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• To record the history of the large format movies and the 70mm cinemas as remembered by the people who worked with the films. Both during making and during running the films in projection rooms and as the audience, looking at the curved screen.
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The DP70 Color Enhancer

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Dottore Buenocorso, esq Date: 1. April 2008
The DP70 Color Enhancer

Press image for more details


Dear Mr. Hauerslev,

by accident, I run across your websides about 70mm film and DP70 projectors at the internet. It was a good read and to my very big surprise I have noticed, that there are still a lot of fans around, which keep this great format of the movies alive.

Speaking about myself I am now a doctor for mental health with a small practical office in Milano, Italy and have nothing to do with film technique and movies at all. So please first excuse my bad English and second excuse my amateurish language, when it comes to film technique. But I have had a grandfather, who was working in the movie business all his life and has had a very good reputation as expert for printing movies and for optical and mechanical devices for the filmindustry and it was him, who told me the stories of this fascinating business and his work. Some of which related to 70mm and for my big surprise was not mentioned on your otherwise very good and extremely well written webside. Therefore please let me tell you his story. I believe, that you want to hear it and your readers may be surprised about the small but I think very valuable effort, which my grandfather contributed for the 70mm film.

My grandfather was born in 1929 as son of circus artists. His father was a very popular clown, Enzo Buenocorso, and his mother was a nun, who fall in love with him. The boy born out of this relation was named Sergio. His mother was able to send him into a monastery in Napoli, where he grew up and learned very well. When he was in this monastery he came in contact with a 16mm filmprojector and was fascinated by the technik of film and also fall in love with the young actress Gina Lollobrigida in the 1946 movie “Aquila nera”. He wanted to meet her, run away to Rome and managed to get a job as projectionists for dailies at the famous Cinecitta Studio. Now he just had to meet Gina someday.

He never met Gina Lollobrigida, but he met Dr. Pasquale Nerruchio, who was at this time (1947) chief technician at Cinecitta and he got a better job servicing the 35mm cameras and lenses in the camera department. So finally my grandfather, Sergio Buenocorso, found what he could do best. Improving and servicing the cameras and lenses of a great studio.

He first constructed and introduced a new blimp for camera which was almost absolutely quiet. Later he constructed a dolly allowing to travel up to 60 miles per hour and still delivering an absolute stable picture. His camara crane for altitudes of 100 meters and more was soon exported even to Hollywood and named after him … the “BuenoCrano”.

Very soon he was a famous person on the Cinecitta studio lot. And it was somewhere in 1970 when Ducio Talamonti, then head of Technicolor in rome, called him and introduced him to a gentlemen from Kodak, Mr. George Footnote, head of research at this time at KODAK.

They explained to my grandfather, that they are in need for an electronical device for 70mm projectors allowing the projectionist to change the color grading according to the actual need of the print, because some early color 70mm prints went into a red color at this time and still had bookings in big cinemas, all of them equipped with the DP70 projectors. So they were in need for a device for the DP70 projector, which could switch and adjust the color of the projected movie.
 
More in 70mm reading:

The All Purpose Projector

26 Things Movies Taught You

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Internet link:

The DP70 Color Enhancer is extremely valuable when you are showing older films which have faded into pink.

On this machine the original Technicolor glory can be restored in a few seconds as you project the film.

Color spectrum is also enhanced when you drink a decent amount of beer at the same time.
See this example from "El Cid" - color restoration on-the-fly - hugely time saving

Click his nose  - and be amazed

No easy task for my grandfather. But he was a clever man and managed to get a wheel of 230.000 different color filters built, which can be placed just after the lamphouse of the DP70 and controlled by a pre-recorded impulse, which managed to flip 1000 times per second a different color filter into the lightstream of the projectors lamp. Depending on how long and which filter stayed into the lightstream (between 1/1000 and 1 sec) the faded color could reborn again and deliver a nice and fresh color picture on the screen.

Unfortunately he could only do one unit of this color-enhancer, as the costs for manufacturing this device were enormous, as the heat, the filters should accept in the lightstream, were very high and only filters made of colored diamonds could be used. The costs of one enhancer were up to 32.000.0000.000.000 italian lire, which made the practical use obsolete.

This one enhancer is still existing, I have it in my office as a nice standee for my flower pot and send you the enclosed picture.

If you will like to show it to the audience of the Schauburg festival this year, I would be glad to loan it.

Best
Dottore Buenocorso
 
 
 
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Updated 22-12-16