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An era ends (and no-one noticed)


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#1 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:47 AM

I've been wondering about this for a while, but according to this article the last film camera was probably manufactured sometime in the past year.

http://magazine.crea...fading-to-black

I knew Panavision had stopped building Milleniums and Arri were only making the odd film camera to order using stock parts, but with Aaton's Penelope only fairly recently unveiled I thought they might still be manufacturing them. But apparently they've turned their attention to a new digital design, so I guess the factory has retooled.

Which means film cameras are now historical objects. Still useable of course (and to my sensibility still helping to create a superior product), but no longer being made. Vale to over a century of mechanical wonders.

I'm not trying to stir up another pointless argument, but as someone who works on these beautiful machines, and takes pleasure in the elegance and precision of their little internal ballet, I just thought it deserved a mention.
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#2 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:12 PM

The world moves on regardless of passion or quality. We've seen it time and time again.
Film will never disappear It's just too beautiful, but it will become a niche market I feel.
Maybe it already is!
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:33 PM

I don't know about this making film cameras historical objects, advanced objects like combat aircraft continue in service long after they've stopped manufacturing them. A prime example being the B52.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:46 PM

I don't know about this making film cameras historical objects, advanced objects like combat aircraft continue in service long after they've stopped manufacturing them. A prime example being the B52.


There are lots of things like that -- Volkswagens, pretty much all the high quality pianos like Chickering, Knabe, etc.....




-- J.S.
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:52 PM

I wonder what will replace digital.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:59 PM

Holodeck on Isolinear chips.
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#7 Keith Walters

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:30 PM

I've been wondering about this for a while, but according to this article the last film camera was probably manufactured sometime in the past year.

http://magazine.crea...fading-to-black

I knew Panavision had stopped building Milleniums and Arri were only making the odd film camera to order using stock parts, but with Aaton's Penelope only fairly recently unveiled I thought they might still be manufacturing them. But apparently they've turned their attention to a new digital design, so I guess the factory has retooled.

Which means film cameras are now historical objects. Still useable of course (and to my sensibility still helping to create a superior product), but no longer being made. Vale to over a century of mechanical wonders.

I'm not trying to stir up another pointless argument, but as someone who works on these beautiful machines, and takes pleasure in the elegance and precision of their little internal ballet, I just thought it deserved a mention.

That was a great article.
Obviously this Debra Kaufman has gone to some trouble to get her facts straight, unlike most of the tendentious tripe that tends to get written about this subject.
The end of film camera manufacture is hardly a great surprise, it just means that current stocks will meet all conceivable future requirements.
As for the demise of 35mm for TV origination, nice one SAG! It's this sort of bloody-mindedness that gives unions a bad name.

The perennially irritating notion is going to keep getting dredged up of course, that the demise of film is by some unexplained means, going to somehow magically "level the playing field" and allow the great hordes of unwashed wannabes to become top-dollar producers.
In reality, it's going to be pretty much business as usual, just with different technologies. Technology is no substitute for talent, whatever you may have told yourself.

But what would I know?
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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:39 PM

"Sometime, in 2013, all the screens will be digital," says Corcoran. "As the number of digital screens increase, it won't make economic sense for the studios to make and ship film prints. It'll be absolutely necessary to switch to Digital Cinema to survive."

Not down in my "Theater Le Shoppe" will all screens be digital.

35mm Simplex SP/CAT702/DA20/CP55/JBL Speakers

Around 25 good prints including several that won Cinematography Oscars.

Anyone know of a good 35mm non-3D print of "Avatar" floating around?
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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 02:34 AM

The suggestion here is that there may be a tapering off in screen conversions. Our local art house can do both digital (it was one of the first local cinemas to do so. I wonder if they removed the 16mm projector to fit it?) and film projection.

http://www.digitalci...t.com/node/2752
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#10 Gary Lemson

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:40 AM

I wonder what will replace digital.


Film...ar, ar.
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#11 Gary Lemson

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:48 AM

OMG, our souls have been spared the agony...

From the Bolex web site, "Today in 2011, BOLEX INTERNATIONAL SA in Switzerland continues to manufacture the legendary 16mm and SUPER 16 film cameras".
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#12 Keith Walters

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:19 PM

The suggestion here is that there may be a tapering off in screen conversions. Our local art house can do both digital (it was one of the first local cinemas to do so. I wonder if they removed the 16mm projector to fit it?) and film projection.

http://www.digitalci...t.com/node/2752

There is an unfortunate tendency to report multiplexes that have installed just one or two Digital projectors (usually just so they can screen 3-D) as "Digital" implying "all-digital".

The tapering off, if it is in fact happening, could have two explanations:

1. The generally lukewarm viewer response to 3D
2. Panavision's recent announcement of 3-D conversion systems for existing film projectors.

Even if point 2 doesn't turn out to be all it's cracked up to be, it still may make theatre owners pause. And with anything digital, he who hesitates invariably winds up with more bang per buck....
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:55 PM

50% of screens will supposedly be digital in the U.S. by year end.


I am going to start another topic about this, but it's interesting to see if theatres are going to survive in any form with simultaneous release of movies on iTunes?!, theatres, and disk. The latest Kidman, Cage movie, startts with a T, can't believe I just forgot the name is getting one of the first such releases tomorrow.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:03 PM

EDIT: "Trespass" not on disk "On Demand" will get a simultaneous release, first one I've heard of with any prominence, the 14th of October in the U.S. I wonder if it is the first print-less first run movie too, which would qualify it for another dubious honor.


I'm surprised theatres would want to even run this film.
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#15 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:09 PM

Film to world......you'll miss me when I'm gone.

Just think how universal 35mm prints made film projection. Every city...same system. Now what? Digital chaos?

R,
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:19 PM

Holodeck on Isolinear chips.


Adrian: This is one of trhe rare occasions I wish the "Like" button weren't disabled on these fora :-D You got me cracking up with that. Seriously, there is probably going to be something even better. Ever wonder what would happen if someone came up with a way to store and transmit memory engrams, visual stimuli? It would obsolete all of this stuff. . .

I guess that would have to be a fundamentally electronic system though :-(
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#17 John Sprung

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:30 PM

OMG, our souls have been spared the agony...

From the Bolex web site, "Today in 2011, BOLEX INTERNATIONAL SA in Switzerland continues to manufacture the legendary 16mm and SUPER 16 film cameras".


With people dumping Arri S kits all over the internet for $500, who would pay for a new Bolex?



-- J.S.
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#18 K Borowski

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:40 PM

I could've sworn I'd heard that Bolexes that were "new" were just assembled from surplus parts; there wasn't any real production going on there, it was new-old stock.


Sorry to be the party pooper (again).
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#19 Chris Millar

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:27 PM

I could've sworn I'd heard that Bolexes that were "new" were just assembled from surplus parts; there wasn't any real production going on there, it was new-old stock.


Sorry to be the party pooper (again).


I've heard this too - ha ha, maybe you heard it from me and we just created bona fide confirmed source 'news' out of thin air :o anyway, if net rumor (ahem) is to be believed that either the EL or the SBM (I cant remember which) has run out of one part from the stock inventory, so isn't even being assembled anymore ...

I guess you could buy one that's been for a swim in sea water and driven over by an exploding car, extract that part and get the rest off the shelf ? I wonder what part it is ... the prism wouldn't be fun making anew ... Mind you, I don't know much about optic manufacturing, maybe planar stuff like that is simple stuff.

Not many but I'd say the EL and SBM share a few parts too...
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#20 Keith Walters

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:36 PM

EDIT: "Trespass" not on disk "On Demand" will get a simultaneous release, first one I've heard of with any prominence, the 14th of October in the U.S. I wonder if it is the first print-less first run movie too, which would qualify it for another dubious honor.

Well there you go. "Straight-to-DVD/video" used to be a servicable euphemism for "Cheap, unwatchabe crap that's barely good enough for cable". Now we've got another barrel bottom to scrape....

What ever happened to Sony's brilliant scheme from 20 years back, where movies would be downloaded directly into the projector, safe from the unwelcome attentions of pirates?
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