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Explaining IMAX - Infographic & Discussion


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#1 Evan Luzi

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:42 PM

Hey guys,

I try not to solicit myself too hard on these forums cause I'm relatively new to posting, but I worked pretty hard creating this infographic about IMAX for my blog and I wanted to share it with like-minded individuals who might appreciate it more than the average person.

The graphic can be found here: http://www.theblackandblue.com/IMAX/

What I was really astounded to find out was how small of a footprint IMAX really has compared to regular screens and how few of films are shot in the format per year. I also had no idea it was struggling financially so badly a few years ago until I started researching for this.

The other thing the surprised me was the sheer scale of the cameras. I was aware that the cameras were bulky but in reading up on it, I really got a sense of how troublesome they could turn out to be for production. Does anyone have any good stories about IMAX shoots? What you liked? What was hard?

Thanks and best regards,

Evan
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#2 Thomas James

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:50 PM

Because IMAX cameras were so bulky Chris Nolan decided to film Inception using the 5 perf 65mm format rather than the 15 perf IMAX cameras that he used to film Batman.
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#3 Joseph Arch

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:39 PM

So what is the difference between 5 perf and 15 perf? Do more perf's increase the image in lattitude, contrast, saturation and color?
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#4 Thomas James

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:31 AM

Perfs are the socket holes in a reel of film. Since IMAX film is shot sideways, each frame has 3 times the surface area of a frame found on a conventional 65mm camera.
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#5 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:51 AM

You will have to become patient with me. I am still trying to learn cinematography. What is the difference between 3 perf, 4 perf and 15 perfs.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 04 December 2010 - 12:51 AM.

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#6 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:52 AM

Joseph - Perfs are, like Thomas said, the socket holes in the reel of film. 15 perf 70mm film (aka IMAX) is run horizontally through cameras causing an image to be exposed on a greater amount of area on the film. 5/70mm is run vertically. There is also 8/70mm film but it is not a very popular format.

From my understanding, shooting 15/70 would not increase things like latitude, color, saturation - instead that would be dependent on the film stock. It could be very well that there are different stocks at each format that have pros/cons on each, but the fact that it is 15 perf is not directly related to anything except the area exposed, and thus, a greater amount of detail and resolution.
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#7 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:59 AM

So the more perfs there are, the more area exposed. Is there a difference between horizontally placed film and vertically?
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#8 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:19 PM

So the more perfs there are, the more area exposed. Is there a difference between horizontally placed film and vertically?


Well, imagine it like drawing on a piece of paper. Now, imagine that you draw a picture on the paper when it's placed horizontally and it fills the entire paper. To draw that same image on a piece of paper vertically, you would have to draw it smaller because the picture is too wide for the vertical part of the paper. Does that make sense?

It's different than thinking of digital resolutions, which come down to physical size of the sensor yes, but also 1's and 0's. With film, you are talking, literally, about the size of the image on the size of the film.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:29 PM

Carbon footprint?

Give me a break, please. That doesn't apply to a motion picture. By the reasoning of carbon footprints, all artistic endeavours are a needless waste of human energy that would better be used building solar fields, farming crops, and working in giant human power plants during the "recreation hour."


Seriously, If something takes up 15x the energy for 15x the quality with 15x the viewership, I feel it is worth it. Cinematographer math.


I just heard some garbage about the carbon footprint yesterday. The theatre industry is inherently wasteful compared to everyone with a desk job staying at home, telecomuting, and pirating movies in their basement.

So the theatrical exhibition industry as a whole is something that carbon footprints EDIT: says /ED shouldn't exist for at all. Let's ban it! (Along with restaurants of any kind - should be communal dining halls - underpopulated living areas - internal combustion engines - forest fires - and lead solder). This all reminds me of a certain type of government structure, one with absolute rule for a select few for the good of the worker.

Edited by K Borowski, 04 December 2010 - 01:31 PM.

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#10 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:34 PM

Carbon footprint?

Give me a break, please. That doesn't apply to a motion picture. By the reasoning of carbon footprints, all artistic endeavours are a needless waste of human energy that would better be used building solar fields, farming crops, and working in giant human power plants during the "recreation hour."


Seriously, If something takes up 15x the energy for 15x the quality with 15x the viewership, I feel it is worth it. Cinematographer math.


I just heard some garbage about the carbon footprint yesterday. The theatre industry is inherently wasteful compared to everyone with a desk job staying at home, telecomuting, and pirating movies in their basement.

So the theatrical exhibition industry as a whole is something that carbon footprints EDIT: says /ED shouldn't exist for at all. Let's ban it! (Along with restaurants of any kind - should be communal dining halls - underpopulated living areas - internal combustion engines - forest fires - and lead solder). This all reminds me of a certain type of government structure, one with absolute rule for a select few for the good of the worker.


What? I can find no relation between your post and this thread...
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#11 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:37 PM

The graphic can be found here: http://www.theblackandblue.com/IMAX/


Please forgive me, I didn't realize the URL was case sensitive. The correct address is http://www.theblackandblue.com/imax/ . Also I am not sure how to to edit posts...
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#12 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:18 PM

Well, imagine it like drawing on a piece of paper. Now, imagine that you draw a picture on the paper when it's placed horizontally and it fills the entire paper. To draw that same image on a piece of paper vertically, you would have to draw it smaller because the picture is too wide for the vertical part of the paper. Does that make sense?


That does make sense. Are there any film cameras like arri or panavision which take film horizontally?

So, a wide angle lens can expose the picture more and has to make up for the horizontally placed film.

What if, for example, you use the imax camera with film placed vertically and a wide angle lens. That would mean a greater exposure on the subject.


Or am I wrong?
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#13 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:42 PM

That does make sense. Are there any film cameras like arri or panavision which take film horizontally?


Off the top of my head, the only 35mm film that runs horizontally is a process called VistaVision which was used by Paramount in the 50's (Hitchcock shot North By Northwest in VistaVision and it looks breathtaking)

So, a wide angle lens can expose the picture more and has to make up for the horizontally placed film.


No. Lens choice has nothing to do with it, much like lens choice will not increase resolution in HD. All lenses will expose the same area on the film. Some lenses may "vignette" the image, but that is a separate issue.

What if, for example, you use the imax camera with film placed vertically and a wide angle lens. That would mean a greater exposure on the subject.


The mechanics of an IMAX camera do not allow the film to be run vertically - the fact that film runs horizontally is what makes it an IMAX camera. There exists no 15 perf 70mm film camera that runs vertically because the image would have an aspect ratio similar to a skinny poster. I truly urge you to look at my infographic and see if the visual representation of these formats can help you understand the image area/perforation relationship better.
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#14 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:51 PM

Off the top of my head, the only 35mm film that runs horizontally is a process called VistaVision which was used by Paramount in the 50's (Hitchcock shot North By Northwest in VistaVision and it looks breathtaking)



No. Lens choice has nothing to do with it, much like lens choice will not increase resolution in HD. All lenses will expose the same area on the film. Some lenses may "vignette" the image, but that is a separate issue.



The mechanics of an IMAX camera do not allow the film to be run vertically - the fact that film runs horizontally is what makes it an IMAX camera. There exists no 15 perf 70mm film camera that runs vertically because the image would have an aspect ratio similar to a skinny poster. I truly urge you to look at my infographic and see if the visual representation of these formats can help you understand the image area/perforation relationship better.



When you speak of imax film running horizontally you mention "exposure". What kind of exposure are you reffering to? Is it the exposure of color or the exposure of area. I am trying to connect the lens to all of this.

Lens's can give you a wide view so you would not need any more exposure of area since the lens covers that part. What I am trying to study currently is what kind of exposure does a horizontal placed film have more then a vertical.


I am reading your inforgrah now. I have to read it several times to digest and absorb the technical bits.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 04 December 2010 - 03:54 PM.

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#15 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:55 PM

Oh never mind. I think I got it. I will return with my theory after I eat. Very hungry right now.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 04 December 2010 - 03:55 PM.

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#16 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:58 PM

When you speak of imax film running horizontally you mention "exposure". What kind of exposure are you reffering to? Is it the exposure of color or the exposure of area. I am trying to connect the lens to all of this.

Lens's can give you a wide view so you would not need any more exposure of area since the lens covers that part. What I am trying to study currently is what kind of exposure does a horizontal placed film have more then a vertical.


I am reading your inforgrah now. I have to read it several times to digest and absorb the technical bits.


When I say exposure or exposed, I am merely referring to the area of the film that becomes exposed - that is, I do not mean lighting, color, contrast, etc.

I am not completely proficient in optics, so this is hard for me to explain, but lenses do not affect the size of the area exposed on the actual film. All lenses are calibrated to expose the same image area on film, but with different properties like focal length.

The fact that film is run horizontally or vertically has no bearing on anything except resolution because the image area is larger on horizontally run film. Film stocks are what will give different looks, exposure, contrast.
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#17 Evan Luzi

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:16 PM

I have scanned two pages from The Filmmaker's Handbook that I think will help explain lenses a bit better to you.

To buy The Filmmaker's Handbook from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=0452286786

To download the scanned pages: http://www.theblacka...book-lenses.pdf
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#18 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 06:45 PM

I understand you now. Films that are run horizontally have a wider area because as you have mentioned, it's like drawing on a A4 paper. If you do it in landscape you will have more room to fit what you want. However, if you do it in A4 size, that is, vertically then you will have to squash more in.


I have a lot ahead of me to learn. When I am wrong on anything, please correct me.

Thank you for your support Evan.
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:56 PM

What I was really astounded to find out was how small of a footprint IMAX really has compared to regular screens and how few of films are shot in the format per year. I also had no idea it was struggling financially so badly a few years ago until I started researching for this.


That's a pretty direct reply to your quote. Don't pretend you didn't say it. What if you were making concrete? Carbon footprint? If you're doing a big F8CK8ing job you'll have a BIG F*&%%%g footprint.


It is as simple as that. . .
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#20 Evan Luzi

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 12:18 AM

That's a pretty direct reply to your quote. Don't pretend you didn't say it. What if you were making concrete? Carbon footprint? If you're doing a big F8CK8ing job you'll have a BIG F*&%%%g footprint.


It is as simple as that. . .


Haha whoa I never said CARBON footprint. I was referring to how few of screens IMAX really has compared to the amount of screens in the USA as a whole. If you looked at my infographic, you would find that I mention nothing about carbon footprints and the ratio of US theater screens to IMAX screens is actually quite substantial.

I apologize that you mistook what I said to be an environmental issue, but I assure you it could not be further from the truth.

Edited by Evan Luzi, 05 December 2010 - 12:19 AM.

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Opal

Glidecam

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