You might have just read the title and by thinking? What? What’s he on about?
Let me explain…
I am talking about Aspect Ratio. This is, in plain terms the dimensions of an image on the screen. (the ratio of the width to the height of an image or screen)
Here I talk about them in more detail, also talk about the NEWEST Ratio on the block, and it’s doing bits.
Popular Ratios in Film and TV
There are many different types of Aspect Ratios used for all types of films and videos these days and each is used for a different reason.
This Ratio was standard back in the day to suit the screens that the images were being viewed on. (old square crappy monitors.)
This is probably the most popular Aspect Ratio now, with all cameras/camcorders and mobile phones all shooting 16:9 as default. As HD (High Definition) was rolled out this Ratio soon took over from 4:3 and till now is still the big boy in TV and Video.
2.35:1 or 2.39:1
Wooee! This is my favourite ratio. I just think when filmed with the intention of using this ratio is looks the best and people just know what you’re about. This ratio is standard in Film. It’s also the anamorphic ratio, Basically, you shoot a stretched image and the squash it back down and then it looks normal. this changes the look and adds extra details that are more aesthetically appealing. Pictures explain more.
This is the classic square. Obviously, very popular due to Instagram. This Aspect Ratio isn’t really used much in film and TV, but sometimes people break the rules, E.g. Kendrick Lemar – King Kunta music video…
This is the new kid that’s just popped up. I love it.
It’s a mix of 16:9 and 2.35:1, which is just completely ideal.
The first time this ratio was used was in 1954 on VERA CRUZ, but up until 2013, we haven’t really seen it used in major productions. Here are a few of the BIG ones that are now using this format.
House of Cards (2013)
Marco Polo (2014)
Jurassic World (2015)
The Crown (2016)
Stranger Things (2016)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)
Fargo (Season 3 – 2017)
Now with all that said, I must say there is no industry standard. Different Aspect Ratios are used depending on where it is being shown, who filmed it, what they want to use it for and more. It’s completely up to the creators.
Personally, I think I will start using 2.00:1 as I feel it’s the right fit for my work, but probably not all the time.
Now, I need a beer, IT’S SO HOT! IM MELTING.