Dunkirk in 70mm

I haven’t gotten the chance to see Dunkirk yet, but I plan on checking it out later this week in 70mm.  It’s not very often that we’re given the chance to view movies in this manner, so I want to make sure that I take advantage of the opportunity.

For me, grading film is a special treat.  While many cameras have tried to emulate it, none have been able to completely capture the essence of film.  There is a very specific feel to it that is hard to explain.  Skin tones are more flattering, highlights roll off better, and it’s easier to go deeper into the image.  That’s not saying that the high end digital cameras aren’t amazing.  They are.  They just feel different.  Maybe I’m just being nostalgic, but I really enjoy grading some well shot film.

The other day I stumbled across the link below that shows the work that went into the processing and distribution of Dunkirk in 70mm.  While it doesn’t get too in-depth, it’s a lot of fun to take a peek behind the curtain and see what goes on behind the scenes.


  1. Alexis Cosar

    Saw it yesterday in 70mm and it’s of course great ! But i’d be interested to know what you think about the grading, specifcally the matching of the shots. It feels skipped but completely assumed in some way like ” that’s what the film got, and I don’t care if it doesn’t really match the next shot, i won’t correct it.”

    • Rob Bessette

      I know the digital version was done by Walter Volpatto at Fotokem. As far as the 70mm is concerned, I’d be curious to hear more about it as well. They briefly mention color timing in the video at :46. Wish they would have elaborated a little more on it.

  2. Jim Ferguson

    I saw the 70mm at Somerville Theater and was amazed how poorly shots matched. Blue sky/ cloudy sky. Flesh tones didn’t match from one shot to the next. The sand on the beach changed color just as much. The gliding plane went from overcast and grey to sunset. I think Alexis’ quote sums it up accurately.

    • Rob Bessette

      What was his quote? I imagine watching the digital version would be a very different experience.

      • Alexis

        It wasn’t a real quot, In my previous comment, I quoted what I imagined could have been said during the color timing of the 70mm copies.
        I’m glad I’m not the only one to have noticed that.
        As you said, they mention in the video the timing process, I wonder if they stayed true to the “old” film process without going for a Digital Intermediate. The editing certainly was done this way as they mention the edit list and how they had to conform that with the original Film master.
        I’m planning on going to see it again on digital IMAX, and see if it differs and how.
        But I loved the 70mm version anyways, even if doesn’t match a lot 😀


Post a Comment