Avatar IMAX Not going to be full screen

so if you go to the cinema or like movies you should be aware by now that Avatar is coming out in the next few weeks, one thing you may not know is how much thought has gone in to getting the image on screen. Normally all the thought would come from the technical team at your local cinema but this has always been a case of working with what you have got. Avatar is  going to change some of the rules.

Imax Avatar is going to be 1.78 which is very close the the square imax ratio, Digital 3D is going to be 1.85 and 35mm is going to be 2.39. 1 film and 3 different ratios.

Imax was going to be full screen but this has now changed.

Again this decision was made by James Cameron after viewing test footage with different aspect ratios and different margins in a number of IMAX theatres.

Because there is so much detail and action in each frame he wanted every member of the audience to be able to take it all in. He was concerned people sat at the end of a row close to the screen would not get the full experience if the picture went to the edge of the screen.

I think most people would want the full screen experience but im betting the bloke who made the film will have a better idea.

The imax version of the film has pushed the limits what imax can do, the film is around 2:48 in total meaning imax have had to come up with an upgrade making the platter unit capable of holding this huge volume of film.

for a film this size it will take 2 days to make it up with nothing else to do that day, with running other films you can only do so much during this time, so i would say you would need 3 days to make this film up, the film starts on the 16th, today is the 12th and the film is still in the states giving the film 2 days in transport before the film is in the UK so its going to be a tight film make up.


Filed under cinema, Film, Movies, Projection, work

4 responses to “Avatar IMAX Not going to be full screen

  1. Corbin

    are you sure, I thought it would only be able to take up the entire screen if he shot it with imax cameras, as Nolan did for 6 segments of the dark knight?

  2. Corbin

    could you please post the link to where you found this out,

    • booncunian

      Well as close to full screen as it can be, the IMAX has always had this problem with content not shot for IMAX. They always fill left to right and the hight is all down to the ratio of the film, there have been some cgi films that have filled. Avatar is diffrent to anything I have seen, IMAX is shown in 1:78 but digital is in 2:39.

      I can’t link any site as all the information I have is work related and I can not disply it. Sorry.

  3. Steve Harford

    The person giving this answer is quite right. Full-size IMAX GT theatres were never designed to show Hollywood action films. Consequently those sitting in the front rows of an IMAX theatre will constantly be turning their heads from side to side tring to take everything in. Star Trek was a classic example of a film that sufferred from this. It makes not much difference if you sit at the side in an IMAX GT theatre, you can still take everything in. It’s being too close to the screen that will give problems. Cameron also avoided his print being blown up too big and exposing assorted artifacts – although I believe it would have been O.K. The Dark Knight although shot partially with true IMAX cameras contained far less full-on action than Avatar. To make IMAX GT work for Hollywood films the theatre geometry would all have to be redesigned and that is not going to happen. For slow moving material sitting near the front can result in a much greater feeling of immersion, as the edges of the screen are lost to the viewer. Cameron should have taken a leaf out of Christopher Nolan’s book and considered how much more special the film could have been with for-IMAX GT built in. He could have also learned a lot from Nolan about story-telling, dialogue, etc. I enjoyed the film on many levels but as soon as the word, ‘Unobtainium’ was menetioned I wanted to go home. How stupid does James Cameron think people who pay to see his films really are?

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