Why are there so many different aspect ratios in movies and TV shows



So I was watching Wandavision and was kinda confused seeing the aspect ratio change so much, I mean why make the movies so elongated and then praise when it is released in IMAX format, shouldn’t IMAX be the default since it shows more stuff in the screen?

In: Technology

Aspect ratios change with technology and competition. The best ratio isnt always the one thats most practical. 16:9 is currently the standard despite it not being the best for various applications.

Nearly all TV is now done in 16:9. If you see something in another aspect ratio it would generally be done for artistic purposes, but is currently very uncommon. For Wandavision, as they are referencing older periods of TV, they are doing 4:3 ratio in the “sitcom” scenes, as that was what they were filmed in. Modern TV is filmed in 16:9

Movies on the otherhand, have a variety of aspect ratios (but are all pretty close to each other for practical purposes), they have different ratios especially for certain screens like IMAX (which is its own little world) but may have others for artistic reasons too. In movies, the wider (as compared to tall) is usually considered “more cinematic” feeling. As such, lots of directors like to play around with the aspect ratio of the film to give it the exact feeling they want the audience to have.

IMAX screens themselves (and for reasons I won’t get into, there are a few different IMAX sizes) are a pretty cool movie going experience–also, ticket sell for more to these theaters too, which is nice for everyone involved. Directors like this because its kinda the top level of the current movie going experience. You simply can’t give the audience a better way to watch your movie

And yes if you’re wondering, there will be different versions of the movie for each different aspect ratio they need to mess around with.

Very cool, I haven’t seen Wandavision, but that is a really clever technique. So glad everything is not in 4:3 anymore lol