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Widescreen - the biggest con ever .


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Old 25-11-2012, 18:22
Virgil Tracy
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Back in the 50's when cinema was feeling threatened by tv they came up with the gimmick that is 'widescreen' .

there was little point to it , and 40 years later the gimmick was used again to re-sell a load of videos and new tvs .
A double con .

most widescreen films don't need to be widescreen , most of the time the director doesn't know what to do with the extra horizontal space anyway .

Some films suit it but very few .

what do you think ?
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Old 25-11-2012, 18:32
Fowl Fax
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I feel DVD was a bit of a con, spent thousands of pounds on them and now Blu Ray has come along with better picture quality.

But then DVD were a lot better than VHS.
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:09
Soundbox
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I do think that 4:3 is an ideal ratio. Most digital cameras are this ratio too and it prints very well.

As for film, it is fine too. I know we have the huge widecreen vista experiences but I look at them and think that a bit more sky and land would not go amiss. People when filmed widecreen end up just cropped off.

So yes, widescreen is not needed in my opinion.
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:25
theonlyweeman
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I think if they've paid attention to cinematography widescreen looks nicer and provides a better experience, but if they haven't 1.85:1 works better. 4:3 (forgotten what the theatrical equivalent is), should not be used ever, as even TV is shot at a better AR.
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:36
Virgil Tracy
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I think if they've paid attention to cinematography widescreen looks nicer and provides a better experience, but if they haven't 1.85:1 works better. 4:3 (forgotten what the theatrical equivalent is), should not be used ever, as even TV is shot at a better AR.
4:3 = 1.33 , same as the academy ratio which was used for decades until widescreen came along .
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:39
theonlyweeman
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4:3 = 1.33 , same as the academy ratio which was used for decades until widescreen came along .
Why should we go backwards, just because we can do without "a bit of extra sky"? We can do without knowing who the fifty fourth gaffers assistant grip is, should we drop full credit sequences?
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:52
shoestring25
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1:85 is best 4:3 is terrible dont mind 2:35 but 1:85 is a fair compromise between the two
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Old 25-11-2012, 19:59
Virgil Tracy
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Why should we go backwards, just because we can do without "a bit of extra sky"? We can do without knowing who the fifty fourth gaffers assistant grip is, should we drop full credit sequences?
backwards ? what do you mean ?

btw - I could do without knowing who the hairdresser's accountant's lawyer is ( )
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Old 25-11-2012, 20:17
theonlyweeman
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backwards ? what do you mean ?

btw - I could do without knowing who the hairdresser's accountant's lawyer is ( )
Most displays you see these days are 16:9 going to 4:3 (an idea floated by soundbox) is backwards, because it offers a smaller screen size than the majority of displays. Widescreen is (technically) larger than the majority of displays, so offers greater image size and larger resolution, so more detail. Going back to 4:3 would result in detail loss of some kind (and wouldn't ever be true HD)..
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Old 25-11-2012, 20:48
mike65
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The OP sounds like Leslie Halliwell who complained that while widescreen has its uses most of cinema is about people talking in a room and academy ratio works just fine for that, which is true but I'd sooner watch Lawrence of Arabia in Super Panavision 70 myself
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Old 25-11-2012, 21:17
ironjade
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Leslie Halliwell didn't approve of anything cinema-related which happened after 1930.
Widescreen is closer to the way the human eye sees but if a movie is absorbing enough the aspect ratio doesn't really matter because your field of view accommodates very rapidly.
What is irritating is the habit some pretentious tv directors have of shooting in letterbox instead of 16:9 thus making a nonsense of widescreen TVs. Even if the material were intended for cinema release some day, there's still no excuse for black bars on widescreen tv.
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Old 25-11-2012, 21:44
Ted Cunterblast
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Have to say I find the OP a little odd...with decent sized HD tv's, anamorphic dvd's and blu rays and the option to change screen ratio's on nearly all tv's, widescreen presentations of movies have improved dramatically.


I also think that the OP is somewhat naive in thinking that directors don't know what to do with that extra space...with a few exceptions probably, any seasoned director would know how to frame a shot.


And surely some of you remember the old days of 'letterbox' VHS movie presentations...OAR it may have been, but half a picture on a 4:3 tv screen looked pretty ridiculous.


As always, it's about OAR...Original Aspect Ratio...watching the film presented in the way the director intended.
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Old 25-11-2012, 23:08
zx50
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I do think that 4:3 is an ideal ratio. Most digital cameras are this ratio too and it prints very well.

As for film, it is fine too. I know we have the huge widecreen vista experiences but I look at them and think that a bit more sky and land would not go amiss. People when filmed widecreen end up just cropped off.

So yes, widescreen is not needed in my opinion.
So you'd prefer the pan scan view mode on your widescreen TV then?
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Old 26-11-2012, 00:02
Soundbox
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So you'd prefer the pan scan view mode on your widescreen TV then?
No, but take your widescreen TV and just make the panel a bit higher (but not wider) and you have not only a bigger screen but also 4:3 aspect ratio too. Black bars top and bottom are easier to ignore than side to side.

I agree that too much of the widescreen is wasted. Look at most shows, select 4:3 and only some extra set and wallpaper is cropped off. Perhaps it is just sloppy camerawork and not a format problem per se.
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:45
mike65
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Well its the news! Some fella or woman at a desk has innate 4:3 bias. Also framing still is done to suit those who are still watching tv using a CRT.
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:58
CLL Dodge
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The director and DOP should select the most appropriate format for their vision.

Surprisingly few opt for 4:3 these days though.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:33
soundstory
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Widescreen is a con?

That's 3d surely

Anyhow, I'd miss my black bars
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:29
Virgil Tracy
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Most displays you see these days are 16:9 going to 4:3 (an idea floated by soundbox) is backwards, because it offers a smaller screen size than the majority of displays. Widescreen is (technically) larger than the majority of displays, so offers greater image size and larger resolution, so more detail. Going back to 4:3 would result in detail loss of some kind (and wouldn't ever be true HD)..
widescreen is just a ratio , there's no logic that it is larger . A 4:3 image can be larger than a 16:9 .

same with resolution .
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:31
Virgil Tracy
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The OP sounds like Leslie Halliwell who complained that while widescreen has its uses most of cinema is about people talking in a room and academy ratio works just fine for that, which is true but I'd sooner watch Lawrence of Arabia in Super Panavision 70 myself
Lawrence is one of the few films that knows how to use the widescreen image .

can't remember his name but one famous director said that widescreen was only good for landscapes and snakes .
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:35
Virgil Tracy
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Leslie Halliwell didn't approve of anything cinema-related which happened after 1930.
Widescreen is closer to the way the human eye sees but if a movie is absorbing enough the aspect ratio doesn't really matter because your field of view accommodates very rapidly.
What is irritating is the habit some pretentious tv directors have of shooting in letterbox instead of 16:9 thus making a nonsense of widescreen TVs. Even if the material were intended for cinema release some day, there's still no excuse for black bars on widescreen tv.
Can you back that up ?
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:48
ironjade
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Can you back that up ?
Hold out your hands, look straight ahead and see how far apart they are horizontally before they vanish from view; then do the same vertically.
The human field of view is much wider than it is high.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:11
Virgil Tracy
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Hold out your hands, look straight ahead and see how far apart they are horizontally before they vanish from view; then do the same vertically.
The human field of view is much wider than it is high.
the human field of vision is basically 1.33:1 , or 4:3 .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_%28image%29
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:32
cy_bones
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the human field of vision is basically 1.33:1 , or 4:3 .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_%28image%29
Do the hand test - I was going to post the same thing as ironjade...

My field of vision is definitely more of a rectangle than a square
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:43
Calibans Dream
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4:3 is not a natural aspect ratio as it doesn't match what our eyes see. Who's eyes see only a squareish field of vision?

Wider aspects are closer to what we see with our eyes and so more natural and better.

Scientifically proved years ago.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:44
Calibans Dream
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the human field of vision is basically 1.33:1 , or 4:3 .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_ratio_%28image%29
Absolute rubbish! You see a square box do you?

Off to specsavers, quick!
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