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Author Topic: Galaxy Quest Aspect Ratios
George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 12-21-1999 12:26 AM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just ran a promotional screening of "Galaxy Quest" and wanted to give everyone a heads up , this film is kind of unusual. It's a 2.39:1 anamorphic print but begins with a hard matted 1.33 frame. A couple minutes later, I looked out the port and saw that I was now running 1.85. Then, 15-20 minutes later, the ratio changed again to 2.39. Of course this was all done for dramatic effect, but it might make a projectionist do a double take when peering out the port. I'll have to watch the film to understand how the different ratios work with the story. One observation: The anamorphic 1:1.85 sequence looked better then typical flat 1:1.85 projection.


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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 12-21-1999 02:58 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
If only the studios would have ALL 1.85 films printed anamorphically! I believe a 1.5X anamorphic was discussed at one point in time to achieve 1.85 while not wasting a grain on the 4 perf image area. Wish that would've happened.

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 12-21-1999 10:23 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Iscovision.... Seems like a good idea, until you think about theaters with only a 2 lens turret. The idea actually might have a better chance if there was a hard changeover date. If there are still several films comming out (at the same time) in 3 formats, no one will commit. Some people can't even thread in frame, how are they going to get a lens out of a turret?

And while it's a relatively large improvement for low cost, it's not cheap. Figure $1000 for a 1.5X anamorphic adapter; $800 for another prime lens (probably the same focal length as the existing 'scope lens), 2 hours of tech time to install and file plates. At a 10 plex, that's about $20,000.

I'd love it, but it would have to be like the silverless soundtrack thing: pick a timeframe, and everyone sticks to it.

And because I haven't had my coffee yet, I will (in a cranky manner) note that the silverless soundtrack WILL go off as scheduled since that will be a cost savings to the studios/distrubutors, but that ELR's and 1.85 anamorphic won't anytime soon because that doesn't save studios anything. I'm really sure that the president of Warners or 20th Century gets up each morning and says; "I have to help the environment..."

Haaa...caffinee...good ...feeling better....

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George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 12-22-1999 12:21 AM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think 1:1.66 films should be printed within a 2.39:1 frame, so every crap theatre out there could actually show these films properly. And it would be impossible for lazy operators who had 1.66 lenses to run the films in 1.85 just to avoid a lens change. Of course the improvement in picture quality wouldn't be as great as with anamorphic 1.85.

One great advantage I can see with anamorphic 1.85/1.66 features is that bad operators could no longer do a half-assed job framing the film and just walk away. A slight misframe, and (as with 2.39) the frame line would be on screen.

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David Johnson
Film Handler

Posts: 54
From: Melbourne Vict Australia
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 12-22-1999 12:26 AM      Profile for David Johnson   Email David Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think this was the idea behind "Superscope" it was an Anamorphic print, but it was masked down the side to give 2 to 1 (I think)
David

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Andrew D'Vrey
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: St. Paul, MN USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 12-27-1999 03:31 AM      Profile for Andrew D'Vrey   Email Andrew D'Vrey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I sure did a double take first time I fired up Galaxy Quest. I could've sworn I was running a scope print with my Anamorphic lens until I peered out the port window and saw the image didn't fill the screen.

The image looked right, so I knew I wasn't using the wrong lens. I checked my apeture plate and I was using the right one for a scope print. My platters are on the right so I looked up at the traveling film and saw black bars matting the scope print. *Phew* it's supposed to be that way. .

But I stil think it looks terrible to play it on the screen like that. Anyone out there actually change their masking during these parts?

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"And the monkey flips the switch."
- Major Don West, "Lost In Space"

Andrew D'Vrey
IATSE Local 219

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 12-27-1999 09:16 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"But I stil think it looks terrible to play it on the screen like that. Anyone out there actually change their masking during these parts? "

I think it would be more trouble than it's worth. Besides, it would only work if your screen has adjustable side masking (not top masking). And unless you had that "sound transparent" masking, it would reduce the volume from the side speakers.

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Jim Bedford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 597
From: Telluride, CO, USA (733 mi. WNW of Rockwall, TX but it seems much, much longer)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-27-1999 09:42 AM      Profile for Jim Bedford   Author's Homepage   Email Jim Bedford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Try http://www.historyinacan.com/forums/35mm/index.cgi?read=5424 for info on Galaxy Quest aspect ratios.

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-14-2000 07:36 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've just started this one in Sydney and let me say that this is one GREAT movie!

We're doing the masking adjust at the appropriate moment and it looks pretty good. (LOVE that anamorphic 1.85:1).

It's a little annoying though, that Dreamworks couldn't have used their 1.85 ratio logo on the beginning. It is full frame and sort of negates the purpose of the hard matting to follow. Easily fixed, of course...Whoops!

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"It's not the years honey, it's the mileage".
Indiana Jones.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 04-14-2000 09:20 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kodak is producing a film demonstration to show the advantages of using a "Scope 1.5X" anamorphic print format. Current "flat" 1.85:1 crops the available height of the projected image to only 0.825 X 0.446 inches. Using the much larger "scope" image area of 0.825 X 0.690 inches with a 1.5X anamorphic projection lens gives a 1.79:1 (16:9) aspect ratio on the screen with 1.5X the light of current "flat" 1.85:1. In other words, if a theatre is struggling to get 11 footlamberts for current "flat" projection, they would increase it to at least 16 footlamberts by simply changing the lens and aperture plate. This significant increase in light would not require any change to the projector or sound. It would not require a larger lamp, and would not increase the heat on the film.

Although shooting the film with 1.5X anamorphic camera lenses would have the advantage of also using a larger image area on the negative (less graininess and better sharpness), they are not yet available. For our demo, we shot the film with spherical lenses, and did the 1.5X anamorphic "stretch" in an optical printer when we printed the duplicate negative. Kodak worked with IscoOptic to make the prototype 1.5X lenses for the printer and projector. Imagica USA did the optical printing. We hope to show this demonstration to distributors and exhibitors soon, in hopes that the "Scope 1.5X" format could be used to help larger theatre screens increase light levels dramatically.

For a discussion of how Kodak hopes to revive interest in this improved 35mm format, see the article I wrote in the February 1997 issue of "Film Notes for Reel People":
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/reel/february97/pytlak.shtml

Printing a 1.85:1 image with a 2X squeeze and masking the sides of the image so it can be projected with the current 2X anamorphic lenses is also a good idea, but it doesn't offer the significant increase in light that a 1.5X anamorphic system would give. "The Horse Whisperer" and "Galaxy Quest" are examples of recent films that used this technique to mix formats in a "scope" picture.


------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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