Popular Mechanics - August 1952


"Sure it takes more film per minute," says Squire, "but when we do a take, the whole countryside is covered. There's no extra shooting to cover details. We shot the whole La Scala opera in two days-got the entire stage on film as close up as you could ask. You could see the perspiration on the singers' lips. It would have taken six Hollywood crews at least a month to do a standard movie that caught all the details we got. Can you imagine how much film they'd have to shoot?"

Nobody denies the size and intricacy of the camera. It's big and complicated. With its padded aluminum blimp to drown motor noise, it measures about a yard square and weighs close to 200 pounds. But Squire, who has circled the globe eight times and trundled standard cameras into jungles to shoot films for Frank Buck, operates the Cinerama camera on all kinds of perches. The camera has ridden in a helicopter, lashed to an open hatch. On the bow of a speedboat, it was catapulted through a wall of blazing gasoline. To get a close-up of a girl in a canoe, the boys chopped a canoe in half, rigged an outboard platform between the sawed-off end and the bow of a camera boat and the camera rode at water level.

According to Squire, there's no place a regular camera can go that the Cinerama box can't go, too. But he treats it mighty carefully because it's the only one in existence. There is another one in the making but if anything happens to this one meanwhile, there will be no more Cinerama pictures for a while.

The Cinerama potential is big. Whole Broadway shows photographed and shipped around to bring the finest talent in show business to every small town; militarytraining films that give a recruit the feeling of things he'll face before he faces them; travelogues that will not just show people what a foreign country is like but "take" them there and "put" them in the middle of it.

One movie expert put it this way: "Cinerama is going to dump the whole world in the lap of the people-and vice versa."





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