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Aspect ratio and storytelling

Aspect Ratio storytelling Cinematography

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#21 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:27 AM

For you widescreen lovers...I present...anamorphic horseblinders!  :D

 

funny_widescreen.jpg


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#22 Younes Boudiaf

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 05:29 AM

This time, Hoyta van Hoytema nailed it. By drama, I'm referring to the narrative story. When the big action starts, Chris goes BIG with the format, IMAX, thus lighting up that big IMAX screen.

I am confused why Nolan worked this time with Hoyte and not with wally !!! maybe wally was busy with his Film Transcendence  :D


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#23 cole t parzenn

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:37 PM

I guess I am alone in actually liking 1.33 for some material? Will we ever see a return to that in any meaningful way? I don't just shoot it because I am too poor for S16 (although i am) but I like it. But I realize I look like a dweeb by saying so.

 

I love 1.33/1.375.

 

I am confused why Nolan worked this time with Hoyte and not with wally !!! maybe wally was busy with his Film Transcendence   :D

 

 

Wally has apparently retired from lighting (his commercials, aside). Selfish *******! ;)


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#24 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:00 AM

I recently came across an interesting statistical study of over 500 paintings by various artists over the centuries which found the average aspect ratio of all these artworks was 1:1.34. 

http://arxiv.org/pdf...s/9908036v1.pdf

Good old 4:3 goes back way further than just the early years of cinema. It certainly lends itself to dynamic framing and interesting composition more easily than wider aspect ratios, but then there is something sort of exciting and modern about the widescreen. Perhaps I've just been permanently altered by the opening scene in Star Wars, which I watched with mouth agape aged about 12.

 

I like how filmmakers are often playing with morphing aspect ratios during a film these days, from the spectacle of Nolan's action scenes exploding vertically in IMAX to the more subtle effects of films like Hunger Games Catching Fire or Life of Pi. This potted history of the effect is worth a look, beginning with Abel Gance's Napoleon in 1927:

http://tadleckman.wo...hifiting-films/


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#25 Doug Palmer

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:12 AM

A sign of a good film is when one ceases to be so conscious of the aspect ratio used, when the storytelling and drama carry the picture.  I would say all these screen shapes are beautiful when properly used by the director, with possible exception of 16:9 which seems to be lacking in artistic satisfaction for me, rather a compromise neither one thing nor another.

What is important is that the intended ratio is preserved at every presentation, without losing any information or artistic effect the director wanted.

The 4 x 3 ratio I also like very much. I hate it when the TV sometimes crops old movies top and bottom.  And Imax comes into its own with a similar squarish ratio that is great for towering objects like mountains.  I'm not sure if the digital 'Imax' follows this old ratio ? It must have been a courageous decision by Imax all those years ago to use the 'old fashioned' screen shape (when scope movies were popular). 


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