Are you square?

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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Willy
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Re: Casablanca 2D Editor

Post by Willy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:19 pm

Stu H wrote:I telephoned the Casablanca people for some tech support on this issue, and the way you can do it in Casablanca is to shell out for the pack containing the cine converter effect, which is obviously just a 2D DVE. To computer based editors it may seem like quite a lot of money for this particular piece of old rope, but I suppose that would overlook the convenience and ease of use for which Casablanca is famed.

Stuart
Many thanks for your question about casablanca, Mike, and my thanks for your reply, Stuart. It proves that I couldn't solve that problem with my machine unless I bought the pack containing the cine converter effect. These special casablanca things are very expensive and of course for a few minutes of archive footage it would be ridiculous to buy this. Two years ago I bought a new casablanca prestige and already this year I had to buy a new hard disk because my DVD burner in my casablanca was out of order. The new hard disk cost about 750 euros which is about 500 pounds sterling. Making films is my passion, but of course there are also limits.
Willy Van der Linden

ned c
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Post by ned c » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:07 am

Willy in an earlier post you said you would give up on technical subjects. Please keep the tech questions/discussions coming as they stimulate interesting answers. Thanks

Ned C

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stingman
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Post by stingman » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:25 am

Mike Shaw wrote:I'm very confused by these answers. Maybe I'm just more senile than I thought.

If projecting 16:9 on a 4:3 screen, to get the full picture there will have to be black top and bottom.
Our club and church projectors cut off the edges. For example you you get full height but the edges are not seen. You only see the middle!
Ian Gardner
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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:38 pm

I did not mention the names of film makers or titles of films when I started this discussion. I was interested in the basic issue of how modern kit can confuse us by offering so many auto-switching systems, faux wide-screen images and so on.

I still recall the shame I felt a few years ago when we screened the St. Cuthbert's film "Joseph's Faith" at UNICA and someone behind me muttered "Why on earth didn't they show it widescreen instead of squeezed like this?" Up to that moment I had not realised that it was wrong ... and I had spent ages subtitling it too! No one else on the IAC's UNICA team had noticed either.

There seems little point in getting into Mac v PC v Casablanca battles - I'd only note that the value of being in a club or group is that if you need to prepare a piece of film for use in a different ratio and your system cannot handle that ... someone else could probably prepare it and give you an avi file with that section ready to cut into your movie.

But this leads me on to one other, vaguely related issue. Stills. More festivals now ask for stills from the movies being entered. Magazine editors and webmasters also ask for these. Some systems can easily grab screenshots and others cannot - but see above for the virtues of having friends to help in such situations.

The catch is that for use in magazines and programme brochures the most convenient and attractive format is usually portrait - which adds a whole new dimension to the format issue ...

Dave

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Willy
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Post by Willy » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:07 am

quote="Dave Watterson

I still recall the shame I felt a few years ago when we screened the St. Cuthbert's film "Joseph's Faith" at UNICA and someone behind me muttered "Why on earth didn't they show it widescreen instead of squeezed like this?"
Dave
After having shown my new film in Belgium a few times I don't feel any shame. Up to now nobody has noticed anything strange. Why should I have asked clubmates then to adjust the images for 100 %. ? I am a member of two clubs even, but I am not sure that anybody coud have helped me. We must admit it is more complicated than we thought.
Willy Van der Linden

Brian Saberton
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Post by Brian Saberton » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:29 pm

I thought there was a problem with Joseph's faith when it was shown at BIAFF but as the makers were there and apparently didn't comment I began to doubt what I'd seen.

It drives me right up the proverbial wall when I see films shown in the wrong aspect ratio as it doesn't take much effort to get it right. Unfortunately some film makers/clubs don't put enough information on the tape boxes and seldom state the aspect ratio, perhaps hoping that the projectionist will notice. All we need is for the authors to state the aspect ratio on the box (plus the running time please!) as well as on competition entry forms. i.e 16:9, 16:9 letterboxed into 4:3 frame, or 4:3 (We are modifying our entry forms for SAM competitions to cover this point). With DVD's it's easy to print this information directly onto the disc. Mind you, I projected a club film at a competition this year and it looked like two cameras had been used in one scene because some shots were in 4:3 and others at 16:9! Very disconcerting.
Brian Saberton

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:33 pm

I projected a club film at a competition this year and it looked like two cameras had been used in one scene because some shots were in 4:3 and others at 16:9! Very disconcerting.
That is similar to one of the films I had in mind when I started this thread - though in my case I suspect the makers had used television footage in the odd 14x9 format.

I wonder if the makers of those films only watch them on a tv set which has the "auto-wide" function turned on. That would stretch their 4x3 material to 14x9 and squeeze the 16X9 to 14x9. It amazes me how many people we know leave their large screen tv sets on "auto-wide" - including some ex broadcast engineers who should know better. It as if they feel any black bars at the side of their film would be a waste of the money they paid for the set.

Dave

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:42 pm

It is a bit late now - sorry I have been busy on other tasks - but Willy expressed surprise that Mike described himself jokingly as "senile".

In real life there is not much fun about being senile, but in Britain we use the term as a general expression to mean "forgetful and a bit slow to understand things." It is a way of poking fun at ourselves, or more rarely at good friends and relatives. The underlying sense is that none of us likes to admit to growing old but our minds and bodies gradually start to betray us. So making a joke of it is laughing at our refusal to accept ageing.

When we use "senility" or "senile dementia" we are usually being serious and talking about the sad, age-related medical condition.

Dave

Michael Slowe
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Are You Square?

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:58 am

The matter is really quite simple if you shoot in 16:9. When sending a tape for projection and you aren't sure that the projector will be set correctly do a 'letterboxed' version and say nothing. It will be assumed to be in 4:3 and therefore projected as such and you will get a nice 'widescreen' image in the aspect you composed for. Obviously it would be preferable, in order to make the best of your image quality, to send a 16:9 version but you have to mark it clearly and be confident that the projectionist will switch the projector to the correct setting.

As for mixed aspects in the same production I just saw the wonderful documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon" on the moon landings in the last century. A quite wonderful film (my son's brother- in- law was the producer for Chanell Four) they shot all the interviews in widescreen and left all the archive footage in 4:3. The black borders didn't worry me at all but I will enquire why they didn't re conform. My Media 100 edit system allows me to choose exactly how much I want to crop using a combination of top and side cropping but of course I still end up with black borders somewhere.

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