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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » My first IMAX experience (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: My first IMAX experience
Carey Barber
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 143
From: Newport News, VA, USA
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 09-01-2005 09:52 AM      Profile for Carey Barber   Email Carey Barber   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just wanted to say that I saw my first IMAX movie on Sunday.

It was 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and it looked and sounded amazing!

I saw it at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia. My only (small) complaint was that there was a slight shadow on the left side. Other than that, it was spotless.

Question - I would assume that this film was originally shot on 35mm. Does this mean that this 15/70 version was not as good-looking as it could potentially be -- That is, if had been filmed in 70mm to begin with?

(Please, I know next to nothing about large format so don't rip me to shreds if I have asked a dumb question or have some misinformation)

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 10:39 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most films these days shot on 8/65 or 15/65 go through a digital intermediate process as part of post-production. According to large format director Ben Stassen, for a 2D presentation, scanning at 4K is appropriate for presentation in large format. Typically, most (including IMAX DMR films) are scanned at 5.5 to 6K, which is about the same if the show print were taken directly from the film negative.

What you saw with Charlie was an image that originally was around 2K 35mm up-ressed to about 6K 70mm. It is comparable to having been filmed on 65mm stock.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 09-01-2005 10:51 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joseph said "It is comparable to having been filmed on 65mm stock."
One cannot create what was originally not there. In upping the resolution a mathamatical algorithm is used to preect what whould be where the missing pixels are between the two reslotuions
Compared to a print from a 1570 negative DMR is a pale contender

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John Pytlak
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From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
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 - posted 09-01-2005 11:05 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When blowing up a 35mm image to a 65mm duplicate negative for 15-perf 70mm release, the quality of the 35mm image is a very important parameter. If slower films are used, and care is taken in the cinematography (format choice, lens quality, focus, good exposure), the quality of the 70mm print can be very good.

As always, "Size DOES Matter", and the larger the origination format, the better the potential quality. Usually the quality ranking goes like this:

15-perf 65mm > 8-perf 65mm > 5-perf 65mm > 8-perf 35mm > 35mm Anamorphic > Super-35 > Regular 35mm > Super-16 > 16mm > Super-8 > 8mm > [dlp] > [bs]

[Wink] [Wink] [Wink]

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 11:38 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I forgot to include the most important part: Comparing the two depends on who you talk to, the source material, and the resolution scanned. You'll get a variety of different responses from different filmmakers and exhibitors. I feel it's comparable.

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Gordon McLeod
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 - posted 09-01-2005 01:43 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joseph said "I feel it's comparable."
hmmm It isn't even close and one should do a bit more research rather than relying on fimmaker x or theatre owner y comments most tend to have a narrow field of view on the matter namely promoting what ever is in the interests of the project they are involved in
Roar is a prime example it has no depth, colour saturation, and grain the size of a hailstorm and doesn't even fill the complete screen yet the filmaker says it is acceptable

Considering I sit on probably one of the largest librarys of 1570 material here that is in daily rotation I ould commend you to look closely at the image quality of things like To Fly (or most of the MF library) or as like today a 35 year old print of catch the sun I am showing looks brighter sharper finer grained with greater colour saturation and depth than Roar which plays right after it

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 03:05 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gordon,

I completely agree that Roar, which was scanned at 4K for the DI, looked horrible, with far too much grain. It's not one of my favorite films. But compare that with Charlie, which was scanned at 6K....the film looks like it was shot on 65mm stock. The one thing I can't stand, however, are the films shot digitally and recorded onto LF stock. I love comparing the shots in Cameron's films with some of MFF's films (Coral Reef is the perfect example). There is NO comparison between the two. Greg's films are always far superior.

Joe

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John Pytlak
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 - posted 09-01-2005 03:12 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Increasing the scanning resolution does not help a grainy 35mm negative trying to fill an 80-foot screen. Using a larger image area, using a slower film when the light allows, and using proper exposure are the best ways to reduce graininess. Digital grain reduction can only go so far, and usually compromises sharpness somewhat.

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Paul Linfesty
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 - posted 09-01-2005 05:03 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Joseph L. Kleiman
Most films these days shot on 8/65 or 15/65 go through a digital intermediate process as part of post-production. According to large format director Ben Stassen, for a 2D presentation, scanning at 4K is appropriate for presentation in large format.
I'm confused by this. Is 4K scanning being used on films originating on 8/65 or 15/65 being scanned at 4k for digital intermediates? It's been said in both film-tech and other sources the only true way to capture 35mm negative at its full resolution is to use 4k (which MGM did for the James Bond series recently). So how is 4K good enough for a frame 10 times larger than 35mm?

quote: Joseph L. Kleiman
I completely agree that Roar, which was scanned at 4K for the DI, looked horrible, with far too much grain. It's not one of my favorite films.
I have assumed, perhaps incorrrectly, that ROAR didn't go through the DMR process to remove grain. And CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY may have been helped by the fact that id did in additioon to being shot in Super 35, giving a larger image to work with.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 05:30 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most firms (like Cinesite) that scan native 65mm stock do so at 2K or 4K. The actual pixelation of a 1570 print is in the range of 6Kx8K. DKP/70mm has a Northlight Scanner that can scan at 8Kx6K, 5.5Kx4K and 4Kx3K. However almost all post houses use a CRT film recorder for output, not laser, which is why the scanning is often maxed at 4K.

It's funny you mention the Bond films. Last year, at LFCA, Lowry and Technicolor jointly showcased a clip from "From Russia with Love" blown up to 1570. It was scanned in 4K, processed by Lowry, and output by Technicolor. I haven't had a chance to see it, but have been told by a number of people that were there that it looked like it was fresh footage shot in 65mm. Roar just could have been a much better transfer.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to your second point. Charlie just looks great. Robots, on the other hand, had a bigger frame, being boxed at 1.66 (compared to 1.85 for Charlie), and in many places there were noticable issues with pixelation (this may have been the result of rushing the DMR process at 11 days, instead of taking time or culling direct for computer data files).

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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 - posted 09-01-2005 06:30 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, yeah, the best projected images I've ever seen have been from MacGillivray Freeman features shot on 65mm negative for 15/70 presentation. The vibrant colors and CRISP focus is just stunning. Coral Reef Adventure was very nice. And for nothing but white snow and rock, Everest really gave it life. I'm trying to remember other MacG films that blew me away ... pretty much anything in or around the ocean, which is, oh, about 85% of their library?

quote: Joseph L. Kleiman
noticable issues with pixelation
I was disappointed that Robots wasn't re-rendererd completely, like Polar Express was. But then, this was 20th Century Fox's first go at DMR, I believe. Warner Bros. has really been the IMAX DMR pioneer. And Polar Express was really a bigger ticket movie, anyway.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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 - posted 09-01-2005 06:46 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Somewhat OT: I spoke with MFF yesterday. They are keeping an eye on the situation in Louisiana as they had just finished principal photography there for Wetlands - their next Ocean themed film. Wetlands has always been scheduled to include "a spectacular simulation of a class V hurricane ripping through the region" (in CGI), but if the situation warrants, they may be returning to film the aftermath.

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Mark Lensenmayer
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 - posted 09-01-2005 08:24 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Carey,

I hope someday you can experience the full size Imax that is in many institutional theatres. Other posters are correct...a film shot with 15/70 cameras gives an image that is absolutely stunning. The smaller Imax theatres they are installing in multiplexes are fine, but you should really seek out a full size unit for an "Imax Experience" that will really impress you.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 08:44 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Virginia Air and Space is a GT system opened in 1992.

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Carey Barber
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From: Newport News, VA, USA
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 - posted 09-01-2005 11:18 PM      Profile for Carey Barber   Email Carey Barber   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark,

I had assumed that this was a full size IMAX (is it not?) Joseph mentioned that it was a 'GT system' but I do not know if that means it was full size or not...

But yeah, I would definitely llke to see a film that originated in 65mm stock. It would be nice to compare the two.

I think the Va. Air and Space Center usually has a schedule that includes a regular feature like Charlie and some other 45 minute 'Imax-ish' films throughout the day.

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