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1,75:1 Theatrical format


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#1 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:00 PM

I am just curius to know if the 1,75:1 theatrical format is still used for theatrical release, or everything now is related to 1,85:1 ?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:11 PM

I'm sure there are some odd theaters here & there that still have 1.75 masks on their self. I was just at the screening room of the University of New Mexico Albuquerque campus and noticed a 1.66, 1.75, and 1.85 mask in their cabinet next to the projectors. I'm sure with subtitled foreign films, a less cropped mask than 1.85 can be useful.

But you shouldn't count on being able to release a film theatrically to first-run houses and get it projected at 1.75. Art cinemas maybe.

It's an odd format. When CinemaScope came out, an industry survey was taken of studio's attitudes towards masking 1.37 Academy to widescreen. This was in 1953-54. Universal pushed heavily for 1.85, Paramount just as hard for 1.66, and Disney wanted to compromise with 1.75. The other studios were less opinionated, waiting to see what would happen.

Disney sort of plowed ahead and decided that their "flat" 35mm releases would be composed for 1.75 masking.

Paramount, who wanted the least amount of masking, to 1.66, also developed the least widescreen of the lareg-format cameras to come out, VistaVision, which has a native 1.50 negative, usually composed for anywhere from 1.66 to even 2.0. Most VistaVision films look correct matted to 1.85 (like "The Searchers" or "Vertigo".)

Then I read an article in the British Cinematographer magazine of the late 1950's (at USC's archive) where a consensus of exhibitors and cameramen were favoring adopting 1.75 as the masked widescreen format.

But as we know, 1.85 has come to dominate.
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:35 PM

But as we know, 1.85 has come to dominate.

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Thank you David,
You got my question covered as always.
I was just wondering that, if this has to do also with the laboratories printing, so maybe u can find this gate in an old house like the ones we have here in Greece?
I believe I ve seen some 1.66 movies here, so maybe there are some theaters that still using it! And as I remember they do print something like 1,75:1 here.
It's just croped at the theaters.
I will ask tommorow some labs I know.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 02:06 PM

I am just curius to know if the 1,75:1 theatrical format is still used for theatrical release, or everything now is related to 1,85:1 ?
Dimitrios Koukas

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The 1.75:1 aspect ratio is NOT currently specified in Standard SMPTE 195. Current 35mm aspect ratios are 1.37:1, 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2.39:1, with the "flat" 1.85:1 and "scope" 2.39:1 most widely found in theatres worldwide.

A small percentage of theatres can properly show 1.37:1 or 1.66:1, and even fewer have the correct lenses and aperture plates to show precisely 1.75:1.
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#5 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 02:18 PM

The 1.75:1 aspect ratio is NOT currently specified in Standard SMPTE 195.  Current 35mm aspect ratios are 1.37:1, 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2.39:1, with the "flat" 1.85:1 and "scope" 2.39:1 most widely found in theatres worldwide.

A small percentage of theatres can properly show 1.37:1 or 1.66:1, and even fewer have the correct lenses and aperture plates to show  precisely 1.75:1.

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Thanks John,
we do have some ''ancient'' labs here, so I will know by tommorow.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 02:28 PM

Thanks John,
we do have some ''ancient'' labs here, so I will know by tommorow.
Dimitrios Koukas

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Actually, on the continuous contact printers used by most labs, most all of the image on the negative is printed onto the print. So all aspect ratios are accomodated in normal contact release printing. The issue is whether the THEATRE has the correct lenses and aperture plates to show 1.75:1 properly. Very few do anymore.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:52 PM

It's not a printing issue, it's a projection issue. The print is the same. The only difference is the mask in the projector gate and whether they need to change the lens for the larger image size caused by using less masking, or just change the borders around the screen. The lab has nothing to do with it -- it's just a flat (non-anamorphic) print on their part. Often the image on the print is 1.37 Academy unless the movie was shot with a hard matte or used a widescreen negative format (like Super-16 or 3-perf, etc.) The projector mask crops this to 1.85; hopefully the image was composed with this cropping in mind.
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#8 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 04:13 PM

It's not a printing issue, it's a projection issue. The print is the same. The only difference is the mask in the projector gate and whether they need to change the lens for the larger image size caused by using less masking, or just change the borders around the screen. The lab has nothing to do with it -- it's just a flat (non-anamorphic) print on their part.  Often the image on the print is 1.37 Academy unless the movie was shot with a hard matte or used a widescreen negative format (like Super-16 or 3-perf, etc.) The projector mask crops this to 1.85; hopefully the image was composed with this cropping in mind.

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Ok, it was the blow up process I was having in mind and mixed up the issues.
So the wet printing mask is 1.37.
God! too much telecine in my life ! :)
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:11 PM

The 35mm sound aperture area is what the image is transferred or blown-up to. Whether that image fills 35mm 1.37 Academy (as a regular 16mm image would or 4x3 video) or has a 1.68 hard matte as a result (as a Super-16 image would end up as) or a 1.78 hard matte (as a 16x9 digital image would) just depends on the aspect ratio of the original. But whether the image has a hard matte or not, the 1.85 projector mask would probably cover it.

Imagine transferring a 1.78 image to 35mm (like a 16x9 HD frame). If you looked at the 35mm print in your hands, you would see a 1.78 frame hard matted (black borders) within the 1.37 Academy area of the print (as opposed to filling Full Aperture). But when run through the projector, the 1.85 projector mask would hide the 1.78 hard matte on the print (barely) unless the projectionist misframed up or down, revealing the hard matte.

This is not mentioning the OTHER 35mm print format, 2.39 scope / anamorphic.
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#10 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

The 35mm sound aperture area is what the image is transferred or blown-up to. Whether that image fills 35mm 1.37 Academy (as a regular 16mm image would or 4x3 video) or has a 1.68 hard matte as a result (as a Super-16 image would end up as) or a 1.78 hard matte (as a 16x9 digital image would) just depends on the aspect ratio of the original.  But whether the image has a hard matte or not, the 1.85 projector mask would probably cover it.

Imagine transferring a 1.78 image to 35mm (like a 16x9 HD frame). If you looked at the 35mm print in your hands, you would see a 1.78 frame hard matted (black borders) within the 1.37 Academy area of the print (as opposed to filling Full Aperture).  But when run through the projector, the 1.85 projector mask would hide the 1.78 hard matte on the print (barely) unless the projectionist misframed up or down, revealing the hard matte.

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Thanks again,
but I ve got it from the previous post. Thanks.
I have to find out now if the theaters here have anything for 1,75.
Dimitrios Koukas
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