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"Ellston Bay" - in VistaVision
Our long-term funding goals is to eventually release as an IMAX 15/70 print in the BFI IMAX in London

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Nick Eriksson, Director / Director of photography "Ellston Bay"Date: 03.07.2016
"Ellston Bay" is a highly ambitious short film project currently set to begin principal photography in September of this year. The project is a psychological-thriller, heavily inspired by the work of renowned horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

When Keir decides to re-connect with his long estranged father, he returns to his childhood home in a small seaside village. On arrival, Keir is alarmed to discover no sign of his father. Concerned, he approaches the town Policeman and townspeople to help locate his whereabouts. In the interim, Keir finds himself becoming increasingly drawn to the waters off Ellston Bay, and the healing properties of the water. Keir gradually becomes distrustful of those that are trying to be of assistance, and it quickly becomes apparent that the village is attempting to hide a dark secret, hidden from public view for many decades.

Of keen interest to followers of large-format origination and presentation is that "Ellston Bay" is originating on the 35mm 8-perf VistaVision format. Utilised most famously by filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, and Marlon Brando amongst others, VistaVision captures high fidelity, large-format images by running 35mm horizontally through the camera.

Originally invented by engineers at Paramount Pictures in 1954, VistaVision was most certainly the pre-cursor for IMAX 15/70 origination and exhibition. Despite its popularity amongst Directors of the 50's and 60's, VistaVision ultimately lost out to the immensely popular Cinemascope. Despite this, VistaVision is still sporadically used to this day by Directors such as Christopher Nolan for miniature work and visual effects plates.

• Go to the gallery: "Ellston Bay" - in VistaVision

"Ellston Bay"'s Director and Cinematographer Nicholas Eriksson has long held a fascination with large-format origination and exhibition, and found that this project was the perfect match for the format, due to the lack of sync-sound dialogue required (the Beaumonte VistaVision camera is loud and generally suited to MOS use).
More in 70mm reading:

in70mm.com's page about VistaVision

The Man Who Could Work Miracles - in VistaVision

The Making of ‘Ellston Bay’

Gallery: "Ellston Bay" - in VistaVision

Horizontal VistaVision Projector

Nicholas Eriksson
Director of Photography
+44 (0)7858 568 945

Ellston Bay
Office 2, The Courtyard
30 Worthing Road
Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1SL
United Kingdom
Director and DOP Nicholas Eriksson lines up the VistaVision frame.

As the Beaumonte VistaVision cameras are generally used for shooting plate-work, Nick sought to modernise the system, and with the kind assistance of Camera Revolution in Shepperton Studios, transported two Beaumonte VistaVision camera bodies along with accessories to Arri Rental for extensive camera testing.

As Nick explains: “these cameras are generally used for locked-off visual effects plates, and it is therefore a great challenge to adapt the Beaumonte camera to the demanding requirements of narrative fiction. Almost every accessory had to be adapted in some way to enable us to work in various camera modes, including the creation of custom power cables and the import of specialist adaptors from the USA to enable the mounting of Hasselblad medium-format stills lenses”.

Bob Campbell at Arri Media provided further re-configuration of these specialist adaptors, taking off excess unnecessary pieces of metal so that the adaptor could fit without any issues.

Nick explains: “Bob has been absolutely critical to our success in ensuring these lenses could work with the VistaVision system. I joked that by the time the lens adaptors eventually fit, we would simply have a pile of metal dust, as we took a lot off!”.

The Kickstarter campaign

The Kickstarter campaign for "Ellston Bay" is now live, and with the full support of the general public, Nicholas Eriksson and the entire team at Fact Not Fiction Films hope to take the VistaVision format into the 21st century. See the links to the right for further information.

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Updated 15-04-24