September 12, 2014 at 4:18AM
Terry Gilliam and Aspect Ratios
I just watched Terry Gilliam's "The Zero Theorem" last night and thought it was a very beautiful looking film. When I was doing my post viewing research on the film I came across a nice quote about why he picked the 16:9 aspect ratio and I thought it would be interesting to discuss this here.
"Since Gilliam faced frustrations over the correct aspect ratio on home video releases of his earlier film Tideland (2005), The Zero Theorem was shot in the Maxivision format with an 1:1.85 aspect ratio, with 16:9 matting and telecine in mind, so Gilliam could be certain that every viewer in the world would see exactly what he had intended them to see in a premeditated 16:9 framing, no matter what device they would use; what Gilliam additionally liked about this technique, which he calls "the first one-size-fits-all, full-frame, semi-vinyl motion picture", was that it resulted in round edges on frame corners which he found resembled a vintage 1920s movie-going experience when projectors were not yet fitted to hide the camera gate's round edges."
Here's a link to the video interview.
What do all of you think? It's an interesting perspective and as much as I'd like to start shooting in 2:35, he does make a good point about 16:9 being so universal on all of our electronic devices. But, 16:9 is also bigger than 2:35 so it's not like there would be any issues showing that aspect ratio.
He also talks about being able to see the "gate" in the finished film which I thought actually looked really cool, it worked really well with this film.
However, the one thing I didn't like is that he used iPhones which really just felt weird in this kind of movie.