UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN
That's the Way the Coaster Bounces
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Bob
Whearley, Long Beach Press Telegram 16 Feb 58,
Prepared for in70mm.com by Brian Guckian, Dublin, Ireland||Date:
eye freezes thrill of roller coaster. The loops and dips-of the Cyclone
Racer course at the Nu-Pike loom menacingly in the distance as a car
carrying a camera crew from Panavision Inc. Hurtles down the first big
incline. The motion picture crew came to the Long Beach amusement park last
week to shoot action footage with their wide-screen process, which also is
being used for filming of "Ben Hur" in Italy.—(photo by Bob Shumway.)|
I've just had seven rides in a roller coaster, and it
affect me a bit.
But if you think us newspaper guys got it bad, you should see what these
movie cameramen have to go through.
A crew from Panavision Inc. mounted $25.000 worth of camera gear on a
Cyclone Racer car at the Nu-Pike last week. They were shooting some
spectacular action footage to show to potential buyers of the 65-mm.
The cameramen, headed by John R. Moore, executive vice president of
Panavision, then climbed aboard the cars and spent an entire afternoon
hanging on for dear life.
THE MOVIE BUSINESS never had so many ups and downs in a single day.
As workmen put the finishing touches on the mount for the giant camera and
its lens, Moore and Robert E. Gottschalk, president of Panavision, told how
the filming process was used.
"Flexibility is the big point," said Moore. "You can make three film strips
from Panavision footage, and do away with need for the three separate
cameras used in Cinerama. Or, if you want, you can make 35mm prints.
"'Raintree County’, for example, was filmed in Panavision, but they
were in a hurry to get it out so they released it in 35mm."
The film, "Ben Hur," now in production in Italy, also is being shot
with the Panavision lens.
UPCOMING IS ANOTHER full-length movie which will be shot on
location in Hawaii. The film, tentatively titled "Owyhee," is based
on the book "The Magnificent Matriarch" by Kathleen Mellen. Frank Nugent,
who did the screenplays for "Mr. Roberts" and "The Searchers,"
is writing the script.
The camera car was ready.
Moore and cameraman Meredith Nicholson climbed into the car behind it, and
the train started to creep down the first incline. An Independent,
Press-Telegram photographer and reporter tagged along in the rear car, to
record the action.
Rounding the first curve, the cars started clanking up the big incline. The
cameramen made their final light meter checks, and the reporter fought down
an impulse to jump out — then, that is.
At the top of the incline, the cars seemed to hesitate for a minute, then —
DOWN DROPPED THE TRAIN at an 80 mph clip, rocking like crazy. "Great action pictures!” shouted the photographers.
Round and round and up, then down, went the coaster, as the battery-powered
camera kept grinding off footage.
"DON'T STAND UP," the signs alongside the track. What a waste of paint!
Finally, it was over — only to start all over again.
At the end of the seventh trip, the I. P.-T. team took its leave despite an
invitation to remain.
"You could get to like this,” said Nicholson, settling down in his seat for
another fast go-round.
It is to laugh.
|More in 70mm reading:|
Importance of Panavision
Panavision 70 Lens
"The Motion Picture Projectionist"
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