Open matte

Open matte is a filming technique that involves matting out the top and bottom of the film frame in the movie projector (known as a soft matte) for the widescreen theatrical release and then scanning the film without a matte (at Academy ratio) for a full screen home video release.

Usually, non-anamorphic 4-perf films are filmed directly on the entire full frame silent aperture gate (1.33:1). When a married print is created, this frame is slightly re-cropped by the frame line and optical soundtrack down to Academy ratio (1.37:1). The movie projector then uses an aperture mask to soft matte the Academy frame to the intended aspect ratio (1.85:1 or 1.66:1). When the 4:3 full-screen video master is created, many filmmakers may prefer to use the full Academy frame ("open matte") instead of creating a pan and scan version from within the 1.85 framing. Because the framing is increased vertically in the open matte process, the decision to use it needs to be made prior to shooting, so that the camera operator can frame for 1.85:1 and "protect" for 4:3; otherwise unintended objects such as boom microphones, cables, and light stands may appear in the open matte frame, thus requiring some amount of pan and scan in some or all scenes. Additionally, the un-matted 4:3 version will often throw off an otherwise tightly-framed shot and add an inordinate amount of headroom above actors (particularly with 1.85:1).

Open-matte doesn't happen as often with films presented in 2.20:1 or 2.39:1. Instead those employ pan and scan. Many films over the years have used this technique, the most prominent of which include Schindler's List, Titanic, and Top Gun. Stanley Kubrick also used this technique for his last five films (A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).) James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) is also an example of open-matte.

Open matte film illustration
A frame from a 35mm film print. Here, the picture is framed for the intended theatrical aspect ratio (inside the yellow box). Picture outside the yellow box is matted out when the film is shown in widescreen. For 4:3 television versions, a large portion of the picture can be used (inside the red box) with an open matte.

See also

Air Bud

Air Bud is a 1997 American comedy film that sparked the franchise centered on the real-life dog Air Buddy, a cross-bred Golden Retriever, who shoots basketball hoops and appears as Old Blue/Buddy. The film was financially successful, grossing $4 million in its opening weekend and totaling $27.8 million in its run against an estimated $3 million budget.

Anamorphic widescreen

Anamorphic widescreen (also called Full height anamorphic) is a process by which a comparatively wide widescreen image is horizontally compressed to fit into a storage medium (photographic film or MPEG-2 Standard Definition frame, for example) with a narrower aspect ratio, reducing the horizontal resolution of the image while keeping its full original vertical resolution. Compatible play-back equipment (a projector with modified lens, or a digital video player or set-top box) can then expand the horizontal dimension to show the original widescreen image. This is typically used to allow one to store widescreen images on a medium that was originally intended for a narrower ratio, while using as much of the frame – and therefore recording as much detail – as possible.The technique comes from cinema, when a film would be framed and recorded as widescreen but the picture would be "squashed together" using a special concave lens to fit into non-widescreen 1.37:1 aspect ratio film. This film can then be printed and manipulated like any other 1.37:1 film stock, although the images on it will appear to be squashed horizontally (or elongated vertically). An anamorphic lens on the projector in the cinema (a convex lens) corrects the picture by performing the opposite distortion, returning it to its original width and its widescreen aspect ratio.

The anamorphic lens on the projector is a special convex lens that corrects the picture so that the images on the screen look normal. The optical scaling of the lens to a film medium is considered more desirable than the digital counterpart, due to the amount of non-proportional pixel-decimated scaling that is applied to the width of an image to achieve (something of a misnomer) a so-called "rectangular" pixel widescreen image. The legacy ITU Rec. 601 4:3 image size is used for its compatibility with the original video bandwidth that was available for professional video devices that used fixed clock rates of a SMPTE 259M serial digital interface. One would produce a higher-quality upscaled 16:9 widescreen image by using either a 1:1 SD progressive frame size of 640×360 or for ITU Rec. 601 and SMPTE 259M compatibility a letterboxed frame size of 480i or 576i. Similar operations are performed electronically to allow widescreen material to be stored on formats or broadcast on systems that assume a non-widescreen aspect ratio, such as DVD or standard definition digital television broadcasting.

Child's Play (1988 film)

Child's Play is a 1988 American supernatural horror film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child's Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif. Hicks plays a widowed mother who gives her son a doll for his birthday, unaware that the doll is possessed by the soul of an infamous serial killer.

The film was released on November 9, 1988, and grossed more than $44 million against a production budget of $9 million. Along with the film gaining a cult following, the box office success spawned a media franchise that includes a series of six sequels, merchandise, comic books and a remake film of the same name to be released in the summer of 2019. Child's Play was the only film in the series to be distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, as the rights to the series were sold to Universal Pictures in 1990, right before production on Child's Play 2 started.

Dolemite

Dolemite is a 1975 American blaxploitation crime film and is also the name of its principal character, played by Rudy Ray Moore, who co-wrote the film and its soundtrack. Moore, who started his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1960s, heard around that time a rhymed toast by a local homeless man about an urban hero named Dolemite and decided to adopt the persona of Dolemite as an alter ego in his act.

Fullscreen (filmmaking)

A full screen video is a film which has been altered to the 4:3 (or 1.33:1) aspect ratio of the old standard television screen. Full Screen is usually created by either pan and scan, open matte or reframing. Films originally created in the 4:3 aspect ratio do not need to be altered.

In pan and scan the 4:3 image is extracted from within the original frame by cropping the sides of the film. In open matte, the 4:3 image is extracted from parts of the original negative which were shot but not intended to be used for the theatrical release. In reframing, elements within the image are repositioned. Reframing is almost exclusively a method used for entirely CG movies where the elements can be easily moved.

Get Crazy

Get Crazy is a 1983 American musical comedy film directed by Allan Arkush, and stars Malcolm McDowell, Allen Garfield, Daniel Stern, Gail Edwards and Ed Begley Jr.

List of Criterion Collection LaserDisc releases

The following is a list of LaserDiscs released by The Criterion Collection from 1984 to 1998. These LaserDiscs are now out of print. Films that have appeared on Criterion Collection DVD releases are noted with their corresponding DVD spine numbers in the following list. However, not all Criterion LaserDiscs have been re-issued by Criterion on DVD, and not all Criterion DVD releases appeared on LaserDisc.

Munster, Go Home!

Munster, Go Home! is a 1966 American comedy horror film based on the hit 1960s family television sitcom The Munsters. It was directed by Earl Bellamy, who also directed a number of episodes in the series. The film was produced immediately after the television series completed filming for its original run, and included the original cast with the exception of Marilyn, who was played by Debbie Watson replacing Pat Priest from the series.

Pan and scan

Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown in fullscreen proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.

Some film directors and enthusiasts disapprove of pan and scan cropping, because it can remove up to 45% of the original image on 2.35:1 films or up to 53% on earlier 2.55:1 presentations, changing the director or cinematographer's original vision and intentions. The most extreme examples remove up to 75% of the original picture on such aspect ratios as 2.76:1 in epics such as Ben-Hur and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Lawrence of Arabia is an exception to the 75% rule, because its aspect ratio is 2.20:1.

The vertical equivalent is known as "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan". The method was most common in the days of VHS, before widescreen home media such as Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray.

Center cut is similar with the difference as the name suggests that it is simply a direct cut of the material from the center of the image with no horizontal panning or vertical tilting involved. This method doesn't require the permission or availability of the film maker or director to identify the most important part of each frame. Most video displays have three options for 16:9 widescreen frame formatting, which are either center cut, letterbox or full frame. The first two options are reliant on the video stream's aspect ratio flag being set correctly.

Shoot and protect

Shoot and protect is a technique used in video and film production, in which the material is shot in such a way that the areas of interest within a frame lie within a rectangular "protected area" within the frame, with margins at top and bottom and both sides. The action safe and caption safe areas then lie within this protected area. This allows the resulting material to be cropped to any of a wide range of aspect ratios, whether wider or narrower than the shooting format, without losing the most important features of each shot or having to resort to pan and scan or letterboxing. A 14:9 safe area is often chosen as a compromise between 4:3 and 16:9 frame formats.

Spotlight on a Murderer

Spotlight on a Murderer (Pleins feux sur l'assassin in its original French title, which translates to Spotlights on the Murderer) is a 1961 French psychodrama/murder-mystery film directed by Georges Franju. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Films in August 2017 in the UK and USA regions in an open-matte 1.37:1 transfer by Gaumont of the film's original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.

The Curse of Frankenstein

The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), and established "Hammer Horror" as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema.The film was directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Creature, with Hazel Court and Robert Urquhart. Professor Patricia MacCormac called it the "first really gory horror film, showing blood and guts in colour."

The Legend of Billie Jean

The Legend of Billie Jean is a 1985 American drama film, directed by Matthew Robbins. It stars Helen Slater, Keith Gordon, Christian Slater and Richard Bradford.

The Witches (1990 film)

The Witches is a 1990 British/American dark fantasy horror-comedy film directed by Nicolas Roeg and stars Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, and Jasen Fisher, based on the 1983 children's novel of the same title by Roald Dahl. As in the original novel, the story features evil witches who masquerade as ordinary women and kill children, and a boy and his grandmother need to find a way to foil and destroy them.

The Witches was produced by Jim Henson Productions for Lorimar Film Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. as the last theatrical film to be produced by Lorimar, before the company shut down in 1993. The film was very well received by critics, but performed poorly at the box office, and was also disliked by Dahl because its ending differs from the book.

While the City Sleeps (1956 film)

While the City Sleeps is a 1956 film noir directed by Fritz Lang. Written by Casey Robinson, the newspaper drama was based on The Bloody Spur by Charles Einstein, which depicts the story of "Lipstick Killer" William Heirens. The film features Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Howard Duff, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, John Drew Barrymore and Ida Lupino.

Widescreen

Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of aspect ratios (relationship of image width to height) used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film.

For television, the original screen ratio for broadcasts was in fullscreen 4:3 (1.33:1). Largely between the 1990s and early 2000s, at varying paces in different nations, 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen TV displays came into increasingly common use. They are typically used in conjunction with high-definition television (HDTV) receivers, or Standard-Definition (SD) DVD players and other digital television sources.

With computer displays, aspect ratios wider than 4:3 are also referred to as widescreen. Widescreen computer displays were previously of 16:10 aspect ratio, but now are usually 16:9.

Widescreen display modes

Widescreen televisions provide several modes for displaying video from 4:3 (standard aspect ratio) sources. These modes may be selected manually from a remote control, or automatically if an Active Format Descriptor is available.

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