Quentin Tarantino shot his latest movie, The Hateful Eight, in Ultra Panavision, a format that had been dead for decades. But while shooting the movie was a challenge, showing it in 70mm was an entirely different struggle. Tarantino set up a cross-country roadshow in order to screen the movie in the correct (and massive) format, and the process of resurrecting Ultra Panavision wound up being both extremely expensive and fraught with problems.
That still didn't deter the film geeks, or even those casually interested in watching an essentially dead format; fans lined up around the block in major cities for the 70mm showings. I even had someone tell me he was thankful to get stuck in the back of the theater for his showing, if only because he was able to peer into the projection room and watch the hired gun projectionist sling massive reels of the 70mm film.
The 70mm showings were a struggle, but the time lapse makes them look easy
Andrew Walker, a cinematographer based in Los Angeles, was one of those skilled few hired to run the Hateful Eight roadshow, and luckily for us he decided to bring his Nikon D810 and some time-lapse equipment along for the trip. Walker edited together some beautiful footage of the special film, reels, and projectors required to show Tarantino's latest movie, and you can see the results above.
Thanks to Netflix's liberal use of time-lapse photography in the opening sequences of a number of recent original series (House of Cards, Chef's Table), it's hard not to watch Walker's video and imagine it preceding a beautiful and thorough documentary about the death of the film projectionist. Make it happen, Netflix.