Created By: DragonQuestZ on August 4, 2010 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZ on August 4, 2010
Troped

Widescreen Shot

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People Sit on Chairs... in Cinemascope!

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While 3D films relied on "jump out" shots to show themselves off (until recently), widescreen films would rely on wide shots to show themselves off. At first, these were largely landscape shots, but as they didn't give people headaches, they were a lot more successful, and an integral part of Scenery Porn in films.

Later on directors such as David Lean and Akira Kurosawa used the format for more artistic shots, to the point where their widescreen films actually lose a lot in being cropped to 4:3 ratio.

Although landscapes are still some of the most common forms of widescreen showing shots, others include people far apart from each other or showing a huge crowd of people.

Film studios also marketed their formats in the early days, even if most were essentially the same (Cinerama was a big exception, utilizing three synchronized projectors over three standard ratio screens).

Notable shots in films:

  • The desert shots in Lawrence of Arabia
  • One of the few memorable images in Pearl Harbor was the shot of the Japanese planes flying in from behind the camera.
  • The Star Destroyer shot in A New Hope.
  • Kurosawa was fond of shots of Samurai standing far apart from each other, and was referenced at the end of Kill Bill part 1.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • August 1, 2010
    JAF1970
  • August 1, 2010
    JAF1970
  • August 1, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 1, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • Lampshaded in the Classic Disney Short "Grand Canyonscope", where Ranger Woodlore encourages a crowd of visitors to the Grand Canyon to spread out because they're in Cinemascope.
    • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter has a brief intermision where the Cinemascope screen shrinks down to a tiny square, for those in the audience who are accustomed to watching television. The screen can scarcely show Tony Randall in full view, and he has to crouch down to get his head in the shot.
  • August 1, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter has a brief intermision where the Cinemascope screen shrinks down to a tiny square, for those in the audience who are accustomed to watching television. The screen can scarcely show Tony Randall in full view, and he has to crouch down to get his head in the shot. "

    And The Girl Cant Help It had a similar opening trick.
  • August 1, 2010
    Generality
    I recently noticed there's a bunch of these for two-shots in A Knights Tale, often combined with The Oner.
  • August 2, 2010
    the grene kni3t
    1956's Around The World In Eighty Days begins with a small, square introduction, matching the old footage of A Trip To The Moon used therein, and then the screen widens out dramatically to show off the 70mm format.
  • August 2, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    I'm getting enough examples of a switch in ratio to be a Sub Trope. So I'll use the examples given here for that after I launch this.
  • August 2, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Benny Hill did a sketch where a widescreen film was being shown on TV with the Pan And Scan being done as it was being broadcast, resulting in missing just about every action of note. (See Also Pan And Scan, BTW.)
  • August 3, 2010
    SkyBlue
    Joss Whedon deliberately put one of these in the Firefly trailer (Mal and Inara talking to each other from opposite sides of the cargo bay catwalk), to force the studio to broadcast the show in widescreen format.
  • August 4, 2010
    STUART
    ^Actually, as I recall from the commentary, he made every shot that he could like that. The network's response was that they would broadcast the pilot (at the end of the series) in widescreen, so long as he never pulled this stunt again so they could air the rest of the series in 4:3. (A good example of how short-sighted the executives who cancelled the show were: less than a decade later, the series thrives exclusively on widescreen DVD, and all broadcasting is done in widescreen.)

    YKTTW Plug: The equivalent for 3D films is Cheap 3D Tricks.
  • August 4, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I knew there was a ykttw for that.
  • August 4, 2010
    suedenim
    It's a fine trope and all, but I want it to be launched strictly on the basis of the great image and caption!
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