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How a Unique Aspect Ratio Created the Off-Kilter Look of Horror Film ‘A Cure for Wellness’

Gore Verbinski’s new horror movie

A Cure for Wellness

is about a sanitarium where nothing is quite as it seems. Cinematographer Bojan Bazelli speaks to

No Film School

about how they achieved the film’s unique, off-kilter look, which started by shooting at a very unusual aspect ration.

We decided to shoot on 1.66:1 because it doesn’t immediately jump out at you,” says Bazelli. “It’s not that big of a difference, but the difference between 1.85 and 1.66 is still significant. It’s a taller frame, with more height than width, even though the width is still wider than the height. It subconsciously creates that boxy, square feel. We made the decision based on location. We were going to shoot at this wonderful place which has tremendous 30-foot ceilings. By establishing this horizontal format, we would pretty much achieve the feeling of that space. If we used standard widescreen, it would clip everything down—too much width and not enough height to show the location.”

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