Behind the Motion Picture Canvas: Two evenings on film formats and the filmmaking process (Bay Area)

Presented by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the California Film Institute.

Martin Scorsese has said, “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.” What is called the motion picture “aspect ratio” isn’t just a frame for the picture; in the hands of an accomplished filmmaker, it can have a significant influence on the storytelling process. The Academy presented two evenings at the Rafael hosted by Rob Hummel, a member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, exploring that special frame that tells the story.

The Black Stallion

Friday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Alec Ramsay

In person: Director Carroll Ballard and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. This special presentation of “The Black Stallion” featured a newly struck 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive. Host Rob Hummel moderated a discussion with Ballard and Deschanel about their technical challenges and creative decisions, including their choice of film format (1.85).

Based on Walter Farley’s acclaimed 1941 children’s novel, “The Black Stallion” tells the story of Alec Ramsay (Kelly Reno) and his relationship with a wild Arabian stallion. Filmed in 35mm with Eastman Color negative, composed for 1.85. Released in Eastman Color prints composed for 1.85.

With Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse. Directed by Carroll Ballard. Produced by Fred Roos, Tom Sternberg. Executive Producer Francis Coppola. Screenplay Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg, William D. Wittliff. Based on the novel by Walter Farley. Cinematography Caleb Deschanel. Music Carmine Coppola.
1979. 118 mins.

Film Formats through the 21st Century

A lecture followed by a screening of “Manhattan”

Sunday, November 8, at 7 p.m.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen

Rob Hummel gave a brief illustrated presentation tracing the history of film formats from the silent era through the 21st century, examining the role that emerging technology has played in the evolution of film formats and how the technical choices made by Thomas Edison and William Dickson at the dawn of the film era continue to influence the way we look at movies today.

During Hummel’s tenure at Technicolor, he worked closely with over 70 cinematographers ranging from John Alonzo to Vilmos Zsigmond, giving him a unique perspective on the creative process of working with film formats. Hummel has also served on the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee and edited the 8th edition of the American Cinematographer Manual.

A screening of “Manhattan,” featuring a newly struck 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive, will follow Hummel’s lecture.

Woody Allen stars in his bittersweet romantic comedy “Manhattan” as Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer struggling to cope with the women in his life. Filmed in Panavision and released in 35mm anamorphic (CinemaScope).

With Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep. Directed by Allen. Produced by Charles H. Joffe. Screenplay Allen, Marshall Brickman. 1979. 96 mins.

Event Information

Friday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 8, at 7 p.m.
Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

Academy Awards Facts

The Black Stallion
Academy Award Winner
Special Achievement Award – Sound Editing (Alan Splet)
Academy Award Nominee
Supporting Actor (Rooney)
Film Editing (Robert Dalva)
Academy Award Nominee
Supporting Actress (Hemingway)
Writing – Screenplay written directly for the screen (Allen, Brickman)
Craig Barron, Carroll Ballard, Caleb Deschanel and Rob Hummel

Academy Governor Craig Barron, director Carroll Ballard, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel and council member/host Rob Hummel.

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