70mm Film in China
This article first appeared in
The 70mm Newsletter
Mr. Li Shuping, China Research Institute of Film Science &
Issue 49 - June 1997
Todd-AO in China?
Has there ever been a Todd-AO installation in China? The 1960 brochure of
the DP70 (Norelco AAII) certainly implies that. By August 1960, a pair of
70mm projectors were installed at the Opera in Beijing. Whatever became of
them? Did they ever run Todd-AO films at the Opera? Are there any people
left to be asked in Beijing? Do pictures exist of this installation? For
varying reasons, including many political changes over the years in China,
the DP70 could never be used and apparently they were discharged 10 years
ago as useless. A sad ending for an OSCAR winner.
70mm film making in China started in 1984 and significant progress has been
made in the last few years. There are a few cinemas showing IMAX films in
8-perf versions there. The 70mm Association Newsletter has asked Mr. Li
Shuping of the China Research Institute of Film Science & Technology to give
the readers an update on the state-of-the-art of 70mm in China.
Further in 70mm reading:
70mm in China
China Research Institute of Film Science &
Technology or CRIFST for short, is the only state-level research institute
in film science & technology and the most autohoritive organization in
developing of 70mm films in China.
Presently there are 36 70mm/5 perf theaters and 4 70mm/8 perf theaters and 1
70mm/10 perf theater in China. Two of them are located in Beijing. One is
the Dome Theater of China Science & Technology Museum which is equipped
with the Astrovision 70mm/10 perf projection system made in Japan. The
theater was showing the IMAX film "Grand Canyon" before
October 1996, and now it is showing another IMAX film "To Fly".
The second 70mm theater in Beijing is the Super-Screen Theater located
inside the building of China Research Institute of Film Science &
Technology (CRIFST), which uses a 70mm/8 perf projection system made in
China with a 7 track digital sound system. The film shown is "Grand
Canyon". The theater is also capable of showing 70mm/5 perf and
35mm films with six track Dolby Digital and SONY SDDS sound reproduction
system. Three theaters in China have the SDDS digital sound system. Two are
in Beijing, and the third is in Shanghai.
70mm/5 perf and 70mm/8 perf projectors are made at two different [70mm]
projector manufacturers in China. Guandong Film Equipment Corporation
manufactures the FG 70 70mm projector and Harbin Machinery Factory
manufactures the 5507 projector. Picture 1 shows the 70mm/8 perf FG 70
projector installed in CRIFST's theater.
CRIFST has successfully developed the first 65mm camera in China. The camera
uses HASSEBLAD still photograph lenses and is capable of shooting 65mm/5
perf, 8 perf and 10 perf films by changing the claw mechanism. The camera is
now being used to shoot an experimental 65mm/8 perf film and it will be
further refined and improved. The 65mm camera known as the CC-65 will
certainly promote the development of 70mm films in China.
12 films of 70mm/5 perf (blown up from 35mm anamorphic) and 4 films of
70mm/8 perf (blown up from VistaVision) films have been made in China. These
films were all shot with 35mm cameras and enlarged onto 70mm prints. CRIFST
will shoot the first 70mm/8 perf film "Yangtze Gorges" in
May 1997 using 65mm negatives and the newly developed CC-65 [65mm] camera. "Yangtze
Gorges" is scheduled to open in China in June 1998. The synopsis is
"..the sight, local conditions and customs in Yangtze Gorges". The
running time will be about 15 - 20 minutes.
CRIFST has modified an existing 35mm developing machine into a 65mm/70mm
developing machine. A 70mm printer will be completed in 1997.
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