October 19, 2018
The Academy Ratio, or 4:3 aspect ratio was the standard in the early days of cinema and television today we look at why contemporary filmmakers are returning to it today.
For most new filmmakers, aspect ratio isn’t something that is given much thought in a creative sense. Typically, one is chosen based on the popular appeal of Hollywood’s current standard in hopes of making a film “look more like a film,” which is why we’re seeing anamorphic and wide screens all over the place.
However, in this video essay, Fandor’s Jacob T. Swinney explores the use of the square Academy Ratio (4:3) in some of today’s most acclaimed films, including American Honey, Ida, and The Grand Budapest Hotel in hopes of understanding not only why a modern filmmaker would decide to use a seemingly old-fashioned aspect ratio but also why you might want to give your own films’ more thought before defaulting to wide.