3 strip shoot in the Melbourne Hills
Autumn 2010 - "Grand Ridge Road" in Kinopanorama
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Bruce McNaughton,
Melbourne. Aranda Film||Date:
Kinopanorama camera photographed by Bruce McNaughton. (c) 2010 John Steven Lasher. Reproduction prohibited. All Rights
years ago I built a poor man's Cinerama rig for a motor car launch using
three 35MM Arri cameras. The centre one I mounted with an anamorphic
lens, the outside two with matching focal length lenses. We projected
the images through a giant mock-up of a car using the centre panel as
the view through the windscreen and the others as side front window
views. Very effective. I wrote a short article about the shoot in a
local film magazine and then received a call from John Lasher, then
unknown to me, from some 600 miles away.
John had just purchased the last working Kinopanorama 3 strip
camera from Russia and thought that I may be able to help him get it up to
My first task was to grind all 18 movement pins so that the camera would
accept Kodak/Fuji film. All Russian 35MM equipment uses KS perforation
film stock and will not run 'Western' film. This achieved I then pulled
off the boat anchor of a motor which weighs about 15 kilos and installed
our Rotavision 5000 speed crystal motor system. This system has crystal
speeds of 1-50 fps in 0.1 increments. The motor and electronics were
able to be hidden in the base of the camera so the whole set-up became
more physically manageable and a great deal lighter. Still a two
(healthy) man lift however with 3000 feet of film aboard...
John recently got hold of three 400 ft loads of Fuji 125 ASA stock,
courtesy of Fuji Australia so he asked me to shoot a few Autumn scenes
for promotional use. As Autumn was approaching I took a drive through
the Dandenong Ranges, 40 Km from Melbourne and noted a few locations. It
was a 'slow' Autumn as the weather had been mild and the leaves refused
to turn until a series of cold nights came along.
|More in 70mm reading:|
My trip to Melbourne
Kinopanorama of 1995
The Kinopanorama Widescreen Preservation Association
Kinopanorama sample by Greg Kimble. Angle of view is 120 degrees. (c) 2010
John Steven Lasher. Reproduction prohibited. All Rights Reserved.|
Click image to see enlargement.
Autumn leaves are found on deciduous trees and these are not native to
Australia. I found plenty of them but they were growing in front gardens of
homes, along village shopping streets or spasmodically in national parks.
All fine if you have a standard format camera but Kinopanorama has 3 hungry
eyes wanting to show you very wide vistas and I found it difficult to get
these without including telegraph poles, fences, roads and other unwanted
material. I did manage to find a lovely leafy lake hidden away deep in a
national trust property and earmarked this a 'must.'
To make up for the lack of wide Autumn vistas and for variety I shot two of
the 8 scenes in Australian native locations, one in dark ferns and one in a
tall Eucalyptus forest.
Before the shoot I ran a few feet through the camera to check the overlap
points between panels and the consistency of exposure across the three 35MM
matching lenses. This operation with its attendant film wastage due to the
very complex threading and unthreading of the camera chewed up a little more
than a few feet of film so that when I arrived at the lake to shoot the last
and prettiest shot of all I was very conscious that I was indeed short of
stock. I still had to shoot a gray card for panel matching purposes so I
made this a very swift and short operation running the camera at 10 frames
per second to save film.
The sun came out between rain squalls and was too bright. The back of the
lake was in shade and the exposure required for the backlit Autumn leaves
would have rendered this part of the vista very dark. After some time a
friendly cloud partially blocked the sun and it seemed that it was going to
be fairly consistently 'hazy-bright' for a quick shot. I hit the button and
no more that 2 seconds later the film ran out. "Two seconds" I said to
myself. "Saved." Enough for a career-saving freeze frame as there was no
movement in the scene anyway.
BUT after I instructed the lab to take special care of the end of each roll
and we pedalled through the material in the telecine suite, to my horror the
left panel had not a frame of this lovely scene. There was enough in the
other panels to save the situation but without 3 panels there is no show.
My precious lake scene was not to be.
Just to confirm Bruce's reply that only
the 35mm lens kit was used for the shoots. The angle of vision is
roughly 120-degrees across, close to that of Todd-AO.|
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