Underworld: 1:85:1 is the original format!


Standard Member
Mar 17, 2002
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Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
According to an story in a spanish magazine (dvdaccion), as mentioned in a spanish forum, UNderworld was originally shoot in 1:85:1, but the director had second thoughts and added black bars in order to make it appear as a 2:85:1 film!
The company that will be releasing the film in Spain had access to both masters of the film and decided to release the sale edition in the "original" format (and of course avoiding the "dreaded" black bars that some consumers (normally the less informed about formats an all that) hate so much).

Please take all this with a pinc of salt. I´ll try to get a copy of that magazine, it seems they have made a comparison of captures from both versions, and seems to prove that the "good" transfer is the 1:85:1 one!
I didn't think any films were shot in 2.35:1, I thought they are all framed later.
So why crop them? Seem like folk complained about the sides being cut of but not bothered about the top and bottom of the film being cut, although does not lead to pan and scan problems does leave a lot of scenes where people have the top of there head cut of which in photography is classed as a badly framed picture..
I saw a bit of ID4 on five the other week which was shown in 4:3 and compared it to the original release and that had been cropped top and bottom for the general release.
Very interesting, i will check my copy out and see whether the top and bottom of the image looks cropped. The director could have wanted it to be 2.35 part way through and shot with more space at the top and bottom of the image so when cropped to 2.35 not much was lost, maybe?
Not this again you guys should know better.

If something is shot scope its normally 2.35 on the camera neg and 2.40 on the final conformed neg to allow for splice space. Scope is effectively an academy frame squeazed 1:2 . It does not use the soundtrack area of the film on the right hand side ands this is also normally cropped off ( the lens is invariabley centred for the academy space) even if image is recorded in the soundtrack area.

2k scan is 1828x1556 normally and affords very little safe area.

Super35 is normally shot fullap ( full aperture) at 2048x1556. It uses the soundtrack area for image. It is normally composed for wider aspects such as 1.85 or less commonly 2.35. They do not normally radically recompose shots at the lab what they will do is crop and repo the frame to fit in an academy area to allow soundtrack space ( they may also do an anamorphic type squeeze so that the finally mastered neg is the same format as a 2.40 scope film , resolution differences aside)

The DOP will normally compose to 2.40 and work safe to 1.85 or even 1.66 . This is with half an eye on doing a 4:3or 16x9 version that incorporates more of the original frame than a normal pan and scan version. However working safe means making an attempt to keep junk out of shot and having enough coverage on your sets.

If you find that heads are cut on the original aspect ration then its deliberate ( unless they have screwed up the transfer : case in point Excalibur on dvd although technically that was 1.66 academy anyway and not really shot with any other composition in mind). Cropping through an actors head is not necessarily all that uncommon or indicative of a badly composed shot in either film or photography .
Mr D thanks for the descriptive response, wow you dont happen to work in the film industry do you ;)
He does.:D
everything mr d says is true for a visual walkthrough on super 35 at least see the t2 extras on the second side or se7en

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