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Diego Araujo
shooting 2.35
on Mar 17, 2008 at 4:42:26 pm

Is there a way to get a 2.35 in 35mm without shooting anamorphic?


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Todd Terry
Re: shooting 2.35
on Mar 17, 2008 at 10:56:33 pm

Well.... tricky question, as the answer is both yes and no....

To use a true full 35mm frame and get 2.35 (and utilize all of the frame area) you really must shoot anamorphic.

The alternate way to do this is to shoot "2-perf." A 2-perf camera is a regular 35mm camera using regular 35mm film and regular spherical (not anamorphic) lenses.... but it has a modified gate and modified pull-down movement so that instead of shooting a 35mm frame that is four sprocket hole perforations "tall", it shoots a frame that is still 35mm wide (actually Super 35mm wide) but is only two perfs tall instead of four.

2-perf yields a native image that is 2.39:1, frequently cropped to 2.35:1 during the optical printing or DI stage.

One of the big benefits of shooting 2-perf is that you save half of the filmstock... and a 400' roll now lasts twice as long because you are actually shooting 32 frames per foot rather than 35mm's usual 16 frames per foot. 2-perf cameras also tend to be slightly quieter than their full-frame brothers because the film doesn't have to travel as far as fast. Spherical lenses also tend to be faster than anamorphics, so there is that benefit as well.

(By the way, there are also 3-perf cameras, which are probably more common than 2-perf. They shoot full Super35mm width, three perfs tall... yielding a 1.85:1 image).

You won't find them on every streetcorner, but some dealers (and rental houses) do offer 2-perf cameras... usually Eclairs, Arri 2Cs, and Russian Kinors (and some Russian Konvas cameras).

Of course, you can also use your 35mm camera just as is and mask off a 2.35:1 shooting area (either in post or with a hard matte when shooting), but you are basically wasting half the film.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Diego Araujo
Re: shooting 2.35
on Mar 18, 2008 at 1:29:08 am

hi todd,

thanks for your detailed answer.

a couple of questions: i read that one of the cons of super 35 is that the DI or optical printing is much more expensive than with regular 35mm. is that true?

also, is it possible to convert your 3-perf 35mm to 2-perf?

finally, is there any literature you can recommend on super 35mm (outside the asc manual) vs anamorphic?

thanks again!

diego






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Todd Terry
Re: shooting 2.35
on Mar 18, 2008 at 3:24:17 am

Hi Diego...

I'm probably not going to be very helpful here....

[Diego Araujo] "i read that one of the cons of super 35 is that the DI or optical printing is much more expensive than with regular 35mm"

Hmmm, I really don't know that is the case. With optical printing, perhaps, since you are going from an S35mm frame to a regular frame. But with a DI (which are expensive, anyway) I can't imagine a cost difference, I would think neg scanning would be neg scanning, regardless of the format. I'm not the right person to ask, I've never done that exactly.... you should inquire of your lab, they should be able to easily address that.

[Diego Araujo] "is it possible to convert your 3-perf 35mm to 2-perf?"

Well, yes, technically... all 2-perf and 3-perf cameras are "converted" cameras... that is, they all started life as full-frame cameras and were converted to either 2-perf or 3-perf. But if you are asking is it possible to just "swap out" from full frame to 2-perf or 3-perf or back and forth, the answer is no. Perf conversion is a pretty complicated and complex operation, it's not like simply swapping out some parts... conversions are usually considered permanent and result in a "specialty" camera that remains that way for it's life.

[Diego Araujo] "any literature you can recommend on super 35mm (outside the asc manual) vs anamorphic?"

Not really... just do some Googling. Many 2-perf converted cameras are Soviet, either Kinor or Konvas, so there is probably some info on the konvas.org website.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Diego Araujo
Re: shooting 2.35
on Mar 18, 2008 at 4:31:18 am

thanks so much Todd!



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Thomas Bond II
Re: shooting 2.35
on Feb 8, 2009 at 9:37:31 pm

Hi Todd:

I am getting a GREAT Mitchell BNCR the old great workhorse. I want to convert it to Super 35mm 3 perf.

Where can I get this done, if possible in LA?

Thanks!



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Todd Terry
Re: shooting 2.35
on Feb 9, 2009 at 3:57:49 am

Hi Thomas...

Not sure, I will have to ask some DP buddies that work with 2-perf and 3-perf cameras. I only know about 2- and 3-perf through them, I don't have any direct experience with them myself... all my cameras are full-frame 4-perf.

I do know there are only a few places in the world that do 2-perf and 3-perf conversion, but I think one of them is in LA... I will have to find out who they are. The other two are in Sweden and Australia.

There are not many places that do the conversions because they are getting pretty rare... and conversion is a pretty precise process that requires replacing the entire camera movement, as well as the gate and some other things. Be forewarned that is it not cheap... I've heard some stories of guys spending a fair bit more on the conversions than the did for the cameras themselves.

Do you have BNCR mount lenses? They can be a little hard to come buy these days... although you can sometimes find some pretty nice older Cooke Speed Panchros in BNCR mount, if you like the softer warmer Panchro look (great for, say, a romatic comedy... for an action movie, not so much). Sometimes you'l even see a matched primes set for a reasonable price.

With that big Mitchell I should make you a deal on my McAlister crab dolly I've been trying to find a new home for... ha.

This bad boy can lift a tank, and is built like one, too. It's overkill for today's smaller cameras, but your Mitchell would be right at home on it.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Todd Terry
Re: shooting 2.35
on Feb 9, 2009 at 6:34:32 am

Hi Thomas...

I have a little more info for you...

For 2- and 3-perf conversion the "go to guy" is Bruce at the Aranda Film Group. Unfortunately they are pretty far away, in Melbourne. And no, not the one in Florida, either...the one down under. Shipping a Mitchell to Australia might be cost prohibitive.

They are:
http://www.2perf.arandafilm.com.au/

Anders Banke at Solid Entertainment sometimes does conversions... however they are primarily a film production company and only do tech work sort of now-and-then, when their schedules permit. Also, a bit far from LA, in Sweden.

They are:
http://www.solidentertainment.se

Now, you might have some luck closer to home with Slow Motion, Inc., which is in LA. Im not sure if they do perf conversions, but they do a lot of other kinds of camera mods and might be able to help. Or know someone who can.

They are:
http://www.slowmotioninc.com

That's about the extent of my resources for now. Hope this helps.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Rick Wise
Re: shooting 2.35
on Feb 9, 2009 at 5:28:23 pm

Sorry I missed your original post. Two-perf is the same as "Techniscope," a short-lived but delightful format. I shot a feature on it many years ago and loved the frame. Obviously one of the other advantages of 2 perf is one roll of 35mm film last twice as long as 4-perf. One of the director/cameramen in the San Francsico Bay Area has at least one 2-perf camera which he uses for stylized b-roll. And he has talked Spy Post (http://www.spypost.com/), into figuring out how to transfer this footage.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: shooting 2.35
on Feb 9, 2009 at 9:50:40 pm

Thomas...

I've had a little more info drift in from DPs I know... they all confirm that Bruce at Aranda is the guy to get. Would be like shipping an anvil to Australia, though.

One person though did suggest Cinema Engineering Company, which is in L.A. ( http://www.cinemaengineering.com ). I don't know if they do movement work or not, since that is both pretty rare and specialized... but they do specialize in Mitchells, so it might be a good place to start. If they can't do a Technoscope conversion then they probably know who can.




T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Fred Pachter
McAlister Crab Dolly
on Oct 13, 2009 at 9:05:12 pm

Todd,

We here at UNUSUAL FILMS also own a McAlister Dolly. Right now we're working on fitting it to support a jimmy-jib crane arm.

It's been quite some time since it was used, and the steering mechanism is rather stiff.

When we obtained the dolly back around 1970 it was used and came with no documentation. I was wondering if you might have anything in your files--manuals, schematics, service instructions--that you'd be willing to share by way of photocopy and snail mail, or scanning and emailing us a .pdf?

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Fred Pachter
UNUSUAL FILMS
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


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Todd Terry
Re: McAlister Crab Dolly
on Oct 13, 2009 at 10:17:55 pm

[Fred Pachter] "I was wondering if you might have anything in your files--manuals, schematics, service instructions"

I would be happy to give you that, Fred... if I had it. I have absolutely bupkus. No documentation or instructions or anything of the sort. She arrived to us completely bare of anything like that... and still is.

One piece of info that might prove slightly useful, which I learned after talking with someone else who has one of these beasts: If it needs major work or an overhaul, you can send it to most any place that does major cine equipment repair work and they'll fix it right up for you. And charge you an arm and a leg. OR... you can take it to most any dealer that services forklifts. Much of the mechanism (especially the hydraulics) is exactly the same... and they can service it, replace seals, or whatever... for a fraction of the cost.

Want another one? :)


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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