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#21 Paul Bruening

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:31 AM

All 35mm anamorphic projector lenses (and lens and adapter combos) can be rotated 90 degrees in the projector. You could test your idea by shooting with an anamorphic lens mounted at 90 degrees in the camera (you might need a lens tech to fiddle with the lens). It wouldn't be 1:2.4 (by a 3:4 factor assuming academy projector aperture) but it certainly would be a cheap way of testing since it would all be standard gear.


I didn't even think of projector fiddling. What if prints were 1-perf and did the de-squeeze vertically as you've implied? A 2 hour feature could fit on one and a half reels. That could cut the costs of print production to one fourth as well as the costs of shipping. The sound is all going DTS anyway. 2-perf would de-squeeze to Academy frame and wouldn't be of much use. A lot of these newer projectors like the Christies are toothed belt driven. It would be an easy change over to new toothed pulleys. I guess the geneva mechanism would be the biggest change over issue. That and the lens lengths would have to be changed out to make the image fit into the existing screen distances. Asking theaters to move the projectors closer might be too much to ask.

Well... then there's that sucky picture quality issue. Dang. Ideas always start out good.
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#22 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:12 AM

I guess the geneva mechanism would be the biggest change over issue. That and the lens lengths would have to be changed out to make the image fit into the existing screen distances. Asking theaters to move the projectors closer might be too much to ask.


The Geneva would be the Achilles Heel of any such project, a custom Geneva would probably cost the kind of money that NASA spends on manned spaceflight rated components where a $10.00 part rapidly becomes a $1,000.00 item (That's due to all the extreme quality control and record keeping requirements of manned spaceflight component manufacture).

The only practical way to create a one or two perf projector would be to install a 2:1 or 4:1 gear box between a standard Geneva and the film drive spocket. It would have to be a precision item since any backlash in the gears would show up as vertical jitter in the screened image. If anyone's crazy enough to try I've got a refurbished Simplex XL Geneva languishing in a box out in the shop.
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#23 Paul Bruening

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 11:09 AM

You got me thinking again, Hal. The image compromise could be overcome by eliminating generations. If each print were struck directly from digital then the image might be passable. Certainly, the grain structure of premium print stock could handle the vertical desqueeze and still look passable. So, every print a first gen from high res digital could probably look okay. The DTS code could be jammed easily into the 1 perf frame since the optical track will be chucked anyway. This is looking a little closer to viable the more we play tennis with it! Theaters might consider a $1,000 per projector cost over a $100,000 per digital projector changeover. Certainly, Kodak would love us, though, they just wouldn't show it. That's not how they relate.
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