Your "history" is too modest and incomplete, Bob. Your efforts to locate and preserve early 3-D films has been extraordinary and unprecedented. These festivals at the Egyptian, the Film Forum and in other parts of the country would not be possible if hadn't been for you. There'd be no 3-D legacy in Hollywood if you hadn't done what you did, and some of us know it and appreciate your achievement, believe me.
As an aside, I always wanted to meet the mind that wrote those Mike Hammer novels and made those bold independent private-eye films in the 1950s. I envy you being taken to dinner by Mickey Spillane. Love that picture standing next to him.
On other matters mentioned here, I was professionally acquainted with Chris Condon and his associate, the brilliant stereoscopic engineer John A. Rupkalvis. Spread out before me is a cameraman's manual for StereoVision equipment, and an appraiser's inventory of the company and its hardware. There is a 70mm side-by-side system and a 70mm over/under system complete with reference photos and diagrams. Condon also had side-by-side and an over/under 35mm systems. Let's get those facts on the record.
In 1971 Condon personally supervised the conversion of HOUSE OF WAX to 70mm for theatrical re-release. The film screened throughout the United States in its Academy ratio via StereoVision's 70mm 3-D projection lens, a fact people seem to have forgotten. I believe that was side-by-side. I saw it many times at the Setauket Theater on Long Island and in NYC during its month-long run. Most theaters got the 35mm conversion, however. The 1981 re-release consisted of Stereovision's 35mm conversions from 1971. Old prints, cleaned up.
It is true that sometimes the glass Condon bought to grind and turn into stereo lenses was cheap, but not always. Sometimes he bought the highest quality glass to work with, and the lenses were very sharp and clear indeed. But I imagine there are still some poor lenses floating around. Keep in mind that most of Sterovision's clientele were low-budget, independent filmmakers who didn't have the money to pay for a high-quality lens, and Condon would do the best he could for them on the money they had. Oftentimes filmmakers would forget to throw out worn polarizers and insert new ones, even though the manual reminds them to do that, and they'd get poor results during image capture. A Stereovision lens could be a quirky thing, and some cameramen "got it" better than others. I will say this: the best results were always achieved when Condon himself was on the set and supervising (as in the case of Jaws 3 which he saved from total disaster when Paramount's system fell apart). He could make a StereoVision lens do amazing things. But usually he would work for a week on a consultation fee and then leave. When he left, that's when the problems began.
Edited by Richard--W, April 26 2013 - 09:45 PM.