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How the West was Won

Old 08-01-05, 02:23 AM
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How the West was Won

On my widescreen copy of How the West was Won it looks as if it was made wider by attaching pieces to the left and right side. On scenes with a light background (like a shot where there is lots of blue sky) you can see what appears to be a seam from top to bottom on the left and right sides. Its appears there were three cameras (left, middle, right) and then the three pieces of film were stiched together.

Do I have a defective copy or is this how all copies are?
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Old 08-01-05, 03:43 AM
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http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingcr1.htm

Last edited by ernestrp; 08-01-05 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:45 AM
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Its appears there were three cameras (left, middle, right) and then the three pieces of film were stiched together.
Your deduction is exactly right. Cinerama films were shot using three cameras and exhibited in theaters using three projectors. The seams are supposed to be there.
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Old 08-01-05, 11:47 AM
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The seams may soon be a thing of the past:

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...5/050418a.html

HP has also invented a new film restoration process for Cinerama films that eliminates the "seams" visible from the old three panel Cinerama process as well as corrects the distortions in perspective that were inherent in the change from Cinerama's curved screen to a flat one. Tests have already begun on the classic MGM 1962 film "How The West Was Won," now part of the vast Warner Bros. Studios library.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:37 PM
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But... but... the seams were part of the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE!

(So was getting used chewing gum on your shoes.)

RichC
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Old 08-01-05, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rdclark
But... but... the seams were part of the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE!

(So was getting used chewing gum on your shoes.)

RichC
Not sure how I feel about this. It not exactly like colorization but they would be changing it from how it looked orignally.
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Old 08-01-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ernestrp
It not exactly like colorization but they would be changing it from how it looked orignally.
Unless you have a curved TV screen, any presentation at home is going to differ from theatrical presentation.
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Old 08-01-05, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Unless you have a curved TV screen, any presentation at home is going to differ from theatrical presentation.
Yes, I guess you are right. Go ahead and take the seams out and the distortions and make it Super Duper SE and I will buy it.
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Old 08-01-05, 07:02 PM
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Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home? I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I assume it's impossible to see the true OAR, so why would it matter if they removed the visible seams?
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Old 08-01-05, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home?
Not if you present them in widescreen.

I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
The purpose of Cinerama was to have an immersive experience on a gigantic curved screen. Projecting 3 strips of 35mm film allowed for 3 times the resolution and detail of regular movies.

Because the three-camera system was so cumbersome, Cinerama was eventually downgraded to Super Cinerama, which was a single-camera 70mm process. It wasn't as good as the original, but was still better than regular 35mm exhibition.
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Old 08-01-05, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home? I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I assume it's impossible to see the true OAR, so why would it matter if they removed the visible seams?
Each camera exposed a frame of 35mm film six sprocket holes high rather than the usual four. Each camera is projecting an image slightly taller than it is wide.

As for removing the seams, I've always assumed it was impossible, but if they've come up with a way to do it then they should.
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Old 08-01-05, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home? I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I assume it's impossible to see the true OAR, so why would it matter if they removed the visible seams?
Because there are three film strips shown at the same time = 3 projectors. I think when it was shown at theaters with a flat screen, composite print, it would have the seams which is probably how it was shown at most theaters as I dont think to many invested in Cinerama. I might be wrong though.
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Old 08-01-05, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Unless you have a curved TV screen, any presentation at home is going to differ from theatrical presentation.
What about "smilebox"?

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...light=cinerama

See post #26
I haven't seen a home presentation like this myself; I doubt it would catch on.
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Old 08-02-05, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home? I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

Cinerama films ranged in aspect ratio between 2.6 and 3 to 1.

I could be wrong about this -- it's been a while since I've seen it -- but my recollection is that the version on the DVD and Laserdisc came from 70mm prints that were created so the film could be shown theatrically in theaters with flat screens. The AR would still have been very wide - 2.7:1 or something like that. However, if 35mm prints were struck for showing in normal theaters, it's very possible that the image was cropped at the sides during this process, since it's unlikely they would have hard-matted such prints (ie, letterboxed them) to retain the original Cinerama AR.

I seem to remember deciding that the video transfer did have the cropped AR, which was easily visible by simply noting that the center panel was quite a bit wider than the left and right ones. But again, this was some time ago and my memory may be faulty. And I may be thinking of the laserdisc, it was so long ago.

RichC
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Old 08-02-05, 10:36 AM
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no smilebox no sale
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Old 08-02-05, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rdclark
Cinerama films ranged in aspect ratio between 2.6 and 3 to 1.

I could be wrong about this -- it's been a while since I've seen it -- but my recollection is that the version on the DVD and Laserdisc came from 70mm prints that were created so the film could be shown theatrically in theaters with flat screens. The AR would still have been very wide - 2.7:1 or something like that. However, if 35mm prints were struck for showing in normal theaters, it's very possible that the image was cropped at the sides during this process, since it's unlikely they would have hard-matted such prints (ie, letterboxed them) to retain the original Cinerama AR.
That's what I was thinking. Now what would be really interesting is if this movie ever got released in its 2.7:1 (?) OAR. Maybe as an alternate version for people with large enough screens who won't feel like they're watching the movie through a mail slot. But either way, I believe the removal of the seams would be a nice improvement.
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Old 08-14-05, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rennervision
Are Cinerama pictures cut off on the sides when you see them at home? I don't understand why it would require three projectors to show a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I assume it's impossible to see the true OAR, so why would it matter if they removed the visible seams?
Only two Cinerama films have ever been officially transferred to video, "How the West Was Won" and "Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm". Both have substantial cropping in their current letterboxed releases. This is because they were transferred from a single 35mm anamorphic composite film that was cropped pretty badly itself. Expect a new HTWWW release probably next year that will set thing straight.

Cinerama's aspect ratio was 2.59:1, just a bit more than the 2.35:1 that is standard for anamorphic films today. But it wasn't the aspect ratio that required three cameras, it was the incredible angular coverage of 146 degrees for both the camera(s) and the theatres projectors. Each of the three Cinerama lenses was wider than most CinemaScope or Panavision lenses, or some of the other 70mm systems for that matter. Using three projectors also prevented distortions that occur when you project a flat film onto a curved surface. Cinerama's screen was also 146 degrees and in theatres built or converted to Cinerama after 1960, the screen covered the entire front wall, floor to ceiling and wall to wall.

Cinerama and any of the other panoramic film systems were not really suited to your typical Hollywood fare. They were cumbersome and expensive and their wide angle pictures didn't make the acting talent look any too good. But for action scenes, especially when you move the camera, they were spectacular.

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Old 08-14-05, 05:21 PM
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IMHO, any complementary process to a linear distortion that can remove
the distortion should be done. Its like color correction. Would you want
to watch an entire movie with yellowish color if the original process had an UNWANTED yellowish cast to it when it could be completely corrected with printing to
look natural? of course not. So if they can fix geometry problems and the seams
without any side effects, I say fix them!
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Old 08-14-05, 06:37 PM
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See this film in a Cinerama theatre if you can. I went down to LA a couple of years ago to see it at the Cinerama Dome. It was a great experience! Worth the drive from San Francisco. I think most Cinerama theatres are gone now. The one in NYC became the Warner Twin and then it was torn down. Seattle still has one.

www.cinerama.com

www.cinerama.topcities.com
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Old 02-27-07, 12:30 AM
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from the warner chat

Special Edition coming in 2008
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Old 02-27-07, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jimnysf
See this film in a Cinerama theatre if you can. I went down to LA a couple of years ago to see it at the Cinerama Dome. It was a great experience! Worth the drive from San Francisco. I think most Cinerama theatres are gone now. The one in NYC became the Warner Twin and then it was torn down. Seattle still has one.

www.cinerama.com

www.cinerama.topcities.com
Seattle. Los Angeles. I think there's a Cinerama capable theatre in the UK.

The loss of these theaters (particularly the ones in Omaha, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego) is one of the worst architectural/historical crimes of the last 25 years.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Neeb
Seattle. Los Angeles. I think there's a Cinerama capable theatre in the UK.

The loss of these theaters (particularly the ones in Omaha, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego) is one of the worst architectural/historical crimes of the last 25 years.
agreed
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