2½-Perf Compact Distribution Print
Films courtesy of Theo Gluck

CDP 35mm Compact Distribution Print -
A Scent of a Woman

The thinking behind the Compact Distribution Print is entirely logical. A conventional flat 1.85:1 "widescreen" print is cropped to the point that fully 37.5% of the available image area is wasted. By eliminating the area that is cropped by the projector aperture plate, a frame of only two and a half perforations in height shows the complete image with a significant savings in film stock. Reduction in the speed of the film from 90 to 56.25 feet per minute would also reduce normal wear on the print.

The process was the brain child of Dr. Richard Vetter, co-developer of Dimension 150, the high quality 70mm system that was born just as large format film production came to an end in the late sixties and early seventies. Also part of the overall scheme were electronically controlled projectors that could change frame rate and pulldown dimensions on-the-fly so that virtually any 35mm format could be run without it being necessary for anyone beyond the popcorn girl running the machines. Lots of progressive ideas and a few that were perhaps not so progressive, such as the conversion of 4-perf anamorphic to a 2½-perf image, which would reduce image quality substantially. A couple of rather insurmountable obstacles stood in the way of wide acceptance of this system. Analog soundtracks were of lesser quality due to the reduction in the speed of the film, though digital sound, such as the DTS system seen on this print, could maintain quality. And the film industry isn't apt to accept such a dramatic change in technology. They're busy waiting for home video to meet or exceed theatrical presentation.

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