Aspect ratio has changed throughout the history of the film, at times due to technological advances, but at other times out of fashion.
Today, you can choose different ratios that will give a certain dramatic effect to the film.
Edison’s patent back in the 1880s aimed to capture the moving picture and it is considered to be the beginning of the 35mm film.
Ratio of 4:3 is, despite its round numbers, quite arbitrary, but still one of the most popular ratios in use.
- When you work in 1.33 aspect ratio, instead of working the size of the frame out, they work the size of the film inwards.
- Widescreen cinema was introduced in 1952 as Cinerama was invented. Three 35 millimeter cameras were combined and projected onto a 90 foot wide screen.
- IMAX was invented and the goal was to get an even bigger and more detailed image when you are watching a film. The IMAX frame is huge and to be shown on a 100 foot wide screen.
“In 1888, Thomas Edison filed a document with the US Patent Office in which he conceived of a device that would do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear. But before his team could build their first motion picture camera, they needed to establish the size of the film they would use.”