MGM Adopting Panavision's 65mm Process on Big Films
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: DAILY VARIETY 27 APRIL 55.
Prepared for in70mm.com by Brian Guckian, Dublin, Ireland||Date:
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
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
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
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