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List of film formats

Movies

List of film formats

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This is a list of film formats known to have been developed for shooting or viewing motion pictures since the development of such photographic technology towards the end of the 19th century.

Contents

Necessary characteristics for list inclusion

Due to the large amount of experimental work done with motion picture photography since its inception, some often considerably less successful than others, the formats listed meet several requirements:

  • The images must be photochemical in nature and be formed or projected on a robust film base.
  • The movies must be of a significant duration - i.e. more than a handful of frames.
  • The camera must be fast enough (in frames per second) to create an illusion of motion consistent with the persistence of vision phenomenon.
  • The format must be significantly unique from other listed formats in regard to its image capture or image projection.
  • The format must not be purely conceptual and should have been used in the field or at least had some physical rendering for test shooting.
  • The format characteristics should be clearly definable in several listed parameters, if not all of them.

Legend

  • Format is the name of the process; some formats may have multiple names in common usage.
  • Creator is the individual or company most directly attributable as the developer of the system.
  • Year Created usually refers to the earliest date that the system was used to completion (i.e. projection), but may refer to when it was developed if no known film was made.
  • First known film is the first film (not including tests) made with the format and intended for release.
  • Negative gauge is the film gauge (width) used for the original camera negative.
  • Negative aspect ratio is the image ratio determined by the ratio of the gate dimensions multiplied by the anamorphic power of the camera lenses (1x in the case of spherical lenses). [1]
  • Gate dimensions are the width and height of the camera gate aperture and by extension the film negative frame.
  • Negative pulldown describes the film perforations per frame, the direction of film transport, and standard frame speed. Film transport is assumed to be vertical unless otherwise noted, and standard frame speed is assumed to be 24 frames per second unless the film is otherwise noted or has no standard. Silent film has no standard speed; many amateur formats have several common speeds, but no standard.
  • Negative lenses indicates whether spherical (normal) or anamorphic lenses are used on the original camera negative and if anamorphic lenses, what anamorphic power is used.
  • Projection gauge is the film gauge (width) used for the release print.
  • Projection aspect ratio is the image ratio determined by the ratio of the projection dimensions multiplied by the anamorphic power of the projection lenses (1x in the case of spherical lenses). This is also known as the intended theatrical aspect ratio. [1]
  • Projection dimensions are the width and height of the projector aperture plate and by extension the film frame area which is projected. The aperture plate always very slightly crops the frame.
  • Projection lenses indicates whether spherical (normal) or anamorphic lenses are used on the projector and if anamorphic lenses, what anamorphic power is used.

Formats are listed in chronological order and by release date in the case of multiple formats within one year, if this can be determined. Undated formats are listed at the bottom in alphabetical order.

References

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Print

  • Hart, Douglas C. The Camera Assistant: A Complete Professional Handbook. Newton, MA: Focal Press, 1996.
  • Hummel, Rob (editor). American Cinematographer Manual, 8th edition. Hollywood: ASC Press, 2001.
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Websites


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.