How The West Was Won: Special Edition...could happen!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It looks like some Warner Home Video employees got a private screening of a fresh Cinerama 3-panel print at the Seattle Martin Cinerama Theater (owned by Steve Jobs).

    That's all the info I know (from rec.arts.movies.tech), but I guess you could jump to your own conclusions.

    (Don't ask about Brothers Grimm, though...it's basically lost)
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Actually Patrick that would be Paul Allen but this is fantastic news![​IMG]![​IMG]!
    Even the beat-up 50 year old print that was screened in 99 was a MAGNIFICENT experience. Much more impressive than IMAX. I recommend this to anyone who is able to attend. We should have a screening at the 2003 Festival in May-June. Is this print playing at the Dome in L.A.?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Oh yeah I almost forgot. I have no interest in having this on DVD or any other home video format. Pointless! The only way to get Cinerama in the home is the way John Harvey did. Rip holes in the living room, kitchen, and bedroom walls and install 3 projectors. [​IMG] Read pages 3 and 4 here.
    I never understood the appeal of IMAX home videos either.
     
  3. Matt Shiv

    Matt Shiv Agent

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    I had the great pleasure of seeing John's print at the Neon Movies in Dayton. I would love to have this movie on dvd and yet, anytime I see it on TCM (even in widescreen) it just doesn't even seem like the same film! Seeing it in Cinerama was just fantastic.
     
  4. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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  5. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I still consider "How the West was Won" among my greatest ever movie going experiences.

    As a young lad I went to see it 5 times in it's original 3 Strip showings.

    It still remains my all time Favorite Western.

    If Warners have created new 3 strip prints only, then there would still remain the very costly job of joining the 3 prints together and digitally removing the dividing lines.

    I truly hope that Warners will, or have done this.

    All Video releases on Tape, Laserdisc and DVD so far have been struck from the poor quality, Technically antiquated Cinemascope version.
    Any future Video releases must come from a new master derived from the newly restored 3 strip prints.

    The Soundtrack also has been butchered in recent times, cut down to only 2 track Stereo.
    I remember reading somewhere that certain instruments in the Orchestra that were evident in the original mix are completely missing on the Soundtrack of the present non-Anamorphic DVD.

    It would be Magic to finally see it again Digitally Restored to it's former glory and to finally hear the exciting Alfred Newman Score the way it was meant to be heard.
     
  6. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The Cinerama Dome in Hollywood also has a print available to them. They will be scheduling it along with additional showings of "This Is Cinerama" in the near future. Although not a true IB Technicolor print, those that have seen the newly struck HTWWW it say it comes pretty close.

    3 Strip Cinerama films cannot be properly shown on a flat tv format. These films (not the bogus single lense kind) were meant to be seen on large deeply curved screens. For those who constantly rant and rave about OAR I cannot for the life of me understand a desire to see this film totally destroyed and "humilated" for home viewing. Oh yes, there's the so-called "smilebox" method, but it is a poor substitue for the real thing. That's my opinoin.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Cinerama is definately a theater film format, but if the film was transferred in "Smilebox" in the 16x9 format, you get a lot of detail on a widescreen TV.
     
  8. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I agree, it isn't the same experience, and I
    I have been spoiled in NYC by seeing such films
    in their original format.

    Movies like this are never played anywhere near my tiny
    hometown in Texas, and many of us are just plain curious
    about the content of the film..the music, the performances...even if we aren't getting the true "experience". That is why I want to see a DVD
    version of a Cinerama/IMAX film.
     
  9. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    While Smilebox is a neat trick, the film still loses all of its impact when viewed on a flat screen. 3 Camera Cinerama was an immersive process and seeing it on video robs the viewer of that experience.
     
  10. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I would definitely pick this up if Warner Brothers is able to combine and digitally erase the dividing lines of the fully restored 3-panel presentation with the original multi-channel sound.

    Dan
     
  11. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Dan,

    The problem is not the join lines (they are mostly cleverly hidden by judicious *camera set ups), it's the distortion of the image (at least those sequences shot with 3 cameras - some were done in 70mm). The center panel appears convex when flattened out. The original soundtrack contains 7 channels - 5 originally placed behind the deeply curved screen ( i.e. people talking on the right side of the screen came exactly from that position and not in the middle), one on each side of the theatre and a rear channel containing info from the side channels (used mostly for panning purposes). Can you experience that on a tv or home theatre set up?

    * 3 camera Cinerama also had problems with the horizon so images never bent smoothly along the arc of the screen. Cinemiracle (a rival process that eventually was bought out by Cinerama) addressed those issues much better do to variable lens settings. Even eliminating the lines will not cover up the poor joins that occured from time to time. The process was not what the inventor, Fred Waller, had in mind as the ultimate. He envisioned a single lens and camera eventually being used. In fact, a lens was developed that covered the same 146 degree viewing angle and kept the image in sharp focus from a few inches to infinity (this was why the 3 camera films gave a feeling of dimensionality). However, Cinerama had trouble getting a camera to work that could pass the film through at 26 frames per second. It constantly broke. The project was abandoned and Cinerama became a "Presented In" rather then "Filmed In" process using 70mm film that never had more than 80 degrees of view. You were never "put into the picture" in the bogus Cinerama. Similar to what IMAX is doing with films not originally made for the process.
     
  12. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    the restored HTWWW will be playing on 2/28; 3/1; and 3/6 at Seattles CINERAMA Theater (www.cinerama.com)
    Referring to the post above, it is too bad that todays technology couldnt be used to solve some of the problems 3-camera Cinerama had. SInce it would still be expensive, and there are few theaters that can exhibit films this way, it would have to be used very judiciously for truly special projects...
     
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    I would be interested in owning a remastered DVD from the refurbished three-panel elements that included ALL the information in the frame, rather than the severely cropped 35MM CinemaScope version out now.

    The audio remixed from the complete 7 channel soundtrack couldn't help but be better than the current version which in many places is said to be missing the Left-Center and Right-Center tracks.
     
  14. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Again, flattening out the picture for tv distorts it. But, if that is your cup of tea... The presentation at the Seattle Cinerama will be the complete 7 channel 35mm audio track in analog sound I believe. It runs on a separate reproducer synced with the 3 projectors. Takes 4 people to show a 3 panel Cinerama film. In the old days there was a fifth person who manned a sound console and manually panned certain sounds from the side speakers to the rear. (He had a script to follow). The "This Is Cinerama" presentation at the Dome didn't use any panning effects.
     

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