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CineSpace 70 by Todd-AO

This article first appeared in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Credits assembled by Lee Parker, Richard Vetter & Thomas Hauerslev Issue 58 - September 1999

Original title: CineSpace 70 by Todd-AO. Working (tentative) title: CineSpace 70 demo  film.  Filmed in: 65mm, 5 perforations, 30 frames per second. Principal cinematography filmed in: Todd-AO 70mm. Presentation format: Todd-AO 70mm. Aspect ratio: 2,21:1 (flat or shallow curved screen).

Country of origin: USA. Year of production: 1986 - 1987. Released by: Todd-AO Camera Division. World premiere (Release date): Todd-AO/Glen Glenn Studios, Theatre 1 in a presentation for the American Society of Cinematographers. Public Premiere cinema: Kinepolis, Belgium, Summer 1989. America Fairfax Cinema, West Hollywood, 70mm Film Festival (the same festival where the "Director's Cut" of “Blade Runner” premiered, 1990. Great Britain premiere: Odeon Marble Arch for Sir David Lean and Erik Rattray January 1989. Also shown to the public March 14, 1999, Pictureville Cinema, Bradford (Wide Screen Weekend). Producer: United Artists Communications. Designed and Produc ed by: Lee Parker and Dr. Richard Vetter. Director: Lee Parker. Screenplay: There were no screenplay. A shot-by-shot list by Dr. Richard Vetter, see Synopsis.  Film editor: Lee Parker. Sound: See “Notes about the filming”. Production designer: Happen Stance. Narrator: Dr. Richard Vetter. Narration: “These scenes were filmed in Super 35. And now we present CineSpace 70”. Also see Notes about the filming. “Joshua Tree” Car sequences Photography: Jim Dixon. Car action, opening 35mm to 70mm dissolve and other Joshua Tree shots photography: Lee Parker. Additional photography: Barry Gordon. Camera assistant: Erik Pedersen. Camera Grip: Brett Fletcher. Camera Assistant: Ron Raschke. “Lonely Girl” Cast: Marisa Savage (Girl). Pat Banta (Boy). Director: Mark Scott and Lee Parker. Photography: Mark Scott. Set Designer: Lee Parker, Mark Scott. Dress designs: Margi Kent Studios/Melrose. Wardrobe Stylist: Stephanie Scott. Chiffon: Erik Pedersen.  “Lake Powell” Aerials: Energy Productions. Directed: Louis Schwartzberg. “Spanish Girl”.

Set designer: Lee Parker. Stylist: Stephanie Scott. “Models” Cast: Daniella Cordone, Kelly Killoren, Kim Sissons and Kara Young. Set Designer: Mark Scott. Stylist: Stephanie Scott. Wardrobe Stylist: Ricky Castro. Hair: Tony Lucha. Make Up: Jeff Angel. Camera Operator:  Ernie Reed. Best Boy: Larry Flynn. Gaffer: John Isaacs. “Atlanta, Las Vegas & Swamp” Photography: Joe Shelton. Camera Assistant: Russ Allinson. “Steadicam Girl” Steadicam operator: Steve St. John. Steadicam assistant: Tony Francesco. Girl in white dress: Brandy Parker. Production company: United Artists Communications. Production assistant: Dave Thomas, Erik Pedersen. Executive producer: Dr. Richard Vetter. Production staff: Dr. Richard Vetter, Barry Gordon, Lee Parker. Camera assistant: Dave Thomas, Tony Francesco. Camera operator: Lee Parker. Camera technician: Lee Parker, Barry Gordon. Film loader: Lee Parker. Camera Assistant, Timelapse shots: Joseph Claus. Camera system: CineSpace 70 by Todd-AO. Lenses: Mamiya 24mm, Olympus 24mm, Nikon 28mm, Ziess 30mm, Nikon 35mm, Zeiss  40mm, 50mm, 80mm, 110mm, 500mm, Cooke 80-360mm zoom and Zeiss 110-220 Zoom. Cinespace 70 cameras: AP7, AP6, AP8 & FC. Todd-AO technician: Barry Gordon, Lee Parker. Underwater photography: Underwater photography was shooting into a fish tankat the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Aerial mount: Patterson Mount. Gaffer: Bobby Comer, Ernie Reed. Key grip (car sequence Joshua Tree): Ron Raske. Grip: Lee Parker. Music: “Axel F (Part 1)” from the soundtrack “Beverly Hills Cop”. Performed and composed by Harold Faltemeyer. Courtesy MCA Records. Copyright Ó1985 by MCA Records, Inc. “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” from “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”. Performed and Composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto.  Courtesy Virgin Records. Copyright Ó 1983 by National Film Trustee Company/ Virgin Records Ltd. “I had a farm in Africa” from the soundtrack “Out of Africa”. Composed by John Barry. Courtesy MCA Records. Copyright Ó1986 by MCA Records, Inc. “Axel F (Part 2)” from the soundtrack “Beverly Hills Cop”. Performed and composed by Harold Faltemeyer. Courtesy MCA Records. Copyright Ó1985 by MCA Records, Inc. Music supervisor: Lee Parker. Music editor: Lee Parker. Sound design: Lee Parker. Sound mixer: Todd-AO. Location sound recording: None. Sound editor: Lee Parker. Casting: Lee Parker. Optical effects: Boss Films. Locations: Lee Parker. Production start: January 1986 – April 1987. Location research: Lee Parker. End Titles Layout: Lee Parker. End Title Photography: Boss Films. Opticals: Boss Films. Todd-AO developers: American Optical Company and Magna Theatre Corporation. AP6, AP7 & AP8 spinning mirror conversion by: Fries Engineering. Filmstock: 65mm Eastman Kodak 5247 and 5294.  Shooting ratio: 10:1 (see Notes about the filming). 65mm negative developing: MetroColor. Negative cutter: Brian Ralph (Superior Film Services). Color timer: Bill Pine (MGM). Color by: MetroColor. 70mm prints: MetroColor. 35mm to 70mm blow-up: Boss Films with a David Grafton lens. 35mm to 70mm blow-up Optical Camera operator: Chris Regan. Number of 70mm prints: Two. Number of 35mm prints: One. 70mm magnetic striping: FCP. Recorded in: Six-track magnetic stereophonic Dolby Stereo with surround (format 42) of two-track stereo music. Dolby Stereo consultant: David Gray. Sound system: 70mm six track stereo. 70mm running time: 8 minutes and 18 seconds. Distributor: Todd-AO/Glen Glenn Studios, Hollywood, USA.

Further in 70mm reading:

The Saga of Todd-AO

Internet link:


Notes about the filming

“Cinespace 70” was the first 70mm film ever edited entirely with video. The film was edited with an off-line Panasonic 3/4" video system. As a 70mm video telecine was unavailabe at that time, the 70mm footage was telecined with a video camera beam-splitter mirror and a standard Philips DP70/Norelco AA11 70mm movie projector at the UA Pasadena cinema near Los Angeles. The UA Pasedena was not the multiplex UA Pasadena, but an older theater. The telecine was done at the older theater down the street with a 60 ft SILVER SCREEN!  There were two AA's there set up to project 70mm 3D. The CineSpace 70 Demo was projected at 60 foot lamberts!  It was the brightest place in the world. Using the beam splitter from the 3D camera system, Lee Parker was able to get the video camera on the same optical axis as the projector.
The mirror turned the light 90 degrees to a flat white card about 3 feet across. This made a very bright image. Lee Parker did this to get maximum color saturation in the video. Even today you look at the video and you can't tell it was done without a telecine. A propriatary computer program turned the video timecode numbers into film keycode numbers and the work print was cut to match the video. The program was later developed into a full featured program used by “Baraka” and by Douglas Trumball at “Luxor”. The software is still licensed to large format films and is called CONFORM-IT. The sound was mixed to cue marks on clear leader as there were no "rock & roll" mixing projectors for 70mm. Lee Parker created the clear leader by interlocking it with the 70mm workprint and marking dissolve points, fades & cuts. It was an easy mix, with only 6 sound changes. Sound is two track stereo spread to 6 tracks. Some sound effects were added at the beginning for the 6 tracks, but this was a visual piece and not a sound piece. Marisa Savage and Pat Banta had never met before they were cast for “Lonely Girl”. They are now married with childern. Since the dubber could not run at 30fps, Dr. Richard Vetter spoke slowly and his voice when played at 30fps, was pitched-shifted down to correct for the speed. This is why he sounds a little funny.

Steadicam Girl, Mrs. Brandy Parker, is wife of Lee Parker, in her wedding dress. “Spanish  Girl” is just one shot of the girl with the Tiger striped hat. That was a beautiful model from Spain who didn't speak a word of English.  She was directed through an interpreter. It took 16 takes to get it. Take 16 is the one in the film!. The “Swamp”  sequence is the shot looking up at the tree tops with the sky in the background. Lots of stuff ended up on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, we had a camera flare problem on the model shoot stuff and a lot of it wasn't good enough to use. There was a Twist and Shout sequence that couldn't be used.  There were lots of aerials with bi-planes over Lake Powell that we couldn't use for the demo print would have been too long.

Synopsis: Demonstration Film in four major parts. Purpose of the demonstration film is to show the merits of filming with updated 65mm Todd-AO cameras. Following examples are included: zoom, steadicam, low light, high speed, slow motion, time lapse, CU's to infinity, aerial, under water, exterior, people, nature, daytime, nighttime, extreme wide angle to telephoto etc.

Estimated cost of one 70mm print is USD 5000,00 (1999 price).
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Updated 17-12-17