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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 01:56 PM

I am watching Exodus on TV. They're running it in widescreen, thank goodness. I am fascinated by it's use of wide angle lenses. Does anyone know what length they used most often? As well, what do you consider to be, roughly, "normal" for 65mm cinematography?

The reason I ask is because I'm getting a better sense of this idea: "wide-ish" lenses can expand the sense of place by aggrandizing the location. I know it's just a psychological trick. But, I really think it works. I've always had a sense of the locations in this movie as being special, somehow. Now, I'm thinking it's a trick that comes with wider lenses. The "bigness" of the scenes gives the whole movie a sense of "bigness."

The compromise is when subjects veer too close to the camera and get too big, too fast. Exodus has a lot of these moments. Some, breach on the absurd. Funny, throughout my life, I seem to have just taken these wide angle lens peculiarities as part of the language of an epic sized movie. Now, I kinda' think it's sloppy blocking and lens work.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:14 PM

You have to realize the CinemaScope and then 5-perf 65mm Todd-AO were born out of an attempt to compete with Cinerama, which had a fixed field of view of about 146 degrees (extremely wide-angle). So early 65mm movies used a number of very wide-angle shots for a "Cinerama" effect despite the problem of lens curvature. You can see this in "Around the World in Eighty Days":

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Eventually 65mm moved away from that look into more "normal" focal-lengths. I don't know the exact focal lengths available for Todd-AO and Super Panavision but they would be similar to anamorphic focal lengths since it has double the view of 35mm, so a 40mm or 50mm for master shots, something shorter for super wide-angle effects.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 08:25 PM

David,

With DI and barrel distortion correction, this wide angle look could work better than ever. It really pumps up an enormous sense of space. In a peculiar way, it almost makes space as important as any other scene element if not actually a bit dominant. Figure the emptiness of space subconsciously capturing the attention of the viewer. This phenomena is catching my imagination.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 04:10 PM

I am watching Exodus on TV. They're running it in widescreen, thank goodness. I am fascinated by it's use of wide angle lenses. Does anyone know what length they used most often? As well, what do you consider to be, roughly, "normal" for 65mm cinematography?

The compromise is when subjects veer too close to the camera and get too big, too fast. Exodus has a lot of these moments. Some, breach on the absurd. Funny, throughout my life, I seem to have just taken these wide angle lens peculiarities as part of the language of an epic sized movie. Now, I kinda' think it's sloppy blocking and lens work.


I think 28mm and 35mm were the widest lenses availiable for Super Panavision then.

Not that long ago, I was watching some of 2001 from about a foot and a half from the screen,
had to use reading glasses. It was an amazing sensation. You're seeing the phosper dots on the screen, but you're sucked into the image.

I disagree on the moving to fast toward the screen.

(oops, five minute warning will have to finish later)

to be cont.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 05:21 PM

I think 28mm and 35mm were the widest lenses availiable for Super Panavision then.

Not that long ago, I was watching some of '2001' from about a foot and a half from the screen,
had to use reading glasses. It was an amazing sensation. You're seeing the phosper dots on the screen, but you're sucked into the image.

I disagree on the moving too fast toward the screen.

to be cont.


PART II

There are shots in 'Ivan the Terrible' where someone will walk into a close up and then lean into an even closer shot. Admittedly, movements in 'Ivan...' are rather slow and deliberate.

bondurchuk's 'War and Peace', a 70mm epic, uses a lot of size changes in the frame and wide angles. Those russians.

Time's up again. If i had internet at home, I might never leave the house.
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