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Jon O'Brien

Feature movie with 2C as main camera

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Hi, does anyone know of a feature movie that made it to the big screen and was reasonably successful that was mainly shot on an Arri 2C? Could be 4 perf or Techniscope. I've looked into it but it seems that many films that list the 2C as camera on the production also list another camera, something bigger and pin registered like a Mitchell, which presumably was the main camera used. Anything major that was mainly shot on a 2C ... or a 35-III? Of course would have to have been put in a barney, and/or dubbed.

 

Also, on the big screen, is there likely much noticeable difference between the look of the pin registered III and a non-pin registered Arri 2? Is the 2C really more of a B or C camera, for brief shots, rather than potentially as main camera? (forgetting for the moment about sound recording, and just going by image).

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Looking at what few behind the scenes photographs there are, it seems Sergio Leone was using the 2C a lot. Just how much is difficult to say, but at least the famous harmonica scene in 'Once upon a time in the west' was shot on what looks like three Arri 2 cameras. I think it might have been that scene, anyway.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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So, so many movies have been shot with Arriflex 35s (mostly 2Cs), blimped and unblimped. Even into the 2000s Arriflex 2Cs were often used as crash cams and action cameras. Beginning in the 50s, they were used much more in British, European and Asian feature films, but they eventually found their way into American cinema, particularly after the success of "Easy Rider". A huge proportion of European films from the 60s and 70s would have been shot on Arriflex 35s.

 

Here's a brief list that I can name from various sources:

 

Most films by Satyajit Ray and a good proportion of Indian cinema from the 60s to the 80s.

Most films from the Czech New Wave, and Hungarian cinema of the 60s and 70s.

Most of Leone's Westerns, using 2 perf Techniscope 2Cs.

Certain French New Wave movies (many used Cameflexes) such as Godard's " Bande a Part", Truffaut's "Two English Girls", Schroeder's "The Valley Obscured by Clouds", many of Eric Rohmer's films like "My Night at Maud's" or "Chloe in the Afternoon".

Bunuel's "Viridiana", Pasolini's "Accattone!".

Cassavetes movies like "Husbands" and "A Woman Under the Influence".

Richard Lester's "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!".

Ken Loache's "Kes".

Nicholas Roeg's "Don't Look Now".

Large parts of "Easy Rider", "Bullit", "Deliverance", "French Connection" and Kubrick movies like "A Clockwork Orange".

Parts of "Das Boot", "Star Wars", "Mad Max".

Almost every car chase from the 70s to the 90s.. :)

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There are quite a few feature films shot with Arri 35 IICs, especially in the i960s. "Clockwork Orange" was .shot with one.

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blimped 2C's were pretty common in non-panavision films before Arri BL came around.

I believe they were cheaper and easier to use for that than Mitchell cameras and there were not many alternatives back then.

lots of Finnish feature films used them as well as far as I can tell from the making of photos

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blimped 2C's were pretty common in non-panavision films before Arri BL came around.

I believe they were cheaper and easier to use for that than Mitchell cameras and there were not many alternatives back then.

 

A bit later, but from the 1980 Samuelsons rental catalogue: Panaflex (no lenses) £500/ week; 35BL £435/week; BNC with Baltar set, £180; Arri 35lll, £255, 2C with Cooke set £116.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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Here's 'The Man from Snowy River' being filmed in 1981. Not main camera (which was Panavision), but some nice shots of the hardfront modified 2C being used here and there, with Panavision zoom. Kirk Douglas sitting on a horse at one point, waiting for "Action!". Enjoy.

 

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The Arriflex 35II-Series was very often used as a main camera in the 60ies and 70ies in Europe. One can read very often that it is a 35C, but it was also very often a 35IIB. Also because the 35IIB is existing very often in a Techniscope version (2perf). You can see it on the fixed viewfinder. For example "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" from Sergio Leone was shot with an 35IIB, but also George Lucas used it at his first films as a main camera like "THX 1138" and "American Graffiti". But also nearly every Asian film in the 70ies and 80ies, who was shoot with Techniscope was shot with and 35II. For example "Enter the Dragon". You can be sure every Spaghetti-Western and Italian Horrorfilm, which was shot with Techniscope from the 60ies to the 70ies was shot with an 35IIB or C like the films of Lucio Fulci. But also explotation directors like Jesus Franco used a 35IIA, B or C as a main camera.

The Arriflex 35 II-Series has no registion pin, but it is one of the camera with the most stable Image. That is why it is still used as a second unit camera for action scenes or time lapes. For this I use still my own 35IIA. It is more stable than every new camera from Arri.

 

I have to correct Dom Jeager in one point. For "Das Boot" they used not a Arriflex 35IIC. Jost Vacano tested it for some works in the submarine and he thought there is the need for some modification. So he invented together with Arri the 35IIIC, which is very rare. If you find one, who sell it, buy it or let me know who is selling it.

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Here's 'The Man from Snowy River' being filmed in 1981. Not main camera (which was Panavision), but some nice shots of the hardfront modified 2C being used here and there, with Panavision zoom. Kirk Douglas sitting on a horse at one point, waiting for "Action!".

 

The DoP Keith Wagstaff used to come in to Cameraquip where I worked and tell wonderful tales of his career -- I remember him reminiscing about "The Man from Snowy River" and his interactions with Kirk Douglas. Douglas was a huge star of course, but in the classic Australian tradition of refusing to bow before idols, Keith would deliberately forget his name, referring to him as "whatsis name" or "Dirk". Douglas was initially incensed, but apparently got the joke after Keith kept doing it.

 

I have a feeling the 2C belonged to Malcolm Richards, who operated on the film and later opened the rental house Cameraquip. Also part of the camera crew were David Eggby (DoP Mad Max, Riddick movies etc) and Ian Jones (DoP The Tracker, 10 Canoes etc). Malcolm also had a Techniscope 2C which was used for some shots on Mad Max.

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But also nearly every Asian film in the 70ies and 80ies, who was shoot with Techniscope was shot with and 35II. For example "Enter the Dragon".

 

 

Actually, no. 'Enter The Dragon'(Golden Harvest/Warner Bros.) was shot 4perf Panavision anamorphic. Mostly all of the Shaw Bros. films (36th Chamber of the Shaolin, Five Deadly Venoms, Five Element Ninjas, etc.) were all shot 4perf anamorphic.

 

https://ascmag.com/articles/ac-gallery-enter-the-dragon

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Sure. It's a 2C with a Panavision mount. In the print edition of the July 2013 American Cinematographer, there are photos of a 2C with a 50mm C Series anamorphic lens. There are also several scenes in the movie where the oval anamophic bokeh is visible. The movie was shot MOS, like most Hong Kong movies of the time. Read the article.

Edited by James Compton

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I picked up a 2C from Doggicam that was a Steve's Cine mod that I love. They're as loud as sewing machines but fairly compact for 35mm.

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The viewfinder might occasionally make some shots more difficult, but a movable extension was made. I've read that they can be tricky to focus, with the eye needing to be carefully centered in line with the viewfinder optics. But with such steady registration they are an amazing design.

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Sure. It's a 2C with a Panavision mount. In the print edition of the July 2013 American Cinematographer, there are photos of a 2C with a 50mm C Series anamorphic lens. There are also several scenes in the movie where the oval anamophic bokeh is visible. The movie was shot MOS, like most Hong Kong movies of the time. Read the article.

 

 

So your saying there was a Panavision camera also on the shoot also.. I read the article but didn't see any reference to that..MOS would assume not Panavision ?

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The camera on the Bruce Lee film looks to me like a 2C with Panavision lens and matte box on it. You can see Panavision written on the matte box. Looks very similar to the set up that was used for Star Wars (1977) in the Tunisian desert, so a Pan-Arri. A 2C with a PV mount on it and rented out by Panavision until they got rid of them all I think maybe in the early 90s or thereabouts.

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Thats what I was wondering.. having a Panavision lens wouldn't make it a film.. shot on 4 perf Panavision .. .. or have I missed something here..

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So your saying there was a Panavision camera also on the shoot also.. I read the article but didn't see any reference to that..MOS would assume not Panavision ?

 

.. having a Panavision lens wouldn't make it a film.. shot on 4 perf Panavision .. .. or have I missed something here..

 

I think what James was saying is that the film was not shot on a 2 perf Techniscope 2C as someone claimed earlier in the thread, but on a 4 perf 2C using anamorphic lenses. The article mentions that the film was shot anamorphically, and the fact that a C series Panavision anamorphic is mounted on the camera makes it clear that it's 4 perf, a 2 perf Techniscope camera would use spherical lenses.

 

MOS just means there was no sync soundtrack (because of the camera noise), nothing to do with whether the lenses (and camera mount) were Panavision.

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The camera on the Bruce Lee film looks to me like a 2C with Panavision lens and matte box on it. You can see Panavision written on the matte box. Looks very similar to the set up that was used for Star Wars (1977) in the Tunisian desert, so a Pan-Arri. A 2C with a PV mount on it and rented out by Panavision until they got rid of them all I think maybe in the early 90s or thereabouts.

 

Panavision didn't get rid of them all, in fact we still have a Pan-Arri 2C here in Melbourne.

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