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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 257 (221)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 257
Page 257

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 257

an interaxial larger than called for by the object distance had been employed.

No graphic means, besides the stereogram, can substitute for the re-creation of the "real" in a still-life, and in stereo movies realism reaches the ultimate, for they can include movement, color, and action as well as depth.

The principles employed in photographing and projecting stereoscopic slides also apply to stereoscopic motion pictures. The same fundamental requirement that each eye sees only the picture intended for it also applies to the moving stereogram.



That the industry could use something to combat televisionis capture of more and more of the theatre audience is undeniable. Stereo movies might well induce people to return to their former favorite amusement. But the return is likely to come about in the mass only if the film theatre gives them something they canit get on a 17 inch TV tube, namely the ultimate in photographic realism, the stereoscopic movie in full color, with all the dramatic possibilities that are only waiting to be appreciated. The enthusiastic public reception given some earlier stereo movies, and the dollar profits from these movies are a matter of record. Newer, better stereo techniques are now available, and the reason for introducing them was never more pressing.

The Anoglyph

One of the early and noteworthy theatrical exhibitions of stereoscsopic motion pictures occurred in 1924, when J. F. Leventhal produced a few ushorts" utilizing the anaglyph process. There followed an eleven-year lull in the use of stereoscopic films. Then, in 1935, Loucks & Norling Studios and Leventhal jointly produced a series of short films again employing the anaglyph principle, this time in talking picture form. These films, which were called thUDIOSCOPIKS," were released by Loews, Inc. and proved to be some of the most successful short subjects ever issued, winning not only




domestic acceptance, but an unprecedented play in the foreign field, notably in France, Spain and Great Britain. That their success should have indicated further pursuit of the anaglyph process seems logical. But the producers had, from the beginning, realized the inherent limitations of the anaglyph process and concluded that films exhibited by that process would only be adequate as novelties and would never be tolerated for full-length feature releases. This conclusion was arrived at by a recognition of the visual itinsultli resulting from the projection of one color to one eye and its complementary to the other. This sort of delivery of images, one color to one eye, another to its mate, produces "retinal rivalry" and brings on physiological disturbances that may induce nausea in some observers if they look at the anaglyph movie longer than a few minutes.

Since this processethe anaglyph-has played an important role in the advance of the stereoscopic art, it would be well to describe it here briefly. Its invention is credited to Ducos du Hauron, who applied it in 1895, although there is some evidence that its possibilities had been explored many years before that.

In one form, the anaglyph images are on two separate films. One member of the stereoscopic pair is projected through a filter of one color, the other through a filter having a color complementary to that of the first. In another form, the one that was used for ffAUDIOSCOPIKS," the anaglyph images are printed in complementary colors directly on film and projected in a standard projector without filters.

The projected images are viewed with spectacles having windows of the same colors as the colors on the screen. Redorange for the right eye filter and bluegreen for the left are often used. The right-eye red-orange filter in the viewing spectacle renders the blue-green righteye image in monochrome and the lefteye blue-green filter renders the redorange left-eye image also in monochrome. Since dyes and pigments hardly ever are capable of transmitting only the color they are supposed to transmit,

there is rarely a complete "cuttingii of one color; some of it always comes through so that part of the blue-green image which is supposed to be blocked by the blue-green spectacle filter leaks through, producing a ughost" image. So, in reality, one eye sees a part of the image intended for the other; the npart," of course, being defined as a very dim, but still discernible remnant of the whole "other-eye" image.

Good picture quality has never characterized the anaglyph. This and other shortcomings make it eligible for discard as a practical system for motion picture features.

Since the introduction of Polaroid light-polarizing filters, it is possible and practical to substitute these for the red and green filters of the original anaglyph process. Strictly speaking, the polarized light method may be defined as another form of the anaglyph. Actually, Polaroid Stereoscopy would be a good name for it, since Dr. Edwin H. Land, head of Polaroid Corporation, invented the first practical and efiicient synthetic polarizer which hastened the increasingly widespread use of the present satisfactory methods of stereoscopic projection.

Stereoscopic Motion Pictures at

the New York World's Fair

The first large-scale public exhibition of a 35mm stereoscopic motion picture with excellent picture quality took place in 1939 at the New York Worldis Fair. That year a black-and-white film was shown. The following year a similar subject was exhibited in Technicolor. More than five million people saw these films, and theyire still talking about them. Some of the production and exhibition problems posed by these pictures are interesting to consider.

The camera assembly for the blackand-white picture consisted of two Bell and Howell professional 35mm cameras mounted so that one was "upside down" in relation to the other. This was done so that the lenses could be brought close together. Even with this arrangement, the interaxial was not ideal. It was fixed at three and one-fourth inches although calculations showed that some scenes actually required as close as one and one-half inches interaxials. But no suchcamera was available then, nor was there time to have one built. However, a complete set of matched lenses of different focal lengths effected a quite satisfactory compromise with the ideal.

The greater part of the picture was a sort of fantasy, showing the parts comprising a Plymouth car dancing around and assembling themselves. Their movements were in synchronism with music and required the use of itstop motion" photography; that is, ftone frame-at-atime" shooting. But a substantial part: of the film contained ulive action,, shots taken in the foundry and shops and along the. assembly line. The narrator for the film was Major Bowes of Amateur Hour fame. He appeared in ulive action" in one sequence in which he spoke. This was the first "live action-live dialogue" shot ever made in a stereoscopic presentation. It created some difficult prob LEFT: THE distortion resulting from the "too-in" of camera lenses. RIGHT: A method of convorqw once used to overcome this distortion.

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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 257