The "IMAX" Format


Jul 24, 2006
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What is everyones thoughts so far on the recent couple of years of IMAX being used in commercial films?
It's no more than a gimmick than 3D. That being said I love IMAX and 3D if used right.
What Nolan and Bird and several other directors have done, it's lovely. What AMC and other theaters are doing to cash in... it's pathetic.

Liemax is everywhere and most authentic IMAX theaters are either going digital or are just aquariums.
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How does everyone feel about Spielberg potentially shooting his next film with the 2D or 3D IMAX cameras?
How does everyone feel about Spielberg potentially shooting his next film with the 2D or 3D IMAX cameras?

There aren't any 3-d IMAX cameras.
IMAX footage is shot on film and not digital. Even though there are some digital cameras that have pretty high resolution , fact is that the IMAX resolution is the highest resolution there is. CG images can't be rendered at that resolution.

As for the this topic , although i'm not against 3-d i do know that with IMAX the quality is consistent. Of course native is always better but with the converted stuff the image and sound quality is still miles better.
It's a different thing with 3-d conversions because you have various companies working on conversion process and it can give you different results. I've actually lost count of the moments when i removed my 3-d glasses and noticed that nothing was blurred and the footage was just simple 2-d footage .
I love IMAX. I've seen Mission:Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises in it. It truly is one hell of a spectacle to behold.
To give you an idea of the kind of detail you can see because of huge resolution of the IMAX format , here are BRad Bird´s words when he was promotion MI-4 :
"When we were first looking at the image of Tom climbing the Burj, in the long shots we could not only see the traffic in the reflections when he presses down on the glass," Bird adds. "But you actually saw the glass warp slightly because of the pressure of his hand. You would never see that in 35mm. The fact that the screen fills your vision and is super sharp seems more life-like."

IMAX chief technical officer talks about the future of IMAX and the implementation of Laser technology. Here's a snippet:
With both screen technology and source capture escalating in resolution where does IMAX intend to go from here?

"We are presently undertaking our largest R&D investment that this company has ever had in the development of a laser projection system. We're going about this from ground up saying 'What are the benefits that laser can bring?' Brightness is one. High-contrast is another. A higher colour gamut - meaning, if you think about Avatar, actually being able to display a true fluorescent blue or green on the screen; so a broader range of colours if you will.

"Lasers lend themselves to all those and numerous other benefits, but to take advantage of all those things you're going to be hard pressed to do it with the existing projector technology of today. You've really got to start ground up and create a completely new system. So that's the approach that we're taking.

"Obviously it's more expensive but we firmly believe that the gains at the end of the process are going to be quite notable and differentiated."

And what about resolution?

"Our laser solution will be 4K but it's actually even better than that because - and we're the only company that does this [for 2D display] - we use dual projectors. We're, so to speak, superimposing double the pixels on the screen and creating a much higher perceived resolution on screen; a greater level of sharpness. The 'screen-door effect', as we refer to it - when you see those little black lines in between the pixels on screen - IMAX cuts that visibility [of the lines] down by 50 per cent."


Today most digital projectors out there are around 1800-2000:1 [contrast ratio], or in that range. IMAX, through what we're doing today [in 2013], is at around 2500-2800:1, so we're higher than everybody else. IMAX projection film is in and around - you know, there are always variables that play into how well the system has been set up - the 4000:1 range, give or take. IMAX laser is going to be double that, at around 8000:1.
New laser technology should be in IMAX venues by mid-2014.
I dont have any IMAX screens in my country, so i dont care for it lol :oldrazz:
Imax may be just as much of a gimmick to expand profit potential from the movie goers, but, in my opinion, the scenes shot in the format offers far far more immersion with it's incredible depth and lifelike colors than 3D ever has with it's diluted colors, a sense of contracted scale (even big screens feel small) and cumbersome glasses.
A film shot partially in IMAX--like the last two Dark Knight films and MI4, as well as the upcoming Star Trek--have a level of visceral detail and scope that nothing can compare to. Even on a Blu-ray player one can tell the difference of the high resolution of IMAX scenes versus the 35mm scenes.

It does not feel so much like a gimmick, because if you see a film actually shot in IMAX (for example TDKR was 1/3 filmed in IMAX) on a real IMAX screen, it is astounding. Unlike 3D which only adds a level of distraction instead of immersion as your mind mentally notes every time something enters depth or the "third dimension," IMAX envelops you in the scope of its image.

Unfortunately the IMAX brand is allowing millions of people to be ripped off. In most cities or large towns in the US now there are "IMAX screens." However, these are mostly just abnormally large movie theater screens that IMAX is paid a large sum of money to give their brand to. They do not get IMAX prints and instead show simply 35mm prints, or digital projections, on a screen much smaller than a true IMAX theater.

Also, on a personal note I do not see much of the point in seeing a movie not shot in IMAX on an IMAX screen. Yes, it is much bigger, but that is it. Unless there are actual scenes taking advantage of the IMAX camera, why pay a ridiculous premium for it? I do not.
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3D is amazing, you just need to know how to use it right. Those expecting things to pop out at you -- that's not how to do it right. How to do it right is to create depth perception so that you can tell how far one object is from the next. It's looking through a window rather than looking at a photograph on a piece of paper. This is why some filmmakers are so readily going after it. Watch the Iron Man 3 trailer in 3D IMAX and tell me that that is the same thing you would get from 2D - you just can't, it would be impossible to get that level of depth perception from a plain 2D film. Granted, some films claim to use 3D but doesn't really have it or is obviously thrown in - while others do.

IMAX on the other hand enhances the picture, digital sound, and everything else surrounding it. It is where the best technology is usually put by the theaters. That's why I go to see films in IMAX regardless of whether or not they were shot using IMAX cameras. Digitally you are able to make the picture crystal clear on a bigger screen and with much better sound.

In my opinion, the best combination would be D-Box, IMAX, 3D getting the full 100% immersion experience. And as a screenwriter starting out in hollywood, got the know how so I'll have to disappear from here in some time as some know, this is how I'd love for my films to get viewed as well. It's just an aesthetic choice made by the artist depending on her or his own personal likes and dislikes. And as an artist who loves this technology - the above is why I'm so drawn to it as further tools to try to fully eliminate the gap between the audience and the silver screen. Some films, granted, it would be a waste on - while others, are meant to be as immersive an experience as fully possible. And I'd bet wanting to eliminate that gap is what draws others to wanting to further explore this technology as well. So it's not always a money thing as much as it is eliminating that gap.
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To me though, even when used "properly" like say in Hugo, it does nothing but distract. Every time there is a 3D image, even if it is the whole movie, my mind keeps stopping to make mental notes about how the image is being presented in 3D. Whether it is done well or like a terrible cardboard cutout (Thor or The Avengers, IMO), it forces me to stop and think that I am watching a movie. It is such an artificial construct that your eye immediately recognizes something "is off" and your mind starts turning. Even if it is only a split second, that split second is taking me out of the movie. And if it is happening repeatedly, I am not engaging in the film, but the technology.

That is why if give the option, I will always pick 2D over "3D." I prefer tools to be seamless as opposed to calling attention to themselves every time they are used.
Why would Imax be a gimmick ? lol.

Imax is a 15 per 65 mm format . Period.

3d is gimmicky because there's no real depth input in the photography.

When 3d projection and 3d capture actually happen , and the three dimensional space is fully represented , then that day it will stop to be a gimmick.
I've only seen TF:ROTF and The Dark Knight in IMAX and those were awhile back that it's sort of difficult to remember how the images looked.
To me 3D has done nothing but thrown me into the action. Some people's subjectives opinions will be different depending on how they experience the technology. That is why some filmmakers are actively pursuing it while others aren't. It's not a "the studio is just looking for more money" thing. In some instances, yes that is the case. In all of them? In the case of, for example James Cameron? No it is not. It's out of a love for the technology and eliminating that gap which we experience. Granted, there will always be those who don't experience it quite the same. But, that is the reasoning. Hell, I have a film that fully relies on it that's gaining ground - I won't say what it is, but it's truly going to challenge the gap between our eyes and the screen narratively speaking is all I can say especially if it works as well as I hope.

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