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Report on the 65/70mm Workshop
held at the National Media Museum, Bradford, UK, during the Widescreen Weekend on Sunday 9th March 2008

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Ramon Lamarca Marques, Brian Guckian and Mike Taylor Date: 01.06.2008
65/70mm Workshop, 3rd Session 2009. Picture By Paul Rayton.

This year's Workshop brought up key themes around quality control in the cinema and the need for cinema to offer an experience far surpassing that increasingly available in the home.

Attendees this year were:

Mr. Graham Gartner, Mr. Saddiq Hussain, Mr. Carsten Kerkhoff and Mr. Paul Rayton.

Brian Guckian, Ramon Lamarca and Mike Taylor chaired the Workshop at Pictureville.

The Workshop started with discussion on current cinema projection quality and contributors noted that both 2K digital video in the cinema and formats like Blu-Ray DVD in the home often appeared to offer better quality than frequently poor film-based projection at many cinemas. Sound quality was also cited as being often better in the home environment.

The "McDonald's"-style format of today's cinemas was remarked upon, as was the way the cinema business now seemed to be effectively run by accountants for whom showmanship or formats better than 2K digital video or 35mm were not a prime consideration.
 
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70mm 5-perf cinemas outside North America
70mm 5-perf cinemas in North America
Future of cinema exhibition? Big screen, Big Films, Big Cinema = Big Box Office. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

A key contributor to this state of affairs was identified as being a lack of quality control in theatrical exhibition, both in terms of print quality and projection, and poor audience behaviour. There was some discussion of how to exceed even Todd-AO in the cinema, by taking a cue from previous spectacular and immersive formats like Cinerama.

An interesting suggestion was that a new, immersive, cinema viewing experience, like that offered by Cinerama, could have significant attraction for audiences. There was also discussion of how 70mm could be used for 3-D screenings, using the over/under format pioneered in the past.

A comment that audiences weren't interested in 65/70mm brought up the need for education and the requirement for a proper environment for such formats, including large auditorium, curved screen, curtain tabs, full presentation and a proper "entry" experience to the cinema, with ushers and stylish cafe/bar areas.

Indeed, the largest auditoria in multiplexes could be enhanced for this heightened experience, with installation of 70mm, curved screen, curtain tabs etc. [Workshop Editors' note: This "Premier Screen" concept has been outlined here.

Our thanks again to all who participated, and to Thomas Hauerslev and Bill Lawrence for all their help and support.
 
 

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Updated 21-01-24