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IMAX / Captain America: Civil War


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#1 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

I'm wondering if anyone has seen Captain America: Civil War in a true IMAX venue, such as the AMC 68th Street theater in New York City. Since the airport fight scene was shot using the Alexa IMAX camera, I'm wondering if that one sequence will expand to fill the entire IMAX screen. I initially saw Civil War in a digital IMAX venue in New Jersey and the message from the Russo Brothers, explaining about how the sequence was shot, how the screen will expand, etc did play beforehand and for that matter, the image did slightly enlarge during the airport sequence, but there wasn't much room on the top or bottom for it to expand to, so the change was small. So, just wondering if it takes advantage of the full scale of a true IMAX screen if projected in a theater built for IMAX and not converted for digital IMAX?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:15 AM

While traditional IMAX (15-perf 70mm print) is around 1.43 : 1, these newer "digital IMAX" theater screens are often closer to 1.85, or the max pixel dimensions of a DCP, around 1.89 : 1.   If "Captain America: Civil War" is shown in a traditional IMAX theater, like at a science museum, I'm sure that the airport sequence would just expand to 1.89 : 1, it wouldn't go out to 1.43 : 1.

 

Also, the Alexa 65 has a sensor that is a bit wider than 2:1 at 6560 x 3100 / 54.12 mm x 25.58 mm. So cropping it to 1.43 : 1 wouldn't get you much more than 4K (it would be 4.4K).


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#3 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for your response, David. Last December, I saw The Force Awakens at the 68th Street AMC and despite having one sequence shot using IMAX cameras, the image did not expand to the full height or width of the IMAX screen. I assume that was because it was a digital projection? When I saw Batman v Superman there, it was a 70mm print, so the non-IMAX scenes used the screen's full width, and the IMAX scenes expanded to also use its full height, as did Catching Fire and Interstellar.


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:47 PM

I'm afraid those days of a full IMAX screen are long over thanks to digital projection. 

 

Nolan's Normandy will probably be the next movie done in the old format. 


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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:39 PM

The 68th Street AMC actually had its 15/70 IMAX projectors removed, and then after The Force Awakens had its theatrical run, reinstalled.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:00 PM

I'm bummed that the Howard Hughes theater complex near me, now the Cinemark 18, got rid of their 15-perf 70mm IMAX projectors.  I assume the old 1.43 screen is still in there, but maybe not.  I was a bit thrown off by the conversion of the Hollywood Mann Chinese Theater to IMAX, it has such a long, gradual slope to the seats and it's a silver screen, which I'm not a fan of.  Now I have to go to the California Science Center if I want to sit in a classic IMAX theater.


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#7 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:53 PM

That is a bummer... I loved the Howard Hughes theater's IMAX screen.

What's sort of crazy is how the 68th Street AMC is still the only IMAX 15/70 for many many miles. I think the next closest one is in Philadelphia.

I think a lot of it has to do with how huge those projectors are with all of their associated gear. It's probably tougher to set up a digital system beside it than it would be for even traditional 70mm
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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:03 PM

The reason why IMAX 70mm has been removed is due to running overhead. Just the monthly upkeep on those projectors is in the 10's of thousands, plus the specialized projectionist, plus the fancy film prints, etc... It's great that almost all of the science museum dome theaters are still film, but I assume those will be next. The science film industry is slightly different and they care more about quality then a standard movie theater. 


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#9 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:45 AM

The 68th Street AMC actually had its 15/70 IMAX projectors removed, and then after The Force Awakens had its theatrical run, reinstalled.

Really, they were removed before The Force Awakens and reinstalled after? I had heard that Nolan made them reinstall the 70mm projected for Interstellar, but who knows how true that is


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#10 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:50 AM

That is a bummer... I loved the Howard Hughes theater's IMAX screen.

What's sort of crazy is how the 68th Street AMC is still the only IMAX 15/70 for many many miles. I think the next closest one is in Philadelphia.

I think a lot of it has to do with how huge those projectors are with all of their associated gear. It's probably tougher to set up a digital system beside it than it would be for even traditional 70mm

The 68th Street AMC may be the only theater around for miles to show theatrical movies, but there is another IMAX theater at the Museum of Natural History on 81st Street. The Liberty Science Center in NJ has a dome IMAX and there's also an IMAX projector at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Regarding Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute has an IMAX theater, which was one of the ones supposedly showing the 70mm print of Batman v Superman. However, I later read that the Franklin Institute's IMAX theater is a dome theater and Fandango did not list that venue as showing BvS using 70mm film or 70mm IMAX, like it did for 68th Street.


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#11 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:52 AM

While traditional IMAX (15-perf 70mm print) is around 1.43 : 1, these newer "digital IMAX" theater screens are often closer to 1.85, or the max pixel dimensions of a DCP, around 1.89 : 1.   If "Captain America: Civil War" is shown in a traditional IMAX theater, like at a science museum, I'm sure that the airport sequence would just expand to 1.89 : 1, it wouldn't go out to 1.43 : 1.

 

Also, the Alexa 65 has a sensor that is a bit wider than 2:1 at 6560 x 3100 / 54.12 mm x 25.58 mm. So cropping it to 1.43 : 1 wouldn't get you much more than 4K (it would be 4.4K).

So is the Alexa 65 and the Alexa IMAX the same camera or different cameras? Do they have differing sensor sizes? Was the Alexa IMAX designed to shoot a digital version of 15-perf 70mm IMAX, or it is its own proprietary format?


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:59 AM

I don't know of an Alexa IMAX camera. IMAX does have a digital camera, but I don't think it's anywhere near the quality of the Alexa 65. Nobody has bothered to make a camera anywhere near the pixel count of 15/70.
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#13 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:35 AM

The Museum of Natural History recently underwent a huge remodel. I'd check if they still have the 15/70 setup. I believe it's only 68th street, but I would be glad to be corrected.
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#14 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:37 AM

I don't know of an Alexa IMAX camera. IMAX does have a digital camera, but I don't think it's anywhere near the quality of the Alexa 65. Nobody has bothered to make a camera anywhere near the pixel count of 15/70.

Tyler, I'll look into this a bit more, but the Russo Brothers have said that the Alexa IMAX camera rolled off the production line about a week before they started using it. They did say that it is an Alexa 65 system of some kind, but I'm not sure if its any different than the base Alexa 65.


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#15 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:40 AM

The Museum of Natural History recently underwent a huge remodel. I'd check if they still have the 15/70 setup. I believe it's only 68th street, but I would be glad to be corrected.

Kenny, I was not aware they recently underwent a huge remodel. The reason I think they may still have a 15/70 setup is because the current feature playing in their IMAX theater, the National Parks Adventure, is listed as having 2D film showings and 3D digital showings. I've seen both - the supposed film one was much better. The 3D one seemed darker (maybe it was the glasses) and the 3D was only effective in the ice climbing scene. The 3D digital showing did not take up the entire height of the IMAX screen and while I'm pretty sure the 2D film one did, I'd now need to double check.

 

http://www.amnh.org/...parks-adventure


Edited by John Paul Palescandolo, 16 May 2016 - 10:41 AM.

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#16 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:06 AM

Just did some research, seems the imax camera is just a rebadged arri 65.
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#17 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:05 PM

I'm pretty sure I just watched this on a giant imax screen with a 2k projector.  Pixels were the size of my fist.


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#18 Phil Connolly

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 08:45 AM

So is the Alexa 65 and the Alexa IMAX the same camera or different cameras? Do they have differing sensor sizes? Was the Alexa IMAX designed to shoot a digital version of 15-perf 70mm IMAX, or it is its own proprietary format?

 

Some Imax laser sites are using a vertically mounted anamorphic projection lens to vertically stretch the image to fill the traditional squarer (1.43:1) screen from the 1.89:1 ratio DLP chip. 

 

Maybe the IMAX Alexa uses a vertical anamorph to shoot in compatible ratio without cropping the wider Alexa 65 sensor?


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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 11:20 AM

No, the Alexa IMAX is just an Alexa 65 with spherical lenses.


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#20 Mitch Gross

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:52 AM

Alexa IMAX is a regular Alexa 65 with a lens mount to take IMAX spherical lenses.

The IMAX Digital 3D camera is a pair of Phantom Gold 65 cameras rebuilt into a single camera housing. The resolution of each sensor is 4096x2440 and each sensor size is a bit smaller than the Alexa 65. Note that as huge as both of these sensor sizes are, they are still in the neighborhood of "standard" 65mm 5-percent, which is puny next to traditional IMAX 65mm 15-perf.
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