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Some studios thus sought to develop their own system rather than pay Fox. Thus, a negative with a finer grain was created and release prints had less grain. Today's Super 35 is a variation of this process.

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Another process called Techniscope was developed by Technicolor Inc. Techniscope was mostly used in Europe , especially with low-budget films. Many European countries and studios used the standard anamorphic process for their wide-screen films, identical in technical specifications to CinemaScope, and renamed to avoid the trademarks of Fox. In , Warner Bros. Although CinemaScope was capable of producing a 2. The fact that the image was expanded horizontally when projected meant that there could be visible graininess and brightness problems.

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The initial problems with grain and brightness were eventually reduced thanks to improvements in film stock and lenses. The CinemaScope lenses were optically flawed, however, by the fixed anamorphic element, which caused the anamorphic effect to gradually drop off as objects approached closer to the lens. The effect was that close-ups would slightly overstretch an actor's face, a problem that was soon referred to as "the mumps ".

This problem was avoided at first by composing wider shots, but as anamorphic technology lost its novelty, directors and cinematographers sought compositional freedom from these limitations. Issues with the lenses also made it difficult to photograph animation using the CinemaScope process. Nevertheless, many animated short films and a few features were filmed in CinemaScope during the s, including Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp CinemaScope 55 was a large-format version of CinemaScope introduced by Twentieth Century Fox in , which used a film width of But the additional image enlargement needed to fill the new wider screens, which had been installed in theatres for CinemaScope, resulted in visible film grain.

A larger film was used to reduce the need for such enlargement. Fox determined that a system that produced a frame area approximately 4 times that of the 35mm CinemaScope frame would be the optimal trade-off between performance and cost, and it chose the Camera negative film had larger grain than the film stocks used for prints, so there was a consistent approach in using a larger frame on the film negative than on prints. Since the image area of a print has to allow for a soundtrack, a camera negative does not. CinemaScope 55 had different frame dimensions for the camera negative and struck prints.

The negative film had the perforations of the CS "Fox-hole" type close to the edge of the film and the camera aperture was 1. This compares to the 0. On the print film, however, there was a smaller frame size of approximately 1. Four of these soundtracks two each side were outside the perforations, which were further from the edges of the print film than in the negative film; the other two soundtracks were between the perforations and the image.

  • CinemaScope - Wikipedia.
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The pull-down for the negative was 8 perforations, while for the smaller frame on the print film, it was 6 perforations. In both cases, however, the frame had an aspect ratio of 1. The company substituted Todd-AO for its wide-gauge production process, having acquired a financial interest in the process from the Mike Todd estate. Samples of these prints reside in the Earl I. Sponable Collection at Columbia University.

Cinemascope 55 was originally intended to have a six-track stereo soundtrack. The premiere engagement of Carousel in New York did use one, recorded on magnetic film interlocked with the visual image, as with Cinerama. This proved too impractical, and all other engagements of Carousel had the standard four-track stereo soundtrack "sounded" on the actual film as was then used in all CinemaScope releases.

Lens manufacturer Panavision was initially founded in late as a manufacturer of anamorphic lens adapters for movie projectors screening CinemaScope films, capitalizing on the success of the new anamorphic format and filling in the gap created by Bausch and Lomb 's inability to mass-produce the needed adapters for movie theaters fast enough. Looking to expand beyond projector lenses, Panavision founder Robert Gottschalk soon improved upon the anamorphic camera lenses by creating a new lens set that included dual rotating anamorphic elements which were interlocked with the lens focus gearing.

This innovation allowed the Panavision lenses to keep the plane of focus at a constant anamorphic ratio of 2x, thus avoiding the horizontally-overstretched "mumps" effect that afflicted many CinemaScope films. After screening a demo reel comparing the two systems, many U. The Panavision technique was also considered more attractive to the industry because it was more affordable than CinemaScope and was not owned or licensed-out by a rival studio. Confusingly, some studios, particularly MGM, continued to use the CinemaScope credit even though they had switched to Panavision lenses.

By , even Fox had begun to abandon CinemaScope for Panavision famously at the demand of Frank Sinatra for Von Ryan's Express , although a significant amount of the principal photography was actually filmed using CinemaScope lenses. Fox eventually capitulated completely to third-party lenses. The original IMAX design uses 70mm film that is shown horizontally with a massive 15 perforations per frame, giving it approximately 6x the resolution of a traditional 35mm film frame.

The average IMAX screen size is approximately 72' x 50' 22m x 16m , which is significantly larger than traditional movie screens of approximately 50' x 20' 16m x 6. IMAX cameras are well-regarded by many filmmakers and are often used during high-action scenes for greater clarity and impact. Super 35 is a film format that uses the same 35mm stock that is used in any other format, except the space that is normally used by the soundtrack is also used. Super 35 is also used to produce widescreen movies by cropping the visual frame to the intended aspect ratio.

The result would then be stretched as needed to fill the 35mm frame for distribution. This allowed for a "grittier" look to the visuals compared to using anamorphic lenses because the final result was derived from a lower resolution.


Another key factor is that its use of flat lenses allows for certain kinds of scenes to be filmed using forced perspective while keeping the intention of a widescreen release. In The Lord of the Rings trilogy 2. By placing Elijah Wood farther back in the frame, he appeared to be smaller than Gandalf. This would not have been possible with anamorphic lenses. Additionally, flat lenses allow the cameras to be smaller, which allows them to be used in tighter areas like the fighter cockpits in Top Gun. Technirama and Super Technirama were competitors to CinemaScope. Developed by Technicolor in the early s, the main difference between the two was the choice between 35mm or 70mm film.

Technirama films were shot with the camera on its side and used 8 perfs per frame, effectively doubling the resolution over standard anamorphic 35mm film, for an aspect ratio on the negative of 2. The image would then be optically squeezed during processing to achieve an anamorphic 35mm print. Some movies were presented in 70mm but were actually derived from the original 35mm, 8-perf anamorphic prints.

Movies presented this way were marketed under the name "Super Technirama 70". Techniscope was created by Technicolor Italia in the early s. It created a widescreen negative potentially 2. The advantages to this format include making the film stock last twice as long as 4-perf filming, cost savings by using spherical lenses instead of anamorphic, plus avoiding royalty payments for using patented technology. Because it also needs to be expanded for distribution onto a 4-perf frame, it results in the same kind of "gritty" look that occurs with Super However, as per late film critic Roger Ebert: In this film, as in Harry Frigg , Techniscope causes washed-out color and a loss of detail.

Universal shouldn't be so cheap. Todd-AO was developed in the early s to be a single-camera alternative to Cinerama. The extra space was used to support the soundtrack, which allowed for six-channel sound. This minimized problems of actor close-ups that were encountered by using regular anamorphic lenses.

MGM - Tanner (in CinemaScope)

The result was an extremely wide frame at 2. This allowed each frame to be captured with 8 perfs per frame resulting in a very high quality print. It also allowed the film to be easily converted to standard 35mm formats. Projection in the horizontal 8-perf format was restricted to special premieres because of the need for special projectors.

Traditional showings were done in standard 35mm. The format was rendered obsolete in as higher quality film stock was developed. VistaVision cameras were later used for special effects, starting with the original Star Wars , because of the high quality of the resulting shots.


In the US it was also used for low-budget B movies. Techniscope has had a revival of sorts in recent years, with cameos in Silver Linings Playbook and Argo. So while it started out as a cheaper option, conversion costs gradually eroded those savings, and it died out. Panavision is both a manufacturing company and a film system in itself.

Cinemascope, due to its compatibility with normal 35mm projectors, had established itself quickly, but had problems with excessive grain on the image, as well as other distortions. Its partnership with Panavision was brokered to build on and improve the Fox system. Ultra Panavision had some key differences to the superficially similar Todd-AO.

But its picture was even wider, with its cameras compressing the filmed image anamorphically 1. Obviously bigness remained the point, so Ultra Panavision gave us the chariot-smashing of Ben-Hur which stayed in theatres for a year and the Brando-sailing of Mutiny On The Bounty.

1. Kinetoscope

The anomalous 5mm is where the sound strip goes. MGM and Panavision shared an Oscar in for inventing the system. Widescreen films existed in the first place partly to reward audiences for foregoing the stay-at-home comforts of television. But it was a relatively short-lived fad, and once the novelty wore off, audiences declined and studios largely stopped bothering with spectacle formats. Ironically, part of the problem was that widescreen films transferred very badly to square TVs. Shaw, and went on to surpass and replace all its predecessors. Consequently, its initial decades saw it used for geographic and natural history documentary features, in specialist auditoria like science centres, theme parks and planetariums.

It requires three times as much film as normal to replicate the standard 24fps speed, hence the shorter running times of films natively shot in IMAX rather than converted to the format post-production. In order to maximise the space for the image on the film, IMAX uses an entirely separate film strip for its soundtrack, played on a separate machine locked to the picture in the same way Vitaphone used an accompanying record.

The audio switched to a digital format in the s. Proving that good ideas never really go away, Super 35 originally known as Superscope and also called Super Techniscope returned to the original frame size used by 35mm silent films. The film has 32 per cent more image area than regular 35mm, because, being a production format only, none of the frame space is used for an audio track.

Spherical rather than anamorphic lenses are used, saving money on both lens rental and film: Super 35 has been used to shoot more than a thousand movies, and became a standard production format for music videos and TV shows. It was also useful back in the pre-widescreen-TV days for producing television and video versions of widescreen feature films. The masking was then removed for a square TV image. Back To The Future was a classic example of this, with many people, faced with the widescreen version on VHS for the first time, complaining that it lost screen information in its director-intended ratio, compared to the square-screen video version they'd been used to.

It gained nothing at the sides but lost information from the top and bottom; widescreen wasn't wider in that particular instance and many others , just shorter. It offers a poorer, grainer image than its predecessors and competitors, but in the days of TV, video and smaller cinema screens, it got away with it. Greystoke was the first Hollywood film to use the system, and James Cameron was an enthusiastic adopter, first using it on The Abyss Super 35 was originally called Super Techniscope, and was first used on the British two-tone music documentary Dance Craze.

While film is increasingly being replaced by digital shooting formats, Super 35 is, relatively speaking, more popular than ever. The cropping required is, ironically, made much easier and less damaging to the image by digital post-production.