Meeting Report - Jan 19, 2010

An Evening of Weird, Whacky and Wonderful"

Presented by Jess Daily of Constellation Center, (formerly Chief Projectionist at UCLA's James Bridges Theater, the location of the show), and Ioan Allen, Vice President of Dolby Laboratories.  It will consist of unusual sound and picture film formats including Ultra-Panavision 70, Sensurround, and Pentaphonic sound.  There will be a tour of the projection booth from 6:45 to 7:15.

SMPTE's Hollywood Section members were guests of the International Cinema Technology Association at a presentation connected with their annual meeting.

Over 300 people attended an all-film showing of various subjects demonstrating unusual picture and sound formats

The opening clip was the main title and opening section of the Sergei Leone western ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, using an original Technicolor Dye-Transfer print.

This was followed by a 1929 short subject demonstrating to audiences of that time how sound on film was recorded and played back.

Probably the most impressive clip was the chariot race from BEN-HUR (1959).  The print used was made about 6 years ago by Technicolor, with permission of Warner Bros., for use by Panavision.
Their Ultra-Panavision 70 lenses (1.25 squeeze anamorphic) were used to shoot this picture.  The print was made from the original 65mm negative, with 6-track magnetic stereo sound.
Projection in its original format resulted in a screen ration of 2.75x1.

This was followed by the earthquake sequence from EARTHQUAKE from 1974.  That film used a system called "sensurround", creating a loud, very low frequence rumble that literally was felt as much as heard by the audience.

Ioan Allen of Dolby took over the second section of the presentation, with a clip from TOMMY, demonstrating a short-lived Dolby "Quintaphonic" sound system.  This allowed a 5-channel presentation to be derived from an optical analog sound track.  This was followed by an animated short called ARIA, compressing the opera "Madame Butterfly" into about 7 very charming minutes.
The evening closed with THE TRACK AT THE END OF THE WORLD.  This is a time-compressed film shot in 70mm in Norway, with the camera mounted on the front of a carriage and moved forward over a long period of time showing the change of seasons in the Arctic.