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Is Technovision Super35?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jack Johnson, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how reliable IMDB is with regard to technical specs about original filming formats, but they cite--for example--"P2" as having been shot in Technovision. 2.35:1 is usually denoted as Super35 at some point...but I was curious because that film is listed as simply "Technovision," with no other info.

    Anyone know whether this is either Super35 or involving a Super35 like process? Is the 4x3 version open matte or a cropped abomination? Of course, even transfers extracted from Super35 are cropped, but not to any Panavision-like proportion.

    Any input would be appreciated.


    Thanks,


    --Jack
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Technovision is one of the many vairants of anamorphic "scope".

    Same as CinemaScope and Panavision, except that the lenses are slightly different in design.
     
  3. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your help.

    Looks like Cropped City for P2 in 4x3, then... Not that that's my format of choice, of course. I was faced with a "no alternatives" solution at a certain point in time and just wanted to know about the degree of cropping heinousness under those conditions.
     
  4. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Technovision is just a Panavision derivative based in France. Vittorio Storaro is known for being the format's greatest champion, and if you asked some people here, its greatest enemy when it comes to video transfers.

    Now onto your issue: although I'm not sure, P2 could have been shot with standard spherical lenses mounted in Technovision cameras (like many a "Panavision" film these days) and printed onto 3-perf. You'll have to check light spots to see if they are circular or ovular, if they are ovular then the film was shot true scope.
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Well-Known Member

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    I thought Technovision was a 2-perf spherical during shooting.. or is that Technirama? And then blown-up to anamorphic 4-perf for projection.
     
  6. Brian Sharp

    Brian Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't "Techniscope" the 2 perf scope format? Used in the Fistful of Dollars series. I could be wrong though!
     
  7. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    You are right, Techniscope is 2 perf 35mm with spherical lenses for conversion to 35mm anamorphic.

    The actual Techniscope system involve printing by Technicolor (hence the Techni name - the system was devised by Technicolor Italy in 1961) dye transfer which minimised the grain build up during the optical conversion. However there are some later Techniscope films that were not printed using dye transfer, which saved money, but caused extreme degradation of the image.

    More recently some filmmakers in Australia and Hong King have used 2 perforation Techniscope, but in conjunction with a digital intermediate to avoid the optical conversion step. Some Hong Kong 2 perf films are shot so well that it is hard to pick any difference between 2 perf and Super 35. Interestingly, most Hong Kong films shot in anamorphic use Japanese or Russian lenses. Such as the Hawkscope lenses used on Star Wars Phantom Menace, and more recently, Blood Diamond.

    Technovision refers to Russian made anamorphic lenses rented by the Technovision rental company in Italy. The lenses are designed to work with Arriflex and Arricam cameras.
     
  8. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson Well-Known Member

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    And there's still the matter of whether IMDB is correct; does anyone know of a "definitive" source for information on a film's original shooting format and theatrical aspect ratio?

    X2: X-Men United, for example--uncanny, I've gone from P2 to X2!--is listed with IMDB as being Super35. But when I caught a glimpse of the 4x3 version on cable the other day, it was clear the film's vertical matte hadn't been opened at all, and the side cropping was severe (when compared to the 2.35:1 dvd )...as with a Panavision to full screen transfer, as bad as Star Wars.

    From whence does IMDB get their info?


    --Jack
     
  9. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    X2's rushes were Super 35, but the negative was timed and editied on a Digital Intermediate. This hardmattes sequences without special effects to 1.78:1. It might also have been shot in three-perf, which has a native ratio of 1.78 as well.
     
  10. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    P2's theatrical release was 2.39 'scope. Can't speak for the shooting format.


    A LOT of technically uneducated people. Take everything up there with a grain of salt.
     
  11. john a hunter

    john a hunter Well-Known Member

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  12. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    To be fair it is right more often than it is wrong. And if you ever find something you know is wrong you can always edit the listing. I've corrected a lot of films credited as CinemaScope that were actually shot with Panavision lenses for example.
     
  13. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    You're only half right, I'm afraid. I've been trying to correct a number of entries on IMDb and I find that corrections are either hit or miss-- in other words, they go through entirely dependent on who is doing the approvals that day. It's very frustrating.

    IMDb DOES have some reliable information on it, but because it's a website where anyone can submit anything anonymously, errors both intentional and unintentional abound.

    In other words, I don't consider IMDb a "primary source" and I often don't encourage its usage in professional circles because it's been the catalyst to many problems in projects that I've worked on in the past.
     
  14. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    Well it depends on the information. I agree it can be wrong on technical details, but if I want to find all the films someone directed or starred in then it is a good resource. I can't recall ever having an IMDB contribution rejected, and I've made a few hundred. I've corrected a lot of films from Panavision to Super 35 and vice versa based on watching them, so if there are mistakes of that sort some of them may be mine. [​IMG]

    At least IMDB can in theory be updated with more accurate information! Film books from the 70s through to the 90s are notorious for being full of errors concerning film technologies.
     
  15. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that Technovision was originally anamorphic 2.35:1, but in the last 15 or 20 years, many "flat" films have been shot using Technovision cameras and lenses. For example, Carlos Saura's Tango was shot by Vittorio Storaro using flat lenses, then presented theatrically at 2:1 in Univisium (Storaro's preferred aspect ratio) in anamorphic prints, so that it ended up being a kind of hybrid Super35.

    I don't know much about the history of the original Technovision company but I know that lots of flat films, including television films, are shot using their cameras and lenses, especially overseas. I would imgaine that the history of the trademark is not very different from that of Panavision, which was originally identified only with CinemaScope and eventually ended up producing all kinds of lenses.
     
  16. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    That just means they were rented from Technovision which is a rental company, as well as the name of their anamorphic format (even though they rent lots of different lenses made in Russia and Japan, they didn't devise the format themselves).

    Similarly, have a look at the end credits of Hollywood films "Filmed in Panavision" originally meant the Panavision anamorphic format, and the card "Filmed with Panavision Cameras & Lenses" was used for films that were not shot in anamorphic, but with equipment that was supplied by Panavision. Most Super 35 films will have the "Cameras and Lenses" card, but things have become lax, and now sometimes Super 35 films say "Filmed in Panavision" and anamorphic films use the "Cameras & Lenses card".

    Previously a film had to provide the "Filmed in Panavision" credit if you rented anamorphic lenses from Panavision, but it seems they don't bother strictly enforcing that part of the contract anymore.

    Obviously there are lots of reasons for this: 1, probably being the fact even some people that work in the industry don't know the difference the mistake goes uncorrected. And 2, it doesn't really matter anymore because audiences aren't made aware of the difference. Hence the credits are a tiny logo at the end of the film, rather than something that takes up the whole screen at the start of the film a la CinemaScope.
     
  17. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as I said the only way to know if a film is in Super 35 or not is to check out of focus lightspots. This gets kinda interesting like in something like say the recent I Am Legend where the majority of the film was shot scope but the flashbacks are in Super 35.
     
  18. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    It seems that lots of CGI heavy films often revert to Super 35 for major CGI shots, even if the film is otherwise shot in anamorphic.

    All the CGI shots in Moulin Rouge! were shot in Super 35, against the wishes of the film's cinematographer. It's pretty sad that a cinematographer can't even determine the film's format without being over-ruled by post production staff and producers.
     
  19. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the shooting format of "P2":

    I've since seen the full screen version as broadcast by the Starz channel, and it looks like a vertically un-matted transfer derived from a Super35 process, which results in significantly more of the frame being opened up on the top and bottom (with only modest cropping on the sides).

    Not to descend into horn-doggery on the board, but this actually pays off for P2, what with Rachel Nichols' bosom being the real star of the film...which makes it into about 25 percent more shots in the 4 by 3 edition over the widescreen dvd (which it was neatly matted out of all too often). Ironic that this theatrical aspect ratio purist must confess to preferring the "fool screen" edition in this case.

    A classic, counfounding case for widescreen enthusiasts...when the content of the frame itself makes a case against director's intended framing...assuming he didn't consciously shoot for both formats (and some of those 4 by 3 shots suggest Kalfoun did, with a wink).



    --Jack
     
  20. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    The origin of Super-35 is SuperScope. SuperScope started out as 2.00:1 extracted from a 1.33:1 silent aperature, then was refined to SuperScope 235 (2.35:1 extraction) which is basically identical to Super-35. All this information is at American WideScreen Museum - provided as a public service by Martin Hart Where the confusion comes in is a few films (Silverado, Absolute Beginners, Greystoke, Baby Secret of the Lost Legend) that were shot in Super-35 but credited the process as Super Techniscope. Unfortunately Widescreen Museum has no references to Super Techniscope.
     

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