In The Picture (2012) is a brand-new 30-min film shot in actual 3-strip Cinerama, the first since 1962. David Strohmaier, a film editor with an abiding love of old film formats and one of the organizers of the Cinerama film festival, got hold of a Cinerama camera, had it rebuilt, got Fuji to donate some filmstock, and set out to to make a travelogue.
The results were delightful and quite spectacular. In the Picture closely follows the structure of Cinerama Holiday (1955), which was framed around two couples traveling around and seeing wonders in the US and Europe. But since In The Picture was made on the cheap, it used inexpensively accessed locations around Los Angeles-- Griffith Park Observatory, Angel's Flight, Mullholland Drive, etc.
|Shooting In The Picture. Note the three film magazines.|
This rig weighs over 200 pounds and required three
car batteries to drive all three mags.
Recursion is when an element repeats into itself, a potentially endless loop.The recursive thing I was referring to was the ending of In The Picture, and it was uncanny-- and a little spooky, as it occurred on several levels, each more directly recursive than the next:
DEEPER RECURSION - In The Picture was shot just a few months ago. It is very, very strange to see the exact same place Daniel and I were sitting in displayed up on the big screen, especially in outlandishly huge 3-strip Cinerama. The same ushers and ticket-takers we saw in the lobby were extras in this sequence, and the four actors sat down in the same section we were seated in. Not a little unsettling.
|A still I took of In The Picture as it was being screened at|
the Cinerama Dome. By coincidence, when the actors
see themselves on screen, this is the scene they see.
DEEPEST RECURSION - The 30-minute short was followed by the screening of 15-minute video documentary called "The Last Days of Cinerama," which was about… The making of In The Picture. Daniel and I fully expected this doc be followed by a 7-minute short about the making of "The Last Days of Cinerama"-- but it was getting late, Dan had to work the next day, so we didn't stick around to find out.