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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronNWilson, Jul 4, 2002.
What are the costs of filming in 70mm in comparison to 35mm?
2.25 times greater, plus expenses. The film is 2 times wider, but is .25 of an inch taller per frame. Few labs can do 70mm anymore, so a capable lab has to be found.
I wonder what proportion of a movie production budget is spent on film stock and processing. It is bound to be a substantial amount of money, especially that most film productions shoot about 10 times as much footage as ends up in the final cut. But I would still think that multi-million-dollar actors' salaries, as well as the many other well-paid trades that are required to complete a feature film, would make up the lion's share of the production costs. I'd think it wouldn't add 225% to the budget of the entire film...
Short answer: astronomical. There are maybe two rentals each year for Panavision packages... Probably less than one narrative feature shot annually over the last decade with any make camera... And, sadly, Don Earl, who essentially was Panavision's 65mm department, recently suffered a serious stroke and will likely not return to work.
Ken Branagh's Hamlet from a few years ago was shot in 70mm, and I think I read that they kept the budget under $15 million, but the stars were all paid scale, and very little extra film was shot, which seems to explain the large number of continuity errors. But it was 4 hours long, too.
According to the imdb, the budget for Branagh's Hamlet was actually $18 million. So I was close. But like I said, they were very careful to shot as little film as possible.
Just a bit of trivia: you don't shoot 70mm, you shoot 65mm. The extra 5mm comes when the soundtrack is added to the film for exhibition.
Scott, are the camera rigs for 65mm significantly larger than those for 35mm? Are there other aspects of the equipment that would affect the filmmaking process? My impression from what little I've read on the subject is that shooting 65mm requires that shots be set up differently, crews reorganized, lighting adjusted, etc. -- all of which costs more. Also, does shooting 65mm limit (or possibly eliminate) the use of such common techniques as Steadicam or handheld? M.
Why don't they just adopt the Maxivision process? I've heard it looks waaaaaay better than current film and digital projections. It uses 48 frames per second, instead of 24. Plus it's a lot cheaper than upgrading to digital, anyway. I just don't want to lose film, digital is way too new.
Heck, if you want the ultimate, The showscan process used 65 MM photography and projection at 60 Frames per second.
Disclaimer: I have never worked on a 65 project...
The cameras are larger and heavier than modern/new 35mm bodies, and many of the lenses are too. Plus the additional weight of the larger film. Handheld work would certainly not be impossible, more improbable or impractical. I believe the Master Series and some modified Steadicams can take 65mm and IMAX rigs, if you can get them down to 45 pounds... But extended use would be compromised by weight/bulk (SC operators are tough dudes and dudettes) and run time (I'd assume 500' loads).
Crewing would be pretty much the same, regarding the cam dept. Maybe an additional tech around (I think Don Earl was on set for many Panavision shoots).
But setups would definitely take a bit longer (both camera and support - larger/heavier dollies, cranes, etc.), there would be more reloads, there may be additional maintainence while shooting (depending on model), and the like...
There are also other practical considerations like availabilty of multiple cameras and back-up bodies and such... There is a lot of money being spent every minute on large productions, and a camera going down can be a disaster...
The main cost though is the format itself - the amount of raw stock, the cost of that raw stock, the processing, post, the prints...
Filmmaking is all about problem solving... If the cam is 65mm, the camera and grip crews will get the shot... But yes, regarding these topics this format would introduce more problems to the problems
Yeah, Rob, but those scenes were shot silent, so he was able to use a very small camera with no sound "blimp" on it. Besides, Kubrick could do *anything*...
And he never did it again! M.
The main problem regarding cost is that very few films are shot in 65mm. If 35mm was replaced with 65mm in the mass marketplace, the cost would come down and perhaps even match that of 35mm. Any technical issues regarding size of the camera body can easily be overcome once everyone wants to do it. They are always coming up with new ways to use 35mm. The same can be done with 65mm.
I just can't foresee any movement toward more 65 production for narrative/dramatic filmmaking... Current 35mm cameras are technologically remarkable (yes, state-of-the-art), light(ish), quiet, etc. Film stocks have advanced dramatically in the last decade, with new motion picture stocks coming each year. Many feel lenses have gotten too sharp... And the cost...
Of course, for many applications, especially HD broadcast, I would prefer S16... That is based on living and breathing filmmaking and MP cameras and budgets, practical experience, not "they really ought to.."
Just checked out Arri's modern 65mm camera, the Arriflex 765... The body and empty 500' mag are 70 pounds! That's no lens and no mandatory accessories like matte box (and filtration), follow focus, or if going handheld, shoulder pad and handles...
Btw, blimping cameras and lenses rarely occurs with modern equipment.