Magazine article American Cinematographer

Panoramic Photographic Backgrounds for Film and TV

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Panoramic Photographic Backgrounds for Film and TV

Article excerpt

Blow-ups 30 x 40 feet in area, enlarged from 8 x 10-inch stills are used to make stunning backgrounds, lit from behind, for film scenes

Colour Processing Laboratories is Europe's leading industrial stills photographic laboratory.

For the past 28 years we have been producing colour prints and transparencies for most of the major companies in the UK, such as: ICI, MOBIL oil, FORD MOTOR CO., MARKS & SPENCER, TOBACCO EXPORT INT., PLESSEY, RACAL GROUP, etc.

I am Area Sales Manager with responsibilities world-wide for the Feature Film and Television industries.

Our connection with the film industry is, however, relatively new. It was in 1976 when Wally Veevers of Vee Films at Shepperton Studios asked me to arrange for 10'' x 8'' stills to be taken of the interior of Westminster Abbey. Len Dance of Panorama Studios took the photographs and we enlarged them to about 24 feet as colour prints. They were then flown out to Budapest where they were used on the sets of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER.

Shortly after this, Wally introduced me to the late John Barry who was then the Production Designer on SUPERMAN. For John we produced many more large colour prints and these were again highly successful. The word seemed to spread rapidly through Art and Special Effects departments, leading us to many films such as ROUGH CUT; SOS TITANIC; OUTLAND; RAGTIME; and THE FRENCH lieUTENANTSWOMAN.

The work we undertook for these films varied from taking 10'' × 8'' stills on the roof of the Mobil oil building in Victoria Street and making a composite enlargement of colour prints and colour transparencies 55 by 20 feet, to producing dozens of black and white and coloured posters from artworks and old magazines.

At BKSTS '81 our company had a stand in the Nine Kings suite of the Royal Lancaster hotel on which we were displaying the type of work we were involved with on three major films: SUPERMAN II, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and VICTOR/VICTORIA.

On SUPERMAN II, Model Special Effects Director, Derek Meddings with Cinematographer Paul Wilson and Art Director Charles Bishop, used our large colour transparencies to create New York City on L & M stages at Pinewood Studios. We enlarged 10'' × 8'' negatives up to 30 × 40 feet in 4-foot sections and laminated them onto perspex, which Derek then arranged to cut out and join together to form large panoramic transparencies of Metropolis. When these were back-lit, Derek found our transparencies opened new doors for his special effects techniques and he was able to show signs flashing, lights going on and off in office windows and the traffic moving. …

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