Which Avatar projection format did you see?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jon Lidolt, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Jon Lidolt

    Jon Lidolt Stunt Coordinator

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    A first: James Cameron's Avatar is being released in a wide array of formats. For digital cinemas that have top movable masking Fox will be sending a 1.85 version to maximize the size of the picture. Digital cinemas with side movable masking will receive a 2.35 copy. Imax classic cinemas will have a picture in an approximate 1.66 ratio, whereas the smaller Imax digital theatres will probably be around 2:1. For Imax, the ratio information I was given is only approximate. The 35mm cinemas, both 3-D and flat versions will be in 2.35.

    I'm very curious to get everyone's reaction to this new type of multi-purpose theatrical release. Trust James Cameron to have figured out a way to get his audience the biggest possible image during the picture's first-run digital and Imax engagements. No matter how the screen or projection system is configured.
     
  2. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Interesting. I wonder what happens for theaters that have some auditoriums with top movable masking and some with side. Eventually, they'll have to move the movie around to different auditoriums; will they get both 1.85 and 2.35?
     
  3. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    There will be 35mm 3D versions? What kind of glasses will that use as it's not digital?

    How does a filmmaker even begin to frame shots to accomodate multiple ratios like this? Or is Cameron borrowing a page from Pixar, and recomposing the entire movie, as was done with "A Bug's Life"?
     
  4. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Maybe a little of both. Cameron was involved pretty heavily with the 4:3 transfer of The Abyss and probably his other 2.35:1 films. I imagine they kept the multiple ratios in mind while filming, and throughout post-production.
     
  5. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Even though I have several legit IMAX screens within 30 minutes, they are either showing Star Trek or Night at the Museum 2 for the foreseeable future (seriously, wtf). So I will be at a fauMAX theater seeing this in 3D. I'll try and catch an IMAX show at some point. If it doesn't come here, there is an IMAX 2 hours away, which I might hit in January. Assuming I like the film enough.
     
  6. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Star Trek is still playing near you? I'm envious!
     
  7. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    I can't wait to see people whine about the blu-ray!!! (I'm guessing it will probably be fullscreen)
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Dating back to his essay included with the special edition "The Abyss" laserdisc, Jim has always been mindful that his films would be more widely seen at home than in the theater, so he shot with multiple aspect ratios in mind to preserve each viewing experience. That's what it sounds like he's doing here, tailoring the aspect ratio to the theater's projection so that everyone who sees it gets the biggest screen experience he can provide. It's an interesting concept.
     
  9. Jon Lidolt

    Jon Lidolt Stunt Coordinator

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    35mm 3-D prints will be in the over and under system. The squarish film frame is split in half with the top part containing the image for one eye and the bottom of the frame the image for the other eye. The film is projected through a special prism which superimposes the left and right eye images onto a silver screen. Polaroid glasses are used to view the 2.35 aspect ratio image in 3-D. It's a system that's been around since the mid 60's but was recently updated by Technicolor to permit small town and independent cinemas, that can't afford expensive digital projectors, to exhibit feature films in 3-Dimensions.
     
  10. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    I hope it's not the same system that gave me eyestrain and headaches in the '80's.
     
  11. Jim_E

    Jim_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Just back from seeing a digital version of Avatar here in the UK - I hadn't seen this thread and was expecting a 1.85 3D version and was surprised to get a 2.35 3D version. From reading here it makes sense as the screen was a 2.35 ratio screen so that format maximized the picture. The 3D worked very well to immerse you in the film rather than bombard you with gimmicky effects - and the film was pretty great too.
     
  12. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I think I've decided to see this in digital 3D. I have the option to see it in Imax, but I'm just worried about queasiness at that size. I'm still worried about some discomfort with the 3D (I attribute it to my acute sensitivity to motion sickness not modern 3D processes), but that is Cameron's intended version so I need to respect that the best I can.
     
  13. Chris Will

    Chris Will Supporting Actor

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    I saw it in a Digital 3D theater with side masking so,it was 2.35:1. Loved every minute of it, amazing movie IMO. Will be interesting to see what AR the BD will use. My money is on fullscreen 16:9, especially if the BD includes a 3D version since there maybe some new 3D compatible BD players out by then. Doesn't matter what AR is used as long as Cameron is the one making the decision.
     
  14. LynxFX

    LynxFX Stunt Coordinator

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    Saw it in (true)Imax 3D. I was sitting dead center, about 6 rows from the back, which is pretty close to perfect center heightwise. Once you put the glasses on, the screen actually felt small. This was my first feature film watched in 3D. It took a bit to get used to and there were a few brief moments of motion sickness, or the feeling of being on one of those amusement rides. It was mostly at the beginning, so probably just my body adjusting to the 3D. Anyway I want to see it again, but I'm not sure I want to go to a regular digital 3D presentation. Plus the sound in Imax is just so....well Imax. :D
     
  15. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    I have the choice of pretty much every format available to choose from in my area.

    One theatre, five minutes away is showing it in RealD and in Digital IMAX 3D. There is a true IMAX theater about ten minutes away showing it in real IMAX 3D, but honestly I didn't really like the presentation I saw of Star Trek there, it seemed way too bright, so I don't know what they do to their lamps at that IMAX theater (I used to work in one so I'm somewhat used to how it's "supposed" to look).

    Then, there's another theater showing it in Dolby 3D about twenty minutes away.

    I'm thinking of seeing it in the first theater tomorrow, and debating between RealD and Digital IMAX. I'm leaning toward the IMAX because I heard it's a somewhat brighter presentation than RealD (I found the showing of UP I saw in 3D rather dim and I think that was RealD - may be wrong though), and I'd imagine it has a better sound system spec (this is a new installation, so I can't imagine they've screwed it up that badly yet!).

    Later in the week I think I might go see it in the theater that has Dolby just to compare. Does anyone have a suggestion between RealD and Digital IMAX?
     
  16. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I saw it in 2D, framed at the standard ratio of 2.35:1. There are no "3D" theatres available in my area. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to see films in "3D" as it would just result in me wanting to go through another costly round of upgrading when "3D" home systems become available. The film looked just fine to me in 2D.
     
  17. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    I saw it in RealD at a non-Imax theater and it looked to be 1.85:1. Gave me a splitting headache afterward.
     
  18. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    I saw it in IMAX 3-D. Second row from the back. Dead center. OMFG
     

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