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Stuart Warriner's historical widescreen Pan-16 film format


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#1 Nicholas Kovats

Nicholas Kovats
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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:03 PM

Introducing a rare scan of Stuart Warriner's (UK) amazing widescreen Pan-16 film format from the late 1960's based on the Bolex camera system. This historical 32 year old Kodachrome II footage was shot by Tony Shapps whilst on vacation with his family in Portugal. Both gentleman were instrumental and active in the historic UK Widescreen Association.
 
Stuart's engineering is remarkable. The frameline and perforations are absolutely steady. What Stuart accomplished was very difficult from an camera engineering perspective. He modified the 16mm gate to replicate the 1/2 pulldown cycle of 8mm using standard single perf 16mm film stock.The universality of his approach was nothing short of brilliant considering the availability of single perf standard 16m film stock globally.
 
In effect his camera's film transport created two 8mm intermittent pulldowns per single perf 16mm frame height! Two 8mm cycles in the same interval as one complete standard 16mm pulldown cycle. An excellent overview of his efforts are detailed in Guy Edmonds academic paper "Amateur widescreen; or, some forgotten skirmishes in the battle of the gauges, i.e. academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/frames/P&S/Edmonds07.pdf
 
Guy Edmonds's paper states Pan-16 was designed with an aspect ratio of 1:2.87. However, I calculated a usable aspect ratio closer to the classic Cinemascope format in the range of 1:2.5. This is positioned between Emel's Pan-8 format (1:2.2) and UltraPan8 2.8 (1:2.8). Note that both formats utilize double perf 8mm film stock as opposed to Pan-16's more common standard 16mm film. Stuart originally modified a Siemens 16mm camera but later settled on the Bolex as his conversion of choice. He also modified Specto 500 projectors for Pan-16 and engineered an associated Variable Pitch Compensator (VPC) for these UK manufactured machines. Regrettably, Stuart's engineering notes no longer exist.
 
The cropped 1:2.5 scan is available for viewing here, i.e.https://vimeo.com/81976714
 
The full overscan with visible perforartions and frameline are available here, i.e.
 
I am indebted to Tony Shapps for providing this invaluable film record of small format ultra widescreen history.
 
Cheers!
 
Nicholas Kovats
Toronto, Canada

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