Local Imax went to pan/scan for Spiderman

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wes Nance, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I've been going to see the occasional 35mm presentation at the local Imax, as the screen is huge, and the sound system way better than any other local theater, and have really enjoyed The Matrix and Lord of the Rings in widescreen, even though it has the same look as seeing an OAR presentation on a 4:3 TV. (lots of the top and bottom of that huge Imax screen go unused)

    Tonight I took my wife to see Spiderman at the Imax, and to my great surprise and dismay, it was shown "full screen" on the Imax screen, which meant basically a severe pan and scan. While still fun to see on such a big screen, I was kind of bummed, and am going to try to find out how I'll know what aspect ratio they'll be presenting.

    Too bad. . .

    Wes Nance
     
  2. John Torrez

    John Torrez Second Unit

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    How do you know it was pan and scanned? Spider-Man was shot in 1.85:1 you know.
     
  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    IMAX films are shown 1.44:1 , so if Spidey was shown full screen, it was cropped.
    First I have ever heard of this in regard to IMAX showings.[​IMG]
     
  4. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    There were no "black bars" to speak of on the screen- all the character shots were so close up- huge, like when I saw the Imax version of Beauty and the Beast. I'm wondering if they managed to crop it somehow at the projection end, or if Universal(?) provided a pan/scan to Imax for their showings.

    I'm going to try to talk to somebody over at the theater who knows the difference between OAR and pan/scan so I can get an informed answer to my question. . .

    Wes
     
  5. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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  6. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Jacob,

    Was there any information in that link about the aspect ratio in IMAX presentation? When I go to the link it has info about a different IMAX movie, and there's no link to get to IMAX info about Spiderman

    Wes
     
  7. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    A local theater in our area shows the occasional regular feature on their IMAX screen. They use a 35mm projector to do this, as I would be 99% positive is happening with Spider-Man anywhere else.

    Since Spider-Man is a "flat" movie, the frame on the film is 1.33:1 while the aperture plate in the projector crops to the appropriate 1:85:1 ratio. I have not seen any actual frames from Spider-Man, so I don't know how much (if any) of the film has "hard matting" (essentially letterboxing) on the print itself.

    The 35mm projector showing Spider-Man on the IMAX screen could be doing either of the following:

    A) using an adapted aperture plate (or none at all) so that the entire 1:33 frame is shown on the screen.
    B) using a lens that increases the size of the image to the point that the edges of the frame are off the screen.

    It's not impossible, but it is highly unlikely, that there are "special" pan-and-scan prints of Spider-Man.
     
  8. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Derek,

    Here's an email that I got back from a VP at Cinemark about the IMAX shows:


    Dear Mr. Nance:

    We do not crop 35mm films; we respect the original aspect ratio. However, we did recently install a new lens that enables the picture to fill much more of the screen than previously. If you will look carefully at the very bottom of the screen, you will see that the 35mm image is not there.

    Thank you for writing us. I hope this answers your questions about our presentations.

    Sincerely,

    Terrell Falk
    Vice President, Marketing and Communication
    Cinemark USA, Inc.

    So maybe it's answer b) from above, but it wouldn't end up being a widescreen presentation then, right? I know what I saw, and it was around 1.4:1, just like regular TV.

    Wes
     
  9. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Update,

    Derek is exactly right- I spoke with the manager of the local IMAX, and they have a new lense that only works with "flat" prints, doesn't use any mattes, and pretty much fills the whole screen. So, I guess I didn't lose any information to the sides, just had a bit extra on top and bottom.

    Lord of the Rings is a "scope" print, and is cropped on the print itself, so they play it on a regular 35mm projector, so you get the expected widescreen look.

    Thanks for the info- he's trying to get Star Wars for the IMAX, and if he does, that's a scope print. . .

    Wes
     
  10. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I don;t have any info about the imax for spidey.. I found that link this morning.

    JACOB
     
  11. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  12. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Derek,

    Thanks for the clarification- I'm kind of a newbie in this area, especially cinema projection as opposed to home theater.

    Wes
     
  13. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Update:

    New email from Cinemark:

    Dear Mr. Nance:

    This may be far too much information for you, but I can tell from your emails that you are as passionate about film as I am, so I wanted to share this.

    The Image area on a 65mm IMAX frame is 2.772 x 2.072 inches (70.41 x 52.63 mm) The projectable image area on the 70mm print is 2.74 x 1.913 inches (69.60 x 48.59 mm). That is an aspect ratio of 1.432:1.

    For 35mm, standard SMPTE 195 specifies a projectable image area of 0.825 x 0.446 inches for 1.85:1 "flat", and 0.825 x
    0.690 inches for "scope". Spiderman is projected "flat."

    By the way, standard SMPTE 152 specifies 5-perf 70mm projectable image area as 1.912 x 0.870 inches. Of course, there are very few of these projectors, although I saw "Oklahoma" and "Far and Away" in their original 70mm format at a theatre in Los Angeles several years ago at a film convention.

    I saw a demonstration of the lens we just installed on our 35mm projector on a 50 by 70 foot IMAX screen in Dallas, but I don't have the technical information handy to relate this. I'll try to find out more and email you again. However, it made a tremendous difference in the image on screen. We obviously don't mask the image. The projector is positioned so that the area without an image is on the bottom.

    Sincerely,

    Terrell Falk

    Terrell E. Falk
    Vice President, Marketing and Communications
    Cinemark USA, Inc.


    I've found the folks at Cinemark *very* pleasant and helpful in this whole thing.

    Any comments?

    Wes
     
  14. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i saw it at a former imax screen at UA in king of prussia. pa.

    i noticed thaton that screen not much was different on the top and bottom but the sides seemed to be missing image.

    easily noticable was the scene that has a closeup of a daily bugle front page. in one regular theater i could see the headline on the bottom of the paper. next theater it was cut off just slightly above that bototom headline.

    at the imax the paper was framed about the same as the "next theater" i mentioned above.

    in other words i think it depends on what imax type screen you see it on.

     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Tony, I saw it there too. They did the same thing Cinemark is describing

    The theater is not "former IMAX", they just show way more 35mm prints in there than IMAX and they were sick of people getting confused.
     
  16. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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  17. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i beg to differ jeff. that theater did have an imax logo when it first opened. and i don't think it does now.
    ok i re-read your post. are you saying it still is part of the imax chain but just isn't labelled that way.
    but the other stuff i go along with you because i have never spoken with anyone in that theater about it. i was just going by what it looked like on the screen to my eyes.
    [​IMG]
     

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