Super 35
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Super 35
Comparing the film area of Super 35 (framed for 2.39) to CinemaScope, standard widescreen and Techniscope.

Super 35 (originally known as Superscope 235) is a motion picture film format that uses exactly the same film stock as standard 35 mm film, but puts a larger image frame on that stock by using the negative space normally reserved for the optical analog sound track.

History

Super 35 was revived from a similar Superscope variant known as Superscope 235, which was originally developed by the Tushinsky Brothers (who founded Superscope Inc. in 1954) for RKO in 1954.[1] When cameraman Joe Dunton[2] was preparing to shoot Dance Craze in 1982, he chose to revive the Superscope format by using a full silent-standard gate and slightly optically recentering the lens port (to adjust for the inclusion of the area of the optic soundtrack -the gray track on left side of the illustration). These two characteristics are central to the format.

It was adopted by Hollywood starting with Greystoke in 1984, under the format name Super Techniscope. It also received much early publicity for making the cockpit shots in Top Gun possible, since it was otherwise impossible to fit 35 mm cameras with large anamorphic lenses into the small free space in the cockpit. Later, as other camera rental houses and labs started to embrace the format, Super 35 became popular in the mid-1990s, and is now considered a ubiquitous production process, with usage on well over a thousand feature films. It is often the standard production format for television shows, music videos, and commercials. Since none of these require a release print, it is unnecessary to reserve space for an optical soundtrack.

When composing for 2.39:1, it was often typical to employ either a "common center", which keeps the 2.39 extraction area at the center of the film that results in extra headroom if opened up to 4:3 or 16:9, or a "common top", which shifts the 2.39 extraction area upwards on the film so that it shared a common top line with a centered 1.85:1 frame. This allowed frame compositions with actors to remain relatively unaffected when producing a 4:3 or 16:9 full screen version with similar headrooms. The downside with common top extraction is that lens flares may not be aligned properly as light sources that are in the center of the full frame appear slightly lower than usual in 2.39 and corner fall-offs and other distortions are not optically centered properly. Also in wide shots, there is too much footroom and not enough headroom and extreme close ups of actors faces as well as their foreheads are still cut off but more picture is gained below the frame. As 16:9 televisions increased in popularity, it became more practical for productions to use the "common center" extraction, which frames across the center of the film, although a "common third" extraction is used if directors want similar headrooms between 2.39 & 16x9 versions.

Examples

Director Year Title
James Cameron 1989 The Abyss
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
1994 True Lies
1997 Titanic
Tony Scott 1986 Top Gun
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II
2004 Man on Fire
2005 Domino
2006 Déjà Vu
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123
2010 Unstoppable
Sir Ridley Scott 1989 Black Rain
2000 Gladiator
2001 Black Hawk Down
2005 Kingdom of Heaven
2006 A Good Year
2008 Body of Lies
2010 Robin Hood (2010)
Wolfgang Petersen 1985 Enemy Mine
1997 Air Force One
2004 Troy
2006 Poseidon
John Hughes 1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off
John Badham 1990 Bird on a Wire
Jack Nicholson 1990 The Two Jakes
Francis Ford Coppola 1990 The Godfather Part III
Ron Howard 1991 Backdraft
1995 Apollo 13
2003 The Missing
2005 Cinderella Man
2006 The Da Vinci Code
2008 Frost/Nixon
2009 Angels & Demons
2011 The Dilemma
John Milius 1991 Flight of the Intruder
Nicholas Meyer 1991 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Quentin Tarantino 1992 Reservoir Dogs
2003 Kill Bill: Volume 1
2004 Kill Bill: Volume 2
James Ivory 1992 Howards End
1993 The Remains of the Day
Martin Scorsese 1993 The Age of Innocence
1995 Casino
1997 Kundun
2002 Gangs of New York
2004 The Aviator
2006 The Departed
2010 Shutter Island
2013 The Wolf of Wall Street
2019 The Irishman
Peter Jackson 1994 Heavenly Creatures
1996 The Frighteners
2001 The Fellowship of the Ring
2002 The Two Towers
2003 The Return of the King
2005 King Kong (2005)
2009 The Lovely Bones
Bryan Singer 1995 The Usual Suspects
1998 Apt Pupil
2003 X2: X-Men United
2008 Valkyrie
Paul Verhoeven 1995 Showgirls
2006 Black Book
Michael Bay 1996 The Rock
2003 Bad Boys II
Roland Emmerich 1996 Independence Day (1996)
1998 Godzilla (1998)
2000 The Patriot (2000)
2004 The Day After Tomorrow
2008 10,000 BC
2009 2012
Paul Thomas Anderson 1996 Hard Eight
Roger Donaldson 1997 Dante's Peak
2003 The Recruit
Gregory Nava 1997 Selena
Curtis Hanson 1997 L.A. Confidential
2000 Wonder Boys
2002 8 Mile
2005 In Her Shoes
2007 Lucky You
John Singleton 2000 Shaft (2000)
2003 2 Fast 2 Furious
2005 Four Brothers
2011 Abduction
The Coen Brothers 2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2007 No Country for Old Men
2009 A Serious Man
2010 True Grit (2010)
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis
2016 Hail, Caesar!
McG 2000 Charlie's Angels
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Baz Luhrmann 2001 Moulin Rouge! (visual effects)
2008 Australia
Steven Spielberg 2002 Minority Report
2005 Munich
2011 War Horse
2012 Lincoln
2017 The Post
Peter Berg 2003 The Rundown
2004 Friday Night Lights
2007 The Kingdom
2008 Hancock
2012 Battleship (visual effects)
Sam Raimi 2004 Spider-Man 2
2007 Spider-Man 3
2009 Drag Me to Hell
Guy Ritchie 2005 Revolver
2009 Sherlock Holmes
2011 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Tim Burton 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2007 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
2010 Alice in Wonderland (2010) (opening and closing bookends)
2012 Dark Shadows
Zack Snyder 2006 300
2009 Watchmen
2011 Sucker Punch
2017 Justice League
Paul Feig 2006 Unaccompanied Minors
2011 Bridesmaids
2013 The Heat
Jon Favreau 2008 Iron Man
2010 Iron Man 2
Joe Johnston 2010 The Wolfman (2010)
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger
2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (reshoots)
Rupert Sanders 2012 Snow White and the Huntsman (visual effects)
David Fincher 1995 Se7en
1997 The Game
1999 Fight Club
2002 Panic Room

Franchises that used the Super 35 format include The Matrix, The Fast and the Furious, Harry Potter, Bourne, the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, National Treasure, the first two The Chronicles of Narnia movies, the first three live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, and The Twilight Saga.

Details

Super 35 is a production format. Theatres do not receive or project Super 35 prints. Rather, films are shot in a Super 35 format but are then -- either through optical blowdown/matting or digital intermediate -- converted into one of the standard formats to make release prints. Because of this, often productions also use Super 35's width in conjunction with a 3-perf negative pulldown to save costs on "wasted" frame area shot and accommodate camera magazines that could shoot 33% longer in time with the same length of film.

If using 4-perf, the Super 35 camera aperture is 24.89 mm × 18.66 mm (0.980 in × 0.735 in), compared to the standard Academy 35 mm film size of 21.95 mm × 16.00 mm (0.864 in × 0.630 in) and thus provides 32% more image area than the standard 35-mm format. 4-perf Super 35 is simply the original frame size that was used in 35 mm silent films. That is, it is a return to the way the film stock was used before the frame size was cropped to allow room for a soundtrack.

Super 35 competes with the use of the standard 35 mm format used with an anamorphic lens. In this comparison, advocates of Super 35 claim an advantage in production costs and flexibility; when used to make 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 theatrical prints, detractors complain of a loss in quality, due to less negative area used and more lab intermediate steps (if done optically).

Aspect ratio

Super 35 uses standard "spherical" camera lenses, which are faster, smaller, and cheaper to rent -- a factor in low-budget production -- and provide a wider range of lens choices to the cinematographer. The chief advantage of Super 35 for productions is its adaptability to different release formats. Super 35 negatives can be used to produce high-quality releases in any aspect ratio, as the final frame is extracted and converted from the larger full frame negative. This also means that a full-frame video release can actually use more of the frame than the theatrical release, provided that the extra frame space is "protected for" during filming. Generally the aspect ratio(s) and extraction method (either from a common center or common topline) must be chosen by the director of photography ahead of time, so the correct ground glass can be created to let the camera operator see where the extracted frame is.

Super 35 ratios have included:

1.66:1 and 1.75:1 have been indicated in some Super 35 frame leader charts, although generally they have not been used for Super 35 productions due to both relative lack of usage since the rise of Super 35 and their greater use of negative frame space by virtue of their increased vertical dimension.

Theoretically, 2.39:1 release prints made from Super 35 should have slightly lower technical quality than films produced directly in the anamorphic format. Because part of the Super 35 image is thrown away when printing to this format, films originated with anamorphic lenses use a larger negative area. Super 35 has continually been popular with television shows, due to the lack of a need for a final release print; with the advent of widescreen television sets, 3-perf Super 35 - with a native 1.78:1 (16:9) ratio - was widely used for widescreen television shows until the advent of digital shooting. 3-perf Super 35 was also used for some time for 2.39:1 feature films, and the digital intermediate process made it more attractive because it allowed the optical processing formerly required to be skipped entirely.

See also

References

  1. ^ "About Us: Superscope Technologies Co." - Superscope website, Archived at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Joe Dunton". IMDb. Retrieved .

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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