Over at Stream, Jamie Stuart has a nice piece up in which he looks at the three most important Hollywood movies of the year — No Country for Old Men, Zodiac and There Will Be Blood — and discusses the very different ways they went about creating their images.
The fact that all three of these pictures used technologies in different a manner is ultimately irrelevant to the fact that they are all stories told with pictures, regardless of the chosen workflow. While they may be aesthetically different, each approach is completely legitimate. One similarity between them is a screen aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1. What’s dissimilar is the manner in which that widescreen image was achieved: No Country For Old Men used the Super-35 process, by which the entire camera negative is exposed while the image is composed for and later masked at 2.40:1; Zodiac was shot with the Viper FilmStream and arrived at its aspect ratio by altering the shape of the recorded digital pixels; There Will Be Blood did it the old-fashioned way by employing Panavision anamorphic lenses that optically squeezed the photographed image and subsequently stretched it back out during projection.