Apple Vision Pro natively supports a rare film aspect ratio

Posted:
in Apple Vision Pro

A cinephile has discovered that Apple Vision Pro will show Panavision 70 movies in their correct and very wide screen aspect ratio.

Man with VR headset sitting on a sofa, looking at a large panoramic screen showing a serene landscape with a reflective water surface.
Watching a widescreen movie on Apple Vision Pro



Apple has emphasized how immersive Apple Vision Pro is for entertainment, but the firm's typical attention to detail means it's reportedly gone further than other with movies. When watched through the headset, even films shot in the 70mm Panavision format will be shown as they were meant to be seen in the theater.

"I have The Hateful Eight in my apple library, bought it some time ago because it has great extras," writes a movie buff on Reddit. "As you may know, Tarantino shot it on actual film using 70mm Panavision. I saw it in when it first came out in a theater and it was presented as it was meant to -- in Panavision... [but] you can't see it like that anywhere unless you're in a theater that's properly outfitted."

"Until now," continues Reddit user NeoYossarian. "I went to view it using VisionPro, put it in Cinema mode, and IT WAS IN THE ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO!!"

"I was watching a full screen 70mm film in my living room, exactly as it was meant to be seen," says the user. "Apple deserves HUGE congratulations for this... I almost wept."

How the aspect ratio is vital



Movies went widescreen decades ago, specifically to counter the then-rising threat of small screen television. One of the absolute widest of widescreen technologies, was Panavision -- often called Ultra Panavision 70 --which needed special lenses.

These anamorphic lenses were fitted to the cameras shooting the movie, and these then compressed the image being filmed. Movie theaters then had anamorphic lenses on their projectors, to take the compressed images and show them as they were intended.

If it were originally an attempt to show movie theaters were more immersive than small TV screens, it later became a stylistic choice for directors such as Quentin Tarantino. He shot The Hateful Eight in the format, and also produced a special theater release of it in this form, before the official debut in 2015.

The next year, director Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Greig Fraser shot the Star Wars movie, Rogue One in a digital version of Ultra Panavision 70. But long before then, back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ben Hur was shot this way, as was Mutiny on the Bounty, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

A person in a VR headset sits on a sofa while another figure stands facing a rocky landscape projected on a large screen in a sunny room.
A film's aspect ratio can't be changed in Apple Vision Pro, but the screen can be dragged to make it bigger and more cinema-like

Stylistic choice of format



This format allowed filmmakers to shoot and then later to screen movie images that were in the ratio of 2.76:1. That compares to the more common 16:9.

Now that TV sets are typically 16:9, films that are wider than that are shown with black borders at top and bottom. The technique is called letterboxing and does resemble looking through a door's letterbox at the film.

Not in Apple Vision Pro, though. Since there is no screen to display the film on per se, since it can take up the width it needs, Apple supports the Panavision 70 ratio.

In retrospect, it's obvious that the Apple Vision Pro should have the capability to show such a widescreen movie since there are no constraints to the size of the image it displays. But since Panavison version of the film has to be sourced, it's an example of Apple recognizing a difference and sweating the details to get film fans the right ratio.

Separately, it's been reported that Apple Vision Pro has 50 times the resolution of an iPhone 15. No wonder the Reddit user was so pleased.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,642member
    Fans of the 1950s Ben Hur rejoice.

    Both of them.

    Just kidding.  Cinerama fans rejoice, too.   

    Wait.  Those are the same two people.

    Well, there's a dozen or so movies this wide.   I'm sure there's a list of them.
    williamlondonForumPost
  • Reply 2 of 12
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,022member
    eriamjh said:
    Fans of the 1950s Ben Hur rejoice.

    Both of them.

    Just kidding.  Cinerama fans rejoice, too.   

    Wait.  Those are the same two people.

    Well, there's a dozen or so movies this wide.   I'm sure there's a list of them.
    Actually, Ben Hur was filmed in MGM Camera 65 but printed in 70.

    A list of films shot in Ultra Panavision 70mm are as follows:
    1. How the West Was Won (1962)
    2. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
    3. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
    4. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
    5. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
    6. The Hallelujah Trail (1965)
    7. Battle of the Bulge (1965)
    8. Khartoum (1966)
    9. The Hateful Eight (2015)
    10. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
    appleinsideruserForumPostchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,554member
    JinTech said:
    Actually, Ben Hur was filmed in MGM Camera 65 but printed in 70.

    A list of films shot in Ultra Panavision 70mm are as follows:
    1. How the West Was Won (1962)
    2. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
    3. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
    4. The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
    5. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
    6. The Hallelujah Trail (1965)
    7. Battle of the Bulge (1965)
    8. Khartoum (1966)
    9. The Hateful Eight (2015)
    10. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

    Christopher Robin (2018) – some scenes filmed in Ultra Panavision 70.

    Additionally, several films (including Rogue One) have been recorded digitally in conjunction with Ultra Panavision 70 lenses: 

    Bright (2017), 

    Avengers: Infinity War (2018), 

    Avengers: Endgame (2019) 

    The King (2019) with the Arri Alexa 65 camera, 

    The Hate U Give (2018) 

    Like a Boss (2020) 

    ForumPostwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 614member
    For those interested in film, it is worth reading the Wikipedia entries for the various movie formats. 
    ForumPostchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    What about Cinerama? Vision Pro would be perfect for films like 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,291member
    Dammit, this story is making me want an Apple Vision Pro.

    I hate you guys. :wink: 
    tenthousandthingskurai_kagerezwitswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,291member
    charles1 said:
    What about Cinerama? Vision Pro would be perfect for films like 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    Not confirmed, but likely to work.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
     Boy, this brings back memories. I remember my dad taking me to see “Grand Prix “back in 1966 when I was 11 years old. It was shown in a brand new theater that I think open just for that movie in the theater was designed for 70 mm films. Huge theater. And this movie won three Academy Awards with lots of filming in Formula One racers on the track.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Is “Dunkirk” purchased in Apple TV library viewable in 70mm on AVP?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    You know what Movie I am seeing left off everyone's list that was the first movie that came to me?

    Tom Cruise "Far & Away" Western!!!

    Far and Away
     was released on May 22, 1992 in 1,583 theaters, 163 of which were in 70mm.

    It was the first film shot in Panavision Super 70 and the first film to be shot in 70mm in a decade since Tron (1982).  The Arriflex 765 camera was also used, as the camera was capable of 100 frames per second which was used for slow-motion shots during the Oklahoma land rush scene.

    That is another one, TRON that no one mentioned above!!!  I'm sure there are others not listed also.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_and_Away

    Look, there is a list and more movies,...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_70_mm_films

    For whatever reason, I just remember Far and Away being 70mm.  It's funny how you just remember random things like this from far in the past.  Why you may have forgotten what you did the day before.

    tmay
  • Reply 11 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,554member
    jbdragon said:
    You know what Movie I am seeing left off everyone's list that was the first movie that came to me?

    Tom Cruise "Far & Away" Western!!!

    Far and Away
     was released on May 22, 1992 in 1,583 theaters, 163 of which were in 70mm.

    It was the first film shot in Panavision Super 70 and the first film to be shot in 70mm in a decade since Tron (1982).  The Arriflex 765 camera was also used, as the camera was capable of 100 frames per second which was used for slow-motion shots during the Oklahoma land rush scene.

    That is another one, TRON that no one mentioned above!!!  I'm sure there are others not listed also.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_and_Away

    Look, there is a list and more movies,...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_70_mm_films

    For whatever reason, I just remember Far and Away being 70mm.  It's funny how you just remember random things like this from far in the past.  Why you may have forgotten what you did the day before.

    The reason those films weren't mentioned before is that this news story is about the far more exotic "Ultra Panavision 70" format, and not the "Panavision Super 70". 

    There are hundreds of 70mm films, but only that very limited handful of Ultra Panavisions. 

    One cinema in my town does regular screenings in 70 mm. Finally got to see "2001" they way Kubrick intended, a few years ago. 
    chasm
  • Reply 12 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,291member
    I meant to add to my previous post that this revelation (and the assumption that other 70mm formats are or can also be supported) opens up a WHOLE NEW but admittedly niche market for the AVP: film buffs.

    Big-screen TVs can show you movies in the correct aspect ratio, but they cannot be immersive (no black bars) unless the film just happens to be in 16:9. Until you’ve seen a film that really takes advantage of the various 70mm formats, you haven’t seen the exceptional “field of view” perspective those movies offer.

    I recall seeing the first Alien movie in 70mm (not sure which variant, someone here will know), but it was W I D E. The audience was completely enraptured — quietest cinema audience I had ever been in. Until THAT moment happened, then they instantly become the SCREAMIEST movie audience I had ever encountered before or since. I seriously thought they all might bolt for the exits.

    The thought of being able to see 4K or better 70mm movies properly has me thinking “you know, this Apple Vision Pro thing isn’t so expensive after all.” :wink: 
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