Here’s Our First Taste of Anamorphic 65mm in Years with Trailer for Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’

It may have fallen out of use almost completely, but Quentin Tarantino is bringing back 65mm film (projected at 70mm) in a big way. He’s been a big proponent of film his whole career (and has called digital cinema like TV in public), and he’s shot his most recent film The Hateful Eight completely in 65mm with anamorphic lenses, giving us the first Ultra Panavision 70 film in years. Here’s the first trailer:

Here are the specs for this shoot:

Panavision 65 HR Camera and Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio
Panavision APO Panatar Lenses
65mm: Kodak Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219
Aspect Ratio: 2.75:1

This film is getting a full release in Ultra Panavision 70, which means that we’re going to see the first fiction feature film screened in anamorphic 70mm with a single-projector Cinerama system since Khartoum in 1966 (movies like Ben-Hur and Mutiny on the Bounty also used this format). Talk about making some history.
Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 3.54.31 PM

You might remember that the last major Hollywood film to shoot on 65mm and project in 70mm was Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, but while that film shot 5 perf 65mm (2.20:1 native aspect ratio), they center cropped that frame to get to the standard 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and shot a handful of bits on 35mm. The Hateful Eight, on the other hand, is taking that native 2.20:1 aspect ratio and shooting with 1.25x anamorphic lenses, which is later unsqueezed to a super-wide 2.75:1 aspect ratio — much wider than the normal widescreen in cinema today, which is 2.39/2.40:1. To jog your memory, here’s a trailer for The Master:

To make that a bit more clear, here is a look at The Master from Twitch Film:

And here’s how the projection actually looked on 70mm:

As you can see that center-cropped 1.85:1 frame has a bit of black on the left and right. From The American Widescreen Museum, here’s what’s going on with The Hateful Eight, which is going to end up being a much wider image:

The 65mm/70mm era was a bit confusing to say the least, but for the most part shooting on 65mm is pretty rare these days (though a handful of films have shot scenes on it). A few fiction films have also shot with the IMAX format for certain scenes, most notably Christopher Nolan with the Batman films. While that’s a 65mm negative, it runs through the camera horizontally, instead of vertically, giving you a giant 15 perf negative with a much narrower 1.43:1 aspect ratio:

And that’s your aspect ratio lesson for the day. The Hateful Eight will be screening in a handful of theaters in 70mm on December 25th, which will then be followed by a much wider release in digital. Since most theaters no longer have film projectors, that isn’t much of an option at this point for Tarantino if he wants to get a wide release. Either way, seeing Ultra Panavision 70 projected in theaters is probably going to be something you don’t want to miss, as it could very well be the last new film to ever use the format.

How to Surf An Ocean Wave with a Dirt Bike

(The Cinematography is Pretty Good, Too)
Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.07.46 PM

Never let it be said that humans can’t accomplish some really cool shit when they put their minds to it.

In a collaboration with DC Shoes, world-renowned motocross athlete Robbie Maddison recently took a trip to Tahiti, where he rode his custom dirt bike into the surf and caught a few waves. And we’re not talking little waves either. No, we’re talking massive 20 foot waves that could absolutely crush somebody. The crazy bike run was close to three years in the making, and of course, it was caught on camera (many cameras actually — the POV shots were taken with a Sony 4K Action Cam, apparently the X1000V) and edited down into an action sports segment that is as breathtaking as it is insane:

There’s a behind-the-scenes documentary underway as well, but unfortunately it appears like it won’t be released for some time. For now, here’s brief trailer for it:

If you’re wondering if the bike could survive a trip underwater — the answer is no. Here’s a snippet from his Rolling Stone interview:

Each time the bike went under, we had extensive mechanical work to rebirth it for another run. We knew we were bound to sink the bike a few times in Tahiti, so we switched from a 450cc four-stroke motor to a two-stroke motor for the advantage of having a less-complicated engine and less electronics and wiring to deal with.

Not only is the act of surfing on a motorcycle pretty badass in and of itself, but the production team behind this video pulled out all of the stops in terms of cinematic techniques. It’s par for the course for action sports films to be littered with plenty of aerial shots and slow motion, but this one runs the gamut and includes some serene macro shots, fast-moving tracking shots (which I’m guessing were captured from cars or other bikes), POV shots from Sony Action Cams, underwater shots, and many more. Add to that some incredibly immersive sound design and a slick, fast paced edit, and you’re left with one of the coolest and well-produced action sports segments of the year.

How They Created the Terrifying Dinosaur Sounds in ‘Jurassic World’

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 7.39.14 PM

Jurassic World Raptors
Ever wonder where those dinosaur sounds actually come from?

Obviously it’s impossible to record real dinos, so the sounds must be combined from all sorts of animals that currently exist in the real world. Since Jurassic World is a sequel (one with a particularly out of place death scene), many of the sounds are already well-established, but a few, like the brand new Indominus Rex hybrid, were completely reimagined. Recently SoundWorks Collection sat down with Sound Designer and Re-recording Mixer Pete Horner and Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer Al Nelson from Skywalker Sound, to talk about the sound of Jurassic World:

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:

It’s always funny to see such large creature sneak up on their prey and then proceed to scream at them (something that doesn’t really happen in the real world) — but it works as a narrative device both on and off-screen. The sound design on these films is nothing short of fantastic, and it’s something big Hollywood films still do exceptionally well, regardless of what you think about the plot, script, acting, etc. If you’ve been a fan of the original films, or at least the first one, many of these sounds are going to be familiar, though certainly there is a much more varied soundscape this time around with an entire theme park making an appearance for the first time in the series.