Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Safe Harbors is the sci-fi feature I'm developing with about 90% CGI effects. I know, I know, I've lost my gourd, I'm living the edge and all that. Hey, I like living on the edge... it's a great view.

Anyway, I've been tossing around the pros and cons of formats, things like whether to shoot film vs. mini-DV vs. hi-def, etc. (Mini-DV won that skirmish: cheap, easy and good quality.) But another major format decision was: 4:3 vs. 16:9 vs. 2.35:1?

The filmheads out there know what instantly I'm talking about, and maybe you savvy types also intuit what I'm talking about—you've certainly seen all these formats yourself, you just might not know their technical names.

Well, here's the difference: most TV is still 4:3 format, or 4 units wide by 3 units tall. Most newer TV, like Lost and other hi-def filiming—is in the wider 16:9 "letterbox" format. Finally, most high budget epic films are in the widest 2.35:1 "anamorphic" format. The Matrix was shot 2.35:1 anamorphic and wow, does it show:

When you're shooting a low-budget film like I am, but you really want to give the best impression that the film is still "epic" and big budget, you have to shoot anamorphic. It just looks so cool.

Thus, I opted to go anamorphic for Safe Harbors and slapped together a few images in anamorphic format to assist my designers in getting a feel for where I want to go with this project. At the moment, I can't tell you all much of anything about the story for a loooong time (but oh boy is it gonna be good). Still, I do think these images are awfully swanky. And ain't that anamorphic framing the bomb?

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