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North By Northwest Restoration for 2009?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul Borges, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

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    From what I understand, VistaVision cameras used standard 35mm film, but ran the film sideways so that they could expose a 70mm area on the negative (similar to the way a still camera works, with the sprocket holes on the top and bottom instead of on the sides).
     
  2. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    Printing a VistaVision negative onto 70mm would be prohibitively expensive, and in order to preserve the film's aspect ratio, would require a higher resolution scan than output for 35mm. The quality just wouldn't be there.
     
  3. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Prohibitively expensive? No, but expensive. RAH would be able to give us some idea, as this was part of the restoration process for Vertigo.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Vista OCN frame is a match to that of standard 35mm still photography, ie. Nikon, Canon, Leica, etc.

    RAH
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    They have two years to come up with the technology. Why not do it? This film is a masterpiece and deserves nothing less than the best.
     
  6. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, the picture length and width of a 8-perf VistaVision frame is the equivalent of two 4-perf 35mm frames stuck together. 2 X 35 = 70. As a result, high quality blow ups of The Ten Commandments and Vertigo have been made from the format.

    Technirama and IMAX run on the same principle.
     
  7. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    No, the two are not the same. There's a big difference between a VV frame and a 70mm frame:

    70mm = 48.56 mm x 20.73 mm (native AR: 2.2:1)
    VV = 37.72 mm x 24.92 mm (native AR: 1.52:1)

    If you count a 1.85 crop on a VistaVision title, the "projected" (even though the point isn't to make 8 perf prints) area is 37.76 mm by 20.4 mm, so you would end up having to reduce the image slightly, and you would still be hard-matting the picture on the sides.

    In any case, how many theaters in this country even run 70mm? Half a dozen? It'd be nice to see, but the logic of a studio is-- if there's a runnable 35mm print, there's no need to make a 70mm print, particularly when you're not working from a 65mm negative, where you can make a contact print and reduce the costs (such as Fox did with some of their 70mm titles). The cost of optical work for something like this these days is still insane.
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    Actually, a pillarboxed 1.85:1 image in a 70mm frame is 38.4mm x 20.73mm. A VV negative letterboxed to 1.85:1 is 37.72mm x 20.38mm. This is exactly how the Vertigo restoration was done. There are not a lot of theaters that can show a film in 70mm, but there are approximately zero that can show a side scrolling VV element. Also, digital is not an archival medium at this point, so a 70mm preservation element is viable as it employs equal or greater surface area to the VV.

    Regards,
     
  9. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, we are talking about a film restoration element that can be used to strike further elements in the future. One which hold's all the information of the original. Digital is an unproven medium for long term storage, celluloid with appropriate backup elements is.

    M
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    Is VistaVision still used for effects work anymore?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but werent parts of Robert's My Fair Lady restoration outputted onto VV negative because there was no digital-to-65mm equipment in 1994?
     
  11. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Well-Known Member

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    VV is stilll used very occasionally for effects work, but digital compositing has effectively rendered multi-generational celluloid effects null and void and taken the need for >35mm SFX photography with it.

    M
     
  12. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    Obviously while you cannot project it (and never were supposed to), 8-perf is almost always the output for VV archival elements. The whole point of VV in the first place was to create a finer grained WS image. Surface area does not have anything to do with it-- it is preserving the original format in which the film was shot in.
     
  13. Paul Borges

    Paul Borges Well-Known Member

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    What about films like Gone with the Wind, or Wizard of Oz? Do those ultra resolution results have high enough resolutions to be printed satisfactorily to film?
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Of course. There's a really silly misunderstanding that older films are low-res. I saw a 1998 dye-transfer print of The Wizard of Oz and it looked amazing. While it looked a tiny bit grainier than the average modern film, the level of detail was stunning. As great as the recent UR remaster is, it only gives a hint of how great it looks on 35mm.

    The UR remasters for GWTW and Oz are 4K (which means they'd look amazing on 35mm). Most of the prior UR remasters are 2K (including the color Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies).
     
  15. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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  16. DanMel

    DanMel Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the Hanging tree will be released in 2009 for it's 50th anniversary and also be released in SD and HD as it was not included in the Gary Cooper box set because it was in need of restoration. It would be nice if two of my favorite movies in The Hanging Tree and North by Northwest were released on the same day for their 50th anniversaries.
     
  17. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    They were the expception to the rule, however.
     
  18. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Well-Known Member

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    Which is why outputting to 65mm is the preferred choice, it has no picture quality deficiency, it's a format currently viewable in several locations worldwide, including many IMAX theaters, which by any stretch of the imagination VV isn't and never really was and 70mm prints can be created from it without further optical manipulation which if a fresh VV element was created, it would require optical printing to standard 35mm suitable for projection.

    Aside from brand loyalty to a format that never really took of as it was meant to, despite it's obvious strengths, I fail to see any logical reason why the possibilty of a new 65mm cleaned up negative for one of Hitchcock's greatest film's is cause for anything but jubilation!

    Besides our resident Mr Harris has created new 65mm negatives from a 35mm 8 perf original on the two occasions he worked with the format - on Vertigo and Spartacus, if it's good enough for him, Kubrick, Hitchcock's estate and Universal...

    M
     
  19. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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  20. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    Spartacus was filmed in Technirama, which is also an 8 perf 35mm format, but it uses a Delrama anamorphic attachment during the photography, which VistaVision doesn't. Technirama could be printed to 35mm scope or 70mm. When printing to 70mm it was billed as Super Technirama 70.

    Doug
     

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