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ASC 65mm/35mm/4k Projection Demo


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#1 Matt Irwin

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 01:19 PM

I had the good furtune of attending an open ASC presentation at UCLA last night about mixing 65mm and 35mm in feature production.
Bill Bennet, ASC and Kees van Oostrum, ASC spoke about shooting 65mm for wide shots / landscapes and 35mm for coverage. Examples were projected in 35mm, and 70mm, and 4k (with the new Sony SXRD projector).

Kees showed two sequences from "George Washington" in which he shot 65 for wide landscapes and establishing shots and 35 for dramatic coverage.
Bill Bennet shot tests using 5201 in the Owens Valley on both 65 and 35, projected at 4k from a DCI file as well as 10 bit log, then in 35mm/4k DI, then in a 35mm "zero generation" print which was recorded directly on to Vision Premier 2393 with the ArriLaser.

I've got to say they made a very good case, and the footage was phenominal. There was no noticeable jump in grain from the 65mm wide shots to the 35mm coverage. The dramatic jump occured, of course, when comparing the 65mm wide shots with 35mm wide shots... at least double the visible resolution on 65 from the back of the theatre. Kees van Oostrum made a surprising point: stock and lab costs for shooting 65mm (5 perf) are less than 50% higher than shooting 35, so this really isn't such an outlandish idea in the feature world...

The icing on the cake was a 70mm contact print made from the 65mm neg that Bill Bennet shot. This looked by FAR better than ANY of the DI footage, not only in resolution but also color reproduction and shadow detail. Incredible. It wasn't stated whether or not there was any color grading done on the DI footage but compared to the 70mm print, the 4k stuff was very red-- almost oversaturated-- and there was a considerable amount shadow detail that was missing.

All in all, a very inspiring evening.

(Other treats inlcuded a screening of a clip from "The Sound of Music" in 70mm, as well as the trailer for "Mystic India" shot by Reed Smoot, ASC in 8-perf 65, scanned at both 4k and 8k, and projected at 4k. Well worth the $8 parking to say the least...)
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 01:46 PM

Wow! I wish I could have seen all of that!

R,
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#3 David Sweetman

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:16 PM

Awesome, how does one get informed of these things?

I say we go back to Vistavision.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:51 PM

Kees van Oostrum made a surprising point: stock and lab costs for shooting 65mm (5 perf) are less than 50% higher than shooting 35, so this really isn't such an outlandish idea in the feature world...

I recently looked into the cost of 65mm filmstock and Kodak said that it was basically twice the price of 35mm. On top of that a 1000ft roll of 65mm is only 8 minutes, as opposed to 11 minutes on 35mm. I didn't get any quotes for lab yet, but there is only one lab in Europe which processes 65mm, that is Gulliver in France.

Arri always told me that I could get a 765 for the price of a 35mm camera, so the only drawback was stock/processing costs. The 765 is a nice camera, can't do any handheld with it though, because it's so bloody heavy. I'm not sure about steadicam, but I'm go to Arri Munich on Friday anyway and I was planing to ask them about it. The lenses for the camera are really nice though, the 40mm (the equivalent of 18mm in 35mm) does not distort and you can make nice wide-angle compositions with it.
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#5 Matt Irwin

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:23 PM

I recently looked into the cost of 65mm filmstock and Kodak said that it was basically twice the price of 35mm. On top of that a 1000ft roll of 65mm is only 8 minutes, as opposed to 11 minutes on 35mm. I didn't get any quotes for lab yet, but there is only one lab in Europe which processes 65mm, that is Gulliver in France.

Arri always told me that I could get a 765 for the price of a 35mm camera, so the only drawback was stock/processing costs. The 765 is a nice camera, can't do any handheld with it though, because it's so bloody heavy. I'm not sure about steadicam, but I'm go to Arri Munich on Friday anyway and I was planing to ask them about it. The lenses for the camera are really nice though, the 40mm (the equivalent of 18mm in 35mm) does not distort and you can make nice wide-angle compositions with it.


Sorry, should have been more clear: Kees was referring to costs for his film (George Wahington) specifically. They only used 65 for a handful of shots, and the only lab work done was processing. In (roughly) his words, "Once it's scanned for the DI, it's all the same [as 35]."
Should also note that the sequences he showed involved composites and stitches that used elements originated in 5-perf 65mm, Super35, CG, and 6X17 stills. It all blended very, very well.

Awesome, how does one get informed of these things?

In my case, I know an ASC member who invited me. There were quite a few students present from UCLA and other schools around towb as well as industry reps and non-ASC DPs, so I guess they send invites to schools and reps. Couldn't really say for sure though.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:28 PM

The 765 is a nice camera, can't do any handheld with it though, because it's so bloody heavy. I'm not sure about steadicam, but I'm go to Arri Munich on Friday anyway and I was planing to ask them about it.

Please let us know what they say. I've never worked with the 765, but from the looks of it I doubt steadicam is possible. Panavision has a lightweight 65mm camera that can be used for steadicam. I've flown that and it's not too bad. Handheld is possible too.
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:40 PM

The icing on the cake was a 70mm contact print made from the 65mm neg that Bill Bennet shot. This looked by FAR better than ANY of the DI footage, not only in resolution but also color reproduction and shadow detail. Incredible. It wasn't stated whether or not there was any color grading done on the DI footage but compared to the 70mm print, the 4k stuff was very red-- almost oversaturated-- and there was a considerable amount shadow detail that was missing.

Is the 4K material you're referring to a D.I. (transferred back to film), or material that was actually shown on the 4K projector? Thanks.
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#8 Matt Irwin

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 04:13 PM

Is the 4K material you're referring to a D.I. (transferred back to film), or material that was actually shown on the 4K projector? Thanks.


Both.
The same footage was shown as:
- 4k projection, DCL compressed 4k file
- 4k projection, uncompressed RGB 10 bit log
- 35mm projection, traditional DI workflow, 4k out via Arrilaser
- 35mm projection, 4k out via Arrilaser directly to Vision Premier 2393 print stock ("zero-generation"), apparently something never before seen publicly.
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#9 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 04:48 PM

Both.
The same footage was shown as:
- 4k projection, DCL compressed 4k file
- 4k projection, uncompressed RGB 10 bit log
- 35mm projection, traditional DI workflow, 4k out via Arrilaser
- 35mm projection, 4k out via Arrilaser directly to Vision Premier 2393 print stock ("zero-generation"), apparently something never before seen publicly.

Matt, please forgive me for rehashing the question, but does the 4K material that you referred to as "oversaturated and lacking shadow detail" refer to all four of the above workflow methods, or specifically to the footage coming off the 4K projector? (Were you referring to the 4K projector as being the weak link, or did the 4K film outs exhibit the same deficiencies?) I was wondering how the 4K projection performed compared with the 35mm projection. Thanks again.
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#10 Matt Irwin

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 05:13 PM

Matt, please forgive me for rehashing the question, but does the 4K material that you referred to as "oversaturated and lacking shadow detail" refer to all four of the above workflow methods, or specifically to the footage coming off the 4K projector? (Were you referring to the 4K projector as being the weak link, or did the 4K film outs exhibit the same deficiencies?) Thanks again.


Well, opinions differ, but I felt that the DI footage - both film projected and 4k projected - was lacking in shadow detail when compared to the contact print (which was literally neg to print, no color work). As I think about it, this shouldn't really be a surprise. Both the 65 and 35 footage were scanned at 4k, and 65 has WAY more information in the neg than 4k will see.
Bill Bennet had some interesting comments: If you were to equate 65mm to the digital world, you'd be looking at something like 33 megapixels, 150+ Mb per frame, 7+ Gigabits/sec datarate @24 fps, with 1000' equal to 26 terabytes of information.
So, it's not surprising that some detail was lost in the 4k scan!

As for the color, it was wrong of me to refer to the DI footage as "over saturated." "More saturated" suits better. It looked like there was some color work done. There was a lot more red in the sunset shots, as well as the warm tones in the rocks and dirt in Owens Valley and Death Valley.
The contact print was absolutely beautiful. The color felt much more natural and soft, less red and more yellow. The blacks were rich, but the overall image had very smooth contrast.

It's really hard to describe without a visual reference. Honestly, I'm still kind of reeling from it since this was my first time seeing 70mm projection. Needless to say, I want to see more.
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:56 PM

I had the good furtune of attending an open ASC presentation at UCLA last night about mixing 65mm and 35mm in feature production.
Bill Bennet, ASC and Kees van Oostrum, ASC spoke about shooting 65mm for wide shots / landscapes and 35mm for coverage. Examples were projected in 35mm, and 70mm, and 4k (with the new Sony SXRD projector).


Was the 35mm neg anamorphic or S35?
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#12 Matt Irwin

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 07:15 PM

Was the 35mm neg anamorphic or S35?


4 perf super35, according to Bill Bennet.
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#13 Max Jacoby

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 12:11 PM

I had a little chat about the 765 today. They don't have specific steadicam magazines, but since the existing magazines are nearly balanced anyway, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. The main problem is the hughe weight of the camera and no one has actually done steadicam with it yet.

On the other hand Arri said that they are looking to offer the 765, stock and processing for the same price as 35mm. The idea being that for some CGI shots where you need the extra resolution you shoot 65mm and scan it on their 65mm scanner to incorporate into the 35mm negative. I asked about shooting a whole film in 65mm and they said that it should be possible too, but optical postproduction would probably be have to be done somewehre else.
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