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Thread: Film Format

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA
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    Film Format

    Does anyone know why film format (ie the ratio) is the way it is today? I am aware that a number of years ago, there were a couple of competing formats and in the end it was a compromise between the two.

    But why did film initially go for such a wide landscape format. A visual art before this was painting and people had been using a rectangle somewhere in between a square and a double square. Ok there were exceptions (large altarpieces, ceiling frescos etc) but what was the initial attraction to the wide landscape format?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Kitimat, BC, Canada
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    I'm no authority, but I would assume it was to accomodate all the lateral movement that happens.....
    I can't come up with any scenarios where the abundance of movement would be vertical....and even if I could, it'd be far outnumbered by the scenarios I could imagine where lateral movement is the primary direction of things.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    LA California
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    they're not all the same, but that is typical

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    los angeles, ca
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    i thought it was 1:1.85 (standard widescreen) or 1:2.35 (cinemascope)

    i think the format has to do with how they decide to divide up the exposable area on the film.

    did a little digging and i think this page (it has some weirdness going on) answers most of your questions or at least i hope it does.
    Last edited by seb; May 27th, 2004 at 09:39 PM.

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