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Zach Goodwin2

Discovery I Made About Distribution A While Ago

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I remember in a conversation with an independent film theater about aspect ratios. I asked him about aspect ratios and he said that each room showing a movie in the movie theater either shows movies at the 1.85:1 or at 2.39:1 aspect ratio. And I asked him about the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and he said you can project a 2.39:1 aspect ratio movie on a 1.85:1 screen. And that made me think that for a moment how I can get more movie rooms in a theater with my movie or a good chance of getting a movie in there had most of the movies been selected for a 1.85:1 aspect ratio in all the rooms except for the 2.39:1 aspect ratio room, and also if there was a 1.85:1 room left and all the 1.85:1 rooms were taken including the 2.39:1 room. Basically think of it like this a big box can not fit in a small box, but a small box can fit in a big box.

 

So film theater business wise, if we are talking about the specifics of screen size and how limited and select and few the chances are of making it to the silver screen, you would stand more of a chance of making it to the silver screen had you gotten a 2.39:1 aspect ratio film than a 1.85:1 aspect ratio film, because more film theater rooms are open to you instead of closed to you.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Any screen can show any aspect ratio. There will be either pillarboxing or letterboxing if the movie doesn't match the screen. If for some reason a screen does not support your file's aspect ratio (e.g. if you picked something non-standard), then you can manually add the black bars yourself. There is no technical reason why a movie should be incompatible with a theater because of aspect ratio.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I'm not sure that every aspect ratio is compatible with every screen.....  

Right, what I said was if the screen "doesn't support" a given aspect ratio as a native file, then you add black bars manually and the problem is solved. The idea that 2.39:1 movie can be shown on a 1.85:1 screen but not vice versa is incorrect.

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2 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Right, what I said was if the screen "doesn't support" a given aspect ratio as a native file, then you add black bars manually and the problem is solved. The idea that 2.39:1 movie can be shown on a 1.85:1 screen but not vice versa is incorrect.

Absolutely...

I'll take any chance to re-post that video!

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On 11/18/2019 at 4:36 AM, hmcindie said:

I think you might've misunderstood him. 2.39:1 theatres can also show 1.85:1 easily, they are played in the middle of the screen. The curtains just won't go full length.

Ohhhhh.... Okay, so I guess 2.39:1 or 1.85:1 doesn't really matter and there are adjustments to both aspect ratios, thank you. I guess I'll go back to the aspect ratio I am a fan of, 1.85:1 as it does look quite unique when a movie is played in that aspect ratio now and is quite rare.

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I'm Theater Manager at a theater with two screens, a large one with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and a small one with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

Aspect ratio is so far down the list of importance that it is irrelevant. The only place where it comes into play is if you have a weird ratio like 2:1 (Jurassic World was 2:1 in a 1.85 dcp container, and was an utter PITA to show in our 2.39:1 theater with proper masking), or switch mid film (The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was in a 1.85 container, which again was annoying to program in our 2.39:1 theater.)

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