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Aspect ratio help


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#1 Simon j Rogers

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:34 PM

Hey,

I'm shooting a short film next on thursday and the director wants a frame wider than 16:9. I'm thinking maybe 1.85:1.
My question is, what do think is the best way to do this? some DP's that iv'e worked with just mask the monitor and work off that. Is this a good way to do it? I'm a bit worried this may not be accurate enough. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Simon.
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:49 PM

If you have a monitor you will be using to frame up with, other than the EVF (I assume this is a digital shoot, since we aren't discussing groundglass?) I would use a transparency. First frame up a 1.85 framing chart, as you want the frame lines to be on your monitor. Then be sure both the chart and the camera are locked off completely and will not move. Get an overhead transparency, the clear plastic things you use with a slide projector. Find a good, permanent (for your shoot) way to apply it to your monitor. Then use a ruler and sharpie and carefully trace the lines. This will now serve as your framing guide as long as you use the monitor. Of course if the transparency falls off or is moved on your monitor you will have to do it again since it will be useless.

Also try a search of this website, I'm not positive but I have the feeling this kind of question may have been asked before.
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#3 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:07 AM

the director wants a frame wider than 16:9. I'm thinking maybe 1.85:1.

If you go 1.85:1, the director (or anyone else) won't probably notice any difference to 16:9. The two are very close, and the negligible difference will be hidden by the overscan on most (non-computer) monitors anyway.

If the director said that, I'd say you should make it at least 2.00:1. Or just go all the way to standard 'scope 2.39:1 – particularly if there is any chance of a film-out.

Edited by Antti Näyhä, 04 March 2009 - 02:08 AM.

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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:13 AM

If you go 1.85:1, the director (or anyone else) won't probably notice any difference to 16:9. The two are very close, and the negligible difference will be hidden by the overscan on most (non-computer) monitors anyway.

If the director said that, I'd say you should make it at least 2.00:1. Or just go all the way to standard 'scope 2.39:1 – particularly if there is any chance of a film-out.


I assume you're shooting on a video format. Unless you're going for a film out, the chances are it's going to be digitally projected as 16:9 at many (if not most) festivals, so you're going to need to mask your film in post to the new aspect ratio.

If you're doing a film out, use one of the standard aspect ratios.
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#5 Simon j Rogers

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:49 AM

Thanks for the advice guys,

Yes, It is a digital shoot. I realise now that 16:9 is very similar to 1.85. I don't imagine a film out happening but it has been discussed so maybe 2.39:1 would be best.

Simon.
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#6 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:29 PM

I thought that cinemascope was 2.35 rather than 2.39, but I might be confused about that given the wide variety of widescreen aspect ratios.

I don't know what kind of equipment you are shooting on, or what the final output plans to be, but to get to something really wide (like 2.39) on digital usually involves tossing a lot of pixels top and bottom unless you are doing some sort of anamorphic process. I would want to make sure that what remains will meet your needs for the final output.
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#7 Richard Davis

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:41 PM

Hi,
I shot a short two weeks ago using a HVX-200 and, like your director, we wanted something a bit more "interesting" than 16:9, so we went for 2.4:1

I masked off the pull out screen on the camera to 2.4:1 and the also the directors monitor to 2.4:1. Due to the assignment regulations (it's a project for uni), we have to project it and hand it in in 16:9, so we're using a 2.4:1 window as a mask. The handy thing is that if it's decided we want to slightly change the framing of the shot, they can be moved up or down under the mask. I'd recommend this method, it looks pretty sweet.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:11 PM

I thought that cinemascope was 2.35 rather than 2.39,....


The very first scope movies were indeed 2.35. They quickly found that there was a problem with the negative wet splice edges showing in the top and bottom of the frame. So, they changed the aperture dimensions to hide the splices, resulting in 2.39:1, which is the correct ratio for the vast majority of scope pictures, and is the current standard. Some people have an aversion to that number, they think it sounds like a Wal-mart price, so they prefer to say 2.40. The math works out to 2.39, though.




-- J.S.
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#9 Chris Clarke

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:29 PM

Make sure you shoot a frame leader. That way you will know that the mask you apply in post matches exactly the lines you drew on your monitors when shooting.
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