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Please explain to me how aspect ratios work for this particular movie...


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#1 Tom Sam

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:44 AM

Hi... I'm new here and I'm very novice in terms of cinema techniques... Basically my question envolves one movie in particular, and I am trying to understand how it was initially filmed...


In 1997, there was a movie called "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" that was made by disney for ABC, starring Brandy & Whitney Houston.  Now the movie aired in full screen (1:33) format and the dvd that I own is also in full screen format.  I am trying to understand how the film was initially shot and what its original aspect ratio is.  Could it eventually be released in widescreen or was it really filmed in fullscreen?
 


Here's a paragraph that I found on blu-ray.com that explains on how Cinderella was shot.

 

On November 2, 1997, Disney produced yet another remake, this time starring Brandy as Cinderella, Bernadette Peters as Cinderella's Stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina, Victor Garber as King Maximillian and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. Disney spent $18 million on the production, which was shot on Eastman 35mm negative with an NTSC printed format. This means it could be remastered for high definition for Blu-ray at some point. Ratings again reached a high making it one of the top broadcasts of the year and was nominated for dozens of awards. The musical version of this newest Cinderella had new orchestrations updated for the period, with a small mix of pop orchestration. This version is also available on DVD. The musical is now produced all over the world on stage.

 

 

What does this mean for its aspect ratio?  Based on the info of how it was shot, the budget, the year, the camera, etc. was this movie shot in widescreen and then cropped on the right/left sides for tv, OR was it originally shot in fullscreen and they have to crop it at the top/bottom to make it into widescreen?

 

Here's the full movie on youtube and how it aired on tv in case it might help:

 

 

Thank you very much.  I know that it's about one movie in particular, but it's also helping me understand how things in cinema/filming work in general.

 

 

 

 


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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:37 AM

What does this mean for its aspect ratio?  Based on the info of how it was shot, the budget, the year, the camera, etc. was this movie shot in widescreen and then cropped on the right/left sides for tv, OR was it originally shot in fullscreen and they have to crop it at the top/bottom to make it into widescreen?

 

Well given that it was a made for TV movie, it could easily have been shot in full academy. However some of the framing does look slightly awkward, but it could just be a 4:3 movie made for TV with awkward framing! :)

 

If the framing was originally 4:3 with TV in mind they could just keep the original aspect ratio and pillarbox it for a blu-ray release rather than trying to pan and scan it for widescreen.

 

Freya


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

In 1997 it either was shot in 4-pert 35mm (1.33 full aperture) or 3-perf 35mm (1.78 : 1 full aperture) and framed for 1.33, and probably "protected" for 1.78 (16x9), especially if shot in 3-perf.  But there is a chance it was shot in 4-perf 35mm and only composed for 1.33, so a 1.78 full-frame re-transfer from the negative would possibly involve cropping top & bottom.


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#4 John Holland

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

Was 3 perf around in 1997 ? If so time flys.


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 06:11 PM

"Mac Headroom" was one of the earliest 3-perf TV series and that was 1987. I recall trying trying to sell producers on the idea of shooting 3-perf + D.I. in the early 2000's around the time that "Panic Room" did that in 2002. By that point TV had already been using 3-perf during much of the 1990's. I recall on my first feature in 1992 the rental house wanted my camera body (a Leonetti UltraCam) back because they said it was the one they could convert to 3-perf for a TV series. However HBO was still shooting 4-perf 35mm in 2006 when I started on "Big Love", but switched to 3-perf by the next year. But by then, it was considered a bit unusual to be using 4-perf for TV. However in the case of a TV movie that had potential for release overseas in theaters, it would have been more common to shoot in 4-perf 35mm for a photochemical finish back in the 1990's (or shoot Super-16 for an optical blow-up to 35mm for the theatrical release) since D.I.s did not really exist except for a few rare cases in the 1990's. So this "Cinderella" could have been shot in 4-perf.
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#6 Shawn Martin

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:06 PM

Ralf Bode shot this in 4-perf and protected for 1.78:1. I remember reading many years ago that the producers had him do this because they knew it would inevitably air in HD.
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#7 Tom Sam

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

Thanks David & Freya for all the explainations, I appreciate it!!

 

& Thanks Shawn Martin for the confirmation!!


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