Interesting criticism of blowing up regular films for IMAX

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael St. Clair, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. Michael St. Clair

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    Stephen Worth, of Spumco, posted these comments to USENET after seeing the IMAX blowup of 'Beauty and the Beast':
    If the film had actually been composed for Imax, it would have been designed to have a smaller focal point within the overall composition, and action would flow from one side of the screen to the other slower to allow your eye to keep up. I had the same problem when I saw Fantasia2000 in Imax. There were things happening on both sides of the screens at once that one would have to be wearing wide angle glasses to be able to take in all together. I was constantly being left high and dry visually in fast scene cuts. My eye didn't have time to register where I was supposed to look before the scene changed and I was back to struggling to regain my visual footing. I really think these pictures are best seen in a normal theater.
    You know, I doubt many here will publicly agree, but I think he has a good point.
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Actually, to some extent, this is quite common.
    Star Trek: First Contact I thought was pretty horrible in a lot of situations, where the director was shooting for the big screen for the first time, after coming from television. An intimate conversation done in close-ups isn't too bad on television. The same conversation done on the 50' wide screen, where the actor's nose is 15' high, is pretty awful.
    Fantasia 2000 had a nasty combination of this and something else: the Beethovan's 5th sequence, with huge areas of bold, flashing colors, was literally painful to watch in the IMAX environment.
    On my The Dream is Alive LD is a short introductory segment for the IMAX format. One of the bits I find quite telling is, "the slower, more measured pace" allows the eye to linger on the details, and appreciate the finery of the shot.
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    It may sound like a broken record - I've mentioned this before, but Hollywood destroyed real Cinerama and now they're doing the same to real IMAX.
     
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    I'll agree. I'm not a fan of Imax for narrative films for this very reason. For those who like to think that wider ARs better suit human vision (they don't*) this is the only presentation that plays into that regarding peripheral vision. But, as that writer is trying to convey, we don't watch films with our peripheral vision so... Yes, it's immersive, sort of. But the art of composition, and other elements, is essentially lost.

    (*They only do if you stare directly at the center of the screen, a very large screen. We don't do that, we move our eyes and look at different parts of the frame, so a correlation between human vision field of view and movie aspect ratios is a moot point. And an old marketing ploy.)
     

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