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MGM Adopting Panavision's 65mm Process on Big Films

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: DAILY VARIETY 27 APRIL 55. Prepared for in70mm.com by Brian Guckian, Dublin, IrelandDate: 20.12.2015
MGM's 65mm photography process, under development for many years, will be employed on future important pictures, it was stated yesterday by E. J. Mannix, studio general manager, in an announcement of new technical advancements and expansion of operational facilities in all departments of the Culver City lot. The new production resources, Mannix said, were planned and carried out by J. J. Cohn arid technical experts in all branches concerned.

The new 65mm system will make possible the filming and presentation of pictures on the largest screens available anywhere and at the same time will provide for exhibition of the same picture on any smaller screen utilizing standard projection equipment and without the need of separate cameras or other duplication of work during production, according to Mannix.

The new process resulted from experiments dating back nearly 25 years to wide-screen effects used in the first "Billy the Kid" film, with the work being directed by Douglas Shearer, in charge of MGM technical research, assisted by Franklin Milton. The technical teams of John Arnold, head of camera department; Merle Chamberlin, head of projection department, and his staff, and E. J. Tucker, head of laboratory, and his staff of experts including Irving Ries, Jack Turner, Elmer Londre and Herman Lentz, supplied the contributions in their particular fields which make the system possible.

It was stated that the MGM 65mm process will be capable of filming productions for the biggest of all screens and at the same time provide negative for improved CinemaScope and standard prints. Special camera lenses were developed for the system by Panavision.

Exhibition prints in all sizes also will accommodate sound tracks of the present standard types whether optical or magnetic, as well as superstereophonic sound for the largest screens in either magnetic or optical forms, according to Wesley C. Miller, in charge of the sound department.

Mannix also announced expansion of studio facilities including a re-design of the industrial center under direction of William Spencer, hoisting by 200 percent the productive capacities of carpenter shop, mills, machine shop, paint department and other units in this group. J. E. Tucker also has completed installation of new lab processing equipment to increase development of color film to 3,000,000 feet weekly, enabling MGM to process not only Its own production negative of color films but also release prints of uniform quality to the world market. Important innovations in sound techniques also are being carried out by Wesley Miller, with interchange of operations between Culver City and London now possible.

Appointment of George Murphy as studio public relations director, Mannix added, is an important part of plans for continuation of close employer-employee association, with Murphy representing management in activities of the Studio Club and in all other matters pertaining to inter-studio relationships.
More in 70mm reading:

Panavison Large Format Motion Picture Systems

The Importance of Panavision

Super Panavision 70
Ultra Panavision 70

Ultra Panavision 70 Lens

Internet link:

"The Motion Picture Projectionist"

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Updated 07-01-23