Legendary Directors are capable of manipulating their viewers by using contrasting Aspect Ratios in movies. Often viewers aren’t even aware of being manipulated by the directors with their effective usage of aspect ratio depending on the theme, mood, time-period and genre of the storyline. The relationship of the width of an image to its height is known as aspect ratio.
Historically, when these widescreen productions are broadcast on television, there are two general solutions to compensate for the difference in their aspect ratio and television's, Letterboxing and "pan & scan." With Letterboxing, the entire image as photographed by the motion picture crew is visible, but black or gray bars appear above and below the movie raster. Pan & scan attempts to fill the television screen by showing only a 4:3 portion of the widescreen image, losing some part of the content on the left and/or right. Both solutions have their negatives:
Letterboxing makes the images on the screen much smaller - ironically, movie directors and cinematographers deliberately frame shots with the expectation of their being projected on a very large theater screen, so some information and storytelling is lost. (When Omar Sharif's character Ali Sherif makes his screen entrance in Lawrence of Arabia, the audience watches a shot of empty desert for a very long time before seeing a tiny figure on horseback approach on the horizon - this motion picture was shot on 65mm film, and I've seen it projected in 70mm. Letterboxed on a standard-def television, the viewers might never know anything happened.)
Pan & Scan present the problem of showing as little as 55 per cent of the filmmakers' intended frame. Human operators can choose which part of the frame to broadcast when the film is being transferred to video, but again. Directors and cinematographers making the most of the wide aspect often put two characters in close up on either edge of the frame, making it impossible to see both characters at once. The Pan & Scan operator may choose to represent this as a series of separate cuts of each character, but this is completely contrary to the intention of the original editing.
As HDTV's technical specifications were being conceived, engineers and artists considered these issues of displaying existing content and what impact this would have on future productions (cameras and lenses also had to be developed for HDTV and a new aspect ratio). Ultimately, I think the compelling reason for settling upon 1.78:1 (16:9) was because of a little technical trick conceived to allow common media such as DVDs to be distributed to consumers owning both 4:3 and 16:9 equipment.
● 1:1 Ratio resembles old photographs, evoking a sense of the past. It also adds depth to a scene.
● 4:3 The first television standards adopted the aspect ratio common to most motion picture films of 4:3 (or 1.33:1, although the actual Academy ratio is 1.37:1). Newage directors often use it in period places, to help bring that time frame to the subconscious mind.
● 16:9 Ratio is the most commonly used aspect ratio. It can also give a film a ‘Documentary feel’.
● 21:9 Ratio is best used with films of intense drama or sweeping landscapes. The wider screen adds another level of authenticity to the film in a very subtle, but significant way.
Though many proprietary aspect ratios were created and used over the years, only a few remain typical for contemporary motion picture production: 1.85:1, 2.35:1 and 2.40:1.
The right aspect ratio can contribute major key elements to a respective film accordingly through many aspects like, drama, emotion, era, depth of the story, to an audience.