Gulliver Arane 65/70mm Laboratory in France
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev||Date: 18.07.2014|
|Jean-René Failliot, directeur technique d’Gulliver Arane|
In July 2008, following our family vacation on the beautiful Normandy coast of France, we travelled to Paris for few days, before going home to Denmark.
In Paris, on a very hot summer day, I met with Widescreen Academy member Francois Carrin. Francois had arranged a tour at the only remaining large format film laboratory in Europe - the Gulliver Arane, in the Paris suburb of Clichy. I was very excited to go and looked forward to seeing the laboratory.
On a previous attempt to see a 65mm/70mm laboratory, I had visited Technicolor in London, but when I arrived, they would not allow me to take pictures. A missed opportunity and today the laboratory is closed - and there are no pictures of the machines and lenses.
I hoped this visit in Paris would be a lot better. Arane Gulliver turned out to be all I could wish for.
|More in 70mm reading:|
Gallery: Gulliver Arane 65mm/70mm Laboratory, Paris, France, July 2008
Restoration of "Play Time"
La restauration de "Play Time"
Die Restaurierung von „Tatis herrliche Zeiten“
Cinema Circulaire 360 - Arromanches 360
Gulliver Arana Sale 2015 (PDF)
31/33, rue Madame de Sanzillon
Tel : +33 331 5521 8370
Fax : +33 331 5521 8379
|Working with large format 65mm negative|
I was pleased to be meeting Jean-René Failliot again. I had met Jean-René previously in Karlsruhe's Schauburg Cinerama cinema during the Todd-AO Festival the year before. I also knew Jean-René from previous correspondence when he wrote about the 65mm restoration of Jaques Tati's masterpiece "Play Time" some years earlier in 2004.
Jean-René met us in the lobby of Gulliver Arane, and while I remember, there was a DP70 70mm projector exhibited in the center of the lobby. Being fans of this particular machine, Francois and I examined it and "took" the serial number to include it to the list. Typical nerd work for a 70mm enthusiast.
|Printer device for large format film. Note the three different colors: YMC - yello, magenta and cyan|
Jean-René happily started the tour with us and showed us the Russian 70mm printer he bought some years ago in Kiev. Now modified to western standards, it is fully operational, and has been used to print the new 70mm prints of "Play Time" and others. The number of items required to run a professional laboratory like this is staggering. Storage cabinets everywhere with lenses, filters, rollers and hardware for the machines. In one room Jean-Rene showed us an original MCS 70 Superpanorama 65mm camera which in recent years has been used for a short the film "Fanny's Wedding" and an even shorter nature animation film called "Tanakh Bibelen al-Quran".
A large Oxberry printer is in one room to make opticals, along with several editing tables necessary for the day-to-day work of a busy laboratory. Naturally, 35mm film was a big part of the work in 2008 when we visited. 35mm negatives were coming in to be developed in the large developing tanks with endless loops of 35mm on rollers. Next to these giant machines we saw the 65mm/70mm machines, and in the next room a small laboratory within the laboratory. Gulliver Arane keeps all the chemicals in special ventilated rooms. Tests of the developing baths are made every day. Gulliver Arane is a certified Kodak laboratory and have strict standards to live up to.
|Simone Appleby at Arane-Gulliver. Behind her a lot of 65mm / 70mm cans|
When a film has been edited by the film's editor, and before before it can be printed, the original negative must be cut accordingly. That job is in the caring hands of one of the few specialists left to do such delicate work. We said hello to Mrs Simone Appleby, who was working on some 70mm film with white gloves to avoid "finger printing" the negative. Simone also cut the final 65mm negative for "The Master" in 2012.
Gulliver Arane is a very specialized laboratory and they make all sorts of prints in various formats. A few days before our visit, I had seen Cinema Circulaire 360 in Arromanches. The film "The Price of Freedom" was a nine panel 360 degree wraparound film about D-day. The film was edited together with some new 360 degree footage and much of it reprinted from previously seen original black and white 16mm and 35mm WW2 originals. All cleaned up and prepared by Gulliver Arane, including splitting some vintage footage into 2 and 3 panels. Presentation at Arromanches was via 9x35mm projectors. It is now done digitally.
|Jean-René Failliot seen between 35mm film.|
Gulliver Arane also works with 70mm 15 perf IMAX films and it was interesting to learn how the finished prints are prepared for transportation on VERY large reels and in VERY large shipping containers. There were not endless amounts of storage rooms for all the reels and cans seen everywhere, so Gulliver Arane is "keeping a tight ship" to make room for everything without loosing a single clip or roll of film.
Before the tour was over, Jean-René showed us Gulliver Arane's private screening cinema. Completely equipped for 70mm with a Kinoton ST270 non-rewind table and a FP75 projector with a DTS reader for 70mm. He regretted it was rarely used at that time. Before we left, we said hello to Mrs. Failliot in her office. On her desk was a 3D image by Morten Skallerud, who was the director of Photography of "Tanakh Bibelen al-Quran". Morten likes to play with 3D and had sent her a framed 18x24 cm still of the crew behind the short film - including a pair of anaglyptic goggles to view the image.
The visit was very interesting and everything I had hoped for. I'd like to thank Mr. Jean-René Failliot and his Gulliver Arane family for their hospitality and kindness. Taking time of their busy schedule and allow Francois and I inside to view "Behind the scenes" of the most modern 65mm/70mm laboratory of Europe - the Gulliver Arane in Paris, France - was magnifique! Merci!
• Go to Gulliver Arane 65mm/70mm Laboratory (gallery)
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