Technirama is a screen process that has been used by some film
production houses as an alternative to CinemaScope. It was first used
in 1957 but fell into disuse in the mid-1960s. The process was
Technicolor and is an anamorphic process with a screen
ratio the same as revised
CinemaScope (2.35:1) (which became the
standard), but it's actually 2.25:1 on the negative.
Technirama process used a film frame area twice as large as
CinemaScope. This gave the former a sharper image with less
photographic grain. Cameras used 35-mm film running horizontally with
an 8-perforation frame, double the normal size, exactly the same as
VistaVision cameras were sometimes adapted. Technirama
used a 1.5:1 anamorphic optic in front of the lens in order to stretch
the vertical image (unlike
CinemaScope camera lenses which squeezed
the image horizontally). To achieve the required wider format, lenses
of shorter focal-length had to be used. In the laboratory, the
8-perforation horizontal negative would be reduced optically,
incorporating a 1.33:1 horizontal squeeze to create normal
4-perforation (vertically running) prints with images having an
anamorphic ratio of 2:1.
VistaVision had a few flagship engagements using 8-perf
horizontal contact prints and special horizontal-running projectors,
there is a bit of evidence that horizontal prints
were envisioned for
Technirama as well (probably with 4-track magnetic
sound as in CinemaScope), but to what extent this was ever done
commercially, if at all, remains unclear.
Super Technirama 70 was used on films where the shooting was
Technirama and at least some prints were made on 70-mm stock
by unsqueezing the image. Such prints would be compatible with those
made by such 65-mm negative processes as
Todd-AO and Super Panavision.
The quality would have been very good but perhaps a bit less than
those processes, because the negative was not quite as large and
needed to be printed optically.
Technicolor had roughly 12 of its Three-Strip cameras converted into
VistaVision cameras, using camera movements supplied by Mitchell
Camera Corporation, the 1932 supplier of the original Three-Strip
camera movements. After the 1956 delivery by Mitchell Camera
Corporation, the converted
Technicolor Three-Strip cameras immediately
became obsolete, and were surplus to Technicolor's operations. These
VistaVision cameras thereafter became the
Technirama cameras, which were subsequently supplemented by a
few Paramount hand-held
VistaVision cameras fitted with anamorphic
optics. The logistical advantage of using 35mm film, end-to-end,
should not be underestimated.
A few 8-perf titles have been preserved on 65mm film, but most have
been preserved on 35mm film or are considered[by whom?] unprintable.
The color was enhanced through the use of a special development
process that was used to good effect in films such as The Vikings
(1958) and The Music Man (1962). However, fewer than 40 films were
produced using this process in the United States. It was more popular
and longer-lasting in Europe.
Walt Disney Productions
Walt Disney Productions used the process
twice for full-length animated features: Sleeping Beauty (1959), and
The Black Cauldron (1985). The 2008 DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of
Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty was shown at an aspect-ratio of 2.55:1
for the first time.
Film: 35 mm running horizontally using eight perforations at 24
frames per second.
Film area: 1.496" (38 mm) × 0.992" (25.2 mm).
Anamorphic power: 1.5
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Prints) 2.25:1 (Negative)
See List of
List of film formats
Motion picture film formats
Modern anamorphic (1957)
Super 35 (1982)
Super Panavision 70 (1959)
35 mm × 3
Aspect ratio standards
Video framing issues
Pan and scan
Pan and scan (Fullscreen)