Star Wars, Selected scenes, Super8 reel (17 mins.), Color/sound, Ken films, USA 1977

Cineavision version

As you can see, the covers are the same as for the regular Ken Films release, only a Cineavision sticker has been added.

Dutch company Animex sublicenced these releases from Ken Films. Their Cineavision process enabled a widescreen image to be squeezed onto regular 8mm film. It required the use of an anamorphic lens on the projector to unsqueeze it to regular proportions.

Unfortunately, the Cineavision process required several optical stages before printing to film, resulting in a grainier and less detailed image compared to the regular versions. Also, the Cineavision prints were made on filmstock prone to fading and have not held up well over the years.

One advantage the Cineavision had over the similar Cinemascope prints, was that Cineavision reduced the image and included black masking on the sides to preserve the full 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Cinemascope 8mm prints, on the other hand, used the entire width of the frame for their anamorphic process, but had to crop information from the top and bottom to do so. Theoretically, the Cinemascope image should be superior because they utilize the entire image area of 8mm film.

I left the Perry's movies sticker on, as a reminder of the history this reel has. It appears this print was originally sold in England. Is it just me, or was Cineavision more common in Europe, while Cinemascope prints dominate in the U.S?