Mar 23, 2012

Is 70mm film a category of orphan film? You bet.

Animator-songstress and Helen Hill Awardee Jodie Mack writes on Facebook today:

"Here sits 2300 feet of clear 70mm leader for collaborative animating with Danielle Ash. Want to see the results? Register for Orphans 8: Made To Persuade - A Film Symposium."

The spool of 70mm-wide polyster film that sits in Jodie Mack's lap weights about 25 pounds. That will yield about 2 minutes of running time.  The Orphan Film Symposium will show the forthcoming Mack & Ash direction animation on Thursday evening, April 12, as prelude to the Helen Hill Award screenings.

When Museum of the Moving Image announced it would host the 2012 Orphan Film Symposium, we knew its 70mm projector must get at least one use during the week. Mack & Ash excitedly volunteered to make a piece for the occasion. (They both received the symposium's Helen Hil Award at Orphans 7, and both are coming back for Orphans 8.)

Jodie Mack shows off a roll of 70mm leader, sent to Dartmouth by NYU from Kodak. March 22, 2012.

All of this was made possible when a whole bunch of people generous contributed to the Orphans hunt for 70mil material. Dewitt Davis and Ray Rayas of Kodak located this roll (in a dented can) somewhere in the company's storage. Earlier Rick Utley had searched at PRO-TEK in Los Angeles. Ken Weissman and Amy Gallick searched for discarded 70 at the Library of Congress labs in Culpeper, VA.

Meanwhile Barry Allen, a past restorer of Paramount large-format features, began making calls last summer, searching for the 70mm film stock or leader. At the lab FotoKem, Kim Young and Walt Rose were very generous and processed a roll of 65mm stock for us, and later a roll of 70. Barry recently also found Glenn Newland at Technicolor Laboratories in L.A. had a box o' clear leader.

At Twentieth Century Fox, Schawn Belston's team found an orphaned reel from a print of John Huston's 1966 epic, The Bible. And at Full Aperture Systems in Chicago, James Bond had a 70mm trailer from Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). All the emulsion is good for scratching off, in a direct animator's eyes. 

So it takes a village of film people to come up with the goods to make a small large-format motion picture in the 21st century. Thanks! 

After the new Mack/Ash film premieres on April 12, then what?  

Looking for 70mm film bookings.