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Author Topic: Custom Aspect Ratios
Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-01-2016 03:00 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Two films we've shown lately, Cafe Society and Little Men, both labeled as Flat and no indication of a special aspect ratio had their images letter/pillar boxed to something that didn't seem to correspond to any regular ratio.

Cafe Society had dark bars on the top and bottom. No where near enough for a 2.37 ratio.
Little Men is pillar boxed to what may be a 1:66 ratio, but I couldn't tell without measuring.

We played flat trailers before both and they properly filled the screen. We have movable side and top masking, so can bump it for Little Men, but there is nothing we could do about Cafe Society.

Anybody run into this with other films? There's much conversation about big budget movies, but both of these are small indies that won't get the IMAX treatment.

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Steve Moore
Expert Film Handler

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From: Leeds, West Yorks, UK
Registered: Apr 2008


 - posted 10-01-2016 03:33 PM      Profile for Steve Moore   Email Steve Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cafe Society DCP was listed on the drive as F200, here in the UK, so I was expecting it to look about the same as Jurassic World did, for which we made a custom ratio. However the black at the top and bottom were much narrower than the preset we made of Jurassic.

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Martin McCaffery
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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 10-01-2016 05:21 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just re-checked both films and both our versions are straight "F".

No matter what you think of his films, Woody usually has good cinematographers, so I guessing the letter boxing is a deliberate choice.

Felling conspiratorial, I wonder if it has anything to do with being distributed by Amazon Studios.

And I notice IMDB has it listed 2.00:1, though Little Men is listed 1:85.

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Mike Schulz
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From: Los Angeles, CA
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 - posted 10-01-2016 07:44 PM      Profile for Mike Schulz   Email Mike Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I did a bit of searching around to find out why they used a strange aspect ratio on "Cafe Society" and it seems to be a specific trait of cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, who created a new film format with his son called Univisium that has an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. Apparently he shoots all of his films with that ratio now.

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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 10-02-2016 01:26 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I remembered reading that Storaro had gone a bit David Icke in evangelizing about his perfect film format. One aspect of it struck me, though:

quote: Wikipedia article on Univisium
The format also calls for shooting 25 frames per second, which eliminates problems associated with transferring film to video in the PAL and SECAM system and is still fairly simple to transfer to the NTSC video format.
This means that you're buggered as far as transferring it to an Interop DCP is concerned, aren't you? OK, at least some server and projector combos will play Interop DCPs with a non-24 frame rate without complaining, but by no means all.

He was clearly thinking only in terms of standard def video when he decided on 25, and never imagined that when LCD screens did away with the need for interlacing (and thus locking the TV frame rate to the AC cycle rate), the broadcast world would move towards the cinema world's use of 24.

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Stephen Furley
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From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
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 - posted 10-04-2016 07:28 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We downloaded 'Little Men' from SDC Screenfast a few weeks ago.

LittleMen_FTR_F-1.66_EN-EN_51_2K_20160719_SDC_IOP_OV

It's ingesting at this moment, screening on the 18th and the 20th.

We've had several new 1.66 films recently, I think 'Childhood of a Leader' just a week or two ago was the last. It used to be quite common in the '70s, 'The Railway Children' for example, and possibly 'A Clockwork Orange', but I'm not sure about that one. We've had about half a dozen in the last couple of years or so.

Also getting quite a lot of 1.78; low budget stuff shot on HD video.

Thanks for the warning about 'Café Society'. That will need to be set up while I'm away in Yorkshire for a few days, so I'll warn whoever is going to be doing it.

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Martin McCaffery
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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 10-04-2016 07:59 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, why do the British versions of films get properly labeled and the American don't? Is it just assumed the Americans don't give a damn and/or can't do anything about it?

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Stephen Furley
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From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
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 - posted 10-04-2016 08:55 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know Martin. I did see both the download and disk versions of one DCP, and the CPL names were different; I can't remember what the difference was now. Did abybody here in the UK receive this on disk? Was the aspect ratio included in the name?

'El Sur' arrived about five minutes ago. It's also 1.66, and shown as such. This one did arrive on disk. It's an older film of course, 1983 if our programme flyer is correct, but still quite late for 1.66. Maybe it lasted longer in Spain than in the UK.

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James Biggins
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From: Leicester U.K.
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 - posted 10-04-2016 09:31 AM      Profile for James Biggins   Email James Biggins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Stephen Furley
...while I'm away in Yorkshire for a few days
Bradford by any chance Stephen?

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Stephen Furley
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From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
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 - posted 10-04-2016 11:55 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, hoping to see 'Cinerama's Russian Adventure', I've only ever seen clips from it.

I've then got three more days to do whatever I like. I normally go to Bradford two or three times each year for a few days. Never decide in advance where to go each day, decide on the day, mainly depending on the weather.

I like the North, and Bradford is very well situated to get to just about any of it in a day trip.

Will also stock up on various things from Booths supermarket in Ilkley; much better than any supermarket we have down South.

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Jim Cassedy
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 - posted 10-04-2016 12:05 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As I noted in another post, the recently released "American Honey"
is in either 1:33 or 1:37 aspect ratio, within a FLAT container,
but this fact is not indicated in the CPL or any of the paperwork.
I discovered this before one of my press screenings, so I was able
to set the masking accordingly, as we never run trailers or ads.
But, it would have been nice if they labeled it correctly.
Where are the DCP naming police when you need them? [Wink]

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Randy Stankey
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 - posted 10-04-2016 07:18 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Schulz
I did a bit of searching around to find out why they used a strange aspect ratio on "Cafe Society" and it seems to be a specific trait of cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, who created a new film format with his son called Univisium that has an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. Apparently he shoots all of his films with that ratio now.
That means Storaro has painted himself into a proverbial corner. Hasn't he?

If he created this format, Univisium, and wants to evangelize its use then he MUST use that format, himself, or else his proposal will be seen as mere empty words.

If his proposed format made sense, more directors/producers would use it but, as others have said above, it's half baked at best. Even so, he has to keep using it or else he could be seen as little more than a blowhard.

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Matt Smith
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From: Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England
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 - posted 10-11-2016 04:26 PM      Profile for Matt Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cafe Society is indeed marked as F-200 in the UK, as is The Girl With All The Gifts.

I believe American Honey is marked F-137, at least the trailer is...

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Daniel Schulz
Master Film Handler

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From: Los Angeles, CA USA
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 - posted 10-11-2016 09:12 PM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Home video tangent - Netflix's "Stranger Things" was also a 2.00:1 AR show.

I'm not sure what's driving this mini-surge in this AR, but it might have something to do with a desire for a wider-than-16:9 image, while recognizing that because most cinemas are constant-width rather than constant-height, coupled with the fact that home video is now 16:9, something a little taller than 2.35 yields a larger final image. Just a thought.

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

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From: Bloomington, IN, USA
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 - posted 10-12-2016 12:02 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
We've had several new 1.66 films recently, I think 'Childhood of a Leader' just a week or two ago was the last. It used to be quite common in the '70s, 'The Railway Children' for example, and possibly 'A Clockwork Orange', but I'm not sure about that one.
CLOCKWORK is indeed 1.66AR

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