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The Mummy (1959)


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#1 Filip Plesha

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 04:23 PM

Accoarding to the Kodak film chronology, 5250 was introduced in 1959, the film The Mummy could have been photographed in 1958, but then again it could have been made in 1959 just in time for the new stock..

So, does anybody know for sure which stock was used on this film, was it 5250 or 5248 ?

Edited by Filip Plesha, 29 December 2005 - 04:24 PM.

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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:31 PM

Accoarding to the Kodak film chronology, 5250 was introduced in 1959, the film The Mummy could have been photographed in 1958, but then again it could have been made in 1959 just in time for the new stock..

So, does anybody know for sure which stock was used on this film, was it 5250 or 5248 ?


Hi,

I could be wrong but I think there is an error on Kodak's site.
5248 came out from memory around 1980 replacing 5247. Could a film fron the 1950's also be called 5248?

John P or David M?

Stephen
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#3 Filip Plesha

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:49 PM

AFAIK

5247 and 5248 both were reused as numbers from 70's to 90's
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:56 PM

AFAIK

5247 and 5248 both were reused as numbers from 70's to 90's


Filip,

That makes sense then.

Cheers,

Stephen
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:42 PM

I don't think there's a way of knowing but since usually a stock is not released in January of the year (often more like in the summer), so when in doubt, suspect that it was the earlier generation of film stock.

I remember clearing up some confusion because someone was sure that Time magazine had an article on "Ben Hur" mentioning that it was shot on the new "faster" stock, but I dug up the article and it actually just said "special stock" -- i.e. 65mm instead of 35mm. "Ben Hur" was shot before 5250 could have come out, but I did read an article where DP Russell Metty mentioned getting to shoot the new "fast" (50 ASA!) stock on "Spartacus".

I also had a discussion with restorer Robert Harris, who at first thought that "Vertigo" was shot on 5250, even though it was in production two years before that stock was released -- he claimed to have a camera report which said 5250, but when he checked again after I told him that wasn't possible, they all said 5248.

Someone else swore to me that "Blade Runner" was shot on 5294, based on talking to Jordan Cronenweth, instead of 5247, even though it was in production two years before that stock was introduced.

And I had a talk with DP Ozzie Morris who swore to me that the stock he used in the early 1960's was 100 ASA, even though the first 100 ASA stock, 5254, didn't come out until 1968 (perhaps he was rating 5251, 50 ASA, at 100 ASA though...)

For me, the biggest mystery has always been "Star Wars" because it was shot on 5247 -- I swore I read somewhere that it was one of the first to use the reformulated "600 series", but that doesn't seem possible since the movie started production in the spring 1976 and the new 5247 didn't come out until after August. Maybe they used some of it for later post photography. It's an interesting and confusing period because 5247 had first been released in 1974, only to be rejected in Hollywood, but for some reason, it was used in England anyway. I remember in the article on "The Deep", the British DP saying that he was surprised when the American producers told him he could shoot on 5254 because he had assumed it was already obsolete.

When Kodak released the 600 series 5247 in August 1976, they finally obsoleted 5254. "Close Encounters" was one of the first to use the new 5247 but shot all the 65mm elements on 5254 because it was still available. At the time, Spielberg complained that the new 5247 was "too slick" and cold, hence why they shot it often with LowCons and sometimes Coral filters on "Close Encounters".

Edited by David Mullen, 29 December 2005 - 06:50 PM.

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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:58 PM

Thanks David


Also, the film was shot in England, could that be another clue perhapse? Did US cinematographers get their hands on new stocks sooner than their British friends, or was it at the same time?

At the time, Spielberg complained that the new 5247 was "too slick" and cold, hence why they shot it often with LowCons and sometimes Coral filters on "Close Encounters".


lol, I wonder what he would say about the vision2 films then.

For me, anything from 90's and on, looks too slick and cold. Not that I complain, there are more than enough old films to keep my eyes well fed.
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#7 Filip Plesha

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 06:04 AM

Also, does anyone know how this film was printed back then? Was it with dye-transfer or with ECP prints?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 12:28 PM

Also, does anyone know how this film was printed back then? Was it with dye-transfer or with ECP prints?


It's listed in Haines' book as a Technicolor dye transfer release. Doesn't mean that there wasn't also Eastmancolor prints made.

I recommend getting a copy of Richard Haines' "Technicolor Movies: The History of Dye Transfer Printing".

Edited by David Mullen, 30 December 2005 - 12:29 PM.

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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 02:16 PM

I don't think there's a way of knowing but since usually a stock is not released in January of the year (often more like in the summer), so when in doubt, suspect that it was the earlier generation of film stock.

I remember clearing up some confusion because someone was sure that Time magazine had an article on "Ben Hur" mentioning that it was shot on the new "faster" stock, but I dug up the article and it actually just said "special stock" -- i.e. 65mm instead of 35mm. "Ben Hur" was shot before 5250 could have come out, but I did read an article where DP Russell Metty mentioned getting to shoot the new "fast" (50 ASA!) stock on "Spartacus".

I also had a discussion with restorer Robert Harris, who at first thought that "Vertigo" was shot on 5250, even though it was in production two years before that stock was released -- he claimed to have a camera report which said 5250, but when he checked again after I told him that wasn't possible, they all said 5248.

Someone else swore to me that "Blade Runner" was shot on 5294, based on talking to Jordan Cronenweth, instead of 5247, even though it was in production two years before that stock was introduced.

And I had a talk with DP Ozzie Morris who swore to me that the stock he used in the early 1960's was 100 ASA, even though the first 100 ASA stock, 5254, didn't come out until 1968 (perhaps he was rating 5251, 50 ASA, at 100 ASA though...)

For me, the biggest mystery has always been "Star Wars" because it was shot on 5247 -- I swore I read somewhere that it was one of the first to use the reformulated "600 series", but that doesn't seem possible since the movie started production in the spring 1976 and the new 5247 didn't come out until after August. Maybe they used some of it for later post photography. It's an interesting and confusing period because 5247 had first been released in 1974, only to be rejected in Hollywood, but for some reason, it was used in England anyway. I remember in the article on "The Deep", the British DP saying that he was surprised when the American producers told him he could shoot on 5254 because he had assumed it was already obsolete.

When Kodak released the 600 series 5247 in August 1976, they finally obsoleted 5254. "Close Encounters" was one of the first to use the new 5247 but shot all the 65mm elements on 5254 because it was still available. At the time, Spielberg complained that the new 5247 was "too slick" and cold, hence why they shot it often with LowCons and sometimes Coral filters on "Close Encounters".


Roger Corman must have thought 52-50 was an exploitable stock.

[attachment=895:attachment]

'Atlas' which was also from his own Filmgroup company, mentioned the new 52-50 on its poster.
That might also be the only Corman Vistascope movie which was actually anamorphic.

I recall from SMPTE journal that 5250 was announced or released in the US in March( I have a notebook with this listed). The Smpte article about the was illustrated with photos from 'Darby O'Gill...' which was released on 26 June 1959. Disney could have gotten prerelease stock for testing on the trick perspective shots which certainly could use the extra stop.
'The Mummy' was released in the UK in September. So it would have been shot that summer, which would have beeen the cross over period. Too tough to call.
I think the version AMC used to run was Xfered from a 16mm IB print. Fine color but a bit soft.


'Star Wars' was definitely one of the first, if not the first, production to use 5243 intermediate stock.

I used to go to AFI cinematography seminars around the time 5247 came out.
Hollywood DPs had perfected pushing 5254 two stops. The labs had the processing down, and the cinematographers knew how to light for the push. Kodak did not approve of the nonstandard development.

5247 was unpushable. At the least, there was a red-green color drift between shadows and high lights.
John Alonzo said that he was shooting a big night exterior on 'The Fortune', and lit it as he would for pushed 5254 and it was, maybe not blank, but underexposed enough that it had to be reshot.
Some thought Kodak deliberately made the stock unpushable as punishment for abusing 5254.
Gordon Willis said 5247 looked like linoleum.

As to 65mm, as late as '79 when the Hunt brothers were cornering the silver market & the price of Kodak films doubled in a few months, 5254 was the only 65mm camera stock listed in the Kodak catalogue.

The European attitude was less grain, more sharpness; why not?


---LV
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 02:49 PM

The reformulated 5247 was pushable though.

Geoffrey Unsworth said he preferred 5247 -- its sharpness worked better for his fog-filtered, push-processed approach on films like "Superman". He preferred working with sharp film and lenses and then softening them through smoke, fog filters, etc.
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#11 fstop

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:10 PM

The Mummy would have been shot on the older stock, purely for economical reasons. This was a Hammer film for crying out loud!

I have heard Hammer got their stocks very cheap in bulk at reduced rates (among other things), so I think the question would have been about what would have been the cheaper stock, as oppose to the younger stock.
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#12 Filip Plesha

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:22 AM

The Mummy would have been shot on the older stock, purely for economical reasons. This was a Hammer film for crying out loud!

I have heard Hammer got their stocks very cheap in bulk at reduced rates (among other things), so I think the question would have been about what would have been the cheaper stock, as oppose to the younger stock.


When Kodak discontinues a MP film stock, do they still sell it until they empty all their leftovers?
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:44 AM

When Kodak discontinues a MP film stock, do they still sell it until they empty all their leftovers?


Yes, although it generally takes less than a year to sell off all of a stock once they stop production of it, especially these days -- small amounts linger in the system for a few more years, especially as short ends & recans. I don't know about the changeover from 5254 to 5247 in 1976 because it was also a change to ECN-2 processing, but I'm sure even there that 5254 was used until it was gone. How did the labs back then handle the two different neg processes those days? Was it just one day they switched over to ECN-2 and that was it, so if you had some 5254, you had to find another lab still processing that way (old "ECN"?).
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#14 Filip Plesha

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:28 AM

Well, here is some more specific information, comming from wikipedia.
The principal photography started on 23 February 1959 and ended on 16 April 1959.
quite early in the year, which makes it probably 5248.
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#15 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:35 PM

Well, here is some more specific information, comming from wikipedia.
The principal photography started on 23 February 1959 and ended on 16 April 1959.
quite early in the year, which makes it probably 5248.


The sure way to identify the stock is by reading the edgeprint or KeyKode:

http://www.kodak.com...1.4.11.14&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...rt/datecode.pdf

For example, 35mm 5248 had a latent image code of "B". 5250 was "C". 5251 was "A". 5254 was "E".

Sometimes, film is "trade trialed' before its official introduction, so it may be used for all or part of a feature.
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