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"Oklahoma!" Printing Operation in the Todd-AO Mark III Printer

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Dr. W. P. Siegmund, American Optical Company, USA. Reprinted from American Optical Research Center files dated July 31, 1957. Issue 53 - June 1998

Benny Grinsewitz loading raw stock into the Mark III printer.

The American Optical Company has the responsibility of printing the release prints of the motion picture "Oklahoma!". In order that this printing may have the closest supervision, it is planned that, at least for the initial stages, this printing will be done in the Research Center in Southbridge. The wet processing of the print film will be done at the Consolidated Film Industries Laboratory in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

It is planned that the first group of answer prints will be done by Consolidated as soon as the negative is cut. These will be done on their present step contact printer and will be subject to the R&H group's approval as to editing, color balance and exposure. While this is being done, our personnel will be working closely with Consolidated so that all information acquired during this operation can be immediately transferred to Southbridge.

After the above answer print is approved, the negative will be shipped to Southbridge, and we will make the final Answer Prints with all corrections incorporated. Once this is approved, we go into production on release prints. All answer prints and release prints will be on 70mm. film.

Our answer printing and release printing must be done on a 24 hour/day and 7 day/week schedule in order to meet the time requirements. It is planned that all of our activities will be ready for production by March 1, 1955.

Further in 70mm reading:

Todd-AO Equipment Catalog

Part 1: Todd-AO
Distortion Correcting Printing Process

Part 2:
Description of Todd-AO Mark III Printer Principle

Internet link:


Rectification's required

A1 Straighten vertical lines
A2 Straighten horizontal lines for predetermined point in theatre
D Droop for high projection booth

Rectifying Equipment

Rectification Provided

S Scan in vertical direction with continuously running film, slit in horizontal position and raw stock curved. B
SO S-scan with oscillating lens continuous curved slit. A1 and B
SS Side scan with slit in vertical position and oscillating lens. Intermittent. Flat gate. A2
SSC SS printer with gate curved around horizontal axis A1 and A2
SSD Side scan off axis with three dimensional lens motion A2 + B
SSU Unit side scan which is a side scan with curved gates and two dimensional lens motion. Provide complete rectification in one step A1 + A2 + B
CC Double curved printer with curvature of films in same sense and curved around a horizontal film axis A1
DD Double curved printer with angle between film curve and film curved around a vertical film axis. B
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Updated 07-01-23