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Anamorphics – 2 Perf

Publish : 29th September 2003


So could someone elaborate a little more on the evolution of anamorphic and 2 perf?

When the 2 C's were converted to 2 perf, I'm pretty sure there was a 2:35 gate and ground glass to go with it-but back then, we're talking bayonet mount, and there was no re-entering as modern day Super 35 mounts do. So was the image going into the soundtrack area the way S-35 does nowadays?

Anamorphic shooting (JDC, Todd-AO) Mitchell’s didn't go into the soundtrack area, (Though full gate/Academy aperture was available) The area had to be protected, since projects were mainly for theatrical release(?)And it is still the case-so the usual set-up is anamorphic lens, academy gate and 2:40 ground glass(?)

Can you now shoot anamorphic w/ the mount set to S-35, going into the soundtrack area if you want to (if you're going to video, the way for instance Super 35 3 perf TV shows/music video projects do? What would the aspect ratio be...

Best regards,

John Babl
Miami



>there was no re-entering as modern day Super 35 mounts do. So was >the image going into the soundtrack area the way S-35 does >nowadays?

2-perf Techniscope did not use the soundtrack area because it didn't need to - cutting down the height of 4-perf 35mm Full Aperture, which is 1.33 : 1, gives you a 2-perf 35mm Full Aperture that is 2.66 : 1. So the lenses remained optically cantered for the Academy (sound) aperture. I don't know about Multivision 235 cameras though, if they are optically cantered for Full Aperture (Super-35) or Academy/1.85/anamorphic.

It's the same issue with shooting with anamorphic lenses. Since they have a 2X squeeze, if you used Full Aperture, you'd get a 2.66 image un-squeezed (which is how some early CinemaScope projects were intended to be shot, Full Aperture, with sound run on 35mm mag full coat in interlock.) Then CinemaScope switched to using mag striping, reducing the width of the projected area to 2.55 : 1. Then they went to optical tracks and reduced the width of the projected image to 2.35 : 1. So there isn't much point in cantering the anamorphic lens for Full Aperture (Super-35) since this eliminates the ease of making simple contact prints for projecting with an optical soundtrack on the print. But you could rent a Super-35 camera and use an anamorphic lens on it, assuming that there was no vignetting.

From the American Widescreen Museum website :

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingcs1.htm

"While production on The Robe progressed, the studio had not yet finalized all aspects of their new process, dubbed CinemaScope. The word "Cinemascope" was already a registered trademark for a video product. An expenditure of $50,000 bought the name for 20th Century-Fox. Initial plans, and photography on The Robe, consisted of returning to the original full frame 1.33:1 silent camera aperture, which would provide a projected image with an extremely wide 2.66:1 screen ratio. Sound, like Cinerama, would be carried on a separate 35mm magnetic film synchronized with the picture projector.

The stereophonic sound consisted of three channels behind the new wide screen and a forth channel fed speakers on the side walls and rear of the auditorium. By the time The Robe was ready to premiere, the system had been altered to include the sound on the picture film in the form of four magnetic stripes, two located on either side of the picture and two outside the new reduced width sprocket holes, (which were dubbed "Fox Holes")."

I believe that an early CinemaScope production, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", was shot with the anamorphic lens cantered for Full Aperture because new prints all look off-cantered when projected, including the credits.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



The Multivision235 system does not use the soundtrack area. It centres in Academy. If you go to their website there are some illustrative diagrams.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



David Mullen wrote :

>I believe that an early CinemaScope production, "20,000 Leagues >Under the Sea", was shot with the anamorphic lens cantered for Full >Aperture

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an interesting one.

If you see it again look carefully at the underwater model shots of the Nautilus submarine - all the bubbles are elliptical. The scope lenses wouldn't focus near enough for scale model photography so all sub shots were shot spherically with a 2:1 squeeze built into the miniatures. Different subs were made for photographing from different angles - probably why it never covers in vision.

Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London.



Tom Townend wrote :

>all the bubbles are elliptical.

They were too cheap to get the special elliptical bubbles? Or couldn't they keep them oriented properly?

Jeff Kreines



>When the 2 C's were converted to 2 perf, I'm pretty sure there was a 2:35 >gate and ground glass to go with it-but back then, we're talking bayonet >mount, and there was no recentering

You are a bit confused. The beauty of 2 perf was that you used normal lenses. The area covered was about 2:35:1. The soundtrack was untouched. Technicolor first made 3 B/W copies for each of the primary colors. Then all 3 2 perf negs were blown up to 4 perf and also squeezed. Projection was with normal projectors equipped with either anamorphic lenses, (very costly), anamorphic front pieces (cheaper but finicky and hard to use, remember that a show consisted of Newsreel (normal) and usually a cartoon before the feature.) Relatively cheap was the Oude Delft (look up in Google) convex and concave mirror contraption you could simply swing in and out.

Shooting 2 perf was a joy. The normal lenses were hair sharp open, something simply not done with ana's. Nothing was changed, only the movement and gate. The projected image looked better and sharper than those made with 4 perf ana's.

I'm very pleased to see the renaissance of 2 perf.

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

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



>Technicolor first made 3 B/W copies for each of the primary colors. Then >all 3 2 perf negs were blown up to 4 perf and also squeezed.

Not to quibble, but the B&W matrices used for dye transfer printing were positives, so either they were made from the original color negative (called "direct to matrix") or from a dupe negative (either color or B&W separations) made from a duplicate positive. So to save on generations, since the 2-perf format was such a smaller negative area, Technicolor went from the 2-perf 35mm Eastmancolor negative directly in an optical printer to the three 4-perf 35mm anamorphic (squeezed) B&W positive matrices.

The other option would have been to make an anamorphic dupe negative first,
which would have required more generations (0-neg --> positive --> anamorphic dupe neg -> positive B&W matrices).

What you describe above - going from a color negative to three B&W negatives - isn't possible in one step unless the B&W stock is reversal.

>The projected image looked better and sharper than those made with 4 >perf ana's.

Sharper maybe, but also grainier since the negative was half the size of the 4-perf anamorphic format. This is why dye transfer printing was so crucial to Techniscope's success in the 1960's, since the whole process was less grainy than making release prints through an IP/IN stage, plus the higher contrast of dye transfer prints tended to hide the grain of the o-neg better. Techniscope died out with dye transfer printing in the late 1970's, since copying the image through the Eastmancolor dupe stocks of the day did not produce decent-enough results.

Anyway, shooting with decent anamorphic lenses still tends to produce a better image for large screen projection than blowing up from a smaller negative area. Even digital intermediates benefit from starting out with a larger negative area.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



>Techniscope died out with dye transfer printing in the late 1970's, since >copying the image through the Eastmancolor dupe stocks of the day did >not produce decent-enough results.

You're absolutely right of course. I shot 2 perf a long time ago and frankly, I didn't know shit what happened to the film until I saw it in the nearest cinema. After shooting, the stock was shipped out to whatever lab, usually in Hong Kong and at first release prints were B/W. Later on it was shipped to Technicolor. There were no significant labs for anything in Indonesia at the time, therefore I had literally no idea what was done. Frankly, I wasn't interested.

Anyway, I believe Technicolor did not offer much info on their process, it was (maybe) a trade secret AT THE TIME. Just now I'm getting curious about many "firsts" that I did without knowing they were "firsts" and I'm bothering Google all the time.

So I'm very pleased to hear this background. Still, AT THE TIME I was shooting 2 perf, the results were looking considerably better than anamorphic shot 4 perf film. I'm sure the lenses improved tremendously over the years but for a SHORT while, nothing could touch 2 perf.

And I'm happy it is resurrected.

Robert Rouveroy csc
The Hague, Holland

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



One final thing on the 2 perf thread, my friend Anders in Sweden who’s cameras I was using suggests…

'I think one of the first users of it was a guy in the States who ran a nudie cutie operation; he had a back street cinema and made his own films. To save on film stock (the short nudie cutie films were silent anyway) he shot one film one way with the bottom half of the standard frame covered in the gate; then carefully put the same reel in again and shot the other half of the film (in "reverse", so to say). So he had two little films on one reel, one going one way and one the other. He put the same kind of masking in his projector and voila!'

Regards

Chris Maris
UKDP
www.chrismaris.com



Chris Maris wrote :

>I think one of the first users of it was a guy in the States who ran a nudie >cutie operation; he had a back street cinema and made his own films.

Actually, this process was used briefly in the US for sound features. Saved no stock in shooting, as you shot masked 4 perf, but release prints were half as long (and had sound on both sides!).

No rewinding - great in the days of real projectionists and changeover, not good for platters!

Jeff "not wanting to poo-poo your platter" Kreines