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Re: 4:3 in a 16/9 environment - creative question if you please..

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Robert Withers
Re: 4:3 in a 16/9 environment - creative question if you please..
on Jul 14, 2019 at 3:09:29 am

Hi Mark,
There are probably many ways to make it different but I don't think there are any of making it better than the integrity of the 4:3 ratio of the original movie image. Think of any classic photograph or painting -- one can always make it different.

I heard that wide-screen movies used to be re-processed for distribution on 4:3 TV screens by zooming and panning within individual shots to reframe compositions in order to fit the different ratio ("pan and scan"). This would seem to be fairly labor-intensive, and perhaps not always successful. From the point-of-view of some producers and distributors this might have been considered better. From the point of view of others, it would be considered a deceptive concealment of the nature of the original. I guess it could be done in reverse, panning and zooming to try to find wide-screen compositions within the 4:3 image.

Of course exhibited films have always submitted to the vagaries of each individual theater's available masks, screen sizes, and drapery. We are now at the mercy of streaming sources and TV manufacturers who modify cinema images to produce different results that may be rather different from what filmmakers intended.

Best wishes!

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City

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