From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 11:36:49 PDT
Sunrise, Four Sons, and other early Fox Movietone
films were shot in Movietone aspect ratio, which was
basically silent ratio with an optical track slapped
over the side of it, changing it from 1.33:1 to
something like 1.19:1. "M" and a number of European
productions were also shot in this ratio.
When Gone With the Wind was re-released about 7 years
ago (for its 60th anniversary I believe), Warner knew
most theatres wouldn't be able to handle 1.37:1 aspect
ratio anymore (not having the lenses or plates), so
they released it widely in a Scope version which
matted and squeezed the 1.37 image on a 2.35 Scope
frame, with black matting on the sides, so theatres
could show it through their Scope lens and plate,
getting the "correct" aspect ratio in projection.
Unfortunately, this, combined with the so-so
Technicolor dye transfer printing done (resuscitated
for this and only a few other films around the late
'90s/early 2000s, to my knowledge), meant the prints
didn't look that wonderful.
Wizard of Oz, for its 60th anniversary the same year,
matted a 1.37 image on a 1.85 frame, another approach
which meant the image would be much smaller on the
film strip, and a little grainier blown up for the
screen, but this actually looked pretty darn good,
because the prints were supposedly made from new
negatives originating from the original 3-strip camera
negative somehow, and plus they didn't bother trying
to dye-transfer print them to my knowledge. I think
in the case of GWTW, a secondary source element was
used rather than the original 3-strip camera neg,
which does still exist in apparently excellent
Anyway, it's kind of amusing to discuss Wizard of Oz
and Gone With the Wind on Frameworks.
--- Freya <email suppressed> wrote:
> It's possible this could work I think.
> A Cinemascope gate is actually taller than an
> gate in terms of the aspect ratio of the hole. I
> it is something like the height of the original
> apeture but of course with a soundtrack to one side.
> So if a film was shot with a scope gate and flat
> lenses it would come out a bit taller than we are
> to. The image would be less wide than academy. I've
> actually wondered on occasion if this is the aspect
> ratio that Sunrise and I think M also were shot in.
> Does anyone know?
> Anyway, the thing is that if the image on the film
> masked to academy then the extra bit of film area
> should be black, and thus when projected, even thru
> scope gate, this area will also be black (unless
> are scratches and stuff) and so it should work. It's
> like it being masked in camera, except in this case
> it's masked in an optical printer or something.
> Having the right lenses and being able to get the
> image to fit the screen right might still be a
> Of course the reverse is not true and if you are
> shooting scope you need an anamorphic gate, which
> very aware of at the moment as I think a friend has
> come over and thrown mine away. :(
> They meant well....
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