The Movie Formats

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tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

MOMI (The Museum of the Moving Image, Southbank, London) sell big posters that show in brain numbing detail all the aspect ratios that have been used in the cinema. Maybe I should've said "some of the aspect ratios.."

Whatever - it's a fascinating insight into the ingenuity that has been used to get us away from the Academy format (the latter 1,37:1 and not 1,33:1 as many believe).

tom.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Yup, I've got a big page gleaned from the web that shows the same.

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pcwells
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Joined: Jun 10 1999

Does it list all the movies that have been made in each format?

Now that would be a big poster!

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Calm down, tiger. No, it justs lsist the formats, when invented, and the technical details. I'll email you a copy privately. Do what you wish with it then.

Andy Martin
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

Now that we have lost most of our large screening venues, formats like 70mm seem to be increasingly consigned to the pages of cinema history books. Sadly, few young people will have seen a film screened in 70mm. In its original format, a film like David Lean's Ryan's Daughter becomes an entirely different entity. The images and locations set the story in context. The film only truly exists when screened in this context. Any other format robs it of meaning.

On the other hand there have been attempts at doing the reverse. I recall seeing a 70mm release of Gone With The Wind. It was, of course, originally shot in Standard Academy!
Some things shouln't be changed!

Mad_mardy
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Joined: Oct 19 2000

the film sie eg 70mm has nothing to do with the aspect ratio
i do not know of any films that were originally filmed on 70mm as you implied
although i may be wrong and misread what you were saying

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Unicorn
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Joined: Apr 12 1999

It does, because different formats have different native aspect ratios: 70mm, for example, is something like 2.2:1, whereas 35mm is 4:3... though you can crop 35mm down to any ratio you desire, or potentially adjust a 70mm camera to shoot 4:3 or a 35mm camera to shoot 1:1.

Quite a few movies were shot in 70mm, though it was far more common a few decades ago; even today, quite a few are shot in IMAX format, which is shot on the same 70mm film but frames run along the film rather than across it.

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Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Just about the silliest photo I've seen involving film kit, was taken at 20,000 feet on Everest. It shows an IMAX camera and lens, lugged up there by Sherpas. It was on two tripods, one for the camera, another for the lens. It got through an entire 70mm film pack in 20 seconds. The footage was/is stunning.

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tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Just to say guys that no camera shoots 70mm film, they all shoot 65mm film. The release prints are on 70mm stock to give more room for sound tracks etc, and because 70mm film fits the projector gate rather better (ho, ho).

tom.

Unicorn
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Joined: Apr 12 1999

Pedant 8-) ! Yes, I know it's really 65mm, but since everyone's been referring to it here as 70mm it seemed to make more sense to continue doing so than confuse everyone even more...

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Andy Martin
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

I think we all know that(theoretically anyway) the film size has nothing to do with the potential aspect ratio. One could mask any print size to any ratio - though the quality of picture might be variable! I think most of us also know that 70mm release prints started life as 65mm in the camera. The extra 5mm is used to accommodate the six magnetic soundtracks and also (as it exactly twice the width of 35mm film) allows the easier construction of dual sprocket projectors.

I do think that most of us pay more than a passing respect to the cinema technology which has gone before us. In reality, however, let's face it, modern video technology has little do do with the mechanical/chemical process utilised in existing cinema presentation - though this will change!

Benfrain
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Joined: Feb 23 2001

Most recent 70mm film exmple I can think off was Hamlet by Kenneth Brannagh. I believe there was also a special print of Terminator 2 in 70mm as well but don't quote me.

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