show mics and things like that shouldn't be seen.
    It's a bad thing. Most of the widescreen explantion sites don't tend to try to explain this one.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    18,529
    Likes Received:
    2,930
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Sort of like HD broadcasts of material framed for 4x3. You get some extra intormation on the side, but it isn't needed or wanted.
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    'Ronin' was filmed in 'Super 35', this means that the 2.35:1 theatrical composition was extracted from a 1.37:1 film frame.
    James Cameron shoots all of his films in 'Super 35'.
    You MUST remember, widescreen isn't about getting more picture, it's the composition that counts. If you watch the full frame version of 'Ronin', your destroying the films intended theatrical composition.
    Understanding what I just said is absolutly paramount if your going to develope a love for ALL OAR's, either filmed anamorphically, OR filmed sperically, OR filmed flat.
    It's the theatrical coposition that matter's, ALWAYS.
     
  5. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,832
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Real Name:
    Joshua Clinard
    I'm starting to hate directors that use Super35. It's sort of like saying they don't have a vision, if they just shoot that way in order to please mainstream audiances.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    5,610
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    The Super35 frame is NOT 1.37:1.

    The "Academy Ratio" of 1.37:1 is arrived at by taking the exposed area of a piece of 35mm film and deducting the portion that will be used for the optical soundtrack that had to be present on every print. The native 35mm frame is actually wider, I believe closer to 1.60:1, but I don't remember the figure.

    The reason Super35 is called "Super" 35 is that it uses this optical soundtrack area for image, instead of matting it off in camera as is usually done with standard 35mm. "Super35" isn't simply another name for 35mm film, which serveral folks here seem to think it is, anymore than Super8 film is identical to 8mm or Super16 just another name for ordinary 16mm. So a 4:3 version of a Super35 film is not the same thing as an "open matte" transfer of film shot flat on regular 35mm.

    Both the widescreen and 1.33:1 TV frames are "cropped" or "panned and scanned" from the oversized Super35 frame and the "original" (photographed) image is never seen in any version. (There is a good illustration of the process on the Terminator 2 DVD.) Directors like Cameron use Super35 in self defense to some degree - it protects them to control to some degree what the "TV version" of their films will look like by trying to frame for both aspect ratios at the same time. It is also easier and cheaper than shooting with anamorphic lenses, which imposes certain requirements for lighting and other production overhead.

    If you take another look at the "full frame" scene, you'll notice things missing from the side of the frame that are visible in the widescreen version, as well as "extra" information on the top and/or bottom. Again, it is not a matter of "how much picture" but of how the picture is composed and meant to be seen. Cameron always shoots for 2.35:1, while protecting for 1.33:1 so that contrails and cables don't appear in the TV version. But the intended image is always the wide one. (What is "added" in the TV version is mostly lots of views of peoples' feet and the floors of sets and locations, since Cameron tends to use the "common topline" method of Super35 framing, so that most of what is "cropped" from the Super35 frame is in the lower part.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,596
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Super-35 allows for less light disortion in camera.
     
  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 1999
    Messages:
    11,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Super35 also degrades the theatrical experience by introducing heavy grain into the image due to it being a blowup, and makes J6P think he's right due to the parts of the image that are removed. The opening of Harry Potter is a prime example of Super35's evil.
     
  10. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,832
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Real Name:
    Joshua Clinard
    That is another thing that I failed to mention, Jeff!
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
     
  12. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm with Jeff on the HP opening. The print I saw last night appeared to be projected through a moving sandpit!
    However, the print was so dirty - splodges all over shop. I'm sure my DVD will look better.
    FWIW I have studied the T2 section on Super35. I didn't know that the main framing wasn't 1.37:1 so cheers for that. When I saw the initial post I just wanted to get a short simple answer up without going into effects shots being panned, etc.[​IMG]
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
     
  14. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe we need a 'sticky' aspect ratio explanation thread. I was wrong to bother with a simple explanation because it should really be correct or nothing. Part of the problem here is that we all seem to think we know but we don't.

    So maybe you cinematographer people should send Peter or Ron a coherent explanation that can be stuck at the top of the threads so something like this just gets locked with a link back to the 'sticky' post explaining all...
     

Share This Page