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3 Perf & Super 35mm For Scope

Published : 30th August 2003


I am working on a feature that is to be shot in Super 35mm for later release on Scope and considering the possibility of shooting 3perf.

But I have a few problems:

The Optical Step : the only lab we have in Buenos Aires has only one (bad) previous experience with Super 35mm. The problem seems to be the lens they use to do the "Scoping" (am I inventing a word here?) in the IN lacks resolution. They don’t seem too enthusiastic about investing in a new lens so I guess my only choice is doing the optical step abroad but I have no experience in foreign Labs and the producer keeps asking me "Where?". Can anyone recommend any good labs with Super 35mm (and maybe 3 perf) experience? First choice is Europe (Spain or Italy even better) because we have European co-producers but USA can be an option.

Should I go digital? I have read great things about "Digital Scope". Does anybody have any "first-hand" experience?

The 3 perf Problem : The producer is insisting we shoot 3 perf (can get an Aaton from Brazil) to absorb the extra cost of the optical (or digital) step. The problem is that the lab claims they cannot Transfer 3 perf. They have an Ursa Diamond and a Spirit, I know for the Ursa you need an upgrade to allow 3 perf but I’ve read that the Spirit is ready to do it "Out of the Box", is this so? Can any of you Post-production guys help me on this one? I think they might be trying to discourage me because it hits their pockets but I don’t want to get nasty until I have the proper Info.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Julian Apezteguia
Buenos Aires, Argentina



Julian Apezteguia - DP Buenos Aires wrote:

>The 3 perf Problem : The producer is insisting we shoot 3 perf

You should call Hugo Kovensky at Hagade, in Brazil. He's the Aaton dealer there, and will know who can handle 3 perf locally.

Very nice guy.

Jeff "met him at NAB" Kreines



You might get good info from Mike Lente csc, the inventor of 3perf.
You can reach him through the CSC ( www.csc.ca )

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.



In terms of blowing up 3-perf to 4-perf anamorphic optically, I'm sure that Technicolor Rome must have experience with that because of Storaro's Univisium format.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



Julian Apezteguia - DP Buenos Aires wrote :

>I know for the Ursa you need an upgrade to allow 3 perf but I’ve read that the Spirit is >ready to do it "Out of the Box", is this so?

True, all Spirit are 3Perf too but the facility must get a 3Perf keycode reader/database handler (for the Keylink it's a software plugin sent by e-mail).

Aaton recently released a neg cutting software which is able to deal with 3Perf keycodes running on the wrong side of the images (quite useful for rewound short ends). Since it generates frame accurate neg pull and cut lists out of a simple video EDL, it is now possible to edit a 3Perf originated film on a simple Avid v7 filmcomposer. But you are right, the remaining bottleneck against 3Perf general acceptance is the transfer from the Super35-3Perf IP to the Scope-4Perf IN.

Either you follow the straightforward Digital Intermediate route used for commercials, and (waiting for 4K scanners and shooters) you accept to loose some subtle filmic 'feeling' on your release prints, or you insist on getting an optical transfer and then you have to find a lab with 3Perf goodwill.

It's not a big deal to adapt an optical printer, they all have Super35 to Scope lenses already, the only thing to do is to reduce the claw-movement pitch on the projector side...

Last time in Brazil I have been told that MegaColor/Sao Paulo was considering the installation of a 3Perf movement in its Seiki printer. Not that far from B.A.! certainly closer than Technicolor/Roma, Dejonghe/Kortridge - Brussel, Gulliver/Paris, the optically able 3Perf European labs.

Hasta luego,

JP / Aaton-France



JP wrote:

>Aaton recently released a neg cutting software which is able to deal with 3Perf >keycodes running on the wrong side of the images

Excellent!

Does it also deal with backwards 16mm edge numbers, from rewound double perf short ends?

Might as well cater to ALL the neg cutter's nightmares...

Jeff "cuts neg sometimes, too" Kreines.



3-perf. Scope

I was close following the Swedish DoP Rune Erickson, FSF, (Mr. Super-16) on the first 3-perf. in modern time, “Pirates of the Lake” 1987.

Panavision made two 3-perf movement for Rune. There was no problems during the shooting. The first film was made 1:1,66. Film Teknik in Sweden handle the postproduction with no problems. A film later “In the Shadow of the Raven” 1988, was made 3-perf. Scope 1:2,35 and also here Film Teknik was handle the 3-perf to 4-perf anamorphic optical printing. Now the problem started. The old anamorphic lens they had was not good. From Panavision they both a new anamorphic printer lens. More problems was the condenser lenses in the printer. New one have to be made and the result was good in the end.

Today when most films are cut in computers with a cutting list and EDL as an end result, the lab must be able to log the 3-perf negative before neg cutting. The logging program Excalibur can today handle 3-perf.

Here in Scandinavia many scope films use digital intermediate (Digitalscope) from 3-perf. neg to 4-perf. anamorphic. The 3-perf neg is scanned in a Spirit to 2k to disc and a new anamorphic negative is printed out with a Arrri Laser Recorder after the On Line and grading have been don.

Digital postproduction to Scope cost more than the optical way, but you have more control and possibilities in the grading process and with special effects.

Here you will find more info: http://www.digitalfilmlab.com/

And got to “Digital Intermediate” and “Digital Scope”

Hans Hansson, FSF,
Sweden



Julian,

We would be glad to blow up a test roll of Super 35 (3 or 4 perf) to 4 perf CScope for you to see the quality.

We are fully equipped to do optical AND digital 3 to 4 perf conversions, meaning we can make a complete S35/3perf interpositive with digital titles, effects, etc, and this is then blown up optically to 4 perf anamorphic. From this graded dupe neg you can make the prints locally on contact printers.

We recently did S35 to CScope blow-ups for DOPs like Michel Van Laer, BSC; Walter Vanden Ende, BSC; Renaat Lambeets, BSC; Richard van Oosterhout, NSC. Also a major international production 'Molokai' directed by Paul Cox (AUS), shot in Hawaii.

We can digitally scan S35/3Perf at 3K and record back to film at 4K, so you get all possible digital options, as well as high quality optical blow-up 3 to 4 perf with or without squeezing. Mix and match as required.

Best,

Dirk DeJonghe
Kortrijk, Belgium
www.color-by-dejonghe.com



Robert Rouveroy wrote

> You might get good info from Mike Lente csc, the inventor of 3perf.

I don't think you can say Miklos is the 3Perf 'inventor' simply because he applied for a patent on a Goskino proposition which already was in the public domain.

The Sept-1973 SMPTE journal, dated about a year earlier than the patent allowed to Miklos Lente, was showing that prior art existed in Russia. The Goskino people are the 3Perf inventors.

For film History I would be pleased to know who they are. Can a CML’er help? To my very faint recollection, in the late sixties, I read an article in a German magazine about 3Perf, the title was something like 'Das ideal build format'.

JP / Aaton



JP/Aaton wrote:

>I don't think you can say Miklos is the 3Perf 'inventor' simply because he applied for a >patent on a Goskino proposition

Proposals exists for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and more sprocket holes per frame since the inception (or invention?) of the moving picture. Patents are for those who think through and present a complete feasible system. The Trilent system developed by Miklos Lente csc was rightfully granted a patent.

Let me think.

If your premise is true, I can lay claim to the invention of: Steadicam (1970, Cinema Canada), Optical shake correction (1984 CSC Newsletter), Sync Sound advancer (1961 Magnasync), DV camera's (1972, Toronto News: "Housewife’s will soon be able to make feature films"), Videotap on 35mm cameras (1985 CSC Newsletter), shooting computer monitors and TV's on film without shutter bars (this one worked fine, did many jobs, for instance "Videodrome" by David Cronenberg, oh, oodles more.

Yet I am more or less broke. Grrrrr. I'm going to SUE THE WORLD!!!!

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.



For some perspective, here was an article I dug up in a 1930 issue of "American Cinematographer" advocating 2-perf 35mm, decades before Techniscope.

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/whywidefilm-oct1930.htm

I don't recall if 3-perf was mentioned in any articles of that period (everything else was proposed, even 8-perf horizontal) but I believe 3-perf was first mentioned in a projectionist magazine of the 1950's, then by the Russians in a SMPTE article in the early 1970's.

See:

http://www.arri.com/news/newsletter/articles/0357824976/3-perf.htm

In "American Cinematographer", there was a mention of 3-perf in March 1975, then an Anton Wilson Cinematography Workshop article in December 1975, then there was the Trilent-35 system article in June 1976.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



David Mullen said :

>I don't recall if 3-perf was mentioned in any articles of that period (everything else >was proposed, even 8-perf horizontal)

Which reminds me. The technician that works on my Ultracam engineered and built a "12 PERF-horizontal" camera! I think it might have also been for Jeff Willamson, the guy behind Wilcam - and who's first project was the Ultracam.

Roderick
Az. D.P. (Ultraman)
www.restevens.com



I think the best info, including links, all kinds of interesting snippets and for sure a keeper for film and cinematography students is here:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~wichm/filmsize.html

from 3mm to 75mm

>The technician that works on my Ultracam engineered and built a "12 PERF->horizontal" camera

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.



>The technician that works on my Ultracam engineered and built a "12 PERF->horizontal" camera!

There was an article on the 12-perf 35mm camera in the March 1995 issue of
"Millimeter".

Fred Waller, inventor of Cinerama, was also developing a single 35mm Cinerama camera that involved a 12-perf movement (or even longer actually, since 12-perf is only 2.35 : 1 and Cinerama was 2.66 : 1) with a unique curved gate design combined with a very wide-angle lens which was supposed to recreate the 146 degree field of view of 3-lensed Cinerama, where the image would look undistorted projected on a deeply curved surface. (His belief was that the curve of the screen matched the curve of the back of the human eyeball, and the 146 degree field of view matched human vision including peripheral vision. The 3-lensed Cinerama camera arranged each lens and movement in an arc formation.)

Regrettably, he died before he finished the single-lens 35mm Cinerama camera (apparently the curved gate idea was a problem when combined with a shutter).

I keep hoping that Super-35 will be replaced someday by modern, quiet VistaVision (8-perf) cameras but these days, it looks like ordinary 4-perf 35mm is the highest resolution level anyone wants to achieve -- and we're fighting even to hold onto that! VistaVision has a native aspect ratio of about 1.50 : 1 at Full Aperture, making it ideal as a multi-format system where any number of aspect ratios can be composed within that frame.

The real problem is that with the loss of 70mm release printing, there is even less incentive for anyone to shoot features on larger negatives if there is no projection format to show off that level of quality (other than a blow-up to IMAX.) I can't really convince any daring filmmakers to make a feature in 5-perf 65mm, for example, if hardly anyone would project it in 70mm.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



Robert Rouveroy wrote:

>Patents are for those who think through and present a complete feasible system.

Many patents, at least in the US, are given with little examination of the claims, to devices or ideas that do not merit protection. Other countries are a bit more picky, fortunately.

Jeff Kreines



Jeff Kreines wrote:

>Many patents, at least in the US, are given with little examination of the claims, to >devices or ideas that do not merit protection.


You're absolutely right. The patent in question was issued in Canada, the US and several European countries. As to merit, did this thread not start with someone who is planning to shoot 3 perf?

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.



>Many patents, at least in the US, are given with little examination of the claims, to >devices or ideas that do not merit protection.

And what does it matter. Getting a patent isn't as important as spending all the money protecting it.

Walter Graff
NYC



Jeff Kreines wrote:

>Many patents, at least in the US, are given with little examination of the claims, to >devices or ideas that do not merit protection.

Unfortunately I have to disagree. It took me over a year since I got the first negative reply from USPTO and two replies to convince them my application had merits to be allowed and a patent to be issued. In Europe was a lot easier, once the US was issued, and Canada was a simple formality.

They (US) looked at all previous art and had a NO upfront. Possible reason? The more time one applicant devotes to the patenting process, the more money he needs to spend on legal advice and keeps everyone busy (including the patent office)...(But I might be an isolated case.)

Cheers,
Dan Diaconu
Easy Focused Lens

Patents:

http://www.delphion.com/details?pn=US06160607__

http://patents1.ic.gc.ca/details?patent_number=2302463&language=EN_CA



David Mullen wrote :


>The real problem is that with the loss of 70mm release printing, there is even less >incentive for anyone to shoot features on larger negatives

Good news about a possible upcoming film – Terrance Mallick and Emanuel Lubezki visited Panavision two days ago while I was working on a shoot there. They were there to test out some of the 65mm cameras for a film about Chè Guevara (though it doesn’t have a green light yet) – Speaking lightly, the possibility of those two film makers working together in 65mm on a film about such an icon leaves me speechless with a silly childish grin on my face.

Joe Zovko
AC
LA, CA