Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Widescreen movies in QuickTime
or, Happy Birthday, Cecil

It's a little known fact that Cecil B. Demille was born while his parents were vacationing in Ashfield, Massachusetts on August 12, 1881. Perhaps for that reason, or more probably because it was a lucky excuse, a group of Ashfield residents began the Ashfield Film Festival, whose deadline for submissions is, not surprisingly, August 12. That's today.

I finished my movie yesterday morning and spent the better part of the day insisting that FinalCut really export it in widescreen format, that iDVD really keep it in widescreen format, and that my projector really display it in widescreen format. The best tips I found were from a post on Apple's iDVD support forum which referenced this article.

Basically, even though you've shot and edited your movie in widescreen format, you have to follow a special process to keep it widescreen in QuickTime. First, export the movie as a standalone QuickTime Movie (not using QuickTime Conversion). Then open that movie with QuickTime player and, through the Movie Properties box (Command-J), change the movie's size to 853 x 480 pixels. Save the changes and then you're ready to import it into iDVD. Don't forget to check the widescreen option in iDVD when you begin your project.

Oh, and if you want to see my movie, come to the Ashfield Film Festival, 7pm, September 20th. You'll also be able to see all of the movies on YouTube sometime after the festival. I'll be sure and post a link here.

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