What is Enhanced 35mm Large Screen Presentation

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ScottHH, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    I went to see Shrek 2, and I had the option of seeing it in a regular theater or "Shrek 2: Enhanced 35mm Large Screen Presentation".

    I decided to show up at the theater in time for the Enhanced 35mm Large Screen Presentation. I asked a theater employee about the format before the movie started, and he told me it was basically an IMAX theater without the IMAX projector: a 5-story concave screen. The theater also had a better sound system that their other theaters (36 speakers and 18,000 watts). As a result of this conversation, I was excited for the movie to begin.

    The screen itself had a 4:3 aspect ratio, but I figured that wasn't going to be an issue, as the room would be dark and they'd just use that portion of the screen needed to project the movie. But it covered the entire screen.

    I haven't seen the movie in another theater, but there were a few scenes were it looked cropped, and the entire film was a little dark and I thought a little blurry.

    Did they just pan & scan the original movie and blow up a 35mm print making it dark and blurry? And what's enhanced about that kind of presentation?
     
  2. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    I went to see Shrek 2, and I had the option of seeing it in a regular theater or "Shrek 2: Enhanced 35mm Large Screen Presentation".

    I decided to show up at the theater in time for the Enhanced 35mm Large Screen Presentation. I asked a theater employee about the format before the movie started, and he told me it was basically an IMAX theater without the IMAX projector: a 5-story concave screen. The theater also had a better sound system that their other theaters (36 speakers and 18,000 watts). As a result of this conversation, I was excited for the movie to begin.

    The screen itself had a 4:3 aspect ratio, but I figured that wasn't going to be an issue, as the room would be dark and they'd just use that portion of the screen needed to project the movie. But it covered the entire screen.

    I haven't seen the movie in another theater, but there were a few scenes were it looked cropped, and the entire film was a little dark and I thought a little blurry.

    Did they just pan & scan the original movie and blow up a 35mm print making it dark and blurry? And what's enhanced about that kind of presentation?
     
  3. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It was dark and blurry because 35mm isn't a good enough source for such a large screen. IMAX is natively 70mm film (I foget the perf count right now) and can be displayed on a large screen.

    The only enhancement you got was the bigger sound system.
     
  4. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It was dark and blurry because 35mm isn't a good enough source for such a large screen. IMAX is natively 70mm film (I foget the perf count right now) and can be displayed on a large screen.

    The only enhancement you got was the bigger sound system.
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Imax is a 15-perf wide frame.

    A spherical 35mm frame, Academy Sound (1.37:1) to match the Imax frame size is approximately one tenth of the Imax frame area.

    On the other extreme, it might be interesting to see the image quality of an Imax presentation on a conventional sized screen... nice, bright, no gate-weave...

    Maximum overkill, right?

    Leo Kerr
     
  6. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Imax is a 15-perf wide frame.

    A spherical 35mm frame, Academy Sound (1.37:1) to match the Imax frame size is approximately one tenth of the Imax frame area.

    On the other extreme, it might be interesting to see the image quality of an Imax presentation on a conventional sized screen... nice, bright, no gate-weave...

    Maximum overkill, right?

    Leo Kerr
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am curious about this as well, I believe the same proces was used for Episode II and Matrix: Reloaded/Revolutions?

    The first and only time I saw it was with Shrek 2. I agree that it was a bit dark. As for the bigger sound system, the premier rooms in this theater sound better than the IMAX. In the end, I wasn't impressed, really.

    --
    H
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am curious about this as well, I believe the same proces was used for Episode II and Matrix: Reloaded/Revolutions?

    The first and only time I saw it was with Shrek 2. I agree that it was a bit dark. As for the bigger sound system, the premier rooms in this theater sound better than the IMAX. In the end, I wasn't impressed, really.

    --
    H
     
  9. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    No, both Star Wars and Matrix Reloaded used an upconversion to IMAX film, so 70mm 15perf (thank you Leo) is running through an IMAX projector.

    35mm enhanced is just a 35mm projector thrown too far, too wide (and probably still not at maximum bulb intensity).
     
  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    No, both Star Wars and Matrix Reloaded used an upconversion to IMAX film, so 70mm 15perf (thank you Leo) is running through an IMAX projector.

    35mm enhanced is just a 35mm projector thrown too far, too wide (and probably still not at maximum bulb intensity).
     
  11. Alvin.G.

    Alvin.G. Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw ROTK last christmas at an IMAX theater near University Studios in Southern California. I went with high expectations: better theater, better sound, bigger screen. What I got was a distorted, blurry picture that only took up the middle third of the screen. WHAT A RIP! I haven't seen any other movie presented in this fashion, but I can't image it being any different.

    acg
     
  12. Alvin.G.

    Alvin.G. Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw ROTK last christmas at an IMAX theater near University Studios in Southern California. I went with high expectations: better theater, better sound, bigger screen. What I got was a distorted, blurry picture that only took up the middle third of the screen. WHAT A RIP! I haven't seen any other movie presented in this fashion, but I can't image it being any different.

    acg
     
  13. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    Just to be clear: An IMAX film negative is a LOT bigger than a 70mm film negative, right? They are not the same thing, as far as I know.

    -Dennis
     
  14. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    Just to be clear: An IMAX film negative is a LOT bigger than a 70mm film negative, right? They are not the same thing, as far as I know.

    -Dennis
     
  15. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    No, IMAX is shot on 70mm film stock, but uses different lenses and exposes a larger area on the negative. Typical 65mm photography is fed through the camera vertically and only uses 5 perfs (I may be wrong on this number) for a widescreen ratio. IMAX goes through the camera horizontally and exposes 15 perfs worth of real estate on the negative, eventually eating up more film stock.
     
  16. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    No, IMAX is shot on 70mm film stock, but uses different lenses and exposes a larger area on the negative. Typical 65mm photography is fed through the camera vertically and only uses 5 perfs (I may be wrong on this number) for a widescreen ratio. IMAX goes through the camera horizontally and exposes 15 perfs worth of real estate on the negative, eventually eating up more film stock.
     
  17. Joe_Pinney

    Joe_Pinney Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a con. If there was a special IMAX DMR print of the film as was done for The Matrix Reloaded last year, there'd be plenty of advertising stating that you were seeing Shrek 2: The IMAX Experience, but you didn't see that, did you? Plenty of multiplexes that have IMAX screens pull this stunt whenever there's a big tentpole release, in order to make even bigger profits off the IMAX auditorium's higher-priced seats. They lie to you and tell you you're getting a better presentation, but you're not. You're getting a bigger and louder one, sure, but not a BETTER one.

    Thomas Hauerslev's In70mm.com had an article about this very situation a few years back. This con game's been running a few years now. Unless you see official IMAX poster advertising stating that it's an IMAX DMR print, don't pay to see a 35mm film on an IMAX screen. You're being RIPPED OFF if you do.
     
  18. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Side note on Imax.

    Imax uses 65mm film (horizontal travel) in photography, as do all of the old '70mm' classics ever shot. (Although Imax still uses the 15perf frame, and the others use the 5-perf frame.)

    For release, they are printed onto 70mm film, where the extra 5mm show up on the outside edges of the film (outside of the sprocket holes.)

    For 70mm features, this gave them extra room for the 6-track magnetic sound tracks - a pair on the far left side, one thin track between the sprockets and the picture on each side, and then another pair on the far right side.

    For Imax, this gives the transport an extra bit of space for handling the film. Unlike conventional projectors, Imax projectors don't use the sprocket holes - at least, not very much. There's a pair of guide pins at the entry to the rolling loop mechanism, and a pair on the exit, used primarily by the projectionist during film loading, for setting the 'loops.'

    Allow me to digress: the Imax projector workes by having a partial frame 'buckle' along a large wheel. The wheel is the transport and the shutter mechanism. As the wheel turns, the 'buckle' moves along to the projection gate, and accumulates a full frame. When it gets a full frame's worth of film there, it has generated enough force to break the vacuum hold that held the previously projected frame to the glass projection plate. The 'buckle' snaps, whip-like, and transfers itself to the projection plate and the vacuum seal forms. On the exit-side, the old frame is 'stored' for a short period of time; the process repeating as the 'buckle' is reduced, pulled along the wheel away from the gate.

    This mechanism allows for a number of powerful benefits to the Imax system. The film is handled by the edges only, until it is held by the vacuum against the projection gate; a smooth piece of glass. This transport is extremely gentle to the film, so it endures quite a long time. Second, when the image is in the gate, it is held still by a vacuum-plate. Thus, while it's in the gate, there is no in-gate jitter.

    The thing I can't remember is if the frames travel in 1/2 frame or 1/3 frame increments.

    On the other hand, when you're in an operating Imax projection booth, that thing is a living, and quite literally breathing machine...

    Leo Kerr
     

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