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Widescreen Weekend 2004
My Story - A Diary (sort of)

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: March 2004
View from row 7 in the plane

I left Copenhagen March 18 on a sunny and very bright Thursday morning. As usual I took the bus line 250 directly to the airport.

I had already checked in via the net, so I was anxious to find out if my seat really was waiting for me. I didn't even have a paper ticket. All my travel details, tickets etc was stored on my Eurobonus card. Once past the security I had to get something to eat. I found a good chicken steak with some vegetables. I was starving since I hadn't eaten since breakfast some 5 hours earlier. Looking forward to Bradford, I drank a very large Carlsberg beer.

The airport is a funny place with so many people walking from terminal to terminal. I saw some Danish politicians that morning. 

Oddly, I often get the feeling of "not wanting to go" in the hours up to my departures. Not specifically about going to Bradford, but generally pre-departure blues. I seem to miss my children and wife even before I leave. Well, overwhelmed by excitement and the prospect of some great days in Bradford, I left Copenhagen.
Extended in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend 2004

Gallery: 2004
Gallery film: 2004
Gallery: Rayton
WSW Home
Through the Years
The Best of WSW

Academy of the WSW

Creating the WSW
Planning the WSW
Projecting the WSW
Home of CINERAMA
Projecting CINERAMA


Internet link:

 
Trains in Huddersfield

It was a nice flight from Copenhagen to Manchester. I enjoy flying, but always have sweating hands before we land. It must be unconscious excitement, because I like the sensation of speed during take off and landing. As expected, weather in England was cloudy and with showers. Trains for Bradford are conveniently reached from Manchester airport. A return to Bradford is less than 17 pounds with a change in Huddersfield. Compared to Danish rolling stock, some British trains look like museum pieces. It always surprises me how dirty the hillsides next to the train track are. It seem to me people are just getting rid of their trash there. It looks awful.
 
Rain and wind

Originally I had planned to arrive sometime around 17:30, but due to bad connections I had to wait more than 30 minutes for the next train in Huddersfield. My original idea was to see "Apollo 13" in IMAX at 18:00, but I had to let it go, since I arrived during heavy rain at 18:10. On my way to the Midland hotel, I nearly drowned in the rain. After checking in I called home, relaxed a bit and then went to the Pictureville to see Bill & Co. 

I met Duncan, Tony and Rodger the moment I stepped in. I had brought the usual amount of liquid refreshments and we exchanged some movie memorabilia. There was some confusion with the tickets but the staff soon sorted them out. Paul Rayton had asked me to pick up his tickets which I did. He wasn't supposed to arrive until very late on Saturday.

 
The best curry served in Bradford

Well, since I missed "Apollo 13" I might as well see "The Longest Day" in 70mm. After that film, around midnight, I went with Tony and Duncan, Michael Nydegger, Francois Carrin and a few more for a curry in the nearby "Omar Khans" restaurant. I returned to my hotel nearly 1 am and went straight to bed. For me it was actually 2 am since I´m living in Denmark, which is 1 hour ahead of Britain.

Omar Khan
30 Little Horton Lane, Bradford

Owner Omar Khan won the "Hot Stuff Chef of the Year" in 1994 and completely rebuilt and remodelled this tremendous restaurant alongside the very convenient car park. The decor is very stylish in a regency style with confortable chairs and Italian tiled toilets. The food is up to a similar standard and it is certainly one of Bradford's top restaurants. 'Best in Britain Award 1995-6'.

 

Friday - Meeting People

 
6:30 the next morning I woke up and had a quick "shit, shower and shave" (sorry couldn't resist writing this - sounds so funny to me). While wondering who else stayed at the Midland, I had continental breakfast in the restaurant. I took some notes (which you are now reading), as well as doing some notes for an article for Victor Nicelli at Cinemeccanica. It was a very windy morning with rain.

Did the usual DVD shopping at W.H.Smith, HMV and Virgin. This year I had my eyes on some "Monty Python", "Not the 9 O'clock News" and "The Singing Detective". I also bought the new "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" DVD which is already quite popular with my children.

Back to the hotel with the DVDs and then straight to the Pictureville to see Roger and John project 3-strip Cinerama.

I barely managed to buy two postcards to send home for my wife and children. For Charlotte a romantic black & white card and for my children a "Pirates of the Caribbean" card. I posted them at the mail box right outside NMPFT Friday morning and they arrived back home on Monday morning. Satisfactory fast.

In the Pictureville foyer I hung some home-made Sensurround "warning" posters to create more anticipation for the Sunday screening as well as a few adverts for the "Audience on Stage" pictures. Actually, I asked Joan Butler to do it for me. 

My first film Friday afternoon was "The Lion in Winter" in 70mm which I have never seen. It was a good solid performance - a bit over-theatrical perhaps - and faded to brown. It occurred to me that, like I always imagine the old days to be in black and white, because the film were in black and white, the whole large format movie heritage from the 1960s is now gone either pink, red or brown. At least where old prints are concerned. 

After "Lion" I met with fellow Academy members Howard Rust, John Belton and Keith Swadkins to sign the certificate for Tony Sloman who would become the next esteemed member. Only person missing this year was Willem Bouwmeester. Several weeks in advance my fellow academy colleagues and I had discussed who would be a worthy next member of the Academy. On top of our short-list this year was Tony.

 
 

2004 Festival Hotel Rates:

 
The ESE Festival badge

Midland Hotel
Single: £52
Double/Twin: £62
both include full English breakfast

Tel: + 44 1274 735735


Victoria Hotel
Single: £50
Double/Twin: £60
both include full English breakfast

Tel: + 44 1274 728706


Hilton Hotel
Single (Fri-Sun): £50
Single (Mon-Thurs): £72
Double (Fri-Sun): £60
Double (Mon-Thurs): £82
All include full English breakfast

Tel: +44 1274 734734


Express by Holiday Inn
Room rate (Fri/Sat/Sun): £45 incl continental breakfast
Room rate (Mon-Thurs incl): £59 incl continental breakfast

+44 870 787 2064
 
 
Sheldon Hall, Mark Lyndon and Jack Cardiff 

I spent a couple of hours sipping red wine in the foyer with Mark Lyndon, Ramon Lamarca, Sheldon Hall, Bill Lawrence and Jack Cardiff and his wife. Jack told us stories from his life as a cinematographer, which includes classics like “The African Queen”, and “Scent of Mystery”/“Holiday in Spain” filmed in Smell-O-Vision. He also directed "Scent". The smells for the film didn't work at all, he recalled. They all just smelled of perfume. Jack also photographed the first Showscan film, “New Magic”. He has documented his memories in the book "Magic Hour". Jack kindly signed autographs for all of us. 

I had 3 glasses of red wine - which in the end turned out to be too much, as I fell asleep from time to time during "Lord Jim". Tony Sloman btw. slept through most of "Lord Jim", he told me. After the film I felt fine and went out for a curry with Bill Lawrence and Tony Sloman. Back to bed at 1:30 am.


From Amazon.com

Cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed some of the most sumptuous color movies of all time. He won an Oscar for his work on Black Narcissus, shot The Red Shoes and The African Queen, and worked steadily as cinematographer and director through the 1980s. In this winning autobiography, Cardiff tells wonderful stories about his collaboration with Michael Powell, Alfred Hitchcock and  the gruelling experience of shooting jungle locations for The African Queen

Lighting Dimensions
 
 

Saturday - Getting Momentum

 
The 70mm Twins - separated at birth - reunited in Bradford. Paul Rayton (left) and Thomas Hauerslev

First up in the breakfast restaurant. Soon joined by Jack Cardiff and wife and Susan and Dion Hanson. Today I must purchase some gifts for my children and some batteries for my digital camera. Was also thinking of getting a copy of the "Smack the Pony" DVD from HMV, but it turned out to be unavailable. Saturday was extremely windy with gales with wind speed up to 70 mph (116 km/h). In fact a window blew out of an office upstairs from the Pictureville cinema foyer. Nobody was hurt. The wind was also interfering with ventilation and the projection as a xenon lamp went out for a few seconds during "Cinerama´s Russian Adventure"

Before "War and Peace" Herbert Lom (January 9, 1917) and Jack Cardiff were sitting in the foyer exchanging memories and signed autographs, including one for my collection.

Instead of seeing the 35mm version of "War and Peace" I saw some clips of "Apollo 13" in IMAX DMR and was pleased with the picture quality. Nothing like 65mm obviously, however, but quite good and much better than I expected it to be on the big IMAX screen. I happened to be in the projection room during the change over which was completely seamless. I didn't notice any changeover marks on screen. I forgot to ask if they are necessary or if the change over is automatic.

On my way home after "It´s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Wold" I met Paul Rayton on Bradford´s town hall sq. Like me, he was also wearing his leather DTS jacket. We went back to the hotel to have a chat, snack and a beer in the hotel bar.
 

Sunday morning

 
Paul Rayton next to the Tannoy speakers built to play Sensurround

Breakfast with Paul, exchanging newspaper adverts and articles. Before we left for the theatre, I went to Paul's room to collect some DVDs which he kindly had bought for me. On my way out I met Herbert Lom in the hotel corridor. We said good morning and I expressed my thanks for his autograph the previous day and of course his work in cinema. I grew up in the 1970s watching his "Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus" in the Pink Panther series. Just marvellous. It's an odd feeling to me a celebrity face to face in the hotel foyer. He was heading for his breakfast and I for the Pictureville.

Paul and I witnessed the final Sensurround test and it was impressive. Somehow I remembered the rumble to be different. Maybe not as loud as in Bradford, and considerably lower in frequency (more punch). Since I hadn't seen, or rather heard Sensurround since 1980, however, I was probably fooling myself. In 1980 I saw the film in 3 Falke Bio in Copenhagen, which was a 1000 seater cinema and the acoustics were different since the room was 3-4 times larger (at least). Never mind the "noise" was spectacular.
The Sensurround system is adjusted until an overall SPL of 95DB (A scale) is achieved at the center of the theatre, with no more than 110DB (C scale) 4 feet in front of any horn. These levels are deemed safe for human consumption continuously for periods up to 8 hours.
Darren from York and his crew set up the speakers and measured a sound pressure level exceeding 117 dB - which is probably too loud. They have built their own Sensurround noise generator based on a 15 second noise sample which is repeated over and over again. The speakers are 4 cabinets, each containing two 18" Tannoy woofers and an amplifier. All 4 cabinets (not horns) are located on stage. The cabinets are far smaller than the original monstrous Sensurround speakers.

Sunday mornings I always enjoy (besides being an early riser) because it´s Cineramacana time. Cineramacana is the opportunity to see some odd reels of films and rare short subjects. The nature of this morning is, that you never know what is going to turn up from the audience. Duncan and I had semi-planned the program off and on during Friday and Saturday, and now was the premiere. As usual we had too much material for the 2½ hour show without intermission. As "Hamlet" was on at 13:00 and lasted 4:02 hours without intermission, we had to be precise. It all turned out fine, only 10 minutes behind schedule and finishing 10 minutes before "Hamlet". The show includes the "Audience on Stage" picture" and the newest Widescreen Weekend Academy member inauguration.
 
Morten Skallerud's IMAX train film "Where the Trains Used to Go".

 I was very excited to see "Hamlet" again. I saw it with my brother in 1997 and found it "too heavy" and I didn't understand much of it (neither do some native British, I have been told) - even on a second viewing in 35mm only with Danish subtitles. Anyway, this time around it was pure enjoyment. Kenneth Branagh is to be congratulated to make this drama in 65mm. It looked fantastic and the 4 hours simply rushed by. The music was great.

Patric Doyle's music for "Hamlet"


Before seeing "Earthquake" I managed to see Morten Skallerud´s IMAX train film "Where the Trains Used to Go", a spectacular follow-up to his award winning 70mm short film "A Year Along The Abandoned Road" which was shown in 1998 and again this year at the Widescreen Weekend.

"Earthquake" was spectacular, especially thanks to Sensurround and the showmanship presented by the York crew, wearing hard hats of course. I had much fun experiencing their use of  smoke and strobe lights during the "quakes". 

After the movie, Tony & Jonathan, Paul and I went back to the hotel bar to have night sandwiches. We realized the kitchen had closed, but much thanks to the staff still present, they managed to make us some great snacks. Many thanks for that.
 
 

Monday Morning

 

I only slept 4½ hours and was beginning to wear out. I would be going home after seeing "55 Days at Peking". Before checking out, I packed by bag which somehow seemed to be much larger and heavier compared to when I'd arrived. That's odd, isn't it? I mean, only 6 laserdisc, some 10 DVDs and a couple of 35mm film rolls and a roll of 70mm does not take up that much space - does it? Luckily I have an expandable bag.

Had breakfast with Paul again which was, as always, pleasant (unofficially, he's a grouchy old man :-). I was looking forward to seeing "55 Days at Peking" as I had only seen it on TV, 20 years ago. Another film to delete from my "most-wanted-70mm-wish-list". The print came from Francois Carrin (France) who bought it from a collector. Naturally the film was shown on the curve and I was happy to see a decent turnout of nearly 40 people for that performance. The print was in French only, and I feared that would discourage many away. Happily it didn't.

After the film we all said the usual good byes and "see you next year", and I left for the Bradford Interchange station with Francois and a few others. Francois rushed off to his train and I sat in the sun waiting for my train. I met Andrew King and we had a brief chat. I changed train in Huddersfield once more. That train was seriously delayed, so I had to change train once more in Manchester.

After checking in at the airport I reorganized my bag again as it was extremely heavy. I waited a couple of hours before scheduled take off and three hours later I was at home reading e-mail and unpacking. The family had already gone to bed. Another wonderful weekend with great company and fantastic films. 

Can't wait until 2005 and the 50th anniversary of Todd-AO. I've volunteered to do a lecture about the "Early days of Todd-AO" - so I better start working on that. 

My 2004 Films
"The Longest Day"
"Lion In Winter"
"Lord Jim"
"Cinerama's Russian Adventure"
"It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
"Hamlet"
"Earthquake"
"55 Days at Peking"

+ Cineramacana & 
"Where the Trains Used to Go"
 

 
 
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Updated 28-05-17