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The Camera Assistant by Douglas Hart

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CHAPTER 3

Film Formats and Aspect Ratios

Film Gauges

Three general rules apply to cinematic image quality. The first is that the larger the original camera negative, the better the image quality. The second is that image quality deteriorates with each generation of printing. The third is that the larger the projected image, the poorer the image.

Putting these rules together, the better the original image, the better the screen image. The best images come from a large negative, and are seen on smaller screens from prints with few generations between negative and release print. In other words, film will rarely look better than it does in the Dailies Screening Room. Using a smaller gauge negative, or subjecting the image to repeated generations ...

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