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IMAX Framing?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Adams, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    Roger Jason Adams
    I've seen 2 movies in IMAX, Matrix Revolutions and Batman Begins. Matrix was a good experience, but Batman was a bit of a headache, mainly because of the way that the fight scenes were shot, but both were shown LETTERBOXED on a big screen. I do love widescreen, but to see two black bars twice as big as me for a ticket I paid extra for, kinda reduces the experience for me. Expecially after seeing IMAX trailers before the movie, which feel overwhelming. I'm just saying that more filmmakers should compose for IMAX as well as the regular cineplex.

    I've seen movies like Cleopatra, that were clearly composed for 70mm, which look like actors running about like tiny gnats compared to today's movies.
     
  2. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    The IMAX frame is very close in shape to the standard TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This creates the unfortunate situation of having a widescreen film either reduced in height (letterboxed) or pan and scanned for a theatrical experience in IMAX. For me, it's all about the original aspect ratio of the film, so the unused screen area is much more welcome to me than cropping the image in half.

    I think it's great so many films are being released in IMAX. This is very reminiscent of the 70MM roadshows of the past. And I have yet to encounter a bad IMAX presentation, the screen is always bright and sharp and the sound is superb. However, the first time I ever experienced IMAX I felt it's inventors made a mistake with aspect ratio. No matter how tall the screen, I always felt I was viewing the film with blinders due to the narrow image. I always wished they had chosen a shape around 2:1. Well here we are years later and main stream films are being released in IMAX and we have no choice but to deal with the limitations of the medium. Perhaps we should never have gotten rid of our Todd-AO / SUPER PANAVISION 70 style theatres in the first place.
     
  3. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Ye gods; can you imagine how much an anamorphic lens would cost for Imax?!
     
  4. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    Forget the cost, can you imagine the SIZE?
     
  5. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Size, cost; at this point, what's the difference?

    Anyway, back to the original point,



    Given the size and shape of the screen vs a 'normal' projection screen, there's little reason to compose for Imax - what, 120 screens out of thousands? And then we all know what would happen: those 'Imax' releases would be the one transferred for home-theater - we'd get stuck with full-frame only, and billed as "theatrical aspect ratio!"

    I've not seen a 'normal' film blown up for Imax - save Fantasia 2000, where most of it was CG anyway, and could be re-rendered for the larger frame. But the 'introductory' segments were horrible; blow-ups from spherical 35mm negatives with unbelievable amounts of grain. I can't imagine what a low-res CG or HD shot film would look like blown up that big, but I've heard that the IMAX Star Wars films have had 'pixels' about 4" on a side.

    Stained glass, anyone?

    Now, I would applaud any producer/director who decided to 'do it right' and go out and shoot a 70mm 15perf feature. Doing it 'right' would also require a lot more computing horsepower if they were going to rely upon computer effects, though - 4k work is a barely acceptable minimum working resolution for that format..

    But can you imagine a good Trek film shot Imax? Say, STII:TWOK? Or how about, oh, a more leisurely, 'romantic' flick like Under the Tuscan Sun? (Tuscan has the problem of having a fair amount of CG in it, as well as digital grading, probably at 2k resolution.)

    Leo
     

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