Magazine article American Cinematographer

"The Taiwan Experience"

Magazine article American Cinematographer

"The Taiwan Experience"

Article excerpt

A spectacular 26-minute multi-media presentation utilizes sophisticated technology to tell the colorful story of a country and its people

The fascinating multi-media show which is presented inside the 235-seat theatre of the Republic of China Pavilion runs so smoothly and effectively that audiences never suspect how much time, money and technical know-how went into it.

The result is a credit to 30-year-old producer Gregor Greig and his equally young team from San Francisco. Greig is a veteran of the large expositions. He worked first at Montreal in 1967, then at Hemisfair in San Antonio a year later, and in 1970 at the giant exposition in Osaka, Japan.

Of his past working experiences, Greig says: "Like most others in the professional movie field, we've often had to cut corners, trying to get the job done on time and within budget. But not in this case.

"We had ample time, a satisfactory budget and full cooperation and total artistic freedom from our Chinese sponsors. There is no compromise on that screen. What we set out to do was done."

As a result, he was able to put more separate units of equipment into the presentation than perhaps anyone else before him, using the latest Electrosonics 2005 switching unit from England and pushing to the hilt its capacity for five different dissolve rates plus superimposition.

Though the 74-foot screen presented an unbroken face to the audience, the bank of slide projectors was set up so that seven equal images of 10 ½ by 10 ½ feet are formed across its width, with four Kodak Ektagraphic carousels assigned to each panel and seven more Sawyers used for special effects and kaleidoscopic overlays.

Greig, his wife, Kathy, who acted as production assistant; Canadian cinematographer Richard Laier, and still photographer Roger Archey made two trips to Taiwan gathering material, with Archey making a staggering 10,000 Ektachromes with a pair of Hasselblads.

Laier used a modified Arri 2C that produced an image ratio of 3 to 1 from sprocket holes to sprocket holes, even on the area where the sound track would normally be.

"That posed a printing problem," Greig said, "but Joe Lee and his crew at Consolidated Film Industries saw us through to a release print that included 16mm images printed either singly or three side-by-side in that three-to-one frame, which turned out to have the same height as a 16mm normal picture."

A lens formula was worked out for the movie projector so that the full 3-to-1 ratio would cover three of the 101/2-foot areas on the screen, and when the 16mm images were up, each would fill one of those panels. …

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