aspect ratios Every compositional decision you make will be first defined by the dimensions of your frame. The ratio between the width and height of the frame is referred to as the aspect ratio, and it differs depending on the shooting format. The most common aspect ratios are 2.39:1 (called anamorphic or scope, originally 2.35:1 until the 1970s), 1.85:1 (American theatrical standard, also called “flat”), 1.66:1 (European theatrical standard), 1.78:1 (the HDTV standard that is also called 16x9, used in HD cameras), and 1.33:1 (the aspect ratio of 16mm and 35mm shooting formats, and also the theatrical format used until the 1950s, and analog TV). It is essential to know both the aspect ratio of the shooting format and the exhibition/distribution format to ensure that the compositional choices you make as part of your visual strategy in production will be preserved.