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Statement on 65/70mm
A Statement made from the Widescreen Weekend, Bradford UK, in 2005

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Johan C. M. Wolthuis, International 70mm Publishers, The Netherlands Date: 30.09.2007
Pictureville cinema with international widescreen delegates. Image by Thomas Hauerslev

* 250 delegates from all over Europe and America, were celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the TODD-AO 70mm process at the Widescreen Festival at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television In Bradford, United Kingdom.

* Why did 250 people travel thousands of miles to Bradford to the 11th Annual Widescreen Weekend in March 2005 ? Why was the auditorium packed with an excited, happy audience when the films they were to watch, were not the latest blockbusters ? What was so special there ? The answer is Widescreen 70mm Formats and Cinerama ! They wouldn’t have travelled thousands of miles to see these films on standard 35mm. They wanted to see something special !

* They saw a lot of famous Todd-AO 70mm films, (mostly beautiful new prints) like ”Oklahoma!”, ”Hello Dolly”, ”The Sound of Music”, ”Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”, ”Star!”, “The Agony and the Ecstasy” and ”Baraka”.

All these motion pictures were filmed with 65mm cameras, as were the epics ”Lawrence of Arabia”, ”2001, A Space Odyssey”, ”Ben-Hur”, ”Cleopatra”, “Spartacus”, “Ryan’s Daughter”, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, etc.

* The abandoning of the 70mm Formats in the film and cinema industry is surely a great loss ! Digital projection advances slowly forward, but original high quality 70mm films, projected on a large curved screen still surpass the best digital projection and will continue to do so for the conceivable future !

* The majority of delegates, gathered at the Widescreen Festival, would like to make a strong appeal to directors, producers and other decision makers in the film and cinema industry, to put new life into original 70mm filming and presentation. Large cinemas should present something people cannot see at their home cinema: something which is superior to flat screen digital projection: high quality 70mm films, projected on a large curved screen, wall-to-wall ! And 70mm films on the big screen are difficult to copy by means of a video camera, etc. therefore an excellent weapon against piracy ! Many Directors of Photography would like the opportunity to work with 65mm cameras and would love to see original 70mm presentation return. There is a demand for high quality.

Cinemas need a new attraction and that is NOT digital projection !

* Messrs. Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Oliver Stone and others, should use once in their life the 65mm cameras for an epic 70mm motion picture production. And Mr. Ron Howard, experienced 70mm producer: your second chance, try the 65mm cameras another time: now for the filming of “The Da Vinci Code”!

Bradford, United Kingdom, 14 March 2005
More in 70mm reading:

65/70mm Workshop

"Digital & 65mm" - New book from International 70mm Publishers

Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England

Johan Wolthuis Says Goodbye

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Updated 21-01-24