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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 245 (209)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 245
Page 245

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 245


The Use of the Hypergonar

It does not enter into the framework of this report to treat of what one might call the new technique of shooting scenes, in accordance with the possibilities that the anamorphic attachment brings to the motion picture art. Just imagine the chariot race from Ben Hur developing on a panoramic screen!

It is certain that one has seen enough of this dead 3 by 4 screen; at the present time the public needs something else.

As a result of our personal observations it seems to us nevertheless that one needs to introduce into a great picture only a well-measured proportion of panoramic pictures; the misuse of panorama kills the panoramic effect. While conversely a presentation of images on a screen of normal proportions which opens from time to time, intentionally, on a scene that needs space, which really needs a Wider field, produces a very strong impression on the audience.

However, one will object, there exists at the present time only a very small number of houses that can take a panoramic screen. There cannot be any question of shooting a whole film costing millions that can finally run only in this small number of privileged theatres.

One is thus taken into a vicious circle. Will it ever be possible to leave it? If one has the audacity to brave it, will the transitory period not degenerate into catastrophe? The history of wide film has not yet been erased in everybodyis memory, and the financial difficulties with which the motion picture industry is struggling at present permits little gaiety of heart in such an eventuality!

If a problem admits of a solution, it admits, by itself an infinite number of others, said Henri Poincare.

In order to open the way, let me propose one. It is based on the ease of adaptation of the anamorphic attachment.

Let. us imagine that one shoots a film by leaving, continuously, through all the scenes, the Hypergonar mounted on the camera. The viewfinder which the operator is using has two vertical cross hairs Which delimit for him the field of the ordinary screen inside of which he assembles the elements of action which he wants to present in the ordinary manner.

If a scene comes up which merits extension of the. field, to any degree, everything is ready. One need only continue shooting. If the entire field of Which the Hypergonar is capable turns Out to be still insufficient, the cameraman is left with the resource of panning. It should be pointed out here that a great panorama unwinding in a great framework produccs :1 grand efl'ect, entirely different from that of a "pan shot" in too small a frame, which is disagreeable and tiring.

How can we then utilize this negative fUOLagc anamorphised from one end to the other?

For those theatres which already lmssess a panoramic screen, we simply l)?th positive copies in a correspondmg number.



The development of the CinemaScope process holds much promise for the future. According to most reports, some 2,000 to 3,000 theatres on a world-wide basis, will be equipped to show films with the new wide screen system before the end of 1953.

CinemaScope has been shown on a screen 80 feet wide in the New York Roxy, and on one 32 by 17 feet, and the results have been more than favorable in each caSe, thus demonstrating that even a small screen, if it maintains the proper aspect ratio, can show CinemaScope.

The new medium calls for improvements both in acting and in physical operation. Because of the immensity of the screen, continuous action between players can be seen large enough to eliminate closeups in many cases, as well as frequent cutting of scenes. This gives CinemaScope movies some of the lifelike fluidity of the stage, and will make acting more competitive as the audiencels attention is called first to one player then another by the sound of their voices seemingly coming from their own lips.

However, the system also creates some problems. Because three microphones are used instead of one, the cameraman has three times as many microphone shadows to eliminate in his lighting, which has to be brighter for the larger sets used. Recording sound on the film poses many difficulties, but 20th Century-Fox recently announced the development of four magnetic sound tracks on a single piece of 35mm film.

The medium enhances the importance of background detail, both as regards

sets and actors. Their increased size on the big screen permits of closer scrutiny of them if the viewer chooses to look at them. As a result more actors will be used in scenes in order to fill the screen.


Of course, as with all things that are offered to the public, the average moviegoer will be the one who will finally decide which of the new system entertains him in the way he enjoys the most. However, the enthusiasm of the press, and more important, thousands of exhibitors, indicate that CinemaScope might be the final answer.

The following is a statement by Darryl F. Zanuck, vice-president in charge of production of 20th Century-Fox which seems to sum up that companyis Viewpoint:

ffo now, we of 20th Century Fox have seen our original enthusiasm for CinemaScope not only endorsed, but exalted by leading producers, distributors, exhibitors and qualified members of the press from all over the world. We have yet to receive, of course, the most important of all acceptancesethat of the public itselfebut we are not worried about the verdict.

ffAs I see it, the excitement of this amazing new medium may properly be divided into two phases-exhibition and production. The exhibitor may now Show his patrons things the eye has never before witnessed in a theatre. Spectacle has always been one of the greatest, if not the greatest, magnets for audiences. Now we have a potential unequalled in all the long centuries of theatrical history."

COMBINING FOUR MAGNETIC sound tracks on a single 35mm. film. the 20theFox system. as seen below. does away with need for separate sound reproduce: for projection of stereophonic sound.

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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 245