IMAX enters into a cooperation with the camera manufacturers ARRI, Panavision, Sony and Red. This should considerably expand the possibilities for filmmakers to shoot feature films in the Imax format. As a result, productions that want to offer films in large format can now access a wider range of camera models.
ARRI, Sony, Red and Panavision as partners
Until now, filmmakers have required either the Imax 65mm large format film cameras or the Alexa 65 digital camera for a film that could be marketed with the “Filmed in Imax” seal of approval. The latter was developed in a development partnership with ARRI on the basis of the Arri Alexa 65 large format camera and was available exclusively through ARRI rental companies.
Because only two types of cameras have been approved for the shooting of large-format films to date, many feature films shown in Imax cinemas were not “real” Imax films. They were only converted to large format in post-production using the Imax remastering process.
The new partnership now offers production companies and studios a much wider choice of recording systems. This is thanks to the certification of additional digital camera systems.
The Alexa LF and Mini LF from ARRI, the Millennium DXL2 from Panavision, the Red’s Ranger Monstro and the Venice cameras from Sony, as well as the Alexa 65 system mentioned above, have also been given the “Filmed in Imax” seal of approval.
At the same time, for celluloid fans among the directors, the previous large format film cameras will continue to be used. The analog Imax 65mm large-format film camera has long been the camera of choice for director Christopher Nolan, who has used it for films in Dunkirk and most recently for Tenet. The Alexa 65 of the Munich-based camera manufacturer Arri, for example, was used for the shooting of “Avengers”, “Infinity War” and “Avengers”.
Dune and Top Gun make the beginning
Despite, or perhaps because of the growing dominance of home cinema and streaming, Hollywood continues to rely on the big screen:
The Dune by director Denis Villeneuve and Top Gun: Maverick by Joseph Kosinski are among the first blockbusters shot with the newly certified digital cameras. Dune was shot on ARRI LF by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Greig Fraser and Maverick was shot on Sony Venice by Academy Award winner Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi). Both directors have worked with Imax before.
Our goal is to support the vision of the filmmakers.
Prerequisites for camera certification include that digital cameras offer a resolution of 4K or higher and can handle an aspect ratio for projection in Imax cinemas (1.43:1) or for large format screens (1.90:1). The feature film Dune shall be postproduced in both aspect ratios. According to the producers Maverick will have an aspect ratio of 1,90 : 1.
Newly Imax will also certify independent camera rental companies. These include Panavision, ARRI and Keslow Camera. Panavision has been working with Imax for a long time in the field of large format lenses. Several Hollywood sound studios have also started to offer Imax sound in their sound post-production.
IMAX is specialized in entertainment technology. The company combines proprietary software with cameras and cinemas to create experiences that take viewers to new (image) worlds. The company is one of the most important and most successful global platforms for the distribution of films for big screens.
The company is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo and Shanghai. By mid-2020, 1,615 cinema systems (1,527 commercial multiplexes, 13 individual commercial cinemas, 75 cinemas in museums and parks) were in operation in 81 countries. The company operates a subsidiary in China, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.