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Jeremy Butler's colleague writes:

>>Yes it is 1.33:1 and yes it is my Academy that it refers to.  AMPAS didn't
>>have anything to do with setting the standard (that was Edison), but, as
>>Katz writes about the Academy,  "... introduced the Academy mask in an
>>effort to re-establish screen rectangularity at the then-standard aspect
>>ratio of 1.33 : 1 (or 4 : 3).  The area delineated by the mask is known as
>>the Academy Aperture."

It wasn't even Edison - his assistant, W.K.L. Dickson, made the decision
that each frame of 35mm film should be four perforations tall and occupy
the entire width of the film from perf to perf, thus effectively
standardising the aspect ratio as roughly 1:1.33.

I wonder if he could have imagined just how big the consequences were of
what must, at the time, have seemed a relatively minor decision...

L
------------------------------------
Leo Enticknap
Technical Manager
City Screen Cinemas (York) Ltd..
13-17 Coney St., York YO1 9QL.
United Kingdom
Telephone: 01904 612940 (work); 01904 625823 (home); 07710 417383 (mobile)
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

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