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Re: Re: the 3-perf thing

Back in 1987 or so, when Kodak was first formulating what Keykode would be,
they floated a few different proposals, one of which was changing the
repetition from 1 foot to 72 perfs (as I recall). This would have been both
3 and 4 perf compatible. But, at the time, the only ones interested in 3
perf were those of us at Lorimar, as other studios wouldn't touch it because
of the smaller image area and thus lowered image quality, not to mention its
nonstandard nature at a time when much of filmed television was still being
cut and posted on film. Remember, this was at a time when everything for
television was framed in 1.33 Academy. Ironically, as stocks improved, the
quality hit (at television transfer resolution) became almost moot, and as
16:9 television began to be considered, the need for the 1.77 aspect that 3
perf provides natively became more apparent. So now we find ourselves
wasting a lot of image area by framing for 1.77 (with the 1.33 extracted
area even smaller) but still shooting the 4 perf format, now in Super 35
instead of Academy. Sitcoms adopted 3 perf primarily because of the
availability of 2000 ft. mags from Panavision, that could provide running
time (using 3 perf) of almost 25 minutes, thus cutting down on reloads and
allowing longer takes and less distraction to the live audience. It still
hasn't caught on for single camera (OK, there are some exceptions, but
relatively few) because of a few factors: lack of equipment availability,
slightly more camera noise (sound men hate 3 perf!), and the loss of the
framing "fudge factor" (i.e., the ability to reframe anything other than a
blowup in telecine).

I still think it makes a lot of sense, though........

Mike Most

Thanks to VAS Group for support in 1999
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