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'Ellston Bay' - VistaVision 8-Perf 35mm


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#1 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 04:47 AM

Dear all,

 

My name is Nicholas Eriksson and I am currently in the process of raising Kickstarter funds for a highly ambitious short film project entitled 'Ellston Bay'.

Our plans include originating on the rarely-used 8-perf 35mm VistaVision format, and we hold a long-term desire (depending on our fundraising) to strike a 15/70 IMAX print for final exhibition.

Would you be so kind to take a look at the links below for further details regarding the project? Any support is greatly appreciated.

 

 

www.ellstonbay.com

 

www.facebook.com/ellstonbay

 

https://www.kickstar...425/ellston-bay

 

 

For further details about myself and my work, please see my personal website link below.

 

www.nicholaseriksson.com

 

 

Thank you for your time,

Best wishes,

 

Nick Eriksson


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 10:05 AM

Cool project! What are you planning to do about the sound issues (camera loudness) inherent with shooting on VistaVision without a huge blimp?
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#3 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:01 AM

Cool project! What are you planning to do about the sound issues (camera loudness) inherent with shooting on VistaVision without a huge blimp?

 

Hi Tyler,

Thank you for your interest,

 

Sound is indeed an unavoidable issue when shooting with the Beaumonte VistaVision cameras.

'Ellston Bay' features very little in the way of dialogue, and certainly relies on a great deal of ambient / wildtrack recording for 90% of its running time. I knew that Ellston Bay would be well-suited to shooting with MOS cameras long before committing to the format, and it wasn't an afterthought!

We did consider blimping the camera early on, but it is quite loud, and after consulting with our Sound Recordist, we have decided to record as we go. By this I mean to say that we will essentially be performing our ADR session on-set, and breaking down the individual sounds we require. We will run a number of 'clean' takes in addition to the selective recordings we require (with no camera running) so that we have a wealth of high-quality options available to us.

 

This will mean a slightly slower production pace, but sound is critically important, and so it is of great importance that we capture the highest quality recordings for use later in post-production.

I am happy to report that we have a number of highly experienced professionals in both Sound Recording and Sound Design attached to the project, so we will not be cutting any corners!

All the very best,

 

Nick


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:47 PM

Good ideas and I think it will work fine. How loud is the camera? Like 60db? I haven't heard one running before.
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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 01:17 PM

Threw some money your way. Hope it works out!


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#6 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:59 PM

Good ideas and I think it will work fine. How loud is the camera? Like 60db? I haven't heard one running before.

 

Hey Tyler,

We recently ran a steady-test with the Beaumonte VistaVision camera, and as you can see, it is pretty loud!

https://www.facebook...11945905517149/

 

I do not have a DB reading unfortunately. However, it is tolerable and workable outside in large open spaces.

A small room with hard walls accentuates the sound levels of the camera. This is nothing compared to IMAX of course!

Thank you for your support Tyler, it is a great privilege to be able to bring this incredible format back to the silver screen.

Best,

Nick

https://www.kickstar...425/ellston-bay


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#7 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 06:04 PM

Threw some money your way. Hope it works out!

 

Hey Kenny,

 

Thank you so much for your support!

I hope to tell a tight psychological-thriller, whilst celebrating the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and of course resurrect an incredible motion picture format that is simply not utilised enough in modern filmmaking.

I will be sure to keep you guys updated to our progress, we still have a little while to go yet.

All the very best,

 

Nick

 

https://www.kickstar...425/ellston-bay


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:53 PM

Cool thanks for sharing the video.

Yea, I love VistaVision, especially the Technirama anamorphic version. You can obtain an amazing field of view with such a large frame size.

I've always wanted to figure out a way to make VistaVision workable as a sync sound camera, because I think if it was, it would be more used. As you well know, the blimps used for the older VistaVision cameras were huge. Today with such a small camera, you'd think it would be pretty easy to isolate SOME of the noise through internal padding. It really depends on how much room there is internally.

Where did you guys wind up getting the camera from?
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#9 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:54 AM

Cool thanks for sharing the video.

Yea, I love VistaVision, especially the Technirama anamorphic version. You can obtain an amazing field of view with such a large frame size.

I've always wanted to figure out a way to make VistaVision workable as a sync sound camera, because I think if it was, it would be more used. As you well know, the blimps used for the older VistaVision cameras were huge. Today with such a small camera, you'd think it would be pretty easy to isolate SOME of the noise through internal padding. It really depends on how much room there is internally.

Where did you guys wind up getting the camera from?

 

Hi Tyler,

Technirama looks like an incedible format, have really wanted to watch the Spartacus Blu-Ray for quite some time, as I understood it is one of few films shot in the format.

Blimping is probably possible to an extent, but I don't think there is any avoiding the fact that it will then become a very bulky piece of kit.

 

The advantage of the Beaumonte VistaVision camera is that it is extremely lightweight and easy to move. It was in fact designed for Steadicam use.

 

I have been working closely with the guys over at Camera Revolution in Shepperton Studios, UK for the past couple of years. They rent the Beaumonte bodies.

All the best,

 

Nick

 

https://www.kickstar...425/ellston-bay


Edited by Nick Eriksson, 12 July 2016 - 05:55 AM.

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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:21 AM

There were quite a number of Technirama films made in about a 10 year period:

https://en.wikipedia...echnirama_films


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:46 AM

Technirama looks like an incedible format, have really wanted to watch the Spartacus Blu-Ray for quite some time, as I understood it is one of few films shot in the format.


It was actually pretty widely used because it was easy to blow up to 70mm. So a few of the big roadshow 70mm films, were originated on 35mm Technirama. I've actually been picking up and watching as many as I can recently. Spartacus is absolutely one of the best, but there are some other great ones in there. Zulu, Pink Panther, Music Man, El Cid, King of Kings and Circus World. I had never seen Circus World until recently and it's pretty cool as well. Some of the other films were only printed to 35mm, so they didn't have the phenomenal 4 channel stereo mix and haven't quite retained the image quality of the films that were blown up to 70mm like Spartacus and Circus World.

Blimping is probably possible to an extent, but I don't think there is any avoiding the fact that it will then become a very bulky piece of kit.


Yea, its already kinda bulky as it is... smaller then I expected, but still pretty big. Part of the reason for the noise is the straight metal gears most likely. That's one of the things that makes so many cameras loud. The movement itself maybe not that loud, but the base of the camera where all the mechanics are, will be killer. Obviously nothing else is setup for quietness either, so even the magazine drive will be louder then it could be. I just don't like big boxes around cameras if it can be avoided, but for those intimate interiors with dialog, it maybe worth building a blimp, if you can make it out of fiberglass or plastic. Make it only a tiny bit bigger then the camera and just stuff it with insulating. That mixed with a little bit of internal insulation, may make it quiet enough.

The other way to go is ADR obviously, but if you're doing a bigger project, that becomes a big tricky. Since so many filmmakers are becoming use to IMAX cameras, which are WAY bigger... and so are the 70mm quiet cameras... it makes sense that the VistaVision camera MAY be a great opportunity IF it could work in that scenario.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 12:43 PM

Sound was the reason "Contact" mixed 65mm with VistaVision, and a reason why "The Patriot" also used 65mm for vfx plates... there were quiet(ish) 65mm cameras made in the early 1990's for a second 65mm boom that never happened.
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#13 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 01:27 PM

Not to derail, but that's an interesting point you raise about the "boom that never happened."

Besides a handful of productions, no one really took advantage of the 765 and System 65 on a massive scale. Was it a question of cost? Or just availability of exhibition?
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#14 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 02:03 PM

I think 35mm just got better with newer stocks, digital audio and better lenses. At the time 70mm was analog audio and with the discontinuation of magnetic striped film, the switch of 70mm to digital meant the older equipment was out of date.

So unfortunately, there was a period of time in the early to mid 90's where 70mm wasn't worth the upgrade. Plus after the failure of 'Far and Away', I think people were scared off from shooting large format. 'Hamlet' was the only other movie to be shot entirely in standard 5/65mm with those silent panavision cameras in the 90's. It took almost two decades before another complete 5/65 movie would be shot, that was 'Hateful Eight'.

I also think the audience didn't demand large format to the level they do today. Thanks to the huge push towards IMAX in the mid 2000's, the use of large format's has become more standard.

The great thing about VistaVision is that it blows up to IMAX very nicely. So you don't need 70mm cameras and stock to get that beautiful field of view. I'm still surprised more filmmakers don't use VistaVision for IMAX movies, instead using digital 2k sources today... which I think is crazy.

Don't get me wrong, 5/70 is still the way to go... but it's cost prohibitive compared to ANY 35mm format. The big problem with VistaVision is the noise. It's really a deal killer and many filmmakers don't feel that field of view is worth while on dialog scenes. Much of 'The Master' was shot on 65mm, but the 35mm scenes are mostly close up interior dialog. The 35mm cameras are smaller, easier to navigate and with longer lenses, you really can't tell the difference. With wider lenses, the field of view difference is night and day.

On a side note, I don't think 'Contact' shot very much large format. I believe they used 65mm for background plates and VistaVision for actors coverage on those plates. Many films used the same technology at the time. Heck, I was watching the making of the last Nolan Batman Film last night and they used VistaVision for many of the VFX shots. So much of the "IMAX" material in the movie is actually VistaVision.
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 02:06 PM

Besides a handful of productions, no one really took advantage of the 765 and System 65 on a massive scale. Was it a question of cost? Or just availability of exhibition?

 

 

Yes and yes.  A big reason for the decline of 70mm venues was the introduction of digital cinema sound.  Before that, a 70mm print was the only way to get multi-track sound in a theater so many major Hollywood movies did blow-ups -- I think the peak was the release of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in 1989:

http://www.in70mm.co...usade/index.htm

http://www.firstshow...he-indy-series/

 

By 1997 when "Titanic" was released, James Cameron claimed he had to pay for the 70mm blow-up because Fox wasn't interested anymore in the format.

 

70mm projection required a skilled projectionist in the booth, so many chain theater owners were glad to see the print format go away.

 

Once 70mm venues dried up, shooting in 65mm just for a 35mm print release in the early 2000's or then 2K just seemed not worth the extra expense.  By the mid-2000's you had the rise of 15/70 IMAX releases but only the biggest Hollywood movies got that treatment.

 

Now you have the possibility of 4K projection, or you can do a small 70mm print release to a few art house cinemas.  A few years ago, I saw a 4K presentation of "Samsara" (6K to 4K D.I.) and a 70mm print of "The Master", both shot in 65mm.


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#16 Doug Palmer

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 03:52 PM

There were quite a number of Technirama films made in about a 10 year period:

https://en.wikipedia...echnirama_films

It is interesting that at least two of those Technirama films were made for Cinerama release:  Custer of the West and the ad Shellarama

I recall being impressed by the quality of both 70mm prints (if not the films themselves) on the giant curved screen, yet at the time I had no idea they were anamorphic 35mm Vistavision originated.  I never got to see a straight  35mm Vistavision projection which must have been something. Sad that both formats weren't to continue much longer.  Although Vistavision as Tyler pointed out,  continues to be used for special effects plates, proving that the system is technically outstanding.  It must surely help to be able to process 35mm film much easier than 65mm.  And more choice of stocks, in the past anyway.   But with today's stocks in theory we have better definition than in the 1960s.

 

All the best Nick with this exciting project :rolleyes:


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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:00 PM

5-perf 65mm is slightly bigger but the main difference is the shape of the negative, VistaVision is 1.50 : 1 native and 5-perf 65mm is 2.20 : 1.

 

8-perf 35mm is 36mm x 24mm and 5-perf 65mm is 48.56mm x 20.73mm.


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#18 Nick Eriksson

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:14 AM

There were quite a number of Technirama films made in about a 10 year period:

https://en.wikipedia...echnirama_films

 

Thank you very much for that list David, I was unaware that Technirama was so popular.

I will chase some of these down on BD, I bet that many would look fantastic these days.

Nick


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#19 Doug Palmer

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:09 PM

5-perf 65mm is slightly bigger but the main difference is the shape of the negative, VistaVision is 1.50 : 1 native and 5-perf 65mm is 2.20 : 1.

 

8-perf 35mm is 36mm x 24mm and 5-perf 65mm is 48.56mm x 20.73mm.

As Technirama had the same image area as Vistavision,  and then was optically printed on to 70mm,  I find it amazing that the Cinerama presentations  were so good.  This wasn't  long after 3 panel Cinerama was abandoned, so audiences were expecting a similar quality image.  Although the 3 panel screen was a wider arc than the 70mm one, the combined area of the 3 images on the film was much larger I believe, and didn't use anamorphics.  

Maybe the reason was a leap in film quality ?  And those anamorphics for Technirama were prismatic ? so maybe sharper


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#20 Jay Young

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:21 PM

Three-Strip Cinerama was pretty sharp.

27mm lens, 26 frames per second on a 6-perf 35mm film.

 

25.3 x 28.35 mm gate

 

A usable aspect ratio of about 2.65:1 (I think this is one of the reasons UP70 gained favor over 3-strip Cinerama).  And I Think they still called it Cinerama, even if it was simply UP70.


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