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Old 12-02-2012, 09:33 PM   #470
ZoetMB ZoetMB is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
May 2009
New York

Originally Posted by starfantasy View Post
why don't they make more movies in 70mm ??
It's too expensive and most people can't tell the difference anyway. When Panavision came out with a process for blowing up 35mm to 70mm around 1970, that spelled the end of 65mm origination for the most part. (The extra 5mm were originally for the 6-track magnetic soundtrack, so the format is 70mm in projection, but 65mm in origination.)

Not including the few experiments in the 1930s, but including a few foreign films that got release in the U.S., there were only 75 films that were actually shot in 65mm since Oklahoma in 1955. There were about another 350 that were shot in 35mm and blown-up to 70mm in select releases.

The primary reason for 70mm release (and mostly from 35mm blowups) was to get the six magnetic soundtracks, although there is also an advantage to the larger 70mm format because you can get more light behind the frame in projection. But remember, when this format was invented it was designed for roadshow theaters, that tended to be very large - as many as 5000 seats and usually not smaller than 1500 seats. Theatres and screens sizes are much smaller since the advent of the multiplex in the 1970s.

When digital sound came along beginning with Dick Tracy in 1990, that triggered the beginning of the end of the 70mm blow up era. It was far cheaper to make a digital print (which had an optical soundtrack or time code) than to stripe a mag track.

Ron Howard tried to revive the format in 1992 with "Far and Away", but the reality was that it simply didn't look that much better than 35mm origination and that film, which did not do well at the boxoffice, probably hurt the 70mm cause more than it helped.

Since then, there was Baraka in 1993, Hamlet in 1996, Samsara in 2012 (although never actually released in 70mm) and the recent "The Master", which looked like complete crap when I saw it in 70mm at the Ziegfeld in NYC. The print had positive dirt from end-to-end.

The reality is that for better or worse, the age of film is ending. Most of the major studios will not make any film prints at all after 2013. 70mm (actually 65mm) origination has been pretty much a dead format (aside from IMAX) for the last 40 years. Only 10 non-IMAX films have originated in that format since then (and two of those were foreign films). And even if filmmakers wanted to continue to shoot film, they might not be able to. It's doubtful that Kodak will still produce motion picture film when and if they emerge from bankruptcy and Agfa isn't in much better shape. And IMAX is moving away from film as well. All of the new "Liemax" theatres are digital only. When was the last true IMAX theatre built in the U.S.? I don't know the answer to that, but I bet it's not recently.

Last edited by ZoetMB; 12-02-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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