> > > >

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 243 (207)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 243
Page 243

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 243

ABOVE; A SCENE as it is compressed on regular QSmm film. On the right is the same scene after i! has been restored with an anamorphic lens.

which realizes this process. As to field of vision, the value of 150 degrees is attained. On the same optical principle apparatus has been constructed where the field of vision can attain 360 degrees of the scope of the horizon. In these cameras the film unrolls and rolls back in a narrow plane in proportion to the rotation of the objective.

Somewhere eISe it has been tried to record panoramas with ordinary cameras with fiat plates by displacing the camera in a discontinuous manner and by changing the plate with each displacement.

This process has the inconvenience of presenting a polygonal panoramic field. The scale of the images changes periodically between each set over, at the center of the plate and the edge. Nevertheless, if the consecutive fields are well joined, one obtains panoramas of the most beautiful effect.

One can see with some effort, that if it is a question of projection, the joining of the successive panorama fragments offers some difficulties. Firstly it is necessary that the light intensity be the same, and stays the same, during the Course of projecting, which is hard enough to obtain from light from an electric arc. Furthermore, it is necessary to watch constantly over the accurate joining of the images which is liable to be destroyed by the effects of temperature in the projectors. One may minimize these two defects, or at least one may take the opportunity to modify the edges of the fields for the purpose of correction, without discomfort to the spectators, by letting them encroach one upon the other, the parts common to the successive fields being toned down toward their bordcr in such a way that the total light across the two superimposed marginal regions stays constant.

Cinematography Considered analysis of the problems of

these times, toward progress in the motion picture industry, does not seem



to present an eEective new solution to the problem of panoramic repreSentation.

The first solution which appeared consisted of making a panorama out of the pictures, which means, turning the camera with a uniform motion. Within the fixed limits of projection we then see pass by successive areas of the field, which does not occur without causing a certain visual discomfort. This device can only be used very rarely and with much caution.

Since the beginning of motion pictures, a frame of 3 by 4 was adopted although it suits little the majority of subjects, so much more so as the operator does not have the possibility of reversing the camera by 90 degrees. The advent of the sound motion picture has still further aggravated this inferiority of photography in motion pictures: The recording of sound on the film had only a detrimental eEect on the dimensions of the image which has become almost square, and yet the sound track has been satisfied with taking hardly 2.5mm of the area occupied by the image of silent motion pictures.

To overcome this inconvenience one is resigned today, by masking the projection aperture, to sacrifice a part of the film, and the images which measured originally 18 by 24mm, now measure no more than 15.62 by 20.83mm.

A great French cinematographer, who became a leader along this route: Abel Gance, has already, in his picture ffNapoleonii tripled the width of the screen dimension. He was not impelled, at the time when his film appeared, by the necessities of sound picture technique, but he was guided solely by artistic considerations. By means of three cameras and three projectors, he grouped on the tripled screen thrilling panoramic arrangements or triptychs with a most happy effect. The impression on the public was considerable: unfortunately the technical complications of the process prevented its spread.

The Wide Film

The Americans recognized the interest shown in the enlargement of the screen. particularly when they were pushed by the imperious exigencies of the talking film and by the necessity of representing the theatre stage on the screen. They have attacked the problem head on and have attempted a profound transformation of their industry, as a result of which they count on maintainng their leadership.

The necessity for enlarging the screen has also appeared since the construction of those immense theatres of which the large American cities offer particularly striking examples. Optical apparatus has been created which when placed in front of the projector produced screens of enormous dimensions (Magnascope).

However, the very little image on film does not lend itself to indefinite enlargement. It was necessary to find something else, and then it was necessary to go away from the square format of the sound motion picture and to give sufficient place to the sound track. Besides one must not confuse large image with large field. The public does not make mistakes on this.

Then a rational solution has come to mind: change the format of the film.

But this most simple and radical solution is very costly. One must change not only the cameras, modify the studios, but also, above all, change the equipment in the developing and printing laboratories, the projection equipment, etc. . . . It involves a financial outlay so much more considerable because it must be done Very rapidly. The total expenditure considered at this time for the laboratories and the fifty thousand theatrcs in the whole world was several hundreds of millions of dollars.

In addition it will be necessary to spend, continuously, twice as much money for film.

This revolution would gravely threaten the whole motion picture industry which

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 243