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1.85 Gate

class="Paragraph">Published : 29th Oct. 2006

class="Paragraph">Passing on a question :

class="Paragraph">Is there some compelling reason why someone would want to use a 1.85 camera gate -- not mask -- when shooting 1.85 ???

class="Paragraph">I couldn't think of any.

class="Paragraph">Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">>>Is there some compelling reason why someone would want to use a >>1.85 camera gate -- not mask -- when shooting 1.85.

class="Paragraph">Here is a really obscure reason :

class="Paragraph">In the very rare case where one is trying to shoot lens flares in camera (something we still do sometimes in order to give the CG folk something "organic" to add to their CG models or our physical ones it helps to have the hard mask in the gate for the light to "break across."

class="Paragraph">Mark Weingartner
"flares - like taxicabs - never around when you need 'em"
LA based


class="Paragraph">Only to make sure that the projectionist frames it correctly and the video transfers are from within 1.85 instead of academy. Some companies will not allow the use of a 1.85 gate. Allen Daviau tells the story of fighting the studio to let him use a 1.66 gate on The Color Purple.

class="Paragraph">Mitch Gross
NYC DP


class="Paragraph">I can understand using a 1.66 (or a 1.78 hard matte) in a camera for a 1.85 movie, to provide some protection for mis-framing of a contact print plus make it easy for future generations to figure out how the movie was meant to be shown, how it was composed.

class="Paragraph">The trouble with a 1.85 hard matte is that it has to be exactly line-up by the projectionist to avoid seeing the black borders, plus the slightest hair in the camera gate will be visible on screen.

class="Paragraph">David Mullen, ASC
Los Angeles


class="Paragraph">>>Is there some compelling reason why someone would want to use a >>1.85 camera gate -- not mask -- when shooting 1.85.

class="Paragraph">I worked with a DP years back who was/is a control freak. He wanted to control the eventual framing of the film. In his mind the way to do that was to have a hard 1.85 gate in the camera - end of story. I suppose it's unlikely producers would allow that to happen these days.

class="Paragraph">Angelo Sartore
1st. AC
Melbourne
AUSTRALIA


class="Paragraph">Some filmmakers cover both options by having a widescreen matte burnt into prints (or, better, into the IP). That way, you get correct framing in projected prints, and also have options for the video transfer.

class="Paragraph">We've always recommended a 1.66:1 mask, which allows a little tolerance for oversize projector masks, and other alignment problems.

class="Paragraph">I don't think I've ever come across camera negative that has been masked 1.85:1

class="Paragraph">Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


class="Paragraph">Dominic Case wrote :

class="Paragraph">>>I don't think I've ever come across camera negative that has been >>masked 1.85:1

class="Paragraph">Men In Black, ILM hard-matted all the VFX to 1.85:1

class="Paragraph">Tim Sassoon
Sassoon Film Design
Santa Monica, CA 90405


class="Paragraph">Angelo Sartore wrote:

class="Paragraph">>>I worked with a DP years back who was/is a control freak. He >>wanted to control the eventual framing of the film.

class="Paragraph">More facts have become known.

class="Paragraph">Angelo has hit the nail on the head, both in terms of why the DP asked for the 1.85 gate and why it's unlikely he'll get it.

class="Paragraph">The DP is operating under the self-defeating assumption that the producers won't become aware of the fact that they will be stuck with 1.85 until it's too late for them to do anything about it.

class="Paragraph">This notion will not only not prevent an alteration in his framing, but -- providing that the producers don't fire him first -- will most likely result in a center extraction, aka : "The format of this film has been altered to fit this screen."

class="Paragraph">Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">Dominic Case wrote:

class="Paragraph">>>I don't think I've ever come across camera negative that has been >>masked1.85:1

class="Paragraph">Me neither, which is what prompted my inquiry. I believe the gentleman in question is playing with fire(ing).

class="Paragraph">Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">Tim Sassoon wrote:

class="Paragraph">>>Men In Black, ILM hard-matted all the VFX to 1.85:1

class="Paragraph">Do you know why they did it that way? Don't they trust the post guys?

class="Paragraph">Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


class="Paragraph">>>Men In Black, ILM hard-matted all the VFX to 1.85:1

class="Paragraph">>>Do you know why they did it that way?

class="Paragraph">AH no - as I read this, ILM output their VFX work to 1.85 - which is not so unusual (although it creates problems in transfer for 4x3).

class="Paragraph">No reason to waste precious time scanning out lines of pixels that won't be used.

class="Paragraph">Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


class="Paragraph">I always teach it's safer to just ask the rental house to supply a 1.85 marked viewfinder screen, so you have both in camera. That way you've got it all for those folk still with 4:3 TVs but naturally have to avoid mikes etc in no-man's-land!

class="Paragraph">I had this conversation with David Watkin (The English Patient etc) and he said he hated having to compose so that it looked good in two formats, but maybe other DP´s don't mind. I know Jack Cardiff (our patron) doesn't.

class="Paragraph">Cheers -

class="Paragraph">Franz von Habsburg
Brighton Film School, UK


class="Paragraph">Sorry Franz David Watkin didn't shoot The English Patient ... think you will find John Seal ACS ASC photographed that film .

class="Paragraph">John Holland, Lighting Cameraman ,
[ Dave Watkin taught me everything }


class="Paragraph">From: "Franz von Habsburg"

class="Paragraph">>>I always teach it's safer to just ask the rental house to supply a 1.85 >>marked viewfinder screen, so you have both in camera. That way >>you've got it all for those folk still with 4:3 TVs but naturally have to >>avoid mikes etc in no-man's-land!

class="Paragraph">Having read on this list that almost all TV programming in Europe is shown wide screen- letter boxed I convinced the producers of a film I shot recently that we would shot with a 1.85 ground glass only and not a combi glass. Trying to compose for both 4:3 and 1.85 can be irritating - especially for medium close ups. Anyone wanting to show this 4:3 and use the whole 35mm neg/print I'm sure will be very irritated by all the flags and mics in most of the scenes. I feel we were able to move much faster without have to compromise lighting and mic placement for the no-man's-land.

class="Paragraph">Most of this film was shot in existing interiors. If this was a film shot mostly in exterior locations or on sets then maybe it wouldn't have been so much of an issue.

class="Paragraph">Other factors may help decide this. Is the film a comedy, drama or horror? Will it show in theatres but not likely ever broadcast on TV except for cable? Will it only reside at your local Blockbuster where patrons seem more accepting of letter box presentation?

class="Paragraph">I told the producers that I'd be happy to shoot S16 to help them with their extremely tight budget. Some/most of the crew expressed displeasure over the crummy rates and "hey, why are we shooting 35?" The producers felt that this movie had very good over seas potential but were told that foreign distributors are adverse to 16- unless the film is really good and even then YOU would have to pay for the blow up.

class="Paragraph">Out of curiosity and for the benefit of CML users I ask :

class="Paragraph">What does it cost for a 'pan and scan' ?
What are the latest costs for a blow up?

class="Paragraph">Edwin Myers, Atlanta DP