I recently saw for the first time, "How the West was Won" in
Cinerama. What tremendous fun! I was caught off guard by some surprisingly
spectacular NIGHT EXTERIORS -- beautifully lighted and photographed, and
the restored print helped. Plus, the best darned buffalo stampede I've
ever seen. Okay, maybe the only buffalo stampede I've ever seen, but it
was pretty impressive.
I'm wondering how the Cinerama camera was operated and how frames were
composed? Three lenses,3 gates, one common shutter.Did this camera use
a rack-over viewfinder/ rangefinder combination? Was there a TTL method
for viewing the entire image? Or just a rangefinder? Who knows?
Chris (can't wait for HDerama) Mosio
>I'm wondering how the Cinerama
camera was operated and how frames >were composed?
WIDE! However the early cameras had amazing depth of field and could focus
right up close.
Super Panavision (more or less a copy of Todd-AO but at 24 fps, not 30
fps as Todd-AO originally was) is a 5-perf 65mm spherical negative with
an aspect ratio of 2.20 : 1.
Ultra Panavision is also 5-perf 65mm but with a 1.25X anamorphic lens
to achieve an aspect ratio of around 2.75 : 1 un-squeezed. It was developed
by Panavision for MGM, who originally called it MGM Camera-65. The idea
was to create a single-film format with a similar aspect ratio to 3-camera
Cinerama (approx. 2.66 : 1) so that 3-panel prints could be made for Cinerama
release, or anamorphic 70mm prints, plus reductions to 35mm Cinemascope.
"How the West Was Won", shot in 3-camera Cinerama, has a few
Ultra Panavision process shots cut in, which don't match in quality due
to the larger negative area of 3-camera Cinerama plus the fact that the
Ultra Panavision shots were process shots that also were duped to create
the separate 6-perf 35mm Cinerama panels.
"Ben Hur" was the second film shot in MGM Camera-65 / Ultra
Panavision and is probably the most famous one in that format. "The
Greatest Story Ever Told" apparently shot for three days in 3-camera
Cinerama before switching to Ultra Panavision, never using any of the
3-camera Cinerama footage.