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Is Widescreen Video Inherently Better?

If you have a choice of making your video or film in wide-screen (16:9) or full-screen (4:3) format,

which one will you choose for purely aesthetic (non-technical) reasons? If wide-screen, then why?

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6 answers

Seun if you are using cameras that have a native 16:9 chip, shoot 16:9 but if you are using a camera that has a 4:3 chip then shoot 4:3.

If you shoot 4:3 it is easy to use a 16:9 mask but you need to use markers on your production monitor. If you shoot 16:9, just use letterbox to convert it to 4:3.

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And the ipods/mp4 players that people use these days are designed for fullscreen 4:3 video, just like televisions.

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I've changed my mind about the use of widescreen for web video distribution. Widescreen seems useful for filming two-shots but if you frame tightly you end up missing the actors' chests and hands, which is a large part of the performance. If you zoom out wide enough to show the actors' hands, you might as well be using fullscreen.

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@Suen

Your conclusions are correct. Widescreen gives a filmy look.

You can fit 3 or more heads into a scene if blocking is well done andd you are lucky to be working with actors who are disciplined enough (and well trained too) to hit their spots. If you block and mark floors for movemnets, you should be fine even without wodescreen.

But i do agree that the aesthetics of widescreen is great. Have noticed that our directors do not frame to extremes as you'll find in foreing movies? they tend po place everyone in the middle.

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For aesthetic reasons, I will definitely choose widescreen because it is easily associated with stuff shot on film. It makes your work look a bit more expensive. but for technical reasons, It depends on what you are shooting. It is is a TV show for Nigeria, shoot 4:3. If it is something else, shoot widescreen.

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After some extensive research, I came to the same conclusion. My reason for preferring widescreen is that you can film a dialogue scene involving 2-3 characters without having to cut back and forth between them. You can fit 3 heads into the scene.

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