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Old April 26th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #16
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I'm not saying 16x9 is bad, just that if it is supposed to completely replace 4:3, I think that would be an artistic and creative mistake.

In the situation you describe, you have a low budget set up, but, you have complete control over your set-up because it is in your home in a dedicated room. That's not the type of scenario I am talking about. Most of the interviews that I have shot have been on location, and many times with a low enough budget to where I could not afford to hire help. I have many memories of an extension cord being in the shot in 4 x 3 mode and having to be hidden. I can only image that being an even bigger issue in 16x9.

A side wall with mounted picture frames that cannot be taken down can cause all kinds of issues, in 4 x 3, I could avoid it easier than I would have been able to in 16 x 9. People can be very fussy about what they want in and out of frame when it comes to interviews done in their home environment, having a wider frame can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to low budget location work and I believe the quick fix will be to do more close-ups rationalize that as being what was wanted all along.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #17
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I would speculate that from a pyschological/perception point of view (aaargggh - unintended pun!), most viewers would mostly vote for a wiiiide width:height ratio. At least 2:1 if not more.

But as a previous post said, we started out with round tubes (1:1 as it were) because of technical limitations. Since then there's been a simple trend for displays to become progresively wider as the display technology to do so becomes more affordable. (It being much more cost-efficient to produce a wide-ratio LCD than a wide-ratio cathode ray tube).

Last edited by Graham Hickling; April 26th, 2007 at 01:56 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #18
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Alessandro,

Have you seen the video where i show my studio/room.. im using a closet space for my width. if your telling me your going to have a un controled enviorment that is less then 5 feet wide(my green screen set up is 5 feet wide)
your going to have alot of probes no matter what aspect you shoot.

I find it hard to belive you have such framing issues with 16:9.. it's not lake your throwing on a wide lens. as far as replacing 4:3 that fight is done... with hd consumer cams come into play and all networks going HD. its won.. plus when was the last time you saw a 4:3 movie screen at your local theater.

as far as my setup.. i can unpack take down and move it to any location if i really needed to, no help needed. before my wife gave me more space. I did not have any room in the house to keep the lights and screen. So i just set up shop in the living room,Media Room, even the kitchen. and i would have to break it all apart before she got home. it's all about taking control.

16:9,4:3,HD,SD, budget no budget it will not matter if you know your stuff.

This is like apple vs pc, or ps3 vs xbox it's all about personal pref.. but sooner or later you will have to join or be left behind.

I think your still living on your super 8 days and thats fine but you really have to understand. In this biz you have to keep moving forward

speaking of moving forward... I got a Mint Canon super 8 with audio as a gift from one of my segment producers. :)

Alessandro we could have used you on the high school debate team, lol. this has been a fun topic full of information and going back and forth.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi View Post
I'm not saying 16x9 is bad, just that if it is supposed to completely replace 4:3, I think that would be an artistic and creative mistake.

.
Where did you get the idea that 16x9 was supposed to completely replace 4x3?
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #20
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Well down here it's very hard to sell anything that isn't 16:9.
Still I don't see what the fuss is about. One can shoot 4:3 and put that in a 16:9 frame and you can move it around in that 16:9 frame. You can shoot 16:9 and mask it too. You can fill the rest of the frame with black or anything else. I've done all of this, in tight spaces at times.
Yes native 16:9 is trickier to shoot well but in the end you have more creative options. 16:9 cameras are now very cheap compared to where they were a few years ago so I'd have to say the cost of production has gone down.
Now that I'm feeling quite comfortable about 16:9 I find at times an even wider aspect would be nice.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #21
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Hmmm, I haven't posted on DVINFO in a long time.

I like 4:3. It's close to the square, much closer than, say, 16:9. It has it's own qualities and asks to be used in a way that is quite different than, say, 16:9. For superb cinematic examples of it's use, see also The Passion of Joan of Arc, by Carl Dreyer, Arsenal, by Aleksander Dovschenko, and Metropolis, by Fritz Lang.

It's an inspired choice between the two, for some. You can always have your project 4:3 letterboxed for 16:9 television viewers ;} .
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Old April 28th, 2007, 04:07 AM   #22
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BTW, 16:9 is almost right between 4:3 television and 2.35:1 cinema. 4:3 is horrible for watching standard movies while 16:9 only has small black bars. Many movies in the past several years have taken television into consideration so a great deal of the action takes place toward the center of the screen. it really looks like movies are now framed for 16:9 and only scenery is on the outer edges.

If you don't like your backgrounds, put a cheap greenscreen behind your talent and use a garbage matte to key out the rest. Problem solved cheaply.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ferreira View Post
Alessandro,

Have you seen the video where i show my studio/room.. I'm using a closet space for my width. if your telling me your going to have an uncontrolled enviornment that is less then 5 feet wide(my green screen set up is 5 feet wide) your going to have alot of probs no matter what aspect you shoot.

I find it hard to believe you have such framing issues with 16:9.. it's not like your throwing on a wide lens. As far as replacing 4:3 that fight is done... with hd consumer cams come into play and all networks going HD. its won.. plus when was the last time you saw a 4:3 movie screen at your local theater.

As far as my setup.. i can unpack take down and move it to any location if i really needed to, no help needed. before my wife gave me more space. I did not have any room in the house to keep the lights and screen. So i just set up shop in the living room,Media Room, even the kitchen. and i would have to break it all apart before she got home. it's all about taking control.

16:9,4:3,HD,SD, budget no budget it will not matter if you know your stuff.

This is like apple vs pc, or ps3 vs xbox it's all about personal pref.. but sooner or later you will have to join or be left behind.

I think your still living on your super 8 days and thats fine but you really have to understand. In this biz you have to keep moving forward

speaking of moving forward... I got a Mint Canon super 8 with audio as a gift from one of my segment producers. :)

Alessandro we could have used you on the high school debate team, lol. this has been a fun topic full of information and going back and forth.
Ha, I wish I could shoot super-8 more often, although I do have a short super-8 film I D.P.'d that is being shown during the Cannes festivities, it's not an official entry but somehow the director is having a promo of the short screened there anyways.

I just shot an interview on Betacam Sp in an artists loft. The artist actually had one wall that was his working/painting area and it was in itself a painting of various patterns and colors. I found the 4 x 3 frame gave an entirely different feel to the interview and based on the somewhat tight quarters, it allowed me to keep my one battery operated bounce light closer to the subject while emitting less heat than an AC light would. (air conditioning was off and outdoors it was in the low 90's). If I had had to light a bigger area, I would have needed two lights and I might not have been able to be as wide without then seeing outside the border of the painting on the wall. or my bounce card.

This is really complicated stuff. I stayed wider much of the time because the artist had terrific arm motions and gestures as he spoke and I could capture that in a wide shot WITHOUT revealing the surrounding area that would have clashed with the area we were shooting in. If I had been as wide in 16 x 9 as I was in 4 x 3 to get the full range of the hand & arm gestures in, I most assuredly would have gotten the sides of the room in my frame and that would have clashed with the painted space directly behind the artist.

Sometimes you go into a space and your goal is to not change it very much, and the wider my frame is the harder that goal becomes.

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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #24
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Where did you get the idea that 16x9 was supposed to completely replace 4x3?
From about 99% of the discussion about HD that I read everywhere.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi View Post
From about 99% of the discussion about HD that I read everywhere.
Well if you are discussing HD, then yes, HD is a 16x9 format.
But SD for the most part is a 4x3 format. And SD video is not going away any time soon. So you can shoot all the 4x3 standard Def video your heart desires, and be happy once more.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
Well if you are discussing HD, then yes, HD is a 16x9 format.
But SD for the most part is a 4x3 format. And SD video is not going away any time soon. So you can shoot all the 4x3 standard Def video your heart desires, and be happy once more.
I wish that was true David, but some of the very high end film festivals seem to have a requirement that all entries be converted to either Film or HD even though a betacam sp player with a line doubler would produce a very adequate image for those who originally shot their productions on either film or non-Hd formats. The result is dozens of "filmmakers" will needlessly spend thousands and thousands of dollars converting their films to HD when all the festival needed to do was simply get a betacam sp player. Multiply 20 filmmakers each spending between 5 to 10 grand to needlessly "uprezz" their movies and you're talking about 100,000 to 200,000 dollar total expenditures by filmmakers for one film festival that could be completely avoided if the festival owned a 10,000 dollar betacam sp player and a decent line-doubler for a couple thousand more.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:39 AM   #27
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Here in Finland all TV transmissions are going to be digital beginning 1:st of September this year. And the standard is 16:9. So goodbye 4:3. Which often would be much better especially for interview type programming. I just sold two travel documentaries to a national TV channel and they want it 16:9, so I reframed and uprezzed the docs with some vertical adjustements in some takes.

It is also a fad thing: I do also net videos and there 16:9 is the norm now, even though on the net the frame ratio could be anything.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:21 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Petri Kaipiainen View Post
Here in Finland all TV transmissions are going to be digital beginning 1:st of September this year. And the standard is 16:9. So goodbye 4:3. Which often would be much better especially for interview type programming. I just sold two travel documentaries to a national TV channel and they want it 16:9, so I reframed and uprezzed the docs with some vertical adjustements in some takes.

It is also a fad thing: I do also net videos and there 16:9 is the norm now, even though on the net the frame ratio could be anything.

There is a lot of misconception concerning DTV in the U.S.
Most think that DTV means High Def, but that is not necessarily the case.
All it really means, is that the broadcast transmission signal is digital instead of analog.
There are 18 different formats supported under DTV, including 480i, otherwise known as Standard Def.
Nowhere in the guidelines does it say you must broadcast in 16x9.
As a matter of fact, the majority of broadcast TV stations in the United States will continue to broadcast in Standard Definition.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:36 AM   #29
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This is an interesting discussion.

In every project I have shot there is always a moment where the particular aspect ratio becomes an issue for a given shot, and you think to yourself "too bad I'm not shooting this in xyz". If you are shooting 4:3 and you need to shoot a group of people (as was mentioned earlier), or perhaps an establishing shot of a building, you wish you were shooting widescreen to avoid having to show so much floor etc. If you shoot widescreen, sometimes you need to widen to show a little more height and suddenly there's a ton more visual information on the sides. I'm working on a Will Ferrell movie at the moment and just last night I was framing up an exterior of a building--we decided we needed to add a little more room at the bottom of the frame so we switched from a 29mm to a 24mm prime (night exterior so we couldn't use a zoom) but since we were shooting in the 2.35 aspect ratio, it added a LOT of space on the sides. I even joked with the director that it would have made a great shot in 1.85...! This echoed a film I shot a few years ago in the Bradbury Building in downtown LA--this is the one that was used in "Blade Runner" with the fantastic wrought iron elevators. It's a 6-8 story atrium and very narrow, so you can well imagine that trying to shoot wide vistas of the interior on the 2.35 aspect ratio requires extremely wide lenses!

That all said, I personally find the 16:9 aspect ratio to be a great medium. The widescreen is more satisfying visually than 4:3 in almost all instances as far as I am concerned. Now that I have 16:9 televisions, I find 4:3 with side letterboxing to be far more annoying than 16:9 with top and bottom letterboxing ever was (that was always kind of cool, really, except that the images became so much smaller). I can see that it presents an immediate practical issue for those used to shooting 4:3 headshots, but I would expect that the added demands of HD in terms of making the subject look good and not being able to "fudge" the backgrounds as much would be much more of a hassle than the extra width.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 12:14 PM   #30
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It is (going to be) digital PAL SD at 16:9 format here in Finland, 720x576 pixels. No HD, alas. Even the ex-CEO of National TV when pushing the change though that it would be digital HDTV, but how wrong he was...

Still about half of the households do not have a digital converter and analog broadcasts will stop totally in a few months. I do not have one either.
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