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by Paula Bernstein
March 13, 2014 3:54 PM
13 Comments
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Movie Theaters Receive Special Instructions on How to Project 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Most films are projected in one aspect ratio ( most commonly, 1.85:1), but Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is presented in three aspect ratios, which is why it's not surprising that Fox Searchlight would send movie theaters special instructions on how to project it.

"Renowned filmmaker Wes Anderson has spent the last few years bringing 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' to the screen. We think you'll agree that this epic film is an exciting experience and the key to this experience is proper framing on your screen. Below are our specifications for the proper projection of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel.' We're grateful for your attention to these critical details. Your efforts will make all the difference."

The instructions (which one Redditor shared) include information on how to frame the picture, what volume to set the sound system at (7.0) and how to provide the optimal light level. "The correct light level is vital to a great presentation," according to the instructions. Despite the three aspect ratios, the instructions say that "all of these ratios are within the standard 1.85:1" ratio.

Read more about the aspect ratios in the film over on Slate.com.

http://instagram.com/raypride


13 Comments

  • Dan Mirvish | March 14, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Cool. Reminds me of the instructions Stanley Kubrick sent to projectionists for "Barry Lyndon" - they've got a copy in the booth at Film Society of Lincoln Center. Ask Eug to get a picture of it.

  • RichardWad2U | March 14, 2014 8:14 AMReply

    Oh wow y'all, I'm Wes Anderson, and I just don't get how and why I'm so indie-ish and quirky! I'm just so crazy and edgy like that! I even invented a little accent for myself. You know, like the Decemberists did! Go see my movie if you want. But if you don't that's fine cause it's not for everybody... just us quirky indie-ish people. Cause we're quirky. And indie-ish. And I'm so tired of people saying we're "hipster". What does that word even mean?...

  • ThomasEarlham | March 14, 2014 7:40 PM

    You seem fun.

  • dpg | March 14, 2014 12:21 PM

    shut up you knob, you sound like frank grimes in the simpsons.

  • Paula Bernstein | March 13, 2014 8:07 PMReply

    Sorry, Ray. We didn't see the original source. We will add credit in the story.

  • Ray Pride | March 13, 2014 5:26 PMReply

    And here's where the image was nabbed from, without credit instagram account: raypride

  • RogerDillon | March 14, 2014 8:31 PM

    Are you really upset you didn't get credit for uploading an out of focus picture? Seems like you have bigger problems you should focus on

  • Glenn | March 13, 2014 4:20 PMReply

    I get why Anderson did it, and it works, but it's frustrating since now there are big black bars all over the screen. Masking exists for a reason and when a film uses multiple aspect ratios, there's nothing for places without experienced and dedicated projectionists can keep up. Masking is our friend!

  • Glenn | March 13, 2014 4:19 PMReply

    I get why Anderson did it, and it works, but it's frustrating since now there are big black bars all over the screen. Masking exists for a reason and when a film uses multiple aspect ratios, there's nothing for places without experienced and dedicated projectionists can keep up. Masking is our friend!

  • Glenn | March 13, 2014 4:19 PMReply

    I get why Anderson did it, and it works, but it's frustrating since now there are big black bars all over the screen. Masking exists for a reason and when a film uses multiple aspect ratios, there's nothing for places without experienced and dedicated projectionists can keep up. Masking is our friend!

  • Ken | March 13, 2014 4:17 PMReply

    So Fox doesn't know how to spell "Wes" Anderson's first name?

    Maybe it's not a direct quote and it was mistyped, but the "renowned filmmaker West" probably doesn't like having a letter added to his name.

  • Donnacha | March 13, 2014 4:13 PMReply

    These are nothing new. Projectionists have received similar instructions for years.

    The Pixar ones are especially pretty (and sometimes have prizes! Get a hat for showing you did a quality check! Yay!)

    Sometimes it's just a faxed set of instructions, or a photocopied sheet in the can/DCP case. The one for Miss Congeniality 2 said the sound level needed to be played at a sound level of 7 because "we've noticed a sound design flaw - the film is so funny, people can't hear the dialogue over the laughs!"
    Of course, Miss Congeniality 2, I believe you.

    You can imagine how much projectionists actually pay attention to these, of course. Never. Sound never gets played at 7 because customers *will* complain (unless it's a Tyler Perry film - his films are always mixed quiet and you have to turn them up). The bulb will already be shining as brightly as the boss will allow, and a "personal note from (film director)" won't change that.

    So why is this news? The changing aspect ratios might rattle some, but honestly, that would never have been an issue for a projectionist to figure out - DCPs are generally only ever formatted for "Flat" (1.85:1) or "Scope" (2.39:1), and it says the "F" for "Flat" right there in the filename, right before the "EN" to show it's in English.

    It's not the first film with changing aspect ratios, it won't be the last. Though I can't imagine IndieWire reporting on "Escape From Planet Earth"'s projection instructions.

  • Jacque | March 15, 2014 4:30 PM

    It's "news" because it's a Wes Anderson movie and it helps in marketing. Simple as that. It gets the people fawning over something that they think it more important than it actually is. Though, cool, for those who aren't familiar with the history of studios sending projectionists specific instructions.