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SIC Preview: Pre-Production: Selecting Your Aspect Ratio

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

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Contains over 11 minutes of extensive video content and analysis – join now and never miss another article like this!

You will learn:

  • What the standard aspect ratios are and what they are traditionally used for
  • How to choose an aspect ratio that best suits your story
  • How to choose aspect ratios for different projects
  • How aspect ratios lend themselves to certain types of stories
  • How the aspect ratio can help craft character relationships
  • How to Utilize the space in your frame to immerse the audience in the story
  • How to think creatively with your frame to get the most out of the story
  • How the characters can determine your aspect ratio
  • Understanding the headroom and footroom of a frame can help convey an emotion
  • Logistical problems you may run into with different aspect ratios

Every movie, every television show, even every YouTube video you watch is displayed in a certain aspect ratio. 4:3, 16×9 (1.78), 1.85:1, 2.35:1 – Those are the ratios of the width to the height of the image, and that aspect ratio can make or break your story. Which ratio you choose should complement your story, and your characters.

Shane Hurlbut, ASC takes you through his process in selecting aspect ratios for a project. Different content calls for varying aspect ratios depending on a few key factors. Learn what those factors are and how to properly select the aspect ratio that best fits your story.

All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.

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