Page 17 - untitled
P. 17

SCOPE FOR ACTION - Soon after the end of World War Two (1939-45), the novelty of sound and  colour
            began to wear off.  More importantly, cinema now had a powerful rival- television. By the earty fifties, weekly
            cinema admissions in the USA were down to around 50 million.  Once again, studio bosses demanded new
            ideas to bring the audiences back.

            The Wlde Screen -The most important and successful change made to film In the fifties was the Introduction
            of Cinema-Scope.  This was a system based on a special kind of lens called an anamorphic lens.  In  the
            camera, when a film Is being shot, this lens 'sees' a very side area of action, and squeezes it up onto ordinary
            35-mm film.  Later, an anamorphic lens, the other way round, is fitted to the projector and stretches out the
            Image so that it regains its proper shape again when it reaches the screen.

            CinemaScope was relatively cheap to  use because it did not require a  new type of film or camera.  II did,
            however, require a much wider screen than the one In standard use. To fill the wide screen to Its best advan-
            tage, films were made wHh plenty of surging action and dazzling spectacle.  The Robe was the first.

            30- Another idea developed in the fifties was three-dimensional film, known as 3-0.  This attempted to give
            the screen picture depth, as well as height and width. To screen a 3-D film, cinemas had to use two separate
            projectors at the same lime, one showing red images, the other showing green. Audiences had to wear special
            glasses, with one red lens and one green lens.  In return, they mostly got things hurled at them, and monsters
            jumping out at them.  After the novelty wore off. 3-D was more or less abandoned, but made a small-scale
            comeback in the eighties, with Jaws 3-0.

            Cinerama - Many other new film techniques were tried out in the fifties.  Cinerama, for example, claimed to
            bring 'total reality' to the experience of watching a film. II was based on the fact that our eyes give us a curved
            view of the world around us - a sweeping arc about 150 degrees wide and 50 degrees high.  The Cinerama
            system set out to achieve the same effect by using three cameras all on the same stand for shooting the film,
            and three projectors for showing H. The front rows of the cinema were practically surrounded by the gigantic
            curved screen, about 30 feet (9m) high and 90 feet (27m) round.  As well as the normal central projector, a
            projector on the right side of the auditorium aimed Its beam at the left curve and vice versa. The three separate
            beams were joined up on the screen to made a single Image.

            At first, Cinerama just made the sort of films that showed off what it could do.  For example, audiences of This
            Is Cinerama found themselves in the front seat of a roller coaster.  Some people felt thoroughly queasy by the
            end  of their 'ride'.  In  the earty sixties a few Cinerama features were made.  After that Cinerama died out,
            having been found to be too expensive.

            Smeii-0-VIsion and Sensurround
            Two other novelties were 'Smell-o-Vislon' and, years later, 'Sensurround'. Smell-a-VIsion worked through indi-
            vidual odour outlets Installed for each seat in the cinema. The process was controlled automatically by elec-
            tronic signals on the 'smell-track'. During the course of a film celled Scent of Mystery, the audience received
            controlled whiffs of over thirty different smells appropriate to the on-screen action.  Among the smells were
            boot polish, pipe tobacco, bread being baked, a salty ocean breeze, garlic, carnations, peppermint, coffee,
            lavender, gun smoke, train smoke and fresh air.

            Sensurround tried out the idea of giving the audience something to feel, as well as see and hear.  When Los
            Angeles started to break up in the film Earthquake. the audience felt themselves being shaken all over.  This
            effect was achieved by powerful loudspeakers at the back and front of the cinema, which gave out a  low-
            pitched rumbling sound.

            70-mm Film - One further development worth mentioning is 70-mm film•stock.  Twice as wide as standard 35-
            mm film, it is expensive but it can produce a bigger, sharper Image and better quality sound.  It is used fairly
            frequently today.

            CINEMA OF THE FUTURE - The  IMAX system, invented In  Canada  In  the late sixties,  by an Australian.
            produces the largest film Image ever seen.  A typicaiiMAX screen is 45 feet (14m) high and 62 feet (19m)
            wide.  The auditorium is very steep, so that every row of seats Is about two feet higher than the row in front.
            This arrangement gives very member of the audience a perfect view of the screen.
   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20