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In the Shadow of the Moon


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#1 Robert Hughes

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:20 AM

I just saw this documentary at the AFI in Silver Spring and loved it. So much great source material much that I've never seen before, with interviews of Apollo astronauts. What format were used for the astronauts' interviews? I was counting the nose hairs...

I was noticing how soft a lot of the old 35mm source material was - modern color film is quite a bit sharper than its 1969 equivalent, that's noticable. Some of the booster rocket separation scenes were amazing, taken from an on-rocket camera. I wondered how they recovered the cameras for some of these sequences.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 12:11 PM

It was a great documentary -- I saw it last week.

The interviews looked like standard F900 HDCAM footage to me, or some other HD camera.

The archive footage was shot in a variety of formats, the best in 35mm, but remember the speed of the stocks meant that many of those shots (of the assembly of the rocket, etc.) were probably push-processed, shot wide-open, etc. Plus NASA might not be giving them original neg to transfer, but protection dupes.
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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 01:12 PM

I imagine you're talking about the shot of the Saturn 5 first stage separation, filmed from the base of the second stage. How they got that back has been a hobby-horse of mine for years; people said 'Well, of course, it's transmitted TV', but I knew the look of film. However, no-one believes a 9-year-old.
The first and second stages were sub-orbital, however, so they must have fished the cameras out of the ocean. They certainly weren't recovered by the astronauts.

My researches indicate that 16mm. Ektachrome was used in space (either SO-368, Ektachrome MS, 64D), the same stock as used for most stills, although they also had High Speed Ektachrome for those. Presumably NASA satisfied the minimum order requirement.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 03:11 PM

My researches indicate that 16mm. Ektachrome was used in space (either SO-368, Ektachrome MS, 64D), the same stock as used for most stills, although they also had High Speed Ektachrome for those. Presumably NASA satisfied the minimum order requirement.


A lot of 35mm footage of launches were Ektachrome.

Often the exposed film sat undeveloped because the launch went okay.
The purpose of the filming them was to find out what might have caused the launch to fail.

I read about this in a Filmmakers Newsletter article in the 70s about a poetic documentary or world's fair film about the apollo program. The name of which totally escapes me.

But they had a lot of that launch footage developed for their film.
& a lot of it was 70mm military format.

'For All Mankind' has some of the best quality NASA footage.
They ste up an optical printer in the Houston vault and did blow ups from the Ektachrome originals.
The originals may not be removed from the vaults by act of congress.

& it has an Eno score.

http://imdb.com/titl...097372/combined
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 01:42 PM

I saw it the other day.
Over all I liked it, but there were too many talking heads for my taste.

Were the edge flashing and roll run outs with the punched IDs digital fakery?
A couple of times bits of leader were tossed in which seems to lean toward the faked flaws aesthetic.
There was also a shot of astronauts on the moon's suface with heavy white HORIZONTAL scratches, yet otherwise pristine. More fake damage?
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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:30 AM

Horizontal scratching can happen on a roll. IIRC it's called cinching. But if it's white, that implies a print from neg, which is a bit suspicious, since all the lunar surface cine was reversal.
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 01:22 PM

Horizontal scratching can happen on a roll. IIRC it's called cinching. But if it's white, that implies a print from neg, which is a bit suspicious, since all the lunar surface cine was reversal.


I've handled enough negative to know the difference between cinch marks and gouges.

Cinch marks are never that deep. &n gouges and scratches that heavyare vertical.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 02:52 PM

I've handled enough negative to know the difference between cinch marks and gouges.

Cinch marks are never that deep. &n gouges and scratches that heavyare vertical.


Gouges that deep aren't so clean edged either. & there would have been some more normal scratches along with it. The direction of these sorts of scratches would be in the direction of film travel.

These scratches were faked because of some misguided aesthetic.
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