3 Perf Conversion Kit for the ARRICAM System
In addition to the traditional 4
perf movement that has so far been installed in
all ARRICAM cameras, a 3 perf movement is now
available. This movement can be installed in either
the ARRICAM Studio or the ARRICAM Lite. The "3
Perf Conversion Kit (K4.54281.0) contains
a 3 perf movement, a 3 perf film gate, two 3 perf
format masks and a 3 perf filter holder.
Most wide screen 35mm projection
formats, including 1.85 and Super 35/2.35, do
not use the full 4 perforation height of the 35mm
frame. In fact, the only two formats that use
the entire 4 perforation height for picture information
are anamorphic photography and material originated
specifically for 4:3 full-frame TV transfer.
Instead of a traditional 4 perf movement, which
advances the film 4 perforations for each new
image, a 3 perf movement advances the film only
3 perforations, thus eliminating the previously
unused space, and saving about 25% in film stock
and development costs with no reduction in image
So far shooting 3 perf has been a popular choice
for television series. It allows them to reduce
production costs while still retaining a high
quality 35 mm film master, which can be transferred
to any future video format if needed. Currently,
all modern telecines can accommodate film shot
at 3 perforations per frame. Andree Martin, Vice
President of Technical Services at Clairmont Camera,
adds that "most of our 3 perf shows use a
combination HDTV and TV ground glass. They shoot
for standard TV (1.33), but protect for HDTV (1.78).
And the 1.78 aspect ratio image fits very neatly
between 3 perforations.
With the advent of the Digital Lab and the fast
rising popularity of the ARRILASER, two developments
that are closely related, many producers are now
looking at the option of shooting 3 perf for a
theatrical release. In the past 3 perf was mostly
relegated to material destined for television
because of the difficulty of creating a 4 perf
release print from a 3 perf negative. Even though
some productions have gone the route of an optical
blow-up from 3 perf to 4 perf, they found that
the extra cost of such an optical usually obliterated
the savings in film stock and development. But
these givens are changing. It is now possible
to scan the complete 3 perf negative into a digital
intermediate format, perform all post-production
steps in the digital realm, and then use the ARRILASER
to record the images back onto 4 perf Internegative
(IN) or Interpositive (IP) to create standard
4 perf release prints. For a film that will go
the digital lab route anyway, shooting 3 perf
has no disadvantage and saves money.
For more information about 3 perf and a historical
here are some articles (Thanks to David Mullen,
from LA, for sharing his research):
- In the Sept. 1973 issue
of the SMPTE Journal, pg. 742, is an article
titled "A Universal Format for Film Production"
by Bernstein, Wysotsky, and Konoplev. It is
a translated reprint of an article in Tekhnika
i Kino Televideniya of January1973.
It recommends shooting in 3-perf full-aperture
as a way of generating either 1.85, 2.35 anamorphic,
or 4:3 TV versions from the same negative.
- In the March 1975 American
Cinematographer magazine is an article by Kenn
Davis proposing a new lens system with a 25%
anamorphic squeeze, in order to get a 1.85:1
image onto a regular 16mm frame, and a 2.35:1
image onto a 3 perf 35mm frame. He then goes
on to explain other advantages of a 3 perf system,
including for 1.85 production.
- In the June 1976 American
Cinematographer magazine is an article by Miklos
Lente, proposing a 3 perf format called "Trilent-35".
It used the Academy width but the 3-perf height.
- In the July 1986 American
Cinematographer magazine is an article by Rune
Ericson titled "3-Perf in the Future".
- In the February 1998 issue
of "International Photographer", Vittorio
Storaro proposed his "Univision" 3
perf Super35 format.
For the technically minded, the dimensions
the two ARRICAM format masks for 3 perf are:
HDTV S35 1.78 (ANSI):
mm x 13,9 mm (0.98" x 0.547")
|3P TV 1.33:
||22 mm x 13,9 mm (0.866"