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David Cunningham

Ready Player One - 70mm

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Does anyone have the inside scoop in ready player one?


It looks like its half anamorphic 35mm and half 4K animated CGI.


There is a 70mm release right now and it would appear to me that these prints were made from 4K digital intermediates of the 35mm footage. Is that true? If so, whats the point? Just watch it in digital 4K.


If the 35mm scenes are optical blow ups to 70mm then I can at least see the point. But it looks likes thats not the case. Anyone know for sure?


If its a 100% 4K digital source, what would be the advantage of a 70mm print?

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4K master laser recorded to a 65mm negative for making 70mm contact prints is probably a bit cleaner, sharper and definitely less grainy than an optical printer blow-up from a 35mm IP to a 65mm dupe negative... but the real reason is that there’s no choice if the project was mastered digitally. In terms of why a 70mm print would be nicer, it depends on if you can see it in laser projection like Dolby Cinema, because if not, the contrast and black levels of the 70mm print will be richer than standard digital projection, and 4K projection, other than laser, tends to have worse blacks than 2K projection.

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It's a 4k finish lasered out to 70mm. It's the same way Warner has been making these prints for a while now.


The point is that it looks like film... I peeked into the theater last night to check the print and it looked good. I'm gonna try to watch tomorrow.

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The other advantage in doing these regular 70mm releases ensures the infrastructure is in place for the next Nolan, PTA, Rep releases.


Doing semi regular print runs helps makes sure Kodak and the labs stay open and cinemas maintain the gear and projectionists keep handling film.


A few years ago when Samsara was released a 70mm print was considered too difficult/expensive but maybe its easier now with more infrastructure in place.


Also I believe 70mm prints do better in the box office since enough people seek them out. As stated by others a 70mm print should look better then a 2k or 4k DLP projection in terms of contrast. Laser projection is still quite rare - a 70mm projector would be a lot cheaper to install compared to laser.

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I saw this in Dolby Cinema and also IMAX 3D. I really enjoyed both viewings as they have different strengths, however, I was able to appreciate the cinematography better in Dolby. Still very much in the style that Spielberg and Kaminski have created for their futuristic sci-fi stories. I did notice a moody yet slightly cleaner image for the live-action footage than in recent years. For these shots throughout the movie I imagine Kaminski is using a filter that is similar to a net or stocking with strong diffusion but none of the artifacts that is inherent with netting a lens. The result is a cleaner, beautifully soft image with great contrast and strong stylistic blooming.


Here is a still from the movie where the alleged filter is causing a light to flare. To me this doesn't look like a typical lens flare. Any thoughts?


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That's just the flare from the Panavision anamorphic lenses used. The movie itself seemed to use filters only occasionally, they seemed like ProMist to me, maybe a few other scenes used nets or Classic Softs.

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