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Old 05-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
blinkuldhc
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Default "Not cinematic enough"

I've realized why there were some early complaints about The Avengers "not looking cinematic enough," and it has NOTHING to do with the direction, the scope of the story, the length of the movie, etc....




I'm pretty sure that the complaints stemmed from the cinematography choices, i.e. the aspect ratio they shot the movie in.

For those who may not know, the aspect ratio is the numerical ratio between the film's width to its height. The higher the ratio, the wider the on-screen image is compared to its height.

All of the previous Marvel films -- Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc. -- were shot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, which is standard for widescreen theatrical releases.

However, The Avengers was shot in 1.85:1 -- which gives it a narrower, slightly more "boxed-in" sort of look.

The cinematographer even noted that shooting in 1.85:1 "is kind of unusual for an epic film like this," but they needed to fit the Hulk's height on screen next to the shorter characters (like the Black Widow). If they had stuck to the 2.35:1, then if they were to fit the Hulk on screen, everyone else would look even shorter and smaller by comparison.

That's why it doesn't "feel" or "look" as "cinematic" -- the picture in Avengers is literally narrower in relation to the height. You don't get that "epic" wide shot that you're used to.

So, rest assured -- the film itself is still epic, even if the cinematography isn't.

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

But also, Whedon is know more as a TV guy. He has never really done a MAJOR MOVIE before, so that has to contribute to it as well

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

I liked the look, it was bigger and seemed more epic.

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

If that hulk excuse is true, how lame.

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

You can definitely do epic with a different aspect ratio than 2.35:1. The aspect ratio isn't at all in the front of things that create an epic feel in my opinion and the choice in ratio depends on what you want to show. The film has lots of scenes where the vertical space is important and then you'll get closer to the action if you use a more narrow AR.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
If that hulk excuse is true, how lame.
Unfortunately, it is true... but it does make sense.

If they filmed it in a larger/wider aspect ratio, then they'd have to "pan out" or shoot from farther away in order to fit the Hulk's height in the frame -- but then that would obviously make everyone else look even smaller.

Look at the bottom images (from Wikipedia). The top shot is in a smaller aspect ratio than the bottom; they are both shooting exactly the same width, but notice how the bottom, larger aspect ratio one cuts off the height. The top shot is in a smaller aspect ratio (like The Avengers). Notice how it fits the height better, but it looks "less cinematic" or more boxed-in:






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Old 05-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
You can definitely do epic with a different aspect ratio than 2.35:1. The aspect ratio isn't at all in the front of things that create an epic feel in my opinion and the choice in ratio depends on what you want to show. The film has lots of scenes where the vertical space is important and then you'll get closer to the action if you use a more narrow AR.

Yeah, you'll get "closer to the action," but you capture as much/wide of a landscape.

I couldn't imagine The Lord of the Rings shot in a smaller aspect ratio. There's no way you'd get the same breadth, scope of the picture, even if you do get more height.


Here's a dumb but simple example. Imagine if you had to shoot a movie, and you could only use the printer-setting "landscape" or "portrait" ratios as your camera aspect ratio -- which would feel more "cinematic"? It's the same idea, trading width/breadth for height.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

What's funny is that 1.85 is closer to IMAX (which is almost square), than it is to 2.35.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

Here's a better example:


This one is a smaller aspect ratio. It is the exact same height of picture as the one below, which has the larger aspect ratio.



Here is the larger aspect ratio. Imagine the Hulk being the height of that building. You would be able to capture the entire height of the Hulk through both aspect ratios, but with a larger aspect ratio, you'd get a wider scope, and arguably a more cinematic feel.


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Old 05-03-2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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What's funny is that 1.85 is closer to IMAX (which is almost square), than it is to 2.35.
Yeah, that's why the IMAX scenes in The Dark Knight always look so good on TV or on the iPhone -- it fills up the entire area of the screen (which is also 1.85) without that forced letterbox look.

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Originally Posted by blinkuldhc View Post
Yeah, you'll get "closer to the action," but you capture as much/wide of a landscape.

I couldn't imagine The Lord of the Rings shot in a smaller aspect ratio. There's no way you'd get the same breadth, scope of the picture, even if you do get more height.


Here's a dumb but simple example. Imagine if you had to shoot a movie, and you could only use the printer-setting "landscape" or "portrait" ratios as your camera aspect ratio -- which would feel more "cinematic"? It's the same idea, trading width/breadth for height.
You missed part of my point by just commenting on half my sentence. I said that this movie had a lot of scenes where the vertical space is important. Since vertical space was important they would have to get further away from the action to shoot the same thing in 2.35:1. The LotR trilogy didn't have that but instead had lots of focus on the width, which of course makes the AR perfect there.

Your question takes it too much to the extreme to be valid since both the AR we are discussing are defined as "widescreen".

Your example pictures don't work as an argument because you're just cropping the same image, which is not at all how you'd do it in a film. You are basically arguing against Pan & Scan, which has been abandoned for a decade. My point is that you use different AR for different kinds of shots.

But again, it's not even the AR in itself that makes LotR really epic. It's what they shoot and how they do it and there AR is just one of the parts. If you shoot a quiet drama in 2.35:1 it doesn't become epic. What makes it epic is size, and you can make it big in several different ways.


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Old 05-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

Avatar was shot in 1.78:1. Are you going to tell me Avatar doesn't look cinematic enough?

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

We need bonzob to come in and settle this thread's hash. He explained from a cinematographer's perspective why 1:85:1 is the preferred format for a film that will be post-converted to 3D.


It was unnecessary to create yet another thread to rehash something that has been discussed here for months. This should have been taken up in the complaints thread where it belongs.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Originally Posted by Chewy View Post
Avatar was shot in 1.78:1. Are you going to tell me Avatar doesn't look cinematic enough?
And when I say that Nolanites are desperate, people try to hold me back.

The Avengers perfects what Avatar started, and that's just one of the reasons that makes this movie such a game changer.


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We need bonzob to come in and settle this thread's hash. He explained from a cinematographer's perspective why 1:85:1 is the preferred format for a film that will be post-converted to 3D.


It was unnecessary to create yet another thread to rehash something that has been discussed here for months. This should have been taken up in the complaints thread where it belongs.
Desperate Nolanites are desperate.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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And when I say that Nolanites are desperate, people try to hold me back.

...

Desperate Nolanites are desperate.
Are you 12 years old?

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Originally Posted by xeno000 View Post
We need bonzob to come in and settle this thread's hash. He explained from a cinematographer's perspective why 1:85:1 is the preferred format for a film that will be post-converted to 3D.


It was unnecessary to create yet another thread to rehash something that has been discussed here for months. This should have been taken up in the complaints thread where it belongs.
That's true, I forgot to add that to my post.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Are you 12 years old?
No, I'm just calling the way I see it. There's people here that play the passive-agressive role here like "I like it but it's not that great" and at the same time laugh their asses of about the movie and these boards at the TDKR boards. If anything, I'm just more observative and with a short temper.

And by the way, I quoted you obviously because I AGREE with you.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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You missed part of my point by just commenting on half my sentence. I said that this movie had a lot of scenes where the vertical space is important. Since vertical space was important they would have to get further away from the action to shoot the same thing in 2.35:1.The LotR trilogy didn't have that but instead had lots of focus on the width, which of course makes the AR perfect there.

Your question takes it too much to the extreme to be valid since both the AR we are discussing are defined as "widescreen".

Your example pictures don't work as an argument because you're just cropping the same image, which is not at all how you'd do it in a film. You are basically arguing against Pan & Scan, which has been abandoned for a decade. My point is that you use different AR for different kinds of shots.

But again, it's not even the AR in itself that makes LotR really epic. It's what they shoot and how they do it and there AR is just one of the parts. If you shoot a quiet drama in 2.35:1 it doesn't become epic. What makes it epic is size, and you can make it big in several different ways.
Well, I'm not sure what your point or argument is, since I've basically stated the same exact thing as you did here -- that to get the same vertical shot (of the Hulk) in 2.35, they'd have to pan away... which is why a 1.85 makes sense for The Avengers. I "only" mentioned this in the very first, original post in this thread.

With regard to your LotR comment -- AGAIN, I said the same thing, i.e. that the aspect ratio was perfect for that movie because it captured the breadth/scope (as in, width) of it all.


Seriously, did you at all read (or comprehend) anything I said? You go through all this trouble of "arguing" your points seemingly against me, yet you basically restate everything I already said.

My whole point of this thread was to address what earlier critics had said about it being "not cinematic enough," that my guess is that they were referring to the cinematography facet of the movie, and NOT the actual film itself. The previous Marvel movies were shot wider in a larger AR; The Avengers is less wide and more square in picture, which is why I think people referred to it looking "less cinematic" or more like TV.

I am NOT saying that it is not cinematic enough, I am merely saying my opinion as to why others may say it is "not cinematic enough." This is why I 1) referred to other people calling it "not cinematic enough" and 2) put "not cinematic enough" in quotations, to make it clear that it is not my thought or statement.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

Quote:
Originally Posted by iJackSparrow View Post
No, I'm just calling the way I see it. There's people here that play the passive-agressive role here like "I like it but it's not that great" and at the same time laugh their asses of about the movie and these boards at the TDKR boards. If anything, I'm just more observative and with a short temper.

And by the way, I quoted you obviously because I AGREE with you.
No one said anything about Chris Nolan in this thread. This is a discussion about this movie's aspect ratio. Grow up.

PS: Worrying so much about other people's opinions and actions isn't going to take you very far in life

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Are you 12 years old?

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #21
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Originally Posted by xeno000 View Post
We need bonzob to come in and settle this thread's hash. He explained from a cinematographer's perspective why 1:85:1 is the preferred format for a film that will be post-converted to 3D.


It was unnecessary to create yet another thread to rehash something that has been discussed here for months. This should have been taken up in the complaints thread where it belongs.
Well, sorry, Chief. As you can see, I registered 2+ years ago and only have 200 posts, and my signature refers to the Captain America casting process back in early 2010.

I'm sorry I haven't kept up with the goings-on on SuperHeroHype and that I missed the months-long discussion on this.

Besides, this is NOT a complaint thread. This is a thread where I offer my opinion as to why others made this particular complaint. But again, I apologize that there's another long thread that details my same opinion, and I'm sorry for missing it.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:22 AM   #22
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

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Well, I'm not sure what your point or argument is, since I've basically stated the same exact thing as you did here -- that to get the same vertical shot (of the Hulk) in 2.35, they'd have to pan away... which is why a 1.85 makes sense for The Avengers. I "only" mentioned this in the very first, original post in this thread.

With regard to your LotR comment -- AGAIN, I said the same thing, i.e. that the aspect ratio was perfect for that movie because it captured the breadth/scope (as in, width) of it all.


Seriously, did you at all read (or comprehend) anything I said? You go through all this trouble of "arguing" your points seemingly against me, yet you basically restate everything I already said.

My whole point of this thread was to address what earlier critics had said about it being "not cinematic enough," that my guess is that they were referring to the cinematography facet of the movie, and NOT the actual film itself. The previous Marvel movies were shot wider in a larger AR; The Avengers is less wide and more square in picture, which is why I think people referred to it looking "less cinematic" or more like TV.

I am NOT saying that it is not cinematic enough, I am merely saying my opinion as to why others may say it is "not cinematic enough." This is why I 1) referred to other people calling it "not cinematic enough" and 2) put "not cinematic enough" in quotations, to make it clear that it is not my thought or statement.
You're the one that started the discussion with me by arguing against one of my points by taking half a sentence out of context. I had just written a general comment and I just made my points clear after you argued against it. I admit that I didn't read your first post again after you posted to me (and I read a lot of things while browsing) and just continued on the impressions you gave then.

And I maintain that cropping the same picture doesn't show the aspect ratios off properly and therefor doesn't really show the feel of it, regardless of what your overall point is.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #23
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No one said anything about Chris Nolan in this thread. This is a discussion about this movie's aspect ratio. Grow up.

PS: Worrying so much about other people's opinions and actions isn't going to take you very far in life
Well, no one said anything about Avatar, either.

The reason why Avatar is not that relevant is that there haven't been other Avatar-related movies shot in 2.35 preceding Avatar. Like I said, every other Marvel film has been shot and shown in 2.35, and The Avengers goes to 1.85, which might make a noticeable difference if you're used to watching, say, Iron Man via a certain perspective.

Also, I think Avatar was reformatted to be shown in 2.35 in theaters, though I may be wrong, and maybe that doesn't make a difference anyway.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
You're the one that started the discussion with me by arguing against one of my points by taking half a sentence out of context. I had just written a general comment and I just made my points clear after you argued against it. I admit that I didn't read your first post again after you posted to me (and I read a lot of things while browsing) and just continued on the impressions you gave then.

And I maintain that cropping the same picture doesn't show the aspect ratios off properly and therefor doesn't really show the feel of it, regardless of what your overall point is.
This is hopeless.

One of your points is that you can shoot an epic in something other (and narrower) than 2.35. AGAIN, at the end of my FIRST POST, I state that even if the cinematography doesn't necessarily conform to the viewer's accustomed feel of what is considered "epic" or "cinematic" (i.e., 2.35) -- the movie definitely still can be epic or cinematic. SO WE AGREE.

The whole over-arching point is, WHO CARES ABOUT AR? So long as the setting/conflict/story/characters etc. make for an epic, cinematic experience, then it's all good. My worry was that the film would feel like a 2-hour TV episode, i.e. "not cinematic enough" (which has nothing to do with AR/cinematography). This thread is merely my opinion pointing out that this is likely NOT the case, as earlier complaints about it "not being cinematic enough" have to do with aspect ratio.




When most of us think "cinematic," we think wide shots, like 2.35. But if The Avengers were to be filmed in 2.35, it would get that "wide" feel, but you'd also make the non-Hulk characters a lot smaller and shorter. So by shooting in 1.85, you don't get the same wide, "cinematic" feel that we're used to in all other Marvel movies, but it's an almost-necessary AR.

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: "Not cinematic enough"

The argument over AR from the detractors point is that Whedon is a TV director, he wanted to use a TV aspect ration. We've been hearing the "it looks like TV" argument from the detractors for some time now.

Of course that was not true and the reason was that it was going to be shot in originally with 3D cameras as the post credit Thor scene was (which was done by Whedon). All of the actors involved and Whedon hated using the 3D cameras because it provides no perspective on where the camera is to the actor (because there are two lenses) and there's no way for the director to know how the shot is being framed without constantly viewing on a monitor (with 3D glasses)

When they made the decision to post convert for budget and time purposes, they wanted to use the best post convert process possible, and that is 1.85:1.

I brought up the IMAX issue because IMAX is a 1.44:1 so it's about like an old standard TV screen. When movies are filmed with IMAX cameras and shown in the theater in 2:40:1, they have to crop the top and bottom of the image. This was done with TDK (I'm not here to start a Nolan TDK argument, I'm stating a fact).

So yes the whole argument is bogus. Yes I prefer the 2.40 AR myself, but there are plenty of great films done in 1.85.

Yes there have been trolls that have been using the "it looks like TV" argument for at least the last 9 months (ever since the bonus trailer with Cap:TFA)

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