Why are movies shot in Anamorphic when typical HDTVs are 16:9 aspect ratio?

Babybandit

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2008
126
0
Isn't it better when it's shot in 1920 x 1080 so the screen is filled?
No. Because movies are often shot for the big screen in the cinema. As a Filmmaker, You'd want to make your film for the optimized delivery. That means Dolby 7.1 even if your audience does not have it at home. Similarily, in 2.35:1 even if the audience lacks a screen for that at home. And there are commercially available 21:9 televisions and recently, a laptop was announced to sport one. (I'm very excited for that! Not the Windows, However).

I recently shot my 30 second short in 2.35:1. It's not something that will appear in a Cinema or anything. It's simply myself having a similar belief that it should be shot for the optimal condition of screening. In this case, 2.35:1 was a better option because it suited the images I wanted to show as opposed to 16:9. So even if it doesn't fill my screen, and I lose images from the top and the bottom of the frame - it's a preferable. Because it enhances the image. Am I worried about it being cropped when shown? A little. But many homes have Widescreen as default rather than "Fill" (I can't find the link to the survey anymore). So…
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,286
44
HDTV aspect ratio of 16:9 is just a delivery option.
Most films are shot high with the intention of playing it at highest resolution at initial run.
Some purists will not even crop their film to fit the full 16:9 raster.
They will be stubborn and force the letterbox on the consumer.
But Im not sure if that answers your Anamorphic question?
 

2jaded2care

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2003
336
0
Atlanta
My question is, why is HDTV 1.78:1, when most movies are 1.85:1? (Yes, some movies are 1.66:1, up to 2.35:1... but 1.78:1 is just weird.) I'm sure there was some technical reason, but I don't have to like it.
 
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mooblie

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2009
368
57
The Highlands, Scotland
Standard Definition TV is/was 4:3.
High Definition TV is 16:9.
Global standards, agreed by all manufacturers and broadcast industry.

The film industry likes to do its own thing(s).
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,766
134
Harrogate
Standard Definition TV is/was 4:3.
High Definition TV is 16:9.
Global standards, agreed by all manufacturers and broadcast industry.

The film industry likes to do its own thing(s).
To be fair they were doing them before there was such a thing as TV...
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Isn't it better when it's shot in 1920 x 1080 so the screen is filled?
As a quick aside most movies are not shot anamorphic. Shooting anamorphic requires using anamorphic lenses that distort the image so a wider image can be recorded without the need for matting/cropping. 35mm film has an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 (IIRC) and is closer to square than not (SD TVs are 1.33:1, for comparison) so to get the wider aspect ratios the image would be matted into whatever the filmmaker wanted (1.85:1 is the most common movie aspect ratio). There are technical limitations and distortions (most notably the lens flare) involved with using anamorphic lenses so that's why they aren't more commonly used.


Some purists will not even crop their film to fit the full 16:9 raster.
They will be stubborn and force the letterbox on the consumer.
I don't see that as being stubborn. Don't you want to the movie as it was intended to be seen?


Lethal
 

bocomo

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
495
0
New York
HDTV aspect ratio of 16:9 is just a delivery option.
Most films are shot high with the intention of playing it at highest resolution at initial run.
Some purists will not even crop their film to fit the full 16:9 raster.
They will be stubborn and force the letterbox on the consumer.
But Im not sure if that answers your Anamorphic question?
It doesn't take a purist to not want your hard work cropped

Letterboxing preserves the entire frame of what's shot, full screen is an abomination
 

lostless

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2005
348
6
Why are movies shot in Anamorphic when typical HDTVs are 16:9 aspect ratio? Isn't it better when it's shot in 1920 x 1080 so the screen is filled?
Movies are not shot in anamorphic. Anamorphic is a delivery method on DVDs. Bluray is not anamorphic, but full 1920x1080. Anamorphic exists on DVD because it only deals in a 4:3 SDTV frame. There is no true widescreen resolution on DVD. To get maximum resolution of a DVD (480 vertical lines) studios stretch the image vertically to a full 4:3 frame. Then your HDTV takes that nearly square image and stretches it out horizontally, making the image look normal.
The other option is to hard matte the wide screen film into a 4:3 frame and then you get loss of vertical resolution and need to use the zoom feature on your TV to make it proper.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Movies are not shot in anamorphic. Anamorphic is a delivery method on DVDs. Bluray is not anamorphic, but full 1920x1080. Anamorphic exists on DVD because it only deals in a 4:3 SDTV frame.
Movies can be shot anamorphic (thus requiring them to be projected anamorphic as well). Using Full Height Anamorphic (squeezing a widescreen image into a 4x3 frame) isn't just for DVDs either. I've delivered, and received, show masters and elements as FHA on Beta and DigiBeta before.


Lethal
 

nateo200

macrumors 68030
Feb 4, 2009
2,857
6
Northern District NY
One thing allot people don't understand is that movies are made for projection in a theater and to make money. In no way, shape or form is a hot shot director thinking of someones 4:3 or even 16:9 TV in their standard living room. They are thinking big 2.35:1 screen with a big projector, lots of money, Dolby Surround 7.1 and did I mention money? Honestly if you don't like 2.35:1 because it doesn't "fit the screen" deal with it or just buy a proper projector...the director made the movie widescreen for a reason.

Honestly I am dying to get a 2.35:1 TV...I can stand 16:9 being pillarbarred and watching my friends stare in horror at my 65" 2.35:1 monitor "not letting Call of Duty fill the screen" :D:D:p

can you imagine the horror of going from 70mm to NTSC :p
.....no words!
 
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mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,286
44
Red ray

Looking forward to having one of these ;)
I at least would get choice (viewing) with the footage we shoot.
Now if I can only afford one for home :)
 

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