Un-Imaxed

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Un-Imaxed

Postby Movie Mike » Tue May 08, 2012 8:55 pm

Finally got around to watch the Bluray of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and was a tad disappointed as the aspect ratios did not shift for the scenes that were shot in Imax. Warner Bros The Dark Knight seemed to have no problem creating a disc with shifting aspect ratios, did Paramount have some reason as to why they didn't for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol?


Side Note: Warner has since angered me by apparently forgoing a 3D Bluray release for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. :(
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed May 09, 2012 4:34 am

Do Imax films always have the same aspect ratio? I know it's a 70 MM film but the other standards seem vague. When I was younger Imax was mostly for documentaries and shown at museums. It was shown square if I recall and I did NOT like it. The screen was too large.

I think most people would rather the movie stuck to one ratio anyway. We've just now forced the masses to accept widescreen, trying to push one that's anamorphic on them would be a bit much. I know at work everyone asks me what's wrong with the TV in the breakroom when I had the side bars on. Apparently everyone except me stretches 4:3 content. My point is that people still want the TV screen to be full and unchanging regardless of artistic merit.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Steve T Power » Thu May 10, 2012 3:23 am

I remember having a few rental customers pretty miffed over The Dark Knight's aspect ratio change. Many were distracted by it, and thought they had a malfunctioning player, disc, or TV.

The first time I watched I found it pretty annoying myself; It just felt needlessly gimmicky, and didn't really benefit the viewer at all.

If a new TDK disc were announced tomorrow WITHOUT the shifting ratio... I'd double dip that sucker in a heartbeat.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby cdouglas » Thu May 10, 2012 6:49 am

I think the shifting ratio works tremendously in the movie theater (it was so exhilarating when the film would suddenly fill the entirety of that massive IMAX screen), but at home the impact is diminished considerably and the effect is somewhat distracting.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Movie Mike » Thu May 10, 2012 8:22 am

I've watched The Dark Knight numerous times and have never found the aspect shift distracting, as it happens during establishing shot scene changes it actually serves as a dramatic edit.

That the director framed and composed these shots with the Imax ratio in mind means that cropping it later for home viewing changes the artistic intent, and is taking us back to the days of full frame home video where cropping and pan and scanning was the norm.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mavrach » Thu May 10, 2012 8:31 am

Can I ask a dumb question - why not just shoot the entire movie in the Imax aspect ratio?

Also watching a stretched image gives me a headache and makes me feel drunk.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Movie Mike » Thu May 10, 2012 8:57 am

mavrach wrote:Can I ask a dumb question - why not just shoot the entire movie in the Imax aspect ratio?

The Imax camera is very limited in how much film the magazine can hold, this prevents the ability for long shots, and also means many more mag changes which cost time and time is money. Filming the Dubai hotel stunt scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Imax resulted in much time being lost as the helicopter had to constantly fly back to the airport to reload the camera.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mavrach » Thu May 10, 2012 9:33 am

Movie Mike wrote:
mavrach wrote:Can I ask a dumb question - why not just shoot the entire movie in the Imax aspect ratio?

The Imax camera is very limited in how much film the magazine can hold, this prevents the ability for long shots, and also means many more mag changes which cost time and time is money. Filming the Dubai hotel stunt scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Imax resulted in much time being lost as the helicopter had to constantly fly back to the airport to reload the camera.


Ahh, I gotcha. That's interesting to hear. So no digital on this yet either?
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mkiker2089 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:20 pm

Movie Mike wrote:
mavrach wrote:Can I ask a dumb question - why not just shoot the entire movie in the Imax aspect ratio?

The Imax camera is very limited in how much film the magazine can hold, this prevents the ability for long shots, and also means many more mag changes which cost time and time is money. Filming the Dubai hotel stunt scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Imax resulted in much time being lost as the helicopter had to constantly fly back to the airport to reload the camera.


That doesn't really answer the question however. It wasn't why not film in Imax but why not film in that aspect ratio.

Imax is roughly 4:3 or squareish 35mm is also 4:3 or squarish.

Given that there should be no problem getting either to match up with any aspect ratio the other can use.

I guess what I'm saying in short is that it's less of an artistic atrocity to change the imax ratio than it is to film in two ratios at all. Choose which looks best in your opinion and film in it. If it doesn't fill the imax screen like it won't fill most traditional theatre screens then that's just the way it is.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu May 10, 2012 2:02 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I guess what I'm saying in short is that it's less of an artistic atrocity to change the imax ratio than it is to film in two ratios at all. Choose which looks best in your opinion and film in it. If it doesn't fill the imax screen like it won't fill most traditional theatre screens then that's just the way it is.

Sorry, but 4:3 35mm sequences window-boxed in the middle of an IMAX screen would be much more of an artistic atrocity than mixed aspect ratios. Plus, it would leave you with a native aspect ratio that standard theaters are no longer well equipped to handle.

It seems to me, the way MI: Ghost Protocol was released on Blu should make you happy. The IMAX sequences were cropped to match the 2.35:1 35mm sequences (which is also how The Dark Knight played in conventional theaters). Personally, I'd rather have mixed aspect ratios on Blu. I don't find it jarring and I like having the (nearly) full IMAX image.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Steve T Power » Thu May 10, 2012 6:17 pm

Movie Mike wrote:I've watched The Dark Knight numerous times and have never found the aspect shift distracting, as it happens during establishing shot scene changes it actually serves as a dramatic edit.

That the director framed and composed these shots with the Imax ratio in mind means that cropping it later for home viewing changes the artistic intent, and is taking us back to the days of full frame home video where cropping and pan and scanning was the norm.


Except when it played on conventional theatre screens in 2.35:1, which is how I saw it.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Mitchell Hattaway » Thu May 10, 2012 9:19 pm

Movie Mike wrote:
mavrach wrote:Can I ask a dumb question - why not just shoot the entire movie in the Imax aspect ratio?

The Imax camera is very limited in how much film the magazine can hold, this prevents the ability for long shots, and also means many more mag changes which cost time and time is money. Filming the Dubai hotel stunt scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Imax resulted in much time being lost as the helicopter had to constantly fly back to the airport to reload the camera.
It's also noisy as hell. I think Nolan said they couldn't use any of the on-set audio from the scenes shot with the IMAX cameras on Dark Knight.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mkiker2089 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:25 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
mkiker2089 wrote:I guess what I'm saying in short is that it's less of an artistic atrocity to change the imax ratio than it is to film in two ratios at all. Choose which looks best in your opinion and film in it. If it doesn't fill the imax screen like it won't fill most traditional theatre screens then that's just the way it is.

Sorry, but 4:3 35mm sequences window-boxed in the middle of an IMAX screen would be much more of an artistic atrocity than mixed aspect ratios. Plus, it would leave you with a native aspect ratio that standard theaters are no longer well equipped to handle.

It seems to me, the way MI: Ghost Protocol was released on Blu should make you happy. The IMAX sequences were cropped to match the 2.35:1 35mm sequences (which is also how The Dark Knight played in conventional theaters). Personally, I'd rather have mixed aspect ratios on Blu. I don't find it jarring and I like having the (nearly) full IMAX image.


I never said to use 4:3, just that both Imax and 35 mm are 4:3 native. Imax screens should be able to handle any ratio that theatres can.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue May 15, 2012 6:17 am

mkiker2089 wrote:I never said to use 4:3, just that both Imax and 35 mm are 4:3 native. Imax screens should be able to handle any ratio that theatres can.

But the native IMAX projection ratio is 4:3. That's the ratio of the screens. I'd be pissed if I paid IMAX prices and was treated to a cropped image that didn't fit the massive screen.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue May 15, 2012 2:44 pm

Isn't the Imax on DVD standard 16*9 however? It's been a while since I've seen it but I'm pretty sure the Imax scenes in Dark Knight aren't 4:3. That I would remember. So then we have the original imax presentation of 4:3, the home video version of 16:9 ad the widescreen rest of the movie all to consider? This is getting confusing.

Perhaps we can all agree that directors need to pick one aspect ratio per movie, one preferred ratio, and stick to it. Like Kubrick perhaps. His movies were displayed in theatres like the studio wanted them but on home video 4:3 was his choice, so the framing was set to accommodate it.
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Re: Un-Imaxed

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue May 15, 2012 5:52 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:Perhaps we can all agree that directors need to pick one aspect ratio per movie, one preferred ratio, and stick to it.

Or perhaps not. Like I said before, the shifts from 16:9 IMAX to 2.35:1 35mm don't bother me in the least. If the director's down, so am I.
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