American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 46

*|*

Reviving Ultra Panavision 70

"P

rojects like The Hateful
Eight are what we at
Panavision relish," says ASC
associate
Bob
Harvey,
Panavision's executive vice president of global sales and marketing. "We listened to the
filmmakers' desires and needs and
did our best to honor their vision.
[Panavision's vice president of
optical engineering and lens strategy] Dan Sasaki led an entire
team from technical to manufacturing to make this happen. Dan
redesigned a set of 65mm
anamorphic lenses to bring this
format into the 21st century.
When Quentin [Tarantino] and
Bob [Richardson, ASC] talked
about long takes, our engineers,
led by John Rodriguez, rapidly
designed and manufactured
2,000-foot magazines for 65mm
film."
The Hateful Eight was shot
with Ultra Panavision 70 lenses
on 65mm negative, and transferred to 70mm prints for projection. (The
extra 5mm print width was used in the
past for sound tracks). As illustrated, Ultra
Panavision optics create a mild 1.25
anamorphic squeeze of the 2.20:1 image
area, which is three times the area of
35mm anamorphic. The projected image
has an ultra-wide 2.76:1 aspect ratio.
As Sasaki explains, Ultra
Panavision lenses were first used in 1957
with non-reflex 65mm cameras. Some of
the lenses used on The Hateful Eight had
to be reworked to clear the mirror shutters
of the modern Panaflex System 65 Studio
and High Speed (HS) Spinning Mirror
Reflex cameras, which were also fitted
with new motors, electronics and heaters,
as well as an improved reflex viewing
system.
Sasaki provided the filmmakers
with 15 Ultra Panavision lenses, with
eight focal lengths ranging from 35mm to
400mm. Some lenses were simply refur-

46

December 2015

bished, some were recoated, and some had
their spherical components swapped,
while others - the 40mm, 50mm,
135mm, 180mm and 190mm - were
brand-new builds.
"We kept as much of the vintage
optics as we could," says Sasaki. "The
older lenses are not perfect, but they aren't
soft, either - they offer a unique quality
in between. For the new builds, we would
degrade the optics by changing the air
gaps of the lens to induce circle aberrations, matching the visual theme of the
older optics."
Sasaki explains that circle aberrations in the Ultra lenses create "a gentle
focus roll-off, a gradual blurring that tends
to blend things, and enhances visual depth
cues. It's like shading the drawing of a flat
circle to make it look like a sphere."
Artistically, he describes the resulting
image as having a uniquely "dappled,
impressionistic look."

American Cinematographer

*|*

Producer Shannon McIntosh
notes that the Weinstein Co.
hired Chapin Cutler, principal
and co-founder of Boston Light
& Sound, to help prepare 100
movie theaters for a Hateful Eight
national opening that will
present the film in its native
Ultra Panavision 70mm format.
McIntosh states that Cutler was
"brought on board before we
shot one frame of film," to allow
sufficient time to source and
prepare all the needed equipment.
The yearlong project involved
purchasing and upgrading 120
used 70mm projectors - ensuring the availability of spares.
Cutler expected that about 90
percent of the theaters running
the film would require a full
installation that would include
platters, bulbs, splicers and audio
DTS playback. "The process has
been mammoth. Every projector
has been stripped down, put back
together again, and put through tests. We
replaced the bearings, gears, drive systems
and motors. We retrofitted and rebuilt the
lamp houses. We tried to make this
'Murphy-proof.'"
The production commissioned
Schneider Optics to design and manufacture 100 projection lenses for the short
throws of multiplexes, and purchased used
lenses for the longer distances of older
theaters. Cutler explains that they chose to
use large 2K or 3K xenon bulbs "to get
more light spread on the big 70mm
rectangle," adding that the roadshow
lenses will be stopped down to f2.8 or f3.2
to increase depth of focus.
- Benjamin B
Special thanks to Michael Goldman, who
contributed to this report. For more coverage
on Ultra Panavision 70, visit
www.theasc.com/site/blog/thefilmbook.


http://www.theasc.com/site/blog/thefilmbook

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 51
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 55
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 58
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 63
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 65
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 71
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 75
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 102
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 103
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 104
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 105
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 108
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 109
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 110
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 111
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 112
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover4
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