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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Poseidon: IMAX in Scope? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Poseidon: IMAX in Scope?
Eric Hooper
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
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 - posted 05-13-2006 05:53 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Poseidon: The IMAX Experience, and was surprised it was in 'scope' on the IMAX screen, with the tops and bottoms of the screen blank.

Is this how the IMAX version is supposed to be, or were we shown a 35mm print and charged the $15 IMAX price?

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Paul Linfesty
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 - posted 05-13-2006 06:18 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Starting with the second MATRIX film, all IMAX DMR conversions originally composed for the scope format(both Super 35 and true scope) have retained their OAR (or very close to it). The black bars at the top and bottom are normal for this format.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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 - posted 05-13-2006 07:46 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Which is all the more reason for such films to simply get a 5/70 blowup print.

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John Pytlak
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 - posted 05-15-2006 10:20 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To compare approximate image areas:

A 2.39:1 image "letterboxed" on a 15-perf 70mm frame:
2.74 X 1.15 inches = 3.15 square inches

Normal 1.43:1 15-perf 70mm full frame projectable image area:
2.74 X 1.91 inches = 5.23 square inches

A 2.39:1 image "letterboxed" on a 5-perf 70mm frame:
1.912 x 0.800 inches = 1.53 square inches

Normal 2.20:1 5-perf 70mm projectable image area (SMPTE 152):
1.912 X 0.870 inches = 1.66 square inches

Normal 35mm "scope" 2.39:1 projectable image area (SMPTE 195):
0.825 x 0.690 inches = 0.57 square inches

Bottom line: the 2.39:1 image "letterboxed" on the 15-perf 70mm frame still has about twice the image area that a 5-perf 70mm print would allow. BOTH 70mm formats offer a significant increase in projectable image area over a 35mm "scope" print.

But IMHO, the main reason some distributors have released feature films to IMAX theatres is that they value the infrastructure that IMAX provides as part of their "DMR" feature release program.

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 05-16-2006 02:06 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But wouldn't films shot on Super 35 be able to produce an image very close to IMAX full frame (they extract full frame from S35 for broadcast TV, no?) Or if not the entire IMAX ratio, at least reduce the wasted area and fill more of the screen? Letterboxing in the IMAX square is like cropped 1.85 -- a waste of film geography and resolution.

If they were to put an original scope image on the IMAX release print as a near full frame anamporphic image, they could use a much longer fl lens and all that DMX processing might not need to be as severe because the release print wouldn't have to be magnified as nearly much, ala Glen Breggren's ISCOvision. Then scope for IMAX would be the same as scope for 35mm. Nice an bright too!

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John Pytlak
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 - posted 05-16-2006 02:18 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There was an industry program (headed by Dave Richards of MIT) called "Apex" that was evaluating the feasibility of using an anamorphic lens for projection of 8-perf 70mm to a widescreen aspect ratio. Not sure what the status is.

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Paul Linfesty
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 - posted 05-16-2006 03:14 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
But wouldn't films shot on Super 35 be able to produce an image very close to IMAX full frame (they extract full frame from S35 for broadcast TV, no?)
I believe APOLLO 13 used this technique.

quote: Frank Angel
Letterboxing in the IMAX square is like cropped 1.85 -- a waste of film geography and resolution.

A waste of film, yes. Resolution, no. IMAX is set up for one projection and lens throw, unlike 35mm.

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Mike Schindler
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 - posted 05-16-2006 06:18 PM      Profile for Mike Schindler   Email Mike Schindler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Angel
But wouldn't films shot on Super 35 be able to produce an image very close to IMAX full frame (they extract full frame from S35 for broadcast TV, no?) Or if not the entire IMAX ratio, at least reduce the wasted area and fill more of the screen? Letterboxing in the IMAX square is like cropped 1.85 -- a waste of film geography and resolution.
I read somewhere that they give the filmmakers this option, but no one does it because then the compositions would be all messed up.

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 05-17-2006 12:00 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Schindler
I read somewhere that they give the filmmakers this option, but no one does it because then the compositions would be all messed up.
Yah, that's the lip-service you hear off and on, but when it comes down to it, these same filmmakers never seem to bothered when their wide screen movies are presented 4:3 unletterboxed on broadcast TV to hundreds of millions of viewers. Anyone remember those horrific years of pan & scan abortions?

Ah me, the world if full of such odd contradictions.

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Mike Schindler
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 - posted 05-17-2006 01:44 PM      Profile for Mike Schindler   Email Mike Schindler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would think that the filmmakers are very bothered by 4:3 broadcasts of their widescreen movies. The difference is that those are probably network or studio-controlled. With Imax, they have the freedom to do whatever they want. Either way, it seems preferable to lose image size in favor of composition.

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Dan Suomi
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 - posted 05-17-2006 04:34 PM      Profile for Dan Suomi   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Suomi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think this all stems from when IMAX DMR'd SW EP 2. It was converted from the original scope image to fill the IMAX screen, I am assuming they did pan and scan to do that. I know I fielded a lot of complaints from our guests about it, I could only imagine how may calls IMAX got themselves. So, they probably decided to offer the fimmakers both either full screen or do wide screen with the original intended aspect ratio. I asked DKP about why Matrix was letter boexed when it first came out and I was told it's beacuse the directors wanted the film to be in its original aspect ratio. I am assuming they do this for all films now. I know Ant Bully will be full screen beacuse the trailer is full.

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Michael Coate
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 - posted 05-17-2006 08:20 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, the IMAX version of "Star Wars Episode II Attack Of The Clones" was a combination of being letterboxed and panned-and-scanned. The active image area was in the ballpark of 1.85:1 (1.81:1 according to DKP) and, if I remember correctly, the matting was entirely at the top of the frame rather than being split equally top and bottom.

This clearly was a compromise and attempt to please everyone, but in the end I think this sort of thing pleases no one. The general audience would prefer the screen filled with image; the film buffs knowledgeable about the technology would prefer the original ratio letterboxed.

Just another reason why this IMAX DMR stuff was a bad idea.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
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 - posted 05-17-2006 10:39 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dan Suomi
I fielded a lot of complaints from our guests
Complaints or no complaints, they bought tickets, right? IMAX tried to enter mainstream cinema and succeeded, as far as I can tell. Not SUCH a bad idea, after all. Even if they DO compromise a little integrity by not fully utilizing the system's capabilities.

We get people complaining when the movie they wanted to see was NOT in IMAX! "Sorry, ma'am. The National CineMedia 'Big Screen Concerts' aren't in IMAX." "But it says 'Big Screen', and the website said the IMAX theatre!" "Yes, ma'am, but only so far as our megaplex is called the Irvine Spectrum 20 Plus IMAX ... that doesn't mean every movie or event will be in the IMAX auditorium." "Well, it should be!"

[Shrug]

Ant Bully should fill most of the screen because it's from a flat movie. Robots also was flat, and its IMAX version filled the screen beautifully; a much more effective use of the IMAX aspect ratio.

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Mike Schindler
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 - posted 05-18-2006 01:37 PM      Profile for Mike Schindler   Email Mike Schindler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Michael Coate
Just another reason why this IMAX DMR stuff was a bad idea.
But in the end, they solved the problem by not compromising, and making what the film buffs (and God) know to be the right choice.

And what are the other reasons? Everyone keeps talking about how the industry should bring back 70mm. As John's numbers indicate, this is twice as good. The only argument I've heard against Imax DMR is that it wastes a lot of film. But who really cares? Sure, ticket prices may be a bit higher, but if you compare it grain to grain or whatever with 35mm, you're still getting more emulsion for your money. [Smile]

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Frank Angel
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 - posted 05-21-2006 04:59 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I specifically went into the city to see a film in the Sony IMAX Theatre at Lincoln Center (for the life of me I cannot remember the title). I thought, how great is this, being able to finally see major Hollywood titles in IMAX. I didn't mind paying a premium ticket price. I had only seen APOLLO 13 at the SMPTE demo of DMX in this theatre and had been waiting for the next time I could see a feature in IMAX. When I saw this title was playing, I was couldn't wait to see it.

When the lights dimmed, we were treated to a few 35mm trailers, which surprised me a little, but I figured that was the easiest way for the theatre to cross-plug their other screens. The trailers looked drab and lifeless on the huge screen and pretty soft focus at that. Then, just before the feature started, here comes a snipe stating something like, "The following feature motion picture will be presented in standard 35mm projection; this does not represent the superior image quality of the IMAX Experience." I was so stunned that I literally said loud enough for everyone to hear, "Then what the hell did I just pay $15 for?" It got a chear. I thought I was going to see an IMAX conversion.

Now that's downright dirty pool.

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