70mm, what happened?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Billy Fogerty, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Billy Fogerty

    Billy Fogerty Stunt Coordinator

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    It is such a shame that there are no 70mm prints anymore. I guess the cost is alot, and the films are in the theaters such a short time,it's not worth it. It would just be great to see a true 70mm print on the big screen again. Spiderman,Superman, LOTR........etc., would have been spectacular.
     
  2. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    it's more a fact that 99.999% of screens are only equipped with 35mm projectors because the vast majority of movie going is done in multiplexes, not old single screen palaces that had to adapt to be able to show whichever format they needed to.

    If you live in a big city like LA 70mm comes around quite often if you watch for it, in LA and NYC more than most places, but many cities get the occasional traveling revival, such as Lawrence of Arabia.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The reason studios stopped shooting in 65mm is that they felt that 35mm-to-70mm blowups were "good enough," and the magnetic tracks on 70mm prints had better sound than 35mm optical, so they kept making 70mm prints for that reason only. By the 1990s, digital sound narrowed the quality gap so much that studios didn't see why they should bother with the 70mm mag prints.

    Furthermore, environmental regulations are part of the reason that magnetic tracks on film prints are no longer made (I sincerely hope the government never demands that motion picture film be biodegradable; think of the archival nightmares!). All the recent 70mm reprints (like Fox's of their large format titles, most recently Cleopatra and South Pacific) are in DTS.

    I'd love to see more 70mm, but the way films are shot today, with so little light, the grain will be the size of golf balls. "Ghostbusters" in 70mm sounds good but is pretty grainy. Why they didn't make at least one 70 of "The New World," which was partly shot in 65mm, is beyond me. Also, with the push towards digital and IMAX 3-D for special engagements I don't think studios will stand up and take notice of what they are still capable of with 70mm.
     
  4. AaronMan

    AaronMan Second Unit

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    Actually, IMAX is 70mm. I saw Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions in IMAX and although it was letterboxed, it was razor sharp 70mm. It blew DLP digital projection out of the water. So in a way, 70mm is alive and well which is a good thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Imaxcomparison.png
     
  5. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    70mm prints where around £16.000 pounds, and second-hand 35mm print was around £1.500 pounds, they where costly has to was the high maintenance cost of the penthouse magnetic heads on the projector, flaking of the (magnetic oxide coating) resulted in HF loss. Often loss of the whole soundtrack has I experienced with the Star Trek day on Sunday October 10th 1989, (Empire Leicester Square London) screen #1, where during reel #6 of “Star Trek IV the Voyage Home” 1986, and this is where the bird of pray was underpowered by the probe the sound on the interior went mute for around 15 seconds or so!

    Also a 70mm print of Batman 1989, I saw this at the local ABC screen #1 and reel #5 if I’m too mistaken lost all the HF end, and all that could be heard was Michael Keaton, and Kim Basinger, speaking muffed in the Batcave, this towards showdown with Batman and the Joker.
     
  6. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    And Letterboxed IMAX is probably still a bigger image than "genuine" 70mm anyways, since IMAX takes 70mm film and turns it sideways, using four or five times as much film per frame as 70mm used. There's a lot of wasted space when you do this, but in an age when there are few traditional 70mm projection installations but many IMAX setups, this is probably the best solution.

    There used to be a number of places that showed 70mm in Toronto -- The Uptown frequently ran midnight shows of '80s movies in 70mm blowups, including Raiders of the Lost Ark a few times a year; the York was one of three theatres in the world that ran the Christmas Day 70mm premiere of Ken Branagh's Hamlet; the Ontario Place Cinesphere, one of the world's first IMAX installations, used to run a non-IMAX 70mm print of Apocalypse Now once or twice a year (which was the highlight of my filmgoing life, without question).

    The Uptown has been demolished and will be condos and retail soon; the York is an event theatre; Apocalypse Now hasn't played at the Cinesphere in years. But at least IMAX is everywhere.
     
  7. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    15perf over regular 5perf for 70mm

    Here is one such cinema in the UK that shows 70mm films from time to time, can’t say I have ever attended a 70mm presentation there, maybe someday.

    http://www.uk70mm.com/cinemas/york.html

    Also there’s the in-70mm site that provides all the latest happenings in the world of 70mm.

    http://www.in70mm.com/index.htm

    I also saw a 70mm print of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” way back in 1981. ABC Westover Road screen #1.

    By far the best 70mm presentation that I have seen heard and felt was “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” at the CIC Empire Leicester Square screen #1, with Lucasfilm THX now that was a “road show” or what

    10/10 for sound
    10/10 for image
    10/10 for presentation
     

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