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TOPIC: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry?

Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 22 Oct 2005 13:44 #11140

  • 3dallan
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Everybody is talking digital when it comes
to 3D, or even a standard for theaters showing regular fare. They fail to note that
something approaching 4K quality will be needed to truly turn on the audiences. Present 2K is merely good...but so is my 32 inch Sony HD set in the den! A radically different approach would be to re-invent the existing 35mm film system. My group has done that by coming up with CINE 160 3D and
CINE160 non-3D. The images are 1.6 times larger so the 3D is much better. The projectors run films through at 6 perfs per frame, when showing 3D or our "scaled down version of 70mm" That is 6 perfs of 35mm through an anamorpic lens! It looks a hell of a lot like 70mm, at a fraction of the cost. Please, consider this before commiting
this industry to a multi-billion dollar path
down the digital road. Sure, 4K digital will be here, but it might take 10 years. Tell HD
tv to hold for you to wait it out!
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 22 Oct 2005 14:52 #11141

I'm interested.

Can we see pictures, get some more information?

Also, what kind of costs would be considered for conversion? Can you use the same lens and just install larger sprockets?
Since 1987
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 22 Oct 2005 15:28 #11142

  • 3dallan
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Thanks,Andrew,here's more on Cine 160 3D.
I was co-inventor of the single strip 35mm system, STEREOVISION, which was pretty much
the world standard in 35mm 3D for over 25 years. It was distributed on standard 4 perf
prints. It wasn't worth a damn if the screen
were more than 30 feet wide, and was always dim. Years ago, Chris Condon and myself came
to the conclusion that something bigger was needed. Now in 2005, conditions are right to
move in this direction. We have a Century
Cinerama projector which proves the reliability. Ballentyne of Omaha, now owns
the Century line legacy. I spoke to CEO
John Wilmers, about offering a new machine
that could run both standard 4 perf and 6.
He said something like, "We can do just about anything if the money is there to
cover the engineering and tooling". If you
can create interest we will take a good look at the possibilities." That was the gist of our conversation. I also spoke to a CEO
of a middle sized (800 screen chain) who I
know, to some extent. He said. "Allan ,if you can get Warners or Disney or Sony to offer me even one title on an experimental basis I'll order 15 projectors! The idea
is perfectly sound!" He also mentioned the fact that the same machine could show something approaching 70mm quality will
flat films, or even reduction prints of IMAX
in a small setting! Both of these things are
valid advantages. It is so important to understand that the real digitaql game will be played in 3K or 4K, NOT WITH THE 2K systems presently being installed experimentally! Google CINE160 and you'll
find a site with more information. It is also
important to note that the bulk of CGI animation films, ala "PIXAR" are easily converted to 3D, these, if not live action
3D movies will continue to come out at the rate of 5 or more per year. Live action 3D
will give the producers of little "$10 million" inde films the chance to attract more notice in the marketplace. We have
camera lenses that allow good filming with
35mm 6 perf. camera originals, but digital
shooting is also practical using a DI
(digital intermediate) to get it to 6 perf film. The whole package with both 4 perf
and 6 perf, and high gain screen can be less than $25K. This permits 3D to go all over the world quickly. How many IMAX theaters
do you ACTUALLY think will be built with that
overkilling system? I see it like waterski-ing with am aircraft carrier! Cine 160 is the
practical way to go with 3D until 4K is truly
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 22 Oct 2005 16:12 #11143

  • outaframe
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I HATE being the voice of doom & gloom around here, but in answer to the question you're asking in the title of this thread, NO technical improvement is going to "save" the movie exhibition industry... The reason I say this is because there is NOTHING intrinsically WRONG with 35mm film properly projected onto any reasonably sized screen, as it ALREADY exists!... Since the early 1950s every imaginable technical gimmic has been tried to bring back the thinning audience to levels of the glory days... Some of these technical advances have been worthwhile and were eventually incorporated into everyday production, becoming almost universally used now... Widescreen, scope, 70mm, stereo, digital, etc. ALL gave movie attendence a slight "bump" when they were first introduced, but soon became the accepted NORM by ticket buyers... 3-D, Smell-O-Vision, Magnetic multi-channel sound, Cinerama, Todd A-O, higher speed projection, etc. etc. etc. all came and went, some being the victims of economics, others just ridiculous short-lived novelties...

It's STILL the STORY, the direction, the acting, the cinematography, the editing, and all the other skilled individual elements which make a memorable film that draws your attention into the story to the extent that the technical attributes go by un-noticed, or at least as highly diminished... MANY of the black & white, "flag shaped" aspect ratio, mono sound, classics made during the 1930s thru the early 1950s STILL have the ability to DRAW the viewer into the story to the extent that the technical elements really don't enter into the experience... The same can even be said for a few of the SILENTS from the movies' early days... This is the MAGIC of the movies which has nearly disappeared nowdays...

Your stop-gap temporary fix to span the transition between film and digital is well-intentioned but futile... Digital will come because of the huge economic windfall to the studios, and they will relentlessly persue the transition because of this... No one is going to be willing to invest the amount necessary to support your short-term cure...

Regardless, unless the studios wake up to the fact that their interests are best served by making pictures with quality universally applicable story lines, quality prodction values, (IE put the MAGIC back in movies) and hold them back from ancillary markets long enough for theaters to build and exploit the market potential at a reasonable enough cost to appeal to all, by the time digital is perfected, there will be few theaters left to show it in...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited October 22, 2005).]
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 23 Oct 2005 13:28 #11144

  • 3dallan
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This is a specific respose to "outofframe's"
He is wrong, because in essence, he's saying
"DO NOTHING"..."Everything about movies is cast in stone". He is more concerned about
being right,than a good outcome. In fact, he
IS RIGHT that 35mm can be quite good. What I
am trying to say is all about RELATIVE values! For example, I mention my 32 inch
Sony HD Flat screen. It is far better than my old one! Color is better, Size and shape are more theatrical. It is typical of what
people are putting into their homes. This will cost our industry at the box office,
as every household gets HD. The audience will
have to shrink even further!

What I propose is NOT expensive. One advanced
35mm projector per complex! This allows 3D
to be run anywhere on earth for $25,000,
and the theater gets one state of the art projector. 3D is an obvious choice for CGI
animation films...probably all of them,
from now on, will gain something from 3D
exhibition. Does "out of frame" know that "Polar Express" took in 12 times as much per screen in 3D dates as it did in
2D flat theaters. 3D is a no brainer for special effects films that use a lot of CGI
and CGI animation. Many of the big films
of the last 10 years have been one of these two. Both genre are clearly enhanced by 3D
or a better picture. "Out of frame" thinks
size doesn't matter. He thinks 70mm was a
gimmick! He may have missed STAR WARS first
opening in 70mm, or LAWRENCE OF ARABIA back
in the sixties...but 70mm was no gimmick, it
was central to the showmanship of many,many
big scale films, and the demise of 70mm is one of the things that is taking the magic out of the movies. Having a a picture 1.6
times as big, or bright and clear, can help
if the public is told that they are seeing something using a better medium. CINE 160
means 1.6 times as big. It is not 70mm, but
it is the next best thing to it! Anybody
willing to write off good 3D and 70mm dazzle
to save $25,000, is no showman, but rather
a bean counter! The same mentality carried
to the limit, whould order black-and-white prints to obtain a lower rental fee!
Showmanship is important is not
JUST about good storytelling...I get that at
home with even a regular broadcast on my HD
"home theater".
A final note: CINE 160 format allows IMAX
films to be run in regular stadium seating
small auditoriums for perhaps 200 patrons.
You can put a small audience in a very
IMAX-LIKE situation with a relatively big screen in a smaller space. CINE 160 is after
all the center panel of "Cinerama". Having
Imax films in small communities would help
diversity of product, and help the producers
of those films to draw from a much wider
The CINE 160 game plan assumes that the
projector would run 4 perf 26 weeks a year.
Special prints of big films (the 70mm application) perhaps 14 weeks, and only
12 weeks of 3D per year, to make the investment practical. 12 weeks is only
3 3D animation or 3D action CGI features a year.
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 24 Oct 2005 06:47 #11145

  • outaframe
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Dear 3-D. I'd appreciate your not putting a spin on the comments I made... The facts are that I did NOT say DO NOTHING, the movies are cast in stone... What I said was there is NOTHING wrong with 35mm as it now exists, that it is capable of producing an excellent picture on up to quite a large sized screen, that many of the worthwhile innovations adopted were great, but they soon became just a NORMAL part of movie-going and lost the drawing power they had when first introduced, and that the studios have a vested economic interest in developing digital, so are un-interested in persuing any more film based technical advances, much as analogue sound techinical developement has ceased since the introduction of digital... My screen is the largest that will fit my auditorium, with barely 6" of side masking to the outer walls, and I still thrill to the beauty of a well photographed 35mm scope image of that size...

I have not seen Star Wars in 70mm, but I did play the 35mm version for 4 subsequent different runs to excellent business, even though I didn't have Dolby at that time... In fact, the majority of its playdates and record grosses were achieved in 35mm mono houses, as Dolby was new and not widely available then... I did see "Lawrence" in 70mm in a huge old 2,200 seat theater on a gigantic screen with magnetic stereo sound, before I was in the "biz," and when I played it in re-release several years later, it was 35mm mono, but still looked and sounded damned good... However, the biggest thing BOTH of these excellent pictures possessed to draw the public was their great stories, and the genius and dedication of the skilled MOVIEMAKERS who created them using the MAGIC that is the stuff of great movies...

I have seen several IMAX movies over the years, but none them were of the same caliber as Star Wars or Lawrence, so it takes more than just a big screen and gazigawatts of sound to make memorable movies... And I know of at least two IMAX locations, not that far away, which are out of business...

I still run a 2 projector booth, so your new projection system would involve a $50k investment on my part, for a single screen theater... NOT something I would leap into on a whim, especially with digital lurking in the wings!...

That scraping noise you hear is me, draging the soap box over to the corner...

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited October 24, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by outaframe (edited October 24, 2005).]
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Re: Can a new kind of 35mm print save the industry? 26 Oct 2005 17:10 #11146

  • SamCat
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Hi 3d Allan

I have a question for you. Is it possible to build a 70mm projector that can screen 70mm Imax films and Imax 3d films, without going through Imax?
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