No matter what you're shooting, be it Super 16, 35, HD, or iPhone videos for YouTube, you're going to run into the question of aspect ratio. Aspect Ratio, defined as: "the proportional relationship between [an image's] width and its height," determines not only the look, but frequently the feel and mood of a piece, too. At some point, every production is going to have to pick one, and at Vashi Visuals, you can not only see every aspect ratio used in the history of cinema, but also pick up a free template package for use in your own projects.
Aspect Ratio can play a huge part in giving a film its mood, e.g., the epic 2.35 of Panorama is very different from the 1.43 of IMAX. Here's a quick refresher for the uninitiated:
Aspect ratio is commonly expressed as 2 numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. For an x:y aspect ratio, no matter how big or small the image is, if the width is divided into x units of equal length and the height is measured using this same length unit, the height will be measured to be y units. For example, consider a group of images, all with an aspect ratio of 16:9. One image is 16 inches wide and 9 inches high. Another image is 16 centimeters wide and 9 centimeters high. A third is 8 yards wide and 4.5 yards high.
Over at Vashi Visuals, you can check out every single aspect ratio ever used in film, from Thomas Edison Standard to Cinerama and beyond, all the way to the RED. In addition, there is a direct download link to free .PNG templates that you can use in your own productions. This is a great post, and Vashi has done everyone in the community a great service by digging deep showing us just how crazy the history of aspect ratios actually is.
What do you think? As an indie filmmaker, what is your relationship to aspect ratio? Do you have a favorite in terms of aesthetics? When planning and shooting a production, how much thought do you give to aspect ratio?