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Monsignor: A scandal in the Roman Catholic Church


Disadvantages of shooting anamorphic
Billy Williams Film-maker
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One of the disadvantages with shooting anamorphic is when it... the film comes to be shown on television, particularly when television is 12 by 9. It's not quite so bad now that 16 by 9 is coming in. But you see you've got a... a format that 2.35 to 1, which is very much wider than the television set and so a system known as pan and scan was introduced, where there was a post-production process which selected which part of the frame to use. Sometimes it was the middle, sometimes the left or sometimes the right. Or sometimes there would be an arbitrary scan of the full wide screen during the course of the shot so that a pan would be introduced which was never part of the original concept, so a static shot could be turned into a very slow pan in order to encompass everything that was in the frame. I much prefer it when anamorphic movies are shown on television in the original format, so... but then you get a black band on the top and bottom and in fact you get a smaller picture on your television. Whereas in the cinema, you get a bigger picture, because the tabs widen out from 1:8:5 to 2:3:5 to give you a bigger picture. And there's always discussion before you go into a movie, is it going to be 1:8:5 or is going to be 2:3:5?

Billy Williams, London-born cinematographer Billy Williams gained his first two Oscar nominations for the acclaimed “Women in Love” and “On Golden Pond”. His third nomination, which was successful, was for the epic “Gandhi”. He was President of the British Society of Cinematographers, and was awarded the Camera Image Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Listeners: Neil Binney

Neil Binney began working as a 'clapper boy' in 1946 on spin-off films from steam radio such as "Dick Barton". Between 1948-1950 he served as a Royal Air Force photographer. From 1950 he was a Technicolor assistant technician working on films such as John Ford's "Mogambo" (photographed by Freddie Young), Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (Bob Burke), and Visconti's "Senso" (G.R. Aldo/B. Cracker). As a camera assistant he worked on "Mind Benders", "Billy Liar" and "This Sporting Life". Niel Binney became a camera operator in 1963 and worked with, among others, Jack Cardiff, Fred Tammes and Billy Williams. He was elected associate member of the British Society of Cinematographers in 1981 and his most recent credits include "A Fish Called Wanda" and "Fierce Creatures".

Duration: 1 minute, 29 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008