Cropping movies, but losing picture?

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
I know some don't mind it, but black bars top and bottom have annoyed me for years. Was annoying back in the 4:3 TV days when you either had a pair of black bars top and bottom or lost a sizeable amount of the picture either side with it being cropped. For a while most films (DVD and broadcast) were 1.78 or 1.85 to fill a 16:9 TV and looked great, but then Blu-ray seems to have set a trend for 2.35/2.40 ratio films, and the black bars are back. I accept it as a) there's not a lot I can do about it and b) I get why you wouldn't cut off the sides if it's the original presentation ratio.

But why would you deliberately cut off the top and bottom of a picture to make a 16:9 movie into "ultra widescreen"? Case in point, The Fast and the Furious (2001): the 2.35 stills are from the Blu-ray, and the 1.78 stills from the "open matte" version (both 1080p). You can see that the 2.35 offers less original image than the 1.78: the top and bottom is literally cut off, rather than offering more image at the sides. Seems illogically backwards to me

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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Movies are quite often shot and edited full frame but for many - me included, they gain an extra "something" when presented in a wider format. When they are shot, the DoP will have different crop guides setup within the viewfinder, so that they and the director can ensure shots work in both ratios.

Your shots are a good case in point. All the interest is in the tighter crop and the extra picture contributes nothing to the scene. In terms of quality, newer digital cinema cameras are normally more like 6K, so cropping to 2.35:1 doesn't degrade the quality to any visible extent.

I don't really see the black bars on my TV. The room is dark enough that they just disappear into the general gloom and I don't get any bleed or anything to detract from the picture.
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
I get that, but in this case (and I'm sure is the same for most movies) nothing, as far as information goes, is gained from cropping the top and bottom out, but actually the opposite. You can say the interest or focus is in the tighter crop, although that is subjective and down to the individual. Either way, I'd rather have that "wasted" area populated with picture than black bars.
 

Toasty

Distinguished Member
In this event I can see why 2.35:1 is offered, your first image of the green car looks a lot better to my eyes than the 16:9 version. As long as the aspect ratio compliments the story telling, its all good..
 

Mark Costello

Distinguished Member
Widescreen was introduced back in the 50's and 60's as a differentiator from the new fangled TV's AR of 1.33:1. Now that all TVs are 1.85:1, super wide screen or 2.35:1 is again seen as a key differentiator between TV and home viewing and big screen cinema viewing, hence an increase in films utilizing the larger aspect ratio.

While some view it as losing picture, as a director/creator its more about providing focus into key areas of your image -a close up of a pair of eyes in super wide 2,35:1 or even 2.55:1 places focus on the relatively small area of the eye as opposed to potentially getting distracted from a wider area around them........

Of course thats only one example, but as with everything, there is no losing picture its about giving the audience the creators intent.....simply put if a creator wanted less image at the top and bottom, then that's what we should as the intended audience be watching. Anything else is akin to watching a colourised B&W movie. The open matte version of F&F was never officially released and if you asked Rob Cohen would he say that that was his official version? Probably not, so its not like there is officially even a choice.

I love the 2.35:1 AOR as it really does scream 'CINEMA' at me........
 

Mark Costello

Distinguished Member
Of course the waters can be muddied with the likes of Kubrick and his preferred AOR for things like The Shining.....but he knew that a film after its relatively short cinema release would be more widely seen on TV so at that time, he preferred the 4:3 ratio and was able to frame accordingly because he then had some control over how his films were shown for the majority of viewers.........if only Stanley had realized the future was widescreen.......!!!
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
In this event I can see why 2.35:1 is offered, your first image of the green car looks a lot better to my eyes than the 16:9 version. As long as the aspect ratio compliments the story telling, its all good..

Perfect example of what I'm saying about subjectiveness
 

davidjohnson

Distinguished Member
Of course the waters can be muddied with the likes of Kubrick and his preferred AOR for things like The Shining.....but he knew that a film after its relatively short cinema release would be more widely seen on TV so at that time, he preferred the 4:3 ratio and was able to frame accordingly because he then had some control over how his films were shown for the majority of viewers.........if only Stanley had realized the future was widescreen.......!!!
I am sure I read somewhere that he made that decision after seeing one of his films on TV called "1 A Space Odys"
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
I love the 2.35:1 AOR as it really does scream 'CINEMA' at me........

I think that's what it probably boils down to. Trends. We had a 16:9 (1.78/1.85) trend with DVD as 16:9 TVs became the norm, and with the advent of Blu-ray we began to see 2.35/2.40 become the trend, as it's more about what people "feel" watching it than what they're actually watching. Kinda how MP3 is inferior to CD but it's more convenient so it's preferred: when home cinema began to take off, people were more about having that "cinema feel" at home, despite most only having a TV rather than a projector set up
 

QuestShield

Distinguished Member
Maybe. In cinemas perhaps. If theyre open...

3D is a dead duck.

If people want to watch 3D then fine, if they don't.. then fine. The option should be there for home viewing.
You should watch Doctor Strange in 3D, expand your mind with a bit of Marvel goodness, man. ;)
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
If people want to watch 3D then fine, if they don't.. then fine. The option should be there for home viewing.
You should watch Doctor Strange in 3D, expand your mind with a bit of Marvel goodness, man. ;)
Expand? Contract more like!
 

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