|3 PERFORATION - SAME IMAGE QUALITY AT LOWER COSTS|
Instead of a traditional 4 perforation movement, which advances
the film 4 perforations for each new image, a 3 perforation movement advances
the film only 3 perforations, thus eliminating the previously unused space
between frames. This results in a 25% savings in film stock and lab costs
with no reduction in image quality. In addition, the film in each magazine
lasts 33% longer, making film production more efficient.
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. They fit easily between 3 perforations. 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
3 perforation post production: efficiency up, costs down
3 perforation has been used extensively for television series 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. All modern telecines can accommodate film shot at 3 perforations per frame. But in the past theatrical productions have shied away from 3 perforations because of the difficulty of creating a 4 perforation release print from a 3 perforation negative.
With the advent of the Digital Intermediate and the fast rising popularity of the ARRILASER, two closely related developments, many producers are now looking at shooting 3 perforation for a theatrical release.
The Digital Intermediate process makes it possible to scan the complete 3 perforation negative, perform all post-production steps in the digital realm, and then use the ARRILASER to record the images back onto 4 perforation Internegative (IN) or Interpositive (IP) to create standard spherical or anamorphic 4 perforation release prints.
Changes in lab processes have also improved the quality of the optical step necessary to go from a 3 perforation negative to a 4 perforation release print, providing a second alternative.
It doesn't matter which way you go in post - analog or digital:
3 perforation pays for Digital Intermediate
Cinematographers, who like the flexibility and creative options provided by the Digital Intermediate, have successfully argued that the savings of 3 perforation can offset most or all of the cost of the Digital Intermediate. When going the Digital Intermediate route, there is no reason not to shoot 3 perforation.
For more information about 3 perforation and a historical perspective, here are some articles (Thanks to David Mullen, a Cinematographer from LA, for sharing his research):
For the technically minded, the dimensions of the two ARRICAM format
masks for 3 perforation are:
ARRI cameras available with 3 perforation movements:
Shooting Time per Magazine:
Formats available for ARRICAM and ARRIFLEX cameras:
Technical Data are subject to change without notice.