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» 8mm Forum   » General Yak   » Why no 70mm?

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Author Topic: Why no 70mm?
Akshay Nanjangud
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 637
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2011


 - posted January 29, 2012 01:02 AM      Profile for Akshay Nanjangud   Email Akshay Nanjangud   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi guys,

Since I started collecting film, I have heard of every film format on this forum except 70mm. What's the deal with 70mm film? When I was a kid, any theater that had 70mm projection would advertise it. Why is there no talk of 70mm in this forum?

I ask because Star Wars is expensive on any kind of film. Wouldn't it be nicer to have the same title on 70mm? I mean there's the larger film size, leading to a better image, and maybe even better sound even. Am I right?

Please pass on some knowledge.

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Gerald Moore
Junior
Posts: 14
From: FFM
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted January 29, 2012 02:42 AM      Profile for Gerald Moore   Email Gerald Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here you go, arguably two of the best sites on the web:
in70mm
Widescreen Museum

Cheers.

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Alexander Vandeputte
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 243
From: Belgium
Registered: Nov 2009


 - posted January 29, 2012 04:25 AM      Profile for Alexander Vandeputte   Email Alexander Vandeputte   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Off course there are 70mm collectors, but they are a far and few. They are as scarce as the prints  Everything in 70mm is hard to come by: prints, projectors, splicer’s, reels as 70mm was never a common format.
It was reserved for special presentations or top market premiere theatres. A 70mm print could cost up to 10 times the price of a 35mm print. There was a lot of work involved creating those prints: every reel had to be striped, recorded and quality checked after development. Besides, most of the 70mm releases were actually blow ups from 35mm, as only a handful of film were shot in 70mm (actually 65mm). 70mm prints provided a better image quality due to the lesser magnification of the image and had 6-track magnetic sound.
A properly presented 70mm print was a sight to behold. But I think that in a home theatre situation there would be no significant difference between 35 and 70mm. Mind you that all pre 1982 prints are faded by now and since the 70mm era ended in the early nineties, there is only a decade’s worth of unfaded prints around. But sadly also those prints can suffer defects, most of them related to the magnetic tracks getting worn and hissy.

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David Park
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: UK
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted January 29, 2012 11:46 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
See
http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/BradfordInternationalFilmFestival/WidescreenWeekend.aspx
I think many of the 70mm prints I have seen in recent years have had DTS sound which I think is on a Disc.

--------------------
Regards,
David

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Darren Payne
Film Handler

Posts: 46
From: Bournemouth
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted January 29, 2012 12:29 PM      Profile for Darren Payne   Email Darren Payne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, the latter prints were 70mm blow ups (Super 35 origin)with DTS audio (no magnetic stripe) I know of 2 for sure, Armageddon and Titanic which showed at Odeon Leicester Square. Though Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet (True 65mm)was the last (rumoured) magnetic striped 70mm print which I had the privalige of showing a few years back.

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Akshay Nanjangud
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 637
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2011


 - posted January 29, 2012 01:12 PM      Profile for Akshay Nanjangud   Email Akshay Nanjangud   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks everyone.

I looked through those links and read some more. It seems like a two hour feature would need 14000' of 70mm film. Is this correct? On Super 8 even the longest features barely reach 3000 ft. Is the frame size that much bigger on 70mm?

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5423
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 29, 2012 02:29 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think people who collect 70mm are insane!

I cannot imagine how can they store ONE feature only. Well we still have another life.

It is similar we have car collecting hobby and someome else is collecting mega trucks (mighty machines) [Big Grin]

--------------------
Winbert

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Claus Harding
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1129
From: Washington DC
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted January 29, 2012 03:52 PM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Akshay,

Do yourself a favor and Google "70mm film", and you will get a ton of info on it.

70mm projection, especially when combined with 65mm shooting, was and is still the king of visual presentation, be it conventional 70mm in a theatre or especially IMAX 70mm in a specialty presentation.

You cannot even compare frame sizes of 8mm and 35mm, let alone 70mm. There is a world of difference in size and reel requirements.

When I was being trained, we ran "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in 70mm in its first roll-out. The assembled platter print was enormous and must have weighed on the far side of 200 pounds. Once it got rolling, you definitely kept your fingers away... [Smile]

Even with good 35mm source material, a 70mm print could result in improvements. Many features, such as "Alien" were rolled out in 70 as part of the opening, and looked fantastic.

If you have Blu-Ray and a large display and want to treat yourself to honest-to-god 65mm origination, "Ben-Hur" or "Grand Prix" will give you a taste of what some of us were lucky enough to see on a massive screen hit with 6000W of Xenon light back then. Thankfully, a handful of theatres around the world still keep up this standard.

To address your original question about "Star Wars": if you ever find a decent print in 70mm of that film, I would highly recommend you don't tell anyone....George likes to keep things under control... [Big Grin]

Claus.

--------------------
"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5423
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 29, 2012 04:22 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:

I looked through those links and read some more. It seems like a two hour feature would need 14000' of 70mm film. Is this correct? On Super 8 even the longest features barely reach 3000 ft.  

Since 70mm is almost 9 times of 8mm, I believe it has to be multiple by 9 too. So for a 400' digest in 8mm would be around 3000 - 3600' in 70mm!! If the film has the same aspect ratio and fps. And a full feauture which is 3000' in 8mm would be....... !!! [Roll Eyes]

--------------------
Winbert

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 3944
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted January 29, 2012 04:52 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is an old photo I took a while ago of some film formats.
 -

Graham.

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Akshay Nanjangud
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 637
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2011


 - posted January 29, 2012 06:26 PM      Profile for Akshay Nanjangud   Email Akshay Nanjangud   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks very much, guys. There is a lot of knowledge in this forum.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 504
From: Dallas, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 30, 2012 01:18 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I think people who collect 70mm are insane!
I am one of those insane people...but it's totally worth the effort.

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted January 30, 2012 05:47 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Akshay, the Super 8 documentary film I produced in the late 80’s titled ‘A Cinema of our time’ shows 70mm being projected and we projected the 8mm film over the weekend which got me thinking just how little we hear about 70mm these days and possibly even less with the digital onslaught. I was glad looking back that we managed to film in the projection room showing the 70mm projector running along with cake stands feeding the machine, particularly as the 12 screen cinema has now closed down. Keep your eyes open for a used super 8 copy if you like watching 70mm as it did get issued on 8mm for collectors.

I wonder just how many 70mm projectors are still in use within the UK?

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David Park
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: UK
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted January 30, 2012 06:50 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
http://www.redballoon.net/current70mmforeign.html
Scroll to UK at the end.

--------------------
Regards,
David

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted February 02, 2012 04:31 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Contacted one of the cinemas listed as showing 70mm and received email back saying "Due to 70mm now being very hard to get hold of and costing lots to transport, we very rarely have any 70mm screenings anymore". Looks like 70 will be going the way of the Dodo bird sad to say.

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