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[Help] How to find out whether a movie was filmed with "Open Matte"?
I have grasped by now that some movies are filmed anamorphically, so they will never have an Open Matte.

While I understand the concept of anamorphic filming theoretically, I am not very familiar with all the established technologies and terms used for this in the film industry, specifically 35mm-related (I do understand the somewhat separate topic of anamorphic video encoding, so no need to delve into that). 

It follows I have neither yet grasped how to derive this information from imdb's Technical Specs. Can anyone perhaps give me a quick rundown over the most basic terms and anything that might be necessary to grasp this subject in its entirety? I'd like to know enough about the process to look at imdb's Spec page and quickly find an answer to whether that movie was filmed with any option to later Open Matte or not.

Currently I end up giving up googling all the various listed film stocks and listed lenses and whatnot, as I kinda lack the basics.
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Well, if it's listed as Super35mm, it isn't anamorphic, and then 99% open matte - unless filmed hard matted, but it doesn't occour often.

If it is listed as filmed using anamorphic lenses, it is NOT open matte - the frame would be used entirely, but the image is "stretched" to get more resolution.

Then, there are some exceptions, like "Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo", that was filmed using 2perf 35mm (instead 4perf), to get double duration (film was/is quite expensive); quality is like a Super35mm, but there were two frames for each effective frame - they were half height.

Now, I leave the word to the more expert!
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I see. Are all anamorphic film lenses scope-to-4:3? That is, do they all have the same "squeeze ratio"? Are there not perhaps some lenses out there that compress a 16:9-to-4:3? I know that such adapters exist(ed) for consumer cameras. In which case there'd still be the possibility of Open Matte, but not as much (16:9 instead of 4:3).
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I know the most used anamorphic lense (Panavision) is 2:1, then the final image when properly cropped is 2.39:1.
There are (were?) other kind of lenses, but you should do your homework, or wait for someone more expert than me! Big Grin

P.S. Of course a film shot in Super35 (The Matrix, for example) could be printed anamorphic!
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Ultra Panavision 70mm uses 1.25:1 anamorphics to squeeze/unsqueeze for a 2.75:1 aspect ratio.
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(2018-01-09, 04:41 AM)TomArrow Wrote: Are there not perhaps some lenses out there that compress a 16:9-to-4:3? I know that such adapters exist(ed) for consumer cameras.

They do exist indeed! They are 4:3 to 16:9 adapter and allow you to shoot 16:9 anamorphic without losing any pixel information. The interesting part with these is that when using more recent HD camcorders which are alredy 16:9, you'll end up with a scope ratio of 2.40:1 which is pretty cool! If your camcorder records in 1920x1080 instead of having to crop your picture to get a scope resolution of 1920x800 you'll have a stretched resolution of 2592x1080 which is very very convinient!
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1.33:1 Anamorphic attachments are indeed very popular in the consumer/prosumer market, for shooting scope with 16:9 sensors, although they don't flare quite as well as the 2:1 lenses and the bokeh isn't so pronounced. They are also made for 2.35:1 constant image height projection in home cinemas (either using prismatic or cylindrical optics)
1.33:1 even found its way into cinemas with the anamorphic Vistavision process.
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Another way to know if a movie was filmed with anamorphic lenses or flat, is to check out lens flares.

Top Alien 3 (anamorphic), bottom True Lies (flat):
[Image: lens_flares.jpg]

as you can see, with the anamorphic lens the flare is squeezed, while with the non anamorphic is round.
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Even if a film is shot flat it may still be fully or partially hard-matted.
In general the golden rule is there are no rules Smile
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