Category Archives: Film




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Big Pic

The largest photo ever taken of Tokyo is zoomable, and it is glorious

It took photographer Jeffrey Martin two days of shooting and four months of editing to create the interactive panorama you’re about to experience. At 600,000 pixels wide, it would measure 50 meters by 100 meters if printed at photographic resolution. And yes, it is every bit as awesome as it sounds.

Go ahead. Try it. Zoom in on anything you want, like that guy off in the distance taking a photo from his apartment balcony. What’s that? You can’t see him? Here, let us point him out for you:

The largest photo ever taken of Tokyo is zoomable, and it is glorious

To see the full PHOTO and the whole resolution with the rest of the story, go to the original post:

@ io9

1899 the date of the first color film, by: Edward Raymond Turner

The remarkable discovery is set to re-write the history of early film.

The National Media Museum in the U.K. announced today that it has discovered the world’s first color moving pictures. The reels were found inside a museum vault, hidden inside an old tin dating back to 1899. The remarkable discovery is set to re-write the history of early film.

The color film was created by an Edwardian inventor named Edward Raymond Turner. During the 1890s, Turner worked with color photographs — something that in all likelihood inspired him to do the same with moving pictures. It was during this time that he learned about color separation, the process of breaking down images into red, green, and blue.

In 1899, just five years after British audiences first saw moving pictures, Edward Turner, a photographer and, and Frederick Marshall Lee, his financial backer, patented the first colour moving picture process in Britain.

A complicated process, it involved photographing successive frames of black-and-white film through blue, green and red filters. Using a special projector (which you can see in the gallery) these were combined on a screen to produce full-colour images.

Turner died in 1903 and Charles Urban turned to early film pioneer, George Albert Smith, to perfect the process. After working on it for a year, Smith deemed Turner’s process unworkable and it was abandoned in favour of his own, simpler, colour process. Marketed by Urban as Kinemacolor, this became the first commercially successful colour moving picture process and made a fortune.

Between 1901 and 1903 Turner had created a number of short test films which Urban kept. By using digital technology and following Turner’s method exactly, we have been able to reveal the full-colour moving images on these films so that they can be seen for the first time in 110 years. You can watch the full footage in the Kodak Gallery or see edited highlights in the video above.

Initially, museum curator Michael Harvey thought the film was a failed attempt to produce color moving images. But on closer inspection he realized that Turner had stumbled upon a rather unique technique.

While the film appears black and white to the naked eye, each frame looks slightly different. This is because Turner captured each frame through a particular color filter, either red, green, or blue. And lucky for the restoration team, Turner was kind enough to mark the appropriate color on every single frame.

After converting the film to standard size, and applying the appropriate “color gate”, the restorers were able to reproduce the color film in the same way intended by Turner.

It’s worth noting that all colors which appear on the film have not been tinted, toned, or hand colored in any way.

The researchers suspect that Turner’s technique was largely unsuccessful on account of his inability to develop a reliable play-back projector.

As for the content of the film, Turner’s reels feature scenes with his family in the backyard waving sunflowers around, a girl on a swing, a rainbow-colored parrot, soliders marching, and a goldfish in a bowl.


Source: National Media Museum.

Lost Alfred Hitchcock film found in New Zealand

In a twist the Master of Suspense himself would have been proud of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest surviving movie has been found languishing in a vault in New Zealand.

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By Paul Chapman in Wellington and Nick Allen in Los Angeles

All copies of The White Shadow, a silent feature film released by Hollywood in 1924, had been thought lost to posterity, and cinema historians have described the discovery as “priceless”.

Three dusty reels containing the first half of the film – about 30 minutes of footage – had been stored deep in the bowels of the New Zealand Film Archive, where the search is continuing for the other three reels.

The acclaimed director was 24 when he worked on what was billed as a “wild, atmospheric melodrama” starring actress Betty Compson as twin sisters, one angelic and the other “without a soul”. He was credited as assistant director and also wrote the scenario, designed the sets and edited the footage.

At the time silent Hollywood films were distributed worldwide and, while many prints were discarded and lost in the US, others survived abroad where they were kept after runs in cinemas had finished.

The White Shadow owes its survival to Jack Murtagh, a projectionist in the provincial New Zealand town of Hastings, who was regarded as an eccentric collector of films, cigarette cards, stamps and coins.

To read more go to original post:


Home-built Kodachrome machine – that’s some serious DIY

by Devin Coldewey

Film lovers may be finding it hard to get their hands on their favorite brand of film. Film dealerships are getting fewer and fewer, and many types of film currently being manufactured aren’t compatible with old cameras. What’s a guy to do when his favorite color stock is extinct forever? How about make his own?

Putting film together isn’t as simple as brushing a photosensitive layer onto some plastic. There’s a whole science to doing it right, to say nothing of the chemical recipes necessary. The layers are micrometers thin and… well, there’s no use getting into the nitty gritty. If you wanted to build your own film-making machine, you’d have your nose in this kind of stuff all day long anyway. More details at the Flickr page.

Fujifilm Instax mini50S Camera Goes After Polaroid Market Niche

by Dave Freeman

Fujifilm has released an alternative to the beloved Polaroid camera, and calls it the Instax mini50S. The good news is, the Instax film is cheaper than the reissued Polaroid, running about $16 for 20 shots. The bad news is, it’s only available in Japan (currently) and will cost you about $220 to import.

Before you shell out for the latest from Fujifilm, don’t forget about the Lomo Diana F+ – it uses the same film, and only costs $90.

[via Gizmodo]

Countdown to Kodachrome’s last development

by Gordon Haff

With the last roll of Kodachrome slide film ever to be manufactured by Kodak now developed, a major chapter of the film photography era is winding down. Dwayne’s Photo Service of Parsons, Kansas, is the only lab left in the world that still processes this type of film, and it plans to stop processing Kodachrome on December 10. Kodak itself had previously farmed out what remained of its in-house film processing business to Dwayne’s in 2006.

Kodachrome wasn’t the first color film, but it was the first successful commercial film based on a subtractive process; earlier additive processes used filters, which limited quality. First developed for use as a movie film, the Kodachrome process — in which three emulsions, each sensitive to a primary color, are coated on a single film base — was invented by Kodak’s Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes in 1935.

Modern color slide films all use a subtractive process. In this regard, Kodachrome essentially served as a template for all subsequent mass-market color slide films, including Kodak’s own Ektachromes.

However, at a more detailed level, Kodachrome isn’t much like other slide films. The differences are a big reason why Kodachrome remained popular for so long, in that they improved image longevity and helped photographers produce uniquely colorful images. But they’re also the reason that maintaining this line of film became untenable for Kodak as its volumes shrank.

In most slide films, the couplers (color formers) for each subtractive color are added to the appropriate emulsion layers of the film when it is manufactured. Agfa pioneered this approach in 1936.

All dye images (typically three) are then formed simultaneously during the color developer stage of processing. E-6 is the name of the commercial process. While somewhat exacting with respect to time and temperature, running film through E-6 is still relatively straightforward. It’s used by commercial labs to develop Ektachrome, Fujichrome, and essentially all other modern slide films; even amateurs can run film through an E-6 process at home.

Not so with Kodachrome.

The film is essentially a multilayer black-and-white film, meaning that the color formers have to be added in a very carefully controlled way during the development process, the current generation of which goes by K-14.

The first developer merely forms three superimposed negative images of the original scene, one in each of the red-, green-, and blue-sensitive emulsion layers. To introduce color, the film needs to be re-exposed to light multiple times through filters of various colors and subsequently developed in appropriate chemicals. These steps essentially colorize the unexposed and undeveloped silver halide in each the three emulsion layers, which is to say the positive image. The silver is then removed, leaving the three positive dye images.

It’s a very exacting and complicated process relative to E-6 and has always been handled by a relatively small number of labs. (Prior to a 1954 consent degree, Kodak wouldn’t even sell the chemicals needed to do the processing.)

Film sales have dropped significantly. Film isn’t going away anytime soon. But lower volumes tend to lead to fewer choices. That Kodachrome is one of those choices being weeded out is certainly nostalgia-provoking. It was a favorite of many professional photographers. I myself liked it and shot many rolls, albeit fewer in recent years after Kodak started to come out with new generations of Ektachrome that I favored for many purposes.

And today, well, it’s been well over a year since I’ve shot a roll of film. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t fondly remember Kodachrome.

Source: Cnet

Quantum film threatens to replace CMOS image chips

By: R. Colin Johnson

PORTLAND, Ore. — Just as photographic film was mostly replaced by silicon image chips, now quantum film threats to replace the conventional CMOS image sensors in digital cameras. Made from materials similar to conventional film—a polymer with embedded particles—instead of silver grains like photographic film the embedded particles are quantum dots. Quantum films can image scenes with more pixel resolution, according to their inventors, InVisage Inc., offering four-times better sensitivity for ultra-high resolution sensors that are cheaper to manufacture.

“Many innovations are said to be revolutionary, but are really incremental changes. InVisage’s quantum film, on the other hand, really is revolutionary,” said Tom Hausken, director of photonics and compound semiconductors at Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, Calif.) “Quantum dots have been a solution looking for a problem for several years, and InVisage has found a very significant problem they can solve.”

According to Morry Marshall, vice president of strategic technologies at Semico Research Corp. (Phoenix), InVisage could have the next generation image sensor. “It gathers more light so you can either make a smaller image sensor for a less expensive cell phone camera, or you make a higher resolution sensor for high-end digital cameras,” Marshall said. “It’s a huge step forward and the market is also huge, so they will also need to overcome the problems facing any small company when trying to penetrate a large market.”

The new semiconducting material was invented by Univeristy of Toronto professor Ted Sargent, who is now chief technology officer at InVisage. Sargent perfected a method of suspending lead-sulfide nanoparticles in a polymer matrix to form a new class of semiconducting polymer that Invisage has spent the last three years integrating into a standard CMOS process. Now it can paint quantum film atop a low-cost wafer that has the electrode array for super-dense high-pixel-count images, but without any of the expensive CMOS photodetectors that make up the bulk of conventional digital camera sensors.

“Our quantum film replaces the silicon used for image capture, but what we have really created here is a new semiconductor material,” said Jess Lee, InVisage president and CEO. “Our quantum film even looks like photographic film—an opaque black material that we deposit right on the top layer of our image chip.”

Unlike tradition semiconductors, which have a fixed bandgap, the bandgap of Invisage’s quantum film can be adjusted by changing the size of the embedded quantum dots. The film can also be painted-on at room temperature, obviating the need for expensive high-temperature fabrication techniques required by conventional sensors.

“We can paint our quantum-dot film onto any surface,” said Lee. “Right now we are painting them on silicon wafers for our first product—an ultra low cost image sensor that obsoletes CMOS sensors.”

Traditional CMOS sensors require that light filter down past several microns of metallization to reach the photodetectors on a silicon wafer, but InVisage’s quantum film is on the top layer for 100 percent exposure to incident light.

“Traditional CMOS sensors require light to travel down through four or five microns of metal before reaching the photodetector, whereas our quantum film captures all the incident light in a layer just 500 nanometers thick,” said Michael Hepp, director of marketing at InVisage (Santa Clara, Calif.).

This process that was improved upon by OmniVision (where Lee was formerly the vice president of the mainstream business unit) with back-side illumination (BSI). According to Lee, BSI only converts about 80 percent of incident light because trenches are required between pixels to prevent cross talk in conventional sensors. Quantum film, on the other hand, exposes the entire top layer of the chip to light, allowing 100 percent pixel coverage and without the need for BSI.

“Just by virtue of having our detector on the top surface, we get a 2X increase in sensitivity—the holy grail of the industry,” said Lee. “Beyond that we have changed the materials too—our quantum film is twice as efficient at absorbing incident light for another 2X improvement, for a 4X improvement overall.”

Physically, what happens is photons hit the quantum dots, but because of their small size quantum confinement converts the energy into an exciton—a bound electron-hole pair. The metal electrode then conducts the electron away thereby sensing the incident light.

“We draw down those electrons and store them on a capacitor in a very standard-looking CMOS pixel—except we don’t have to build a photodetector too so we can use much larger and less expensive geometries, since the quantum film has already done all the light capturing steps on the first layer,” said Lee.

As a consequence, InVisage claims to be able to create image sensors that are four-times as sensitive (or four times smaller for the same sensitivity) using a low-cost 8-inch, 1.1-micron CMOS line at TSMC, compared to the CMOS image vendors today who have to use an expensive 12-inch, 65 nanometer process to achieve inferior results.

For the future, the company also plans to target other specialized applications, such as pitch-black night vision goggles, cheaper solar cells and even spray-on displays.

“Because we have better quantum efficiency, we can also apply our quantum film technology to more efficiently collect light for solar cells, or for paintable displays on textiles, clothing and other novel uses such as glowing street signs and other night-time illumination needs,” said Hepp.

InVisage has had two rounds of funding since its founding in 2006, including about $30 million so far from RockPort Capital, Charles River Ventures, InterWest Partners and OnPoint Technologies.

Source: EEtimes

Film at Half the Price

Something really interesting, I read about and want to share with you all:

Public domain image by Max Smith
Public domain image by Max Smith

I write a lot about accesible, i.e. “cheap” filmmaking. But as I explicitly mention in The Guide, filmmaking does cost money, and often the camera and what’s in it comprise the least expensive aspect of a shoot.

And while we all know (and I don’t say it enough) that color negative film is still the gold standard for motion picture image quality, we also know that it’s expensive. Usually, if I eschew film for digital aquisition, it’s for workflow reasons—but sometimes it’s purely due to cost.

But what if film stock and processing was half price?

Panavision sent me this press release today:


Venerable Film System Provides High-quality Images Coupled with Significant Cost Savings

April 7, 2009—Woodland Hills, Calif. — While there is no easy antidote for the effect of the recession on independent filmmakers, Panavision suggests that the venerable two-perf film system may prove to be both an artistic and economic godsend in these troubled times.

Three recent productions – “Curve of Earth,” “Shoot First and Pray You Live” and “Gallow Walker” – are examples of films shot in 35mm two-perf that delivered the artistic vision of the production team, and saved roughly 50 percent on film negative and processing costs over standard four-perf, full-frame production.

Panavision now offers modified 35mm Panaflex cameras with two-perf movements available for rental. All handle Panavision’s range of legendary spherical film lenses from super speeds to Primos.

(For those unfamiliar with two-perf, the term refers to a modified film camera’s ability to record two images within the space usually inhabited by a single four-perf frame. “Perfs,” short for perforations, are the holes on either side of a piece of film that a camera sprocket engages to advance the film past the camera’s shutter.)

According to Andy Romanoff, Panavision Executive Vice President, Technical Marketing and Strategy, two-perf provides filmmakers with the ability to shoot 2.35 wide-screen images, usually attributed to higher-end systems, at reduced costs. It delivers a widescreen viewer experience but slices film stock and negative processing costs by 33 to 50 percent.

“In today’s difficult times,” said Romanoff, “filmmakers want the unique qualities of film, but find themselves daunted by cost. Using digital technology is a viable alternative, certainly, if you are using a sophisticated digital cinema system such as the Panavision Genesis. Using a less robust digital system will produce less robust images, and can compromise an artistic vision.

“With two-perf, no compromise is necessary. The two-perf system delivers true film images, allows creatives to lay down the images they imagined, and still create their film affordably.”

For more information, contact your local Panavision representative.

There’s nothing new about 2-perf 35mm—George Lucas used it on THX 1138, back when it was calld Techniscope. No mention of whether the modern incarnation might use the full width of the 35mm frame (Super Techniscope?). The OG Techniscope used Academy width, which, when split horizontally created a perfect 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

This kind of smart use of film is very digital-friendly. Formats like Techniscope and 3-perf never really caught on before the advent of the DI, because they required an optical process to convert to projectable film. But now that every film image is likely to be digitally processed in post, such duplication is unnecessary.

What I like about 2-perf over 3-perf is that it brings some of the cajones back to ‘scope filmmaking. There’s no post-reframing or full-screen unmatted video versions of a Techniscope film. What you shot is what you got, much like anamorphic ‘scope.

An £8,000 projector ushers in future for independent cinema

By: Wendy M Grossman

Hampered by distributors’ demands and the move towards digital, indie cinemas have found an affordable solution

Light work … digital projection provides indie cinemas and film-makers with more screening options Photograph: Sunset/Rex Features
Light work … digital projection provides indie cinemas and film-makers with more screening options Photograph: Sunset/Rex Features

The picture on the ageing silver screen in front of us is unquestionably of theatrical quality. The independent film-makers Michael Bergmann and Doug Underdahl move around, checking from all angles. It is, as Bergmann has warned, different: not film’s luminous grain nor video’s harsh flatness. This digital image is thrown by a high-end Leica business projector powered by … a Macbook Pro running QuickTime Pro. Two emissaries from Leica’s nearby US headquarters seem stunned. They had no idea their projector could throw a 1920×1080 image 100 feet at 24 frames per second in this quality. For comparison, Bergmann slips in an ordinary DVD. We all agree – ugh.

Bergmann’s latest film, Tied to a Chair, for which Underdahl was director of photography, and which recently won the best in festival prize at theHeart of England International Film festival, is caught in two traps, like many independent films. First: the transition from film to digital. Second: shrinking distribution for independent and art films. Bergmann’s movie has been digitally produced but the Washington theatre in New Jersey, which wants to show it, only has film projectors. Buying a digital projector costs $60,000 (£37,000). A good 35mm transfer about the same. Neither film-maker nor cinema can afford it.

We Leica it

It was during this impasse that Bergmann read about Leica’s £8,000 Pradovit D-1200, and thought its specifications might suffice. Theatrical digital projectors are either 2K (a resolution of 2048×1080) or 4K (4096×2160).

To compensate, Bergmann and Underdahl have placed their rig in the 10th row of the audience, blocking off about 20 seats. Underdahl, who co-designed and fabricated the remote-controlled pan/tilt head for the deep-dive segment of Titanic, has built a box to hold the projector and laptop. For a commercial cineplex with a projectionist who services six or seven screens at once, it wouldn’t work. But for an independent cinema or a film festival, it may change the game.

The digital cinema analyst for Screen Digest, David Hancock, believes Europe and Asia are about two years behind the US in terms of digital screens but are catching up. “At the end of 2008, we had nearly 9,000 screens,” he says, talking of the large commercial exhibitors. “And then recently, a lot are going for 3D.” Most US screens are either converted or signed up. We are getting close, he says, to the tipping point – “the time when you can no longer justify 35mm as a format because most screens are digital. We’re not there yet.”

The situation is very different for the independents, who make up 40% of UK screens and control only 20% of the box office. Largely, the problem is money: who pays for new projectors? “There is a huge problem in Europe and the US with independent cinemas who don’t belong to a circuit and don’t have the mass to do financial deals,” Hancock says.

Venues such as the Washington theatre (which also shows first-run Hollywood films) are dying everywhere. Marco Matteo, who grew up watching movies in this 1927 theatre, wants to restore it and turn it into a multipurpose community resource that shows movies, stages concerts and gives local students hands-on facilities. That is also Hancock’s vision. “I think of 35mm as a good-quality, single-bladed knife,” he says. “But digital is a Swiss army knife. The options are there, and it opens up a whole new world of entertainment. You can take back what the cinema started as – a broad content entertainment medium.” Before television, cinemas showed news, serials and drama. “A 35mm projector can only show what’s on a reel that comes in at some expense.” Digital can come from anywhere – radio, TV, satellite.

He doubts laptops are the answer. What is making digital cinema take off, he argues, is standards. “The DCI [Digital Cinema Initiatives] creates a minimum standard that people can have confidence will go forward – a single universal standard so we’re not ending up in a world where there are 15 or 25 different projection systems using different coding.”

You could, Hancock says, “get one distributor or producer to give you a film. But if you’re a cinema and choose to go that route you’re severely limiting your access to films. It still needs encryption.”

Under lock and key

The studio system is tightly locked down. Not only encrypted, but supplied with a key delivery system so that the file only opens on a specific server to show on a specific projector at a specific time. The more likely approach for independents, he says, is to create a buying group large enough to negotiate better prices.

But that assumes everyone is as paranoid about protecting their copyrighted streams as Hollywood, and that may not be true. The film-maker Nina Paley, for example, explained at the Ebertfest film festival in April that she refused to agree to distributors’ demands that she sign over all rights to her film, Sita Sings the Blues, for five to 10 years.

Instead, she bucked the system by putting her film on the net( under a Creative Commons licence and inviting the audience to distribute it. Two distributors have picked it up, and the film is now booked at festivals in 2010. Paley has arranged a DVD release in response to audience demand.

Alongside Paley, Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, directors of the Katrina documentary Trouble the Water, said that even winning the Sundance Grand Jury prize and being nominated for an Academy award didn’t help.

“We didn’t self-distribute,” said Deal, “but it feels like we are.” Would it really be so surprising if independent theatres and independent film-makers created their own system? One they could afford?

ARRI Unleashes ARRILASER 2 – The Next Generation Film Recorder

By: Ty Lowell

The ARRILASER 2 represents the next generation of a film recorder that has established itself as an integral component of DI workflows all over the world. For 10 years the ARRILASER has set the standard in image quality and maintained an unrivalled level of performance. With over 250 units in almost constant operation worldwide, it is the backbone of the film recording industry.

Supporting a 16-bit image path and recording speeds that double those of previous models, the ARRILASER 2 will transform the DI capabilities of any facility where it is installed. In an industry defined by deadlines, recording speeds of 0.9 sec./frame in 2K and 1.5 sec./frame in 4K allow the ARRILASER 2 to meet the uncompromising needs of film-out clients by vastly improving turnaround times.

Utilizing a Linux-based software package, the ARRILASER 2 features a newly designed GUI that gives a constant overview of recording jobs in progress. The new software offers unprecedented flexibility of operation and speeds up daily operations considerably.

The main advantage of the new software is its ability to control and operate multiple lasers with the ease of just one application. The new client-server architecture permits all ARRILASER software applications to be accessed from anywhere in the network.

The ARRILASER 2 has a range of upgrades, allowing the functionality to expand in line with the needs of individual businesses.

Source: PVC

250D-5207 Vision 3


Kodak de México tiene el placer de anunciar la llegada de la película
Vision3 250D-5207 a México.

Por este motivo te invitamos a asistir al lanzamiento de esta nueva película el día:

9 de Julio de 2009 en Cinemark Polanco – Sala 8.
Boulevard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra No.  397, Col. Irrigación.
Al finalizar el evento, te invitamos al cocktail que se realizará en el lobby del cine.
Para más información, visite: Película. Sin concesiones.

Favor de confirmar tu asistencia telefónicamente al


o por email a

BBC reveals stunning sample footage shot with TyphoonHD4 camera

by Donald Melanson

The BBC has already proven itself to be quite the source for some impressive HD images, but the network’s Natural History Unit looks to have really outdone themselves for their forthcoming South Pacific documentary, which makes use of a modified, $100,000 TyphoonHD4 camera. Of course, those exact modifications appear to be a closely-kept secret, but it has apparently been outfitted with a special underwater housing designed by German high-speed camera expert Rudi Diesel, and the camera itself is able to shoot in high definition at 20 times the speed of a normal HD camera, which results in some pretty amazing super slow motion footage. You can get a taste of that after the break but, trust us, you’ll want to head up the read link below to really get a sense of what this thing is capable of.

[Via SlashGear]