I'm curious to know if cropping footage smaller than 16:9 is worth doing in film making for wide screen like 1.85:1. If it's for DVD, I don't see any issues but what if it's converted to 35mm for the big screen, would cropping the image be the same as a cropped 35mm picture or would there be too much data loss?
1.85 is so close to 16:9 and black bars look weird on HD TVs anyway so I wouldn't bother. If you really want something more like 2.35 sure make dramatic crops with a widescreen matte in your NLE. But again I personally don't see the point. You're just covering up part of the frame.