A Few Words About A few words about...™ This is Cinerama -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I was a bit young when I was taken to see This is Cinerama in it's original release. And I still recall those giant curtains opening, and opening, and opening, to reveal the entire image. If you're lucky enough, you can share that experience the next time David Strohmaier and his merry band of fanatics runs How the West Was Won at the Dome in Hollywood.

    I believe this is a complete list of the released three-panel Cinerama productions, but I could be missing something.

    This is Cinerama - 1953

    Cinerama Holiday - 1955

    Seven Wonders of the World - 1956

    Search for Paradise - 1957

    South Seas Adventure - 1958

    Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich - 1958 (in Cinemiracle)

    The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm - 1962

    How the West Was Won - 1962

    Cinerama's Russian Adventure - 1966


    If one were to try to come up with true Event status motion picture exhibitions, TiC would have to be one of them.

    When the move was made from huge travelogue to huge scripted motion picture in 1962 with Brothers Grimm, and HtWWW, things got a bit more interesting. To this day, for me, HtWWW remains the pinnacle of the process - entertaining in addition to being an exhilarating theatrical Event experience.

    But let's get back to Dave Strohmaier, and his passion to save the Cinerama library.

    As far as I'm aware, only two productions were kept well, and protected to decently, and those would be the M-G-M productions. Many of the others have fallen into distress, with problematic original negatives. While separation masters may survive for them, the cost to re-combine them would far outweigh any commercial value.

    Which left Mr. Strohmaier trying to do the impossible. Make more than acceptable versions of the films available to the public, especially via Blu-ray and his Smilebox digital view, to give a modern audience an idea of what the films would have looked like, had they been sitting in the audience half a century before.

    With the original negatives too problematic to print, Mr. Strohmaier and his digital restoration guru Greg Kimble, went to a 65mm dupe prepared in the early '70s, which in turn had been made from a set of defective dye transfer prints.

    Enough words.

    You can go here to learn about the process they used to create the HD master:

    http://www.davidstrohmaier.com/TEST/Remastering%20TIC%20v-2-iPhone.m4v

    Bottom line?

    A beautiful HD restoration, which, in my humble opinion, successfully brings the thrill of that original Event to home theater.

    Just a bit smaller, and with a bit less impact.

    My ratings here are based upon what they began with, their process, and the final result. Going to the original masters would have yielded a better image, but who was going to pay for it?

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    An interesting experiment...



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udtQB_i-JyE&feature=relmfu
     
  3. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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  4. mark brown

    mark brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Has there been any indication as to if and when we might see the other titles on Blu Ray?
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Mark - I believe they are working on several other titles, including SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE.
     
  6. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I spoke to some of the Cinerama Inc. folks at the festival.
    All of the original travelogues are being prepared. Cinerama Holiday and South Seas Adventure were shown in digital. Seven Wonders of the World had a work-in-progress print. Search for Paradise is being done, but a 3-strip magenta was shown. These will all be finished by next year.
    They are looking at the sales of the two Blu-rays to decide whether or not to proceed. However, I was told that This is Cinerama and Windjammer had already covered their costs as of the festival.
    At this point, it is entirely a matter of money. They all want to do it, but will not be able to if sales projections are inadequate. But do note that the Foreman family, Pacific Theaters, and a number of individuals have made huge efforts for this project, so it is not just a matter of $$$ either. At the very least, the films have all been preserved in the digital realm.
     
  7. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave is a good friend and I love his passion for Cinerama! Way back on CONTACT, when I was working with his wife, Carin-Anne, Dave was making CINERAMA ADVENTURE, a wonderful doc on the history of the Cinerama process. It was fascinating, and inspiring, to see this documentary realized. Earlier this year, Dave and his Cineramians shot an actual film, a Hollywood travelogue of sorts, in Cinerama and when I found out about it I asked Carin-Anne if I could fetch coffee, shine shoes, dust cobwebs, anything, on the shoot so I could see and hear that camera in action. On the last day of shooting, in the Dome itself, my wish came true!
    And there was the beast, whirring away, so loudly you could hear it from inside the lobby while it was out on the street. I got to look through the viewfinder and stare into the three lenses, which have an uncanny spider-like look. To my surprise, I was corralled into being a speaking part in the film - I sell tickets to customers in Panel A in the Arclight lobby, a strange, full-circle irony, since I sold tickets to customers at Cineplex theaters when I first moved to Los Angeles over twenty years ago. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what I used to say to people so I had to dig up that memory from the dusty recesses of my mind and reformat it to work with the present film.
    A wonderful experience! Now I can say that not only have I been IN a Cinerama film, but I have been projected ON the screen at the Dome! The short is called IN THE PICTURE, check it out, it's beautiful!
     
  8. jeffsultanof

    jeffsultanof Extra

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    I previously said that I am in for every Cinerama motion picture that might be issued on Blu-ray, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
    Thanks to my four-year-old, I've seen "This is Cinerama" about ten times by now. He loves this film.
     
  9. Strohmaier

    Strohmaier Stunt Coordinator

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    We finished this Cinerama title and it may come out sometime later in 2013. Cinerama Holiday trailer:
     
  10. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Very cool. I'd definitely buy a copy.
     
  11. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    No question -- I'm in.
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Ready for this one too. Trailer looks good. Hope SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE comes out this year also.
     
  13. alistairKerr

    alistairKerr Stunt Coordinator

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    Excellent news - looks like another "must-buy" for me! Alistair
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For the record, the elements from which these Blus have been produced are in the order of horrific. The amount of handwork and effort that has gone into the creation of these discs, making them look as they do, is amazing. RAH
     
  15. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Fantastic trailer! Really looking forward to this.
     
  16. DP 70

    DP 70 Supporting Actor

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    A fantastic trailer,very much looking forward to this.
     
  17. Steve Tannehill

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    I'm in for a copy!
     
  18. Strohmaier

    Strohmaier Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Robert I create these trailers after the feature is all finished, I try to give them a period feel as if Cinerama actually produced it in the 1950s. Working on "7 Wonders" right now and it is in much worse shape that the others were. Dave
     
  19. RetroGuy

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    Can't wait to get this and South Seas Adventure on blu!
     
  20. RichMurphy

    RichMurphy Stunt Coordinator

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    Count me in for all the future releases as well. The first two Blu-Rays were such fun! CINERAMA HOLIDAY looks like a great time capsule.
     

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