16 mm film
16 mm film is a popular and economical gauge of film. 16 mm refers to the width of the film. It is used for non-theatrical film-making, or for low-budget motion pictures, it existed as a popular amateur or home movie-making format for several decades, alongside 8 mm film and Super 8 film. Eastman Kodak released the first 16 mm "outfit" in 1923, consisting of a camera, tripod and splicer, for $335. RCA-Victor introduced a 16 mm sound movie projector in 1932, developed an optical sound-on-film 16 mm camera, released in 1935. Eastman Kodak introduced 16 mm film in 1923, as a less expensive alternative to 35 mm film for amateurs. During the 1920s, the format was referred to as sub-standard by the professional industry. Kodak hired Willard Beech Cook from his 28 mm Pathescope of America company to create the new 16 mm'Kodascope Library'. In addition to making home movies, people could buy or rent films from the library, a key selling aspect of the format. Intended for amateur use, 16 mm film was one of the first formats to use acetate safety film as a film base.
Kodak never used nitrate film for the format. 35 mm nitrate was discontinued in 1952. The silent 16 mm format was aimed at the home enthusiast, but by the 1930s it had begun to make inroads into the educational market; the addition of optical sound tracks and, most notably, Kodachrome in 1935, gave an enormous boost to its popularity. The format was used extensively during World War II, there was a huge expansion of 16 mm professional filmmaking in the post-war years. Films for government, business and industrial clients created a large network of 16 mm professional filmmakers and related service industries in the 1950s and 1960s; the advent of television production enhanced the use of 16 mm film for its advantage of cost and portability over 35 mm. At first used as a news-gathering format, the 16 mm format was used to create television programming shot outside the confines of the more rigid television studio production sets; the home movie market switched to the less expensive 8 mm and Super 8 mm film formats.
16 mm, using light cameras, was extensively used for television production in many countries before portable video cameras appeared. In Britain, the BBC's Ealing-based film department made significant use of 16mm film and, during its peak, employed over 50 film crews. Throughout much of the 1960s-1990s period, these crews made use of cameras such as the Arriflex SP and Eclair NPR in combination with quarter-inch sound recorders, such as the Nagra III. Using these tools, film department crews would work on some of the most significant programmes produced by the BBC, including Man Alive and Chronicle. Made up of five people, these small crews were able to work efficiently and in hostile environments, were able to shoot an entire programme with a filming ratio of less than 5:1. Replacing analog video devices, digital video has made significant inroads in television production use. 16 mm is still in use in its Super 16 ratio for low-cost productions. Two perforation pitches are available for 16 mm film.
One specification, known as "long pitch", has a spacing of 0.3000 inch and is used for print and reversal film stocks. Negative and intermediate film stocks have perforations spaced 0.2994 in. Known as "short pitch"; these differences allow for the sharpest and smoothest possible image when making prints using a contact printer. Film stocks are available in either'single-perf' or'double-perf', meaning the film is perforated on either one or both edges. A perforation for 16 mm film is 0.0720 in wide by 0.05 in tall with a radius curve on all four corners of 0.0101 in. Tolerances are ±0.0004 in.. The picture-taking area of standard 16 mm is 10.26 mm by 7.49 mm, an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, the standard pre-widescreen Academy ratio for 35 mm. The "nominal" picture projection area is 0.380 in by 0.284 in, the maximum picture projection area is 0.384 in by 0.286 in, each implying an aspect ratio of 1.34:1. Double-perf 16 mm film, the original format, has a perforation at both sides of every frame line.
Single-perf is perforated at one side only, making room for an optical or magnetic soundtrack along the other side. The variant called Super 16 mm, Super 16, or 16 mm Type W is an adaptation of the 1.66 aspect ratio of the'Paramount format' to 16 mm film. It was developed by Swedish cinematographer Rune Ericson in 1969, using single-sprocket film and taking advantage of the extra room for an expanded picture area of 7.41 mm by 12.52 mm. Super 16 cameras are 16 mm cameras that have had the film gate and ground glass in the viewfinder modified for the wider frame, since this process widens the frame by affecting only one side of the film, the various cameras' front mounting plate or turret areas must be re-machined to shift and re-center the mounts for any taking lenses used; because the resulting, Super 16 aspect-ratio takes up the space reserved for the 16mm soundtrack, films shot in this format must be enlarged by optical printing to 35 mm for sound-projection, and, in order to preserve the proper 1.66:1, or 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratios which this format was designed to provide.
And, with the recent development of digital intermediate workflows, it is now possible to digitally enlarge to a 35 mm sound print with no quality loss, or alternatively to use high-quality video equipment f
The pillarbox effect occurs in widescreen video displays when black bars are placed on the sides of the image. It becomes necessary when film or video, not designed for widescreen is shown on a widescreen display, or a narrower widescreen image is displayed within a wider aspect ratio, such as a 16:9 image in a 2.39:1 frame. The original material is placed in the middle of the widescreen frame; some older arcade games that had a tall vertical and short horizontal are displayed in pillarbox on 4:3 televisions. Some early sound films made 1928–1931, such as City Lights, were filmed in an narrower format to make room for the sound-on-film track on then-standard film stock; these will appear pillarboxed on 4:3 screens. Pillarboxing is the vertical equivalent of letterboxing and is sometimes called reverse letterboxing, its name is derived from its resemblance to pillar box-style mailboxes used in the UK and the Commonwealth of Nations. The four-direction equivalent is called windowboxing, caused when programming is both letterboxed and pillarboxed.
In order to use the entire screen area of a widescreen display, to prevent a reverse screen burn-in on plasma displays, the simplest alternative to pillarboxing is to crop the top and bottom. However, this results in the loss of some of the image within what the producer assumed would be the safe area; this overscan may or may not bother the viewer, but it cuts-off the channel banner or other on-screen displays. The vertical equivalent of pan and scan is called "tilt and scan" or "reverse pan and scan"; this moves the cropped "window" up and down, however it is done. A third option is to stretch the video to fill the screen, but this is considered ugly, as it distorts everything on the screen; because certain screen resolutions can be used for both fullscreen and widescreen, widescreen signaling must be used to tell the display device which to use, or the viewer must set it manually, in order to prevent unnecessary pillarboxing or stretching on widescreen displays. Some high-definition television networks and TV stations use "stylized pillarboxing", meaning they fill-in the blank areas on the sides with their HD logo or other still or motion graphics, when the program being shown is only available in 4:3 aspect ratio.
The use of graphics assures viewers that they are watching the HD version of a channel, instead of their thinking they are watching the SD version, along with filling the entire screen with a video image rather than the regular black bars. This tells widescreen television sets with automatic resizing not to stretch the video, instead to present it in the proper aspect ratio. A limited amount of local stations apply custom pillarboxes, but most have removed them with both the advent of all-HD schedules and customer complaints about erroneous technical information in PSIP data; some TV shows present an "echo" of the edges of the program video in the sidebars blurred. Local TV stations in the U. S. use graphics or a simple color gradient for electronic news-gathering packages shown on their local HDTV news programs. This is because portable ENG cameras are not in HD if the few permanent ones in the TV studio are; some channels have a similar format called "enhanced HD", in which extra informative graphics and text is shown on the side, such as expanded stock quotes and graphs on CNBC HD+.
Some Japanese anime switched from SD to HD during their run. Sometimes a flashback to a scene produced in SD had to be shown. For instance, in Naruto, the image of Naruto and Sasuke filled in the blank gaps as one of the SD-era flashbacks is being shown. In the Family Guy episode "Back to the Pilot", Brian and Stewie travel back in time to when the show first premiered, in 1999. To show that, back they produced episodes in standard-definition, the entire scene was pillarboxed. Letterbox Windowbox Widescreen Aspect ratio 14:9 16:9 Motion picture terminology Stretch-o-Vision The Widescreen and Letterbox Advocacy Page
DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs. Prerecorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD; such discs are a form of DVD-ROM because data can only be not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs can be erased many times. DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material. DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs; the Oxford English Dictionary comments that, "In 1995 rival manufacturers of the product named digital video disc agreed that, in order to emphasize the flexibility of the format for multimedia applications, the preferred abbreviation DVD would be understood to denote digital versatile disc."
The OED states that in 1995, "The companies said the official name of the format will be DVD. Toshiba had been using the name ‘digital video disc’, but, switched to ‘digital versatile disc’ after computer companies complained that it left out their applications.""Digital versatile disc" is the explanation provided in a DVD Forum Primer from 2000 and in the DVD Forum's mission statement. There were several formats developed for recording video on optical discs before the DVD. Optical recording technology was invented by David Paul Gregg and James Russell in 1958 and first patented in 1961. A consumer optical disc data format known as LaserDisc was developed in the United States, first came to market in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978, it used much larger discs than the formats. Due to the high cost of players and discs, consumer adoption of LaserDisc was low in both North America and Europe, was not used anywhere outside Japan and the more affluent areas of Southeast Asia, such as Hong-Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
CD Video released in 1987 used analog video encoding on optical discs matching the established standard 120 mm size of audio CDs. Video CD became one of the first formats for distributing digitally encoded films in this format, in 1993. In the same year, two new optical disc storage formats were being developed. One was the Multimedia Compact Disc, backed by Philips and Sony, the other was the Super Density disc, supported by Toshiba, Time Warner, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Thomson, JVC. By the time of the press launches for both formats in January 1995, the MMCD nomenclature had been dropped, Philips and Sony were referring to their format as Digital Video Disc. Representatives from the SD camp asked IBM for advice on the file system to use for their disc, sought support for their format for storing computer data. Alan E. Bell, a researcher from IBM's Almaden Research Center, got that request, learned of the MMCD development project. Wary of being caught in a repeat of the costly videotape format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s, he convened a group of computer industry experts, including representatives from Apple, Sun Microsystems and many others.
This group was referred to as the Technical Working Group, or TWG. On August 14, 1995, an ad hoc group formed from five computer companies issued a press release stating that they would only accept a single format; the TWG voted to boycott both formats unless the two camps agreed on a converged standard. They recruited president of IBM, to pressure the executives of the warring factions. In one significant compromise, the MMCD and SD groups agreed to adopt proposal SD 9, which specified that both layers of the dual-layered disc be read from the same side—instead of proposal SD 10, which would have created a two-sided disc that users would have to turn over; as a result, the DVD specification provided a storage capacity of 4.7 GB for a single-layered, single-sided disc and 8.5 GB for a dual-layered, single-sided disc. The DVD specification ended up similar to Toshiba and Matsushita's Super Density Disc, except for the dual-layer option and EFMPlus modulation designed by Kees Schouhamer Immink.
Philips and Sony decided that it was in their best interests to end the format war, agreed to unify with companies backing the Super Density Disc to release a single format, with technologies from both. After other compromises between MMCD and SD, the computer companies through TWG won the day, a single format was agreed upon; the TWG collaborated with the Optical Storage Technology Association on the use of their implementation of the ISO-13346 file system for use on the new DVDs. Movie and home entertainment distributors adopted the DVD format to replace the ubiquitous VHS tape as the primary consumer digital video distribution format, they embraced DVD as it produced higher quality video and sound, provided superior data lifespan, could be interactive. Interactivity on LaserDiscs had proven desirable to consumers collectors; when LaserDisc prices dropped from $100 per
Todd-AO is an American post-production company founded in 1953, providing sound-related services to the motion picture and television industries. The company operates three facilities in the Los Angeles area. Todd-AO is the name of the widescreen, 70 mm film format, developed by Mike Todd and the American Optical Company in the mid-1950s. Todd-AO had been founded to distribute this system. Todd-AO began as a high resolution widescreen film format, it was co-developed in the early 1950s by Mike Todd, a Broadway producer, in partnership with the American Optical Company in Buffalo, New York. It was developed to provide a high definition single camera widescreen process to compete with Cinerama, or as characterized by its creator, "Cinerama outta one hole". Where Cinerama used a complicated setup of three separate strips of film photographed Todd-AO required only a single camera and lens; the company's focus began to shift after Mike Todd's sudden death in an airplane accident in 1958. The 70 mm Todd-AO process was adopted by Panavision and others.
As the production and exhibition markets became saturated with Todd-AO System hardware, the focus of the company began to narrow down to the audio post-production side of the business, Todd-AO became an independent sound mixing facility for commercial motion picture films and television after acquiring Glen Glenn Sound in 1986. In May 2014, Todd-AO's parent company, Todd Soundelux, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the company closed its Hollywood and Santa Monica facilities, leaving only their Burbank location operational. On November 17, 2014, Sounddogs acquired the Todd-Soundelux Trademarks and Copyrights through Federal Bankruptcy Court The Todd-AO process uses two separate film stocks; the sprocket holes perforations on the two are the same, the positives are printed using contact printing with the negatives centered on the larger 70 mm film. Contact printing was used on prints that were to be "double system," using a separate, synchronized 35 mm full-coat magnetic film for the 6 sound tracks, in addition to the 70 mm film for the picture.
The much more common 70 mm release prints used a optically reduced picture, placed 4 of the soundtracks on either edge outside of the perforations, 2 more soundtracks inside the perforations, providing a total of 6 soundtraks, on a 7.5 mm magnetic surface. It is a common error to suppose that only 5 mm of space was devoted to the soundtracks because writers do the math and find that 70 - 65 = 5, not allowing for a reduced picture area to accommodate 2 tracks inside the sprocket holes, as well as 4 outside, because the souvenir program for Around the World in 80 Days made this same error! Anyone with a release print in front of him would see the tracks between the picture and the holes, as well as the wider tracks outside the holes. In fact, they can be seen in Figure 1 of this article, above the caption "positive 70 mm." Todd-AO soundtracks were high fidelity and could hold their own with modern digital tracks above 40 Hz. Though there were no subwoofers in theaters in those days, Todd-AO delivered high impact bass using crisp sounding horn loaded speakers.
Four lens options covered 64, 48 or 37 degree field of view. The aspect ratio of this format was 2.20:1. Both film sizes had been used in the past, in the 70 mm Fox Grandeur process in 1929–1930, however Todd-AO's physical format was not compatible with this format; the use of 65 mm photography and 70 mm printing became the standard adopted by others: Super Panavision 70 and Ultra Panavision 70 are both 65/70 processes. The Soviet film industry copied Todd-AO with their own Sovscope 70 process, except that both the camera and print stock were 70 mm wide; the IMAX format uses 65 mm camera and lab film to create 70 mm prints for projection. However, IMAX frame is 15-perfs long and runs horizontally through the projector, whereas the Todd-AO frame is only 5-perfs high and runs vertically through the projector; the original version of the Todd-AO process used a frame rate of 30 frames per second, faster than the 24 frames per second, the standard. The difference does not seem great, but the sensitivity of the human eye to flickering declines steeply with frame rate and the small adjustment gave the film noticeably less flicker, made it steadier and smoother than standard processes.
The original system generated an image, "almost twice as intense as any seen onscreen before, so hot that the film has to be cooled as it passes through the Todd-AO projector". Only the first two Todd-AO films, Oklahoma! and Around the World in Eighty Days, employed 30 frames per second photography. Because of the need for conventional versions at 24 frames per second, every scene of the former film was shot twice in succession: once in Todd-AO and once in 35 mm CinemaScope; the latter film was shot with two 65 mm Todd-AO cameras the speed of the second camera was 24 frames per second for wide release as optical reduction prints. All subsequent Todd-AO films were shot at 24 frames per second on a 65 mm negative and optically printed to 35 mm film as needed for standard distribution. In all, arou
Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of aspect ratios used in film and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film. For television, the original screen ratio for broadcasts was in fullscreen 4:3. Between the 1990s and early 2000s, at varying paces in different nations, 16:9 widescreen TV displays came into common use, they are used in conjunction with high-definition television receivers, or Standard-Definition DVD players and other digital television sources. With computer displays, aspect ratios wider than 4:3 are referred to as widescreen. Widescreen computer displays were of 16:10 aspect ratio, but now are 16:9. Widescreen was first used in the film of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight in 1897; this was not only the longest film, released to date at 100 minutes, but the first widescreen film being shot on 63mm Eastman stock with five perforations per frame.
Widescreen was first used in the late 1920s in some short films and newsreels, including Abel Gance's film Napoleon with a final widescreen sequence in what Gance called Polyvision. Claude Autant-Lara released a film Pour construire un feu in the early Henri Chretien widescreen process adapted by Twentieth Century-Fox for CinemaScope in 1952. In 1927, The American aka The Flag Maker was released; the film, directed by J. Stuart Blackton and starring Bessie Love and Charles Ray, was made in the experimental widescreen process Natural Vision, developed by George K. Spoor and P. John Berggren, but was never released theatrically. In 1926, Spoor and Berggren had released a Natural Vision film of Niagara Falls; the Natural Vision widescreen process had a 2:1 aspect ratio. On May 26, 1929, Fox Film Corporation released Fox Grandeur News and Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 in New York City in the Fox Grandeur process. Other films shot in widescreen were the musical Happy Days which premiered at the Roxy Theater, New York City, on February 13, 1930, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell and a 12-year-old Betty Grable as a chorus girl.
RKO Radio Pictures released Danger Lights with Jean Arthur, Louis Wolheim, Robert Armstrong on August 21, 1930 in a 65mm widescreen process known as NaturalVision, invented by film pioneer George K. Spoor. On November 13, 1930, United Artists released The Bat Whispers directed by Roland West in a 70mm widescreen process known as Magnafilm. Warner Brothers released Song of the Kismet in a widescreen process they called Vitascope. In 1930, after experimenting with the system called Fanthom Screen for The Trail of'98, MGM came out with a system called Realife. MGM filmed The Great Meadow in Realife—however, it's unclear if it was released in that widescreen process due to declining interest of the movie-going public. By 1932, the Great Depression had forced studios to cut back on needless expense and it was not until 1953 that wider aspect ratios were again used in an attempt to stop the fall in attendance due to the emergence of television in the U. S. However, a few producers and directors, among them Alfred Hitchcock, have been reluctant to use the anamorphic widescreen size featured in such formats as Cinemascope.
Hitchcock alternatively used VistaVision, a non-anamorphic widescreen process developed by Paramount Pictures and Technicolor which could be adjusted to present various flat aspect ratios. Masked widescreen was introduced in April 1953; the negative is shot exposing the Academy ratio using spherical lenses, but the top and bottom of the picture are hidden or masked off by a metal aperture plate, cut to specifications of the theater's screen, in the projector. Alternatively, a hard matte in the printing or shooting stages may be used to mask off those areas while filming for composition purposes, but an aperture plate is still used to block off the appropriate areas in the theater. A detriment is that the film grain size is thus increased because only part of the image is being expanded to full height. Films are designed to be shown in cinemas in masked widescreen format but the full unmasked frame is sometimes used for television. In such an instance, a photographer will compose for widescreen, but "protect" the full image from things such as microphones and other filming equipment.
Standardized "flat wide screen" ratios are 1.66:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1, 2:1. 1.85:1 has become the predominant aspect ratio for the format. 35mm anamorphic – This type of widescreen is used for CinemaScope and several other equivalent processes. The film is shot "squeezed", so that the actors appear vertically elongated on the actual film. A special lens inside the projector unsqueezes the image. Films shot in CinemaScope or Panavision are projected at a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, though the historical aspect ratio can be 2.55:1 or 2.35:1. The negative is 2.66:1 or, in
Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes below it. LBX or LTBX are the identifying abbreviations for images so formatted; the term refers to the shape of a letter box, a slot in a wall or door through which mail is delivered, being rectangular and wider than it is high. Letterboxing is used as an alternative to a full-screen, pan-and-scan transfer of a widescreen film image to videotape or videodisc. In pan-and-scan transfers, the original image is cropped to the narrower aspect ratio of the destination format the 1.33:1 ratio of the standard television screen, whereas letterboxing preserves the film's original image composition as seen in the cinema. Letterboxing was developed for use in 4:3 television displays before widescreen television screens were available, but it is necessary to represent on a 16:9 widescreen display the unaltered original composition of a film with a wider aspect ratio, such as Panavision's 2.35:1 ratio.
Letterbox mattes are symmetrical, but in some instances the picture can be elevated so the bottom matte is much larger for the purpose of placing "hard" subtitles within the matte to avoid overlapping of the image. This was done for letterbox widescreen anime on VHS, though the practice of "hiding" subtitles within the lower matte is done with symmetrical mattes, albeit with less space available; the placing of "soft" subtitles within the picture or matte varies according to the DVD player being used, though it appears to be dependent on the movie for Blu-ray disc. The first use of letterbox in consumer video appeared with the RCA Capacitance Electronic Disc videodisc format. Letterboxing was limited to several key sequences of a film such as opening and closing credits, but was used for entire films; the first letterboxed CED release was Amarcord in 1984, several others followed including The Long Goodbye, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The King of Hearts. Each disc contains a label noting the use of "RCA's innovative wide-screen mastering technique."
In some continents such as North America all VHS titles were only released in pan-and-scan versions. However, most LaserDiscs and some VHS releases were released in their original widescreen versions. A good number of North American NTSC DVD releases early DVDs, family films, more popular titles, tend to offer both "Widescreen" and "Fullscreen" versions on the same disc or on a "flipper" format DVD, while most are available in separate versions; some DVD releases of films are in full screen only, due to whatever existing master is available or basing on what format demographics prefer to see on a certain title. In other territories, such as Europe and Asia, widescreen versions of films on VHS and LaserDisc were much more common in those territories, is ubiquitous on region 2 DVDs. Movies such as The Graduate and Woodstock that made use of the full width of the movie screen have the sides cut off and look different in non-letterboxed copies from the original theatrical release; this is more apparent in pan-and-scanned movies that remain on the center area of the film image.
The term "SmileBox" is a registered trademark used to describe a type of letterboxing for Cinerama films, such as on the Blu-ray release of How the West Was Won. The image is produced with 3D mapping technology to approximate a curved screen. With the advent of widescreen HDTV units in every household few films are being offered in 4:3 and pan-and-scan releases today, except for older material shot in 4:3 only such as TV shows, made for TV productions, pre-1953 films; some titles that were released in full screen only on VHS and DVD are now being issued in their original widescreen ratio on recent DVDs and Blu-rays. Digital broadcasting allows 1.78:1 widescreen format transmissions without losing resolution, thus widescreen is becoming the television norm. Most television channels in Europe are broadcasting standard-definition programming in 16:9, while in the United States, these are downscaled to letterbox; when using a 4:3 television, it is possible to display such programming in either a letterbox format or in a 4:3 centre-cut format.
A letterboxed 14:9 compromise ratio was broadcast in analogue transmissions in European countries making the transition from 4:3 to 16:9. In addition, recent years have seen an increase of "fake" 2.35:1 letterbox mattes on television to give the impression of a cinema film seen in adverts, trailers or television programmes such as Top Gear. Current high-definition television systems use video displays with a wider aspect ratio than older television sets, making it easier to display widescreen films. In addition to films produced for the cinema, some television programming is produced in high definition and therefore widescreen. On a widescreen television set, a 1.78:1 image fills the screen. Because the 1.85:1 aspect ratio does not match the 1.78:1 aspect ratio of widescreen DVDs and high-definition video, slight letterboxing occurs. Such matting of 1.85:1 film is eliminated to match the 1.78:1 aspect ratio in the DVD and HD image transference. Letterbox mattes are not black. IBM has used blue mattes for many of thei
9.5 mm film
9.5 mm film is an amateur film format introduced by Pathé in 1922 as part of the Pathé Baby amateur film system. It was conceived as an inexpensive format to provide copies of commercially made films to home users, although a simple camera was released shortly afterwards, it became popular in Europe over the next few decades and is still used by a small number of enthusiasts today. Over 300,000 projectors were produced and sold in France and England, many commercial features were available in the format; the format uses a single, central perforation between each pair of frames, as opposed to 8 mm film, which has perforations along one edge, most other film formats, which have perforations on each side of the image. The single hole allowed more of the film to be used for the actual image, in fact the image area is the same size as 16 mm film; the perforation in the film is invisible to viewers, as the intermittent shutter blocks the light as the film is pulled through the gate to the next frame.
The width of 9.5 mm was chosen because three strips of film could be made from one strip of unperforated 35 mm film. This was useful when duplicating films; the projection system incorporated a way to save film on non-moving titles. A notch in the film was recognised by the projector, which would project the second frame after it for 10 seconds. By this method, 10 seconds of screen time was available for 1 frame of film, rather than the 140 frames required if the film was projected at the normal rate; the same principle was used by the'Agfa Family' system of Super 8 camera and projector in 1981 though to provide still images rather than titles. In Britain, 9.5 mm film and cameras were distributed by Pathescope Ltd. During the years leading up to the Second World War, for some years after the war, the gauge was used by enthusiasts who wanted to make home movies and to show commercially made films at home. Pathescope produced a large number of home versions of significant films, including Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop cartoons, classic features such as Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail,and comedies by such well-known stars as Laurel and Hardy and Chaplin.
A notable element in the Pathescope catalogue was pre-war German mountain films by such directors as G. W. Pabst and Leni Riefenstahl. Classics such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dupont's Vaudeville attracted many film collectors. Film for home cinematography was supplied in rolls 30 feet long and enclosed in a "charger" or magazine, but spool loading was available. Pre-war the most popular film was Ortho reversal costing only about 4/6 per charger. After the war Panchromatic film became more usual, around 1953 Kodachrome I became available, though it took weeks to get it processed in Paris. Pathescope Colour Film was introduced in the 1950s. A number of cameras and projectors were produced, the more successful including the Pathescope H camera and Gem projector. Optical sound was introduced for 9.5 mm in 1938, but efforts to produce a library of sound films were interrupted by the War. The optical track resulted in a rather square frame format for the picture. After the war, the 9.5 mm gauge suffered strong competition from Kodak's 8 mm film, introduced in 1932.
Notwithstanding the far poorer resolution of the 8 mm frame, which could hold only about a quarter of the information of the 9.5 mm or 16 mm frame, 8 mm was taken up by a wider public because of the commercial power of its sponsors and the much lower cost of Kodachrome processed in England. Pathescope found itself struggling to hold its place in the market, in 1959 there was a workers' buy-out and name change to Pathescope Ltd. with links to French Pathe being broken. The new company produced a well-made 9.5 mm Prince camera made in England by Smiths Industries and a low-powered Princess projector, but the gauge was doomed as a popular format, in 1960 the firm went into liquidation. The gauge has been kept alive by a dedicated group of enthusiasts who have used methods such as re-perforating 16 mm film to provide continued supplies of material; the French Color City company provides modern 9.5 mm film stock. Several 9.5 clubs still exist in various countries and 9.5 festivals are held each year.
The central perforation of 9.5 mm film cannot be supported in the gate of camera or projector in the same way that 8 or 16 mm perforations are. Much damage was caused to 9.5 mm prints by early cheap toy projectors which lacked the customary sprocket drive requiring the pull-down claw to do all the work of transporting the film. Many old 9.5 mm films are however still in good condition, which proves that ingenious system used by the gauge is not to blame. Film width: 9.5 mm Image size: 6.5 by 8.5 mm Image area: 55.25 mm² vertical pulldown 1 central perforation per frame 7.54 mm perforation pitch 135.1 frames per metre 30 m = approx. 4 minutes at 16 f.p.s. Soundtrack: magnetic or optical 1 mm wide Optical Sound-Image frame interval: 26 frames Magnetic Sound-Image frame interval: 28 frames Film List of film formats Movie projector 9.5 mm in the USA History of 9.5 mm in the US at Pathex.com Gauriat, Pierre. Le format 9.5 mm - Film size 9.5 mm. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2004 Sub-35 mm movie film formats history webpage Grahame Newnham - Ninefive Pages Extensive 9.5 mm Films and Equipment Catalogues Douglas Macintosh - "A Handbook of 9.5 mm Cinematography"