the movie poster of Star Wars
Movies - TV
George Lucas Brought This 1950’s Tech Out Of Retirement Just For Star Wars
“Star Wars” was a revolutionary film that would reshape the cinematic landscape for decades. However, not all of the innovations in the movie were new.
To preserve the quality of the visual effects, George Lucas used a photographic system first established in the 1950s: VistaVision.
In the ’50s, TV became an increasing threat to moviemakers. The VistaVision process created a moviegoing experience that TV couldn’t match.
Processes like Cinerama also introduced a larger widescreen format to theaters, but VistaVision didn’t require special projection equipment for viewing.
Starting with 1954’s “White Christmas,” VistaVision brought high image clarity. The film was shot horizontally on an eight-perforation frame, with one image exposure per frame.
Unfortunately, the camera systems for filming were specialized and expensive, and the process became obsolete once new film stocks were developed and put into standard use.
However, VistaVision’s process for capturing film would become essential for shooting a movie’s visual effects so that they would have no degenerative issues.