Multiple aspect ratio
Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:09 AM
I'm currently working on an article about aspect ratios. I need to do a research here, I'd like to know, if you are a cinematographer, would you like to shoot movies in multiple aspect ratio, like James Cameron did in Terminator 2 or Titanic, because nowadays there are different display formats (1.78:1, 2.35:1 or 1.44:1 for IMAX), or just shoot in one aspect only? Do you think it is cinematographer's job to choose it?
If you are not a filmmaker, would you prefer to see a film full screen, or letterboxed on a television?
Sorry for my English, i am not a native English speaker.
Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:36 AM
You mention IMAX only, so I don't know if you want to include 35mm in this.
I think the director has to have final say in this.
It is one thing if the director takes the DPs advice on the best aspect ratio to shoot a given film in (depending on story, visuals, et. c.) However, to use variable masking, say, on a 35mm 1:2.35 image is a quite unusual approach that would have to come from the director.
At that point you are not just playing with a "very large" image getting "differently shaped" but still huge, as in IMAX; you are changing the dramatic focus of the scenes very noticeably, compared to the wide image that the viewer has gotten used to since the film started.
Max Ophuls did this in "Lola Montes" and it is a variant of the selective masking that was popular in silent films. Because you don't see it that often, it has a power all its own.
To me, esthetically, this is a separate discussion from the use of 'multiple images within the frame" as in "Woodstock" and such.
As a viewer, I have one main requirement: the film must be in the aspect ratio intended by its creators (or the closest thing thereto, vis a vis someone like Kubrick.)
I will not watch a film that has been chopped/modified or "adapted" just because the aspect ratio doesn't "fit" for the same reason I wouldn't go to a museum to watch great paintings having a 1/3 or more cut off compared to the original. It destroys the artwork, and the viewing thereof.
My two cents,
Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:05 PM
Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:29 AM
Economics dictate that you often have to serve two or more rectangular masters. The more places you can sell a show, the more money it makes.