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Guest Glen Alexander

Vistavision workflow?

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Guest Glen Alexander

I'm interested in exploring shooting with Vistavision, not just matte sfx shots but complete short film.

 

I want to avoid digital/cgi as much as possible.

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Guest Glen Alexander
Is this another dream Glen ?

 

:lol:

 

No actually. 8 perf VV uses such a vast amount of negative, sure you shoot double the footage with an insane amount of resolution.

Edited by Glen Alexander

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The VistaVision negative has about a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, so you can compose it for either 1.85 or 2.40, whatever. However, if you don't do a D.I., then you'll have to do an optical printer conversion to whatever release format you need, unless you plan on using a VistaVision projector for a special venue site. The optical printer conversion would probably mean using dupe stocks (IP & IN) in order to get a printing negative.

 

Obviously with 8-perf instead of 4-perf, your stock & processing costs double unless you compensate in your shooting ratio.

 

Biggest problem with VistaVision is the lack of quiet sync-sound cameras, which is why 5-perf 65mm was used in movies such as "Contact" and "The Patriot" for efx work where dialogue had to be recorded. "Contact" used VistaVision for MOS shots where a smaller-than-65mm camera was needed.

 

Not sure what telecines can handle 8-perf for doing offline editing. Maybe the Spirit.

 

5-perf 65mm is not much more expensive than 8-perf 35mm and there are more modern sync-sound cameras available by ARRI and Panavision. Most modern 8-perf cameras like Wilcams were made for efx work.

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Guest Glen Alexander
Are you eye'ing that vistavision cam on ebay there Glen?

 

:rolleyes:

 

Maybe... :ph34r:

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Guest Glen Alexander
The VistaVision negative has about a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, so you can compose it for either 1.85 or 2.40, whatever. However, if you don't do a D.I., then you'll have to do an optical printer conversion to whatever release format you need, unless you plan on using a VistaVision projector for a special venue site. The optical printer conversion would probably mean using dupe stocks (IP & IN) in order to get a printing negative.

 

Obviously with 8-perf instead of 4-perf, your stock & processing costs double unless you compensate in your shooting ratio.

 

Biggest problem with VistaVision is the lack of quiet sync-sound cameras, which is why 5-perf 65mm was used in movies such as "Contact" and "The Patriot" for efx work where dialogue had to be recorded. "Contact" used VistaVision for MOS shots where a smaller-than-65mm camera was needed.

 

Not sure what telecines can handle 8-perf for doing offline editing. Maybe the Spirit.

 

5-perf 65mm is not much more expensive than 8-perf 35mm and there are more modern sync-sound cameras available by ARRI and Panavision. Most modern 8-perf cameras like Wilcams were made for efx work.

 

Thanks David!

 

This is what I was hoping for.

 

I want to use as much of the negative as possible full glorious V V.

 

Fotokem lists on their website services for 35mm conversion for contact printing. I have sent them an email but do you know if they can do a direct optical conversion?

 

Can you give an idea of loud it is? similar to a IIC? Mitchell? a jackhammer?

 

With such a super-wide image to capture, am looking at lens options. Could you reccommend some lenses? I'm looking for super fast 8/10mm(no fish-eye), long ~185mm, and telephoto.

 

Many Thanks!

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If you mean direct optical conversion as in "spliced VistaVision negative to 35mm print (1.85 or anamorphic 2.40)" I doubt anyone will do that for you. It's very hard to add the color timing light corrections shot by shot at the same time as doing the optical printer blow-up, not for VistaVision. Some regular 35mm optical printers can do that for a high charge, for an expensive print.

 

Optical printing is not cheap.

 

The standard route would be to cut the negative, answer print (don't know who answer prints VistaVision though), make a color-timed contact-printed VistaVision IP, and then make an optical printer conversion to a 35mm IN, from which you make 35mm contact prints.

 

This is one reason why 5-perf 65mm makes a little more sense, in that there are a few 5-perf 70mm projectors around, so you could just cut the negative and make a contact 70mm print and show that. Plus ARRI and Panavision have quiet sync-sound 65mm cameras. Of course, there are sound issues since there is no optical soundtrack on a 70mm print, just magnetic stripes (hard to do these days) or DTS digital sound.

 

Truth is that almost anyone shooting VistaVision would do any conversion work to 4-perf 35mm using a D.I. today.

 

But there are labs that do large format work, I just don't know which ones.

 

The VistaVision format is the same size as the 35mm still camera format, so most VistaVision cameras use converted Nikons or medium format lenses. The only VistaVision renter I know of in Los Angeles is Clairmont Cameras.

 

Ultimately you may find that a contact print from 35mm anamorphic photography to almost as good as an optical printer dupe through an IP/IN step from VistaVision, for a lot less cost and post hassle.

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I think C.B . would shoot anamorphic Hawks no DI and a straight optical photo/ chem finish which we can all do now as long we are not talked into a very expensive DI by the few remaining labs who are doing very well thank you ,by selling 2K DIs as the wonder tool . End of rant . :rolleyes:

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Glen VV apart from its 8 perf looked so good [like 2 perf Techniscope much later ] because of the Technicolor dye tranfer process , which i am afraid is no longer with us.

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The VistaVision format is the same size as the 35mm still camera format, so most VistaVision cameras use converted Nikons or medium format lenses. The only VistaVision renter I know of in Los Angeles is Clairmont Cameras.

Last I heard, Paramount still had some original VV cameras. Marianne or Rudy would know. They also recently changed the lamphouse on the VV projector from carbon to xenon. So, you could screen a contact print to check your tests. It's in that upstairs room in the Fields building. The original cameras used Leica lenses.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Guest Glen Alexander
Last I heard, Paramount still had some original VV cameras. Marianne or Rudy would know. They also recently changed the lamphouse on the VV projector from carbon to xenon. So, you could screen a contact print to check your tests. It's in that upstairs room in the Fields building. The original cameras used Leica lenses.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

 

Marianne has been great! I sent her an email to see what kind of post options they have available.

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David Mullen wrote

Biggest problem with VistaVision is the lack of quiet sync-sound cameras, which is why 5-perf 65mm was used in movies such as "Contact" and "The Patriot" for efx work where dialogue had to be recorded. "Contact" used VistaVision for MOS shots where a smaller-than-65mm camera was needed.

 

Didn't Clairmont offer two modern Wilcam VV cameras for rental, one highspeed model and a sound camera running quite silent? Nothing said about it on their rental site, though.

 

A few VV hardware links:

 

VV custom made by Fries

 

GeoFilms has a Fries VV and a thing called MiniVista, about the size of an Arri 3. Can be seen on this DP website:

 

Michael Reinecke

 

GeoFilm Group

 

 

Trumbullflex 8-perf

 

 

Beaumonte VV camera

 

Rotavision Down Under

 

So if you want to shoot VistaVision, there are cameras to rent. IIRC there is also a french company and the "Actionflex 8-perf" built by Gerhard Fromm of Munich. Make your choice, Glen! :)

Edited by Christian Appelt

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Guest Glen Alexander
David Mullen wrote

 

Didn't Clairmont offer two modern Wilcam VV cameras for rental, one highspeed model and a sound camera running quite silent? Nothing said about it on their rental site, though.

 

A few VV hardware links:

 

VV custom made by Fries

 

GeoFilms has a Fries VV and a thing called MiniVista, about the size of an Arri 3. Can be seen on this DP website:

 

Michael Reinecke

 

GeoFilm Group

 

 

Trumbullflex 8-perf

 

 

Beaumonte VV camera

 

Rotavision Down Under

 

So if you want to shoot VistaVision, there are cameras to rent. IIRC there is a french company and the "Actionflex 8-perf" built by Gerhard Fromm of Munich. Make your choice, Glen! :)

 

 

Thanks for that treasure trove of great info. Shooting on Vistavision isn't the big issue it is the post. It is the DI process I want to avoid.

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Thanks for that treasure trove of great info. Shooting on Vistavision isn't the big issue it is the post. It is the DI process I want to avoid.

 

An optical printer step isn't so great either. You should shoot in whatever format allows you to make a contact print and project it. Especially for a short film where you are only going to make a couple of prints anyway. An optical printer step can add thousands to the cost of making a print.

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You could make a VistaVision contact print VERY easily/cheaply. The print would be an 8 perf print. It would then need to be projected on a VistaVision projector.

 

Any continuous contact printer could do this! The price would undoubtedly be exactly the same as printing any other 35mm negative of the same length....no extra setup is required.

 

An old 35mm printer like a Bell and Howell model D could handle this task. Many labs have these or better contact printers.

Brian Pritchards Website with info on the Model D printer

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You could make a VistaVision contact print VERY easily/cheaply. The print would be an 8 perf print. It would then need to be projected on a VistaVision projector.

 

Any continuous contact printer could do this! The price would undoubtedly be exactly the same as printing any other 35mm negative of the same length....no extra setup is required.

 

An old 35mm printer like a Bell and Howell model D could handle this task. Many labs have these or better contact printers.

Brian Pritchards Website with info on the Model D printer

 

Yeah, but how do you then project it? With an old full-frame filmstrip projector one frame at a time???

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Guest Glen Alexander
Yeah, but how do you then project it? With an old full-frame filmstrip projector one frame at a time???

 

According to Paramount, they only have one place that can project VV, Gower Theater.... haven't found any in Paris.... yet!!

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According to Paramount, they only have one place that can project VV, Gower Theater.... haven't found any in Paris.... yet!!

 

There are sometimes VistaVision projectors etc on e-bay. At the moment there are some KEM editing units see e-bay item no:

150236019209

350052310021

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There was an article on a magazine about a guy called Nico Beyer. He shots mainly commercials and uses Leica SLR-cameras for f/x-shots and a Vistavision-camera with Leica-R-lenses. He claimed that he wanted almost-65mm-quality with lower costs and more flexibility!?

 

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I am pretty amazed that Paramount still have a VistaVision projector in a viewing theatre you sure wont find another place in the world with the same . VistaVision is almost as good as 65mm , but its only used for VFX stuff so if you do shoot with it will have to be printed to 2.40 or 1.85 or [waste of time here i am afraid ] to 70mm as nobody seems to interested in showing 5 perf 70mm anymore .

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I am pretty amazed that Paramount still have a VistaVision projector in a viewing theatre you sure wont find another place in the world with the same . VistaVision is almost as good as 65mm , but its only used for VFX stuff so if you do shoot with it will have to be printed to 2.40 or 1.85 or [waste of time here i am afraid ] to 70mm as nobody seems to interested in showing 5 perf 70mm anymore .

Yes, they still have VV prints in the archive just a few hundred yards away from that room. Alas, there's only one projector, so no changeovers.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Guest Glen Alexander
Yes, they still have VV prints in the archive just a few hundred yards away from that room. Alas, there's only one projector, so no changeovers.

 

-- J.S.

 

Do they show any VV movies regularly?

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