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Vistavision workflow?


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#61 Thomas James

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:25 PM

And it is true that when 'The Wizard of Oz' was first released it lost money and expensive color production and distribution probably did not help matters any. However I think the decision to use color was wise because to me the art form is a lot more important than the money.
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#62 David Rakoczy

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:30 PM

Unfortunately I think that Glen Alexander may be right.


Wrong. It is the (way) he is saying it that is the problem. Did you read how he addressed Mr. Jenson? I'd quote him but the moderators deleted the thread. Give us a break... go on and kiss his a** if that suits you but it does not suit most of us.
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#63 Tom Jensen

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:01 PM

The VistaVision negative has about a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, so you can compose it for either 1.85 or 2.40, whatever. However, if you don't do a D.I., then you'll have to do an optical printer conversion to whatever release format you need, unless you plan on using a VistaVision projector for a special venue site. The optical printer conversion would probably mean using dupe stocks (IP & IN) in order to get a printing negative.

Obviously with 8-perf instead of 4-perf, your stock & processing costs double unless you compensate in your shooting ratio.

Biggest problem with VistaVision is the lack of quiet sync-sound cameras, which is why 5-perf 65mm was used in movies such as "Contact" and "The Patriot" for efx work where dialogue had to be recorded. "Contact" used VistaVision for MOS shots where a smaller-than-65mm camera was needed.

Not sure what telecines can handle 8-perf for doing offline editing. Maybe the Spirit.

5-perf 65mm is not much more expensive than 8-perf 35mm and there are more modern sync-sound cameras available by ARRI and Panavision. Most modern 8-perf cameras like Wilcams were made for efx work.



Thomas,
I don't know if you read the above post but here it is for you to reflect upon. There is no practical way or real reason to shoot Vista Vision. There are several alternatives already in place that are completely satisfactory by today's standards. In fact we have entered the video age and that pushes us even further away from this hair brained notion that Vista Vision is a practical format for shooting a modern day feature. Alexander the Great isn't going to re-invent the wheel here. We are where we are because everything we have talked about has been hashed over by engineers and cinematographers and producers since the 30's and 40' up until today. Read what Wikipedia says about Vista Vision and you will see why it is an obsolete format as far as shooting an entire live action feature. http://en.wikipedia....iki/VistaVision The end result is not worth the costs.
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#64 John Sprung

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 10:52 PM

Although the technology existed so that every film in the 1930's could have been shot using color film it was never seriously considered because the 3 strip techniclor process effectively tripled both the acquisition and the delivery cost.


It depends what we mean by the technology existing. IIRC, they only made two or three dozen of the three strip cameras. Theoretically, they could have made enough of them for everybody, but in practice, they didn't. Technicolor was sued for restricting three strip color to the majors only. That happened after Eastman was out with single strip color neg, and lead to the decision to discontinue three strip rather than build more of those extremely expensive cameras.




-- J.S.
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#65 Tom Jensen

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:54 AM

So no frame of your masterpiece? You don't back up what you say. I knew as much. You're nothing but hot air.
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#66 Tom Jensen

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:02 AM

I'm sad to see Alexander the Great's recent post disappear. They truly exposed him for the phony he is. I'm glad I got to see it before it was deleted. Truly his entertaining work to date. Au revoir.
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#67 Thomas James

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:44 PM

Of course it is true that a lot of the newer technologies such as finer grained film stocks have bridged the gap between conventional 4 perf 35mm film and 8 perf VistaVision. However if the same fine grained film stock is applied to VistaVision then the bar is again raised which means there can be no denying that resolution is doubled which produces those stunning Ansel Adams images that are impossible with conventional 35mm cinematography.

And it is true that an emerging Cinematographer would naturally want to search for the most powerful tools to create the most stunning imagery. Unfortunately an established Cinematographer would be reluctant to rock the boat by insist on shooting with a format such as VistaVision which would double the costs and would open himself up to blame for cost overruns. On the other hand the emerging Cinematographer will not hesitate to rock the boat because has nothing to lose by gambling with VistaVision because the images produced will be so overwhelming that it could be his claim to fame.

As for being a phony was it not true that James Cameron entered the film industry with no schooling and no practical experience yet now he is championing all of these revolutionary technologies such as Showscan and 3D? Yet James Cameron did his homework and became a success and I really think that Greg also did his homework and found a viable workflow for VistaVision and while he may not be the inventor of VistaVision he certainly can be considered its champion.
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#68 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:03 PM

Glen Alexander's accomplishments were not the point -- the point was that he was a rude, egotistical jerk. He could have been a valuable contributor here if he didn't have this major chip on his shoulder.
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#69 Tom Jensen

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:04 AM

And it is true that an emerging Cinematographer would naturally want to search for the most powerful tools to create the most stunning imagery. Unfortunately an established Cinematographer would be reluctant to rock the boat by insist on shooting with a format such as VistaVision which would double the costs and would open himself up to blame for cost overruns. On the other hand the emerging Cinematographer will not hesitate to rock the boat because has nothing to lose by gambling with VistaVision because the images produced will be so overwhelming that it could be his claim to fame.

As for being a phony was it not true that James Cameron entered the film industry with no schooling and no practical experience yet now he is championing all of these revolutionary technologies such as Showscan and 3D? Yet James Cameron did his homework and became a success and I really think that Greg also did his homework and found a viable workflow for VistaVision and while he may not be the inventor of VistaVision he certainly can be considered its champion.



The most powerful tool to create the most stunning imagery is called "the story." What we have now as far as formats are concerned is excellent. Getting more resolution will not get you a better movie. A better script will. Look at Spike Lee's first movie. Not Ernest Dickerson's best work but it was one of Spike's best movies. It's not rocking the boat to ask shoot Vista Vision. It's insanity. Why not shoot 65mm. We have IMAX but why do you suppose we don't shoot Imax features. It's not practical. Panavision and Arriflex didn't invest millions in design and equipment if they had thought that Vista Vision was the preferred format. You're missing the big picture here Thomas. I reposted David Mullen's post and the answer lies there. Like I said, you aren't reinventing the wheel. Why do you suppose that James Cameron doesn't shoot Vista Vision?

I called out Alexander the Great to show us 1 frame of film. Just 1 single picture. He was the one who said he would go up against any DP here or anywhere. He said he backs up what he says. Hell, if it were true, I might buy one of his prints and hang it next to my Ansel Adams print or one of my own. But, he didn't. He decided to let lose a tirade on me that proved he was a liar. That's what liars do when they are caught. They explode instead of admit the truth. He had his chance to prove himself and he didn't. What more evidence do you need to prove he's a phony?
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#70 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:24 AM

I'm sure his b&w VistaVision photography of Death Valley is quite stunning... you'd have to be a mediocre cinematographer to not pull-off something nice with that format in that location. I look forward to seeing Glen's short film when it arrives on the scene.

But I've never seen anyone arrive on this forum with such a high opinion of himself, and such a low opinion of others. The guy just begs people to take the piss out of him, take him down a notch.

He clearly wants to communicate with other filmmakers, but he has such poor people skills that he just alienates almost everyone around him, because he basically has no respect for other people, and no humility. He brags incessantly and asks to be worshipped as a genius based only on his own words, not his accomplishments.

His film may actually turn out to be great, who knows? But I don't believe that excuses poor manners in a forum.

Imagine the difference in reaction if he had posted some stunning frames of his work here FIRST and then wanted to talk about how he accomplished it?

And I recall warning him of exactly the problem he encountered, which is that VistaVision is not a projection format. Now he has to convert it to another format, which begs the question whether he will retain the original picture quality if he ends up scanning the negative and outputting it to a 35mm b&w print. Because if this is an art film meant for festivals, it's basically either going to be seen in 35mm projection or HD projection, neither of which is VistaVision in quality nor resolution. So at best, he ends up with a less-grainy b&w image in his reduction from VistaVision -- and the bragging rights. But still, it's not like I'm not envious... I'd love to shoot that format, for any reason. But personally, I'd have gone with 5-perf 65mm instead of VistaVision -- at least there's the possibility of digging up a 65mm projector, like at the American Cinematheque or certain museums.
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#71 Hal Smith

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:30 AM

To a certain extent wouldn't all the features, shorts, music videos, and commercials being shot with Canon 5D-Mk II's count as digital Vistavision? Same aspect ratio, same frame size.
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#72 Thomas James

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 02:05 AM

The frame size of the Canon is equal to VistaVision but the problem with the Canon is that is has aliasing problems because the resolution of the sensor does not match the 1080p format. This results in details which are much to fine to be properly handled by the 1080p format being blown up out of proportion with other fine details missing altogether. Red Digital Cinema promises real digital VistaVision that may be availble next year or the year after.
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#73 Thomas James

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 03:11 AM

Actually James Cameron never advocated 8 perf Vista Vision but rather for shooting film he advocates using 2 perf Techniscope 35mm film. Not that James Cameron is a cheapskate but when you are shooting in stereo 3D at higher framerates you will be using the equivalent of 8 perfs of film for each frame anyway.

And about the story there are films shot on 65mm film like 2001 a Space Odyssey that are also good stories. But sadly you can have the best story in the world but could care less about space travel. However the movie 2001 shot on 65mm film allows you to experience space travel as if you were an astronaut there in person. And who would not be impressed by that?
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#74 David Rakoczy

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 07:43 AM

I'm sure his b&w VistaVision photography of Death Valley is quite stunning... you'd have to be a mediocre cinematographer to not pull-off something nice with that format in that location. I look forward to seeing Glen's short film when it arrives on the scene.

But I've never seen anyone arrive on this forum with such a high opinion of himself, and such a low opinion of others. The guy just begs people to take the piss out of him, take him down a notch.

He clearly wants to communicate with other filmmakers, but he has such poor people skills that he just alienates almost everyone around him, because he basically has no respect for other people, and no humility. He brags incessantly and asks to be worshipped as a genius based only on his own words, not his accomplishments.


You have to remember David, Alexander the Great is an 'Artist'... a 'Pioneer'. They're like that :lol:
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#75 Thomas James

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 03:37 PM

I think David hit it on the head. Of course this does not give anyone the right to start a flame war and to exhalt oneself by putting other people down. However even with the most skillfull of diplomacy I think it would be almost impossible not to hurt other peoples feelings. The fact of the matter is that if one makes the claim that nothing less than VistaVision origination can create the true Blu-Ray high definition experience you will be stepping on a lot of toes. Of course there is a consensus that VistaVision resolution wise is overkill for 1080p Blu-Ray however shooting in VistaVision will allow such a reduction in film grain that the resulting imagery will be so clean and that Ansel Adams waterfall in Yosemite will be liquid. And all of this can be proven simply by obtaining a collection of Blu-Ray movies originated in 65mm and seeing for yourself if there is a difference. With 4K digital projection the differences will be even more overwhelming and we even have Sony corporation promoting the idea that the advantages of 4K digital projection are much more meaningfull if we have 65mm film origination.

Perhaps it would be better to wait until The Red Epic delivers which will allow digital VistaVision to become mainstream. However waiters are not creators and it is still not known if the Red Epic can match the lattitude of film.
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#76 Keith Walters

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:28 PM

Imagine the difference in reaction if he had posted some stunning frames of his work here FIRST and then wanted to talk about how he accomplished it?

For what it's worth, Glen has sent me a DVD of his short film.
This is far above yer usual Film Festival stuff, people I've shown it to keep expecting it to turn into a commercial for something very expensive:-)
I really doubt that stills would convey much, and they don't have the soundtrack.
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#77 Hal Smith

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:34 PM

The frame size of the Canon is equal to VistaVision but the problem with the Canon is that is has aliasing problems because the resolution of the sensor does not match the 1080p format. This results in details which are much to fine to be properly handled by the 1080p format being blown up out of proportion with other fine details missing altogether. Red Digital Cinema promises real digital VistaVision that may be availble next year or the year after.


People are finding workarounds, apparently one of the better ones is black promists. Kell factor is pretty well understood, it's just a matter of finding a low pass filter that works at the resolution desired.

I'll bet at camera firms like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, etc. their imaging ubergeeks talk about Butterworth, Chebyschev, Minimum Ripple, and other filter transfer functions. That's where the rubber hits the road (photons hit the sensor) when you're addressing aliasing.
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#78 Thomas James

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:36 PM

I know that Blu-Ray discs cost a lot of money however something originated in VistaVision should at least be delivered in the low cost high definition AVCHD format which should be playable by most Blu-Ray players.
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#79 Thomas James

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:51 PM

A low pass filter may help but the aliasing problems are so bad that it turns your pin stripe shirt with vertical lines into a shirt with horizontal lines. I am all for hybrid cameras but the specifications should be reasonable. The sensor should have been designed just like the Red camera to max out at 8 megapixels which would produce excellent stills and allow the image to be easily supersampled scaled and downconverted to 2 megapixels for the best possible 1080p video. Unfortunately 8 megapixel DSLR's do not sell but rather they have to be 25 megapixels which is an impossible resolution for any video processor chip to handle.
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#80 Tom Jensen

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:25 PM

For what it's worth, Glen has sent me a DVD of his short film.
This is far above yer usual Film Festival stuff, people I've shown it to keep expecting it to turn into a commercial for something very expensive:-)
I really doubt that stills would convey much, and they don't have the soundtrack.


Douchebag is French isn't it? It my have well looked great. It may be a great film. His personality will only hurt him, for what it's worth.
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