Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / Letterbox

Go To



See also {{Eyedscreen}} for where letterboxing is used as a temporary effect. If objects inside the frame enter the letterbox, that counts as FrameBreak.

to:

See also {{Eyedscreen}} for where letterboxing is used as a temporary effect. If objects inside the frame enter the letterbox, that counts as FrameBreak. Also see AspectRatioSwitch.


Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. A fad popularised by Creator/HypeWilliams in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, which amounted to a visually impressive eye candy back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television, making full use of the negative space left by the use of widescreen footage. Williams' letterbox effect was so popular that he had to [[http://www.mtv.com/news/1528169/hype-williams-video-director-for-beyonce-ne-yo-changing-up-his-style/ abandon]] that style as it went "beyond being flattering."

to:

Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. A fad popularised by Creator/HypeWilliams in the 2000s was where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, which amounted to a visually impressive eye candy back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television, making full use of the negative space left by the use of widescreen footage. Williams' letterbox effect was so popular that he had to [[http://www.mtv.com/news/1528169/hype-williams-video-director-for-beyonce-ne-yo-changing-up-his-style/ abandon]] that style as it went "beyond being flattering."


Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. A fad popularised by Creator/HypeWilliams in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, making for what was a visually impressive eye candy back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television, making full use of the negative space left by the use of widescreen footage. Williams' letterbox effect was so popular that he had to [[http://www.mtv.com/news/1528169/hype-williams-video-director-for-beyonce-ne-yo-changing-up-his-style/ abandon]] that style as it went "beyond being flattering."

to:

Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. A fad popularised by Creator/HypeWilliams in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, making for what was which amounted to a visually impressive eye candy back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television, making full use of the negative space left by the use of widescreen footage. Williams' letterbox effect was so popular that he had to [[http://www.mtv.com/news/1528169/hype-williams-video-director-for-beyonce-ne-yo-changing-up-his-style/ abandon]] that style as it went "beyond being flattering."


Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. There was also a fad in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, making for what was a visually impressive effect back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television.

to:

Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]]. There was also a A fad popularised by Creator/HypeWilliams in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, making for what was a visually impressive effect eye candy back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television.
television, making full use of the negative space left by the use of widescreen footage. Williams' letterbox effect was so popular that he had to [[http://www.mtv.com/news/1528169/hype-williams-video-director-for-beyonce-ne-yo-changing-up-his-style/ abandon]] that style as it went "beyond being flattering."


Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]].

to:

Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]].
this]]. There was also a fad in the 2000s where certain music videos such as Music/{{Beyonce}}'s [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1dUDzBdnmI "Check On It"]] and Music/NeYo's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxszlJppRQI "So Sick"]] employed video backgrounds on the top and bottom bars, making for what was a visually impressive effect back when most households who watched MTV had a 4:3 CRT television.


It gets wilder when some films are shot in 4:3 knowing that they'll be exhibited in 16:9; movie projectors have a scrim that blocks the upper and lower parts of the frame. A film that is shot in this manner has two basic options: 1) Simply make sure that nothing plot-relevant ends up in that dead space that will be blocked off, or 2) Make use of that space for lighting rigs or other equipment that will simply be obscured. The latter becomes a problem if said film is shown in 4:3 on television without the aforementioned scrims, because some of the effects are spoiled; for example, ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' infamously has the "bike chain" visual gag showing the container with a false bottom, ''Film/TheBloodWatersOfDrZ'' with the fish creature's visible sneakers, or ''Film/TwelveToTheMoon'' with the visible lighting rigs on the "moonscape". Some films like ''Film/{{Moonstruck}}'' are shot in 4:3 knowing they'll be in letterbox on the screen and 4:3 on television, meaning that in terms of not losing any part of the image the 4:3 version is actually superior and no PanAndScan is needed (as long as they go for option 1).

to:

It gets wilder when some films are shot in 4:3 knowing that they'll be exhibited in 16:9; movie projectors have a scrim that blocks the upper and lower parts of the frame. A film that is shot in this manner has two basic options: 1) Simply make sure that nothing plot-relevant ends up in that dead space that will be blocked off, or 2) Make use of that space for lighting rigs or other equipment that will simply be obscured. The latter becomes a problem if said film is shown in 4:3 on television without the aforementioned scrims, because some of the effects are spoiled; for example, ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' infamously has the "bike chain" visual gag showing the container with a false bottom, ''Film/TheBloodWatersOfDrZ'' ''Film/BloodWatersOfDrZ'' with the fish creature's visible sneakers, or ''Film/TwelveToTheMoon'' with the visible lighting rigs on the "moonscape". Some films like ''Film/{{Moonstruck}}'' are shot in 4:3 knowing they'll be in letterbox on the screen and 4:3 on television, meaning that in terms of not losing any part of the image the 4:3 version is actually superior and no PanAndScan is needed (as long as they go for option 1).


Some movies came to VHS with letterboxing employed only on the opening and ending credits, since presenting those sequences in PanAndScan would have resulted in some actors' or crew members' names becoming obscured from the viewers. The studios occasionally tried to make the shift less distracting by replacing the black bars with patterns similar to the background of the ArtisticTitle or the CreativeClosingCredits.

to:

Some movies movies, particularly older ones, came to VHS with letterboxing employed only on the opening and ending credits, since presenting those sequences in PanAndScan would have resulted in some actors' or crew members' names becoming obscured from the viewers. The studios occasionally tried to make the shift less distracting by replacing the black bars with patterns similar to the background of the ArtisticTitle or the CreativeClosingCredits.


It gets wilder when some films are shot in 4:3 knowing that they'll be exhibited in 16:9; movie projectors have a scrim that block the upper and lower parts of the frame. A film that is shot in this manner has two basic options: 1) Simply make sure that nothing plot-relevant ends up in that dead space that will be blocked off, or 2) Make use of that space for lighting rigs or other equipment that will simply be obscured. The latter becomes a problem if said film is shown in 4:3 on television without the aforementioned scrims, because some of the effects are spoiled; for example, ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' infamously has the "bike chain" visual gag showing the container with a false bottom, ''Film/TheBloodWatersOfDrZ'' with the fish creature's visible sneakers, or ''Film/TwelveToTheMoon'' with the visible lighting rigs on the "moonscape". Some films like ''Film/{{Moonstruck}}'' are shot in 4:3 knowing they'll be in letterbox on the screen and 4:3 on television, meaning that in terms of not losing any part of the image the 4:3 version is actually superior and no PanAndScan is needed (as long as they go for option 1).

to:

It gets wilder when some films are shot in 4:3 knowing that they'll be exhibited in 16:9; movie projectors have a scrim that block blocks the upper and lower parts of the frame. A film that is shot in this manner has two basic options: 1) Simply make sure that nothing plot-relevant ends up in that dead space that will be blocked off, or 2) Make use of that space for lighting rigs or other equipment that will simply be obscured. The latter becomes a problem if said film is shown in 4:3 on television without the aforementioned scrims, because some of the effects are spoiled; for example, ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' infamously has the "bike chain" visual gag showing the container with a false bottom, ''Film/TheBloodWatersOfDrZ'' with the fish creature's visible sneakers, or ''Film/TwelveToTheMoon'' with the visible lighting rigs on the "moonscape". Some films like ''Film/{{Moonstruck}}'' are shot in 4:3 knowing they'll be in letterbox on the screen and 4:3 on television, meaning that in terms of not losing any part of the image the 4:3 version is actually superior and no PanAndScan is needed (as long as they go for option 1).


This term refers to a method of fitting an image onto a screen that is less wide than the image (or more square, if you prefer). This is done by shrinking the original image until its width matches that of the screen; the side effect is that the movie's ''height'' is now considerably less than that of the TV screen, resulting in black bars at the top and bottom, forming a "box" around the film (it's rather like watching the film through a mail slot or "letter box", hence the term).

to:


This term refers to a method of fitting an image onto a screen that is less wide than the image (or more square, if you prefer).prefer) in order to preserve its original AspectRatio. This is done by shrinking the original image until its width matches that of the screen; the side effect is that the movie's ''height'' is now considerably less than that of the TV screen, resulting in black bars at the top and bottom, forming a "box" around the film (it's rather like watching the film through a mail slot or "letter box", hence the term).


Turner Classic Movies did an excellent explanation [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m1-pP1-5K8 the difference between Letterboxing and Pan And Scan]].

to:

Turner Classic Movies Creator/TurnerClassicMovies did an excellent explanation of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m1-pP1-5K8 the difference between Letterboxing and Pan And Scan]].


Compare OpenMatte, VisualCompression, and WidescreenShot. Contrast PanAndScan.

to:

Compare OpenMatte, Open Matte, VisualCompression, and WidescreenShot. Contrast PanAndScan.


Compare VisualCompression, WidescreenShot. Contrast PanAndScan.

to:

Compare OpenMatte, VisualCompression, and WidescreenShot. Contrast PanAndScan.


Compare VisualCompression, WidescreenShot.

Contrast PanAndScan.

See also {{Eyedscreen}} for where letterboxing is used as a temporary effect.

to:

Compare VisualCompression, WidescreenShot.

WidescreenShot. Contrast PanAndScan.

See also {{Eyedscreen}} for where letterboxing is used as a temporary effect. If objects inside the frame enter the letterbox, that counts as FrameBreak.

Added DiffLines:

Bear in mind that the bars that letterboxing generates are usually black, but not always. The original widescreen home video release of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/{{Manhattan}}'' used grey bars. TV channels or some Website/YouTube videos showing content recorded in 4:3 or vertical smartphone video would fill the letterbox with a zoomed, cropped and blurred version of the same video played in sync, like [[https://youtu.be/j3jNbroPj8A this]]. Some TV channels would fill the letterbox with their network ID, like [[https://youtu.be/PFIrsitJW5M?t=155 this]].

Added DiffLines:

Turner Classic Movies did an excellent explanation [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m1-pP1-5K8 the difference between Letterboxing and Pan And Scan]].

Showing 15 edit(s) of 42

Top