Widescreen
Die Widescreen-Infoseite


A little more confusion. There is another film shooting standard, called Super35. The most prominent user of Super35 is director James Cameron; "Terminator 2", "True Lies" and "Titanic" were shot in this format. Super35 is kind of a mixture between flat and anamorphic. The camera shoots an unsqueezed picture in 1.33 : 1 aspect ratio. An excerpt of this frame is copied to an anamorphic 2.35 : 1 picture. The fullscreen presentation shows nearly the entire picture, similar to flat films. With Super35 it is easier to get a large picture for the movie theatre and a better transfer for TV or video. The theatrical widescreen presentation has more visual information at the sides, the fullscreen version has more information at the top and bottom. As an advantage Super35 works better at low light levels and does not produce optical distortions, but the picture is more grainy than an anamorphic film and the printing is less convenient.
For better understanding a few comparisons between theatre and TV/Video:




   



   



   


   

It is obvious that the widescreen picture has a more intelligent composition and is more dynamic. Maybe someone is now saying, "yes, that's it, isn't it!" Well, it isn't. Just like with flat films, special effects are done with the theatrical aspect ratio in mind because it is less expensive. Those special effect scenes require a "pan & scan" process: visual information and picture composition are destroyed. Best example: "Titanic". Nearly all scenes with digital effects are produced in 2.35 : 1 - those scenes are a zoomed-in excerpt in the fullscreen version. And it depends on the director of photography how well he pays attention to the fullscreen ratio - movies are still made for theatres. And this is the best argument against Super35. You should see the film as you saw it in the theatre - in a widescreen presentation.


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© 1999 Alex Klutzny
Special thanks to Rich Norman

"The Long Kiss Goodnight" © 1996 New Line Cinema