Everything you need to know about the IMAX format

IMAX room

The IMAX format permits you to expertise cinema in the most spectacular manner potential. Instead of watching the film, the IMAX goals to make us really feel inside it and let’s reside one thing unforgettable. How does it work? What is its historical past? Where can you see it? Is it actually value it? We inform you the whole lot about this know-how.

What is the IMAX cinema format?

The IMAX (brief for “Image Maximum”) is a movie projection system, which is characterised by immersive sound and a really excessive decision picture, greater than that of typical movies. That provides the viewers the feeling of being inside the movie, surrounded by the motion due to the huge dimensions of its curved display screen.

All that is achieved by means of the use of particular projectors, completely different from the conventional ones, sound tools put in all through the room and screens that, generally, may even be prolonged in a dome form in some specialised IMAX cinemas.

Also, as we’ll see, IMAX just isn’t solely a projection know-how, but additionally a taking pictures know-how and film making. Some administrators, like Christopher Nolan in his Dunkirk, have used it to spectacular impact.

Who invented the IMAX and what are its origins?

Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and William C. Shaw are 4 Canadian filmmakers who based the IMAX Corporation in 1967. Their objective was to develop a large display screen movie format that was the most immersive expertise but.

For the World Show ’67 in Montreal, created a large multi-screen expertise, syncing up to 9 projectors and reaching a milestone.

Since then, the IMAX format has developed with know-how, bettering cameras and sound techniques, growing display screen sizes and room format, and even including 3D occasionally.

Although it’s not the solely know-how that goals to make the cinema expertise even larger, it’s the most well-known. The firm continues to dominate the discipline it created, with greater than 1,100 theaters in 69 nations displaying films on this format.

How is it completely different from conventional cinema?

The principal distinction to the bare eye is the display screen and the configuration of the cinema. In IMAX, these screens are a lot bigger and curved to give you the chance to venture the movie at a better decision.

The world’s largest IMAX display screen, for instance, is positioned at the Traumapalast Multiplex in Leonberg, Germany and measures 21.03 meters excessive by 38.16 meters extensive. If we depend the top of a ground in about three meters, we’re speaking about it is as tall as 6 tales.

Another huge distinction is often the sound system, which is often enveloping in order that you understand even the smallest sound element from the course by which it arises in the motion, contributing to that feeling of being inside it.

In the extra technical half, the variations are much more palpable. Projectors are very completely different from conventional cinema. Technologies similar to 4K laser projection have been examined since 2012 and are able to dealing with rolls of movie that may simply weigh greater than 200 kilos, as quickly as the projection exceeds two hours in period.

Similarly, IMAX theaters look extra like sports activities stadiums than film theaters. That Traumaplast Multiplex of which we have now spoken is able to accommodating greater than 500 spectators and sure amenities are very completely different from a standard cinema. For instance, there are some with a dome form, similar to the one in Tijuana or the Hemisfèric of the City of Sciences in Valencia.

Filming of movies in IMAX format

As we have now talked about, IMAX just isn’t solely a projection know-how, but additionally a film-making know-how.

Although there are IMAX cameras of assorted codecs (15mm for instance) it’s a regular 70mm cameras, twice the conventional 35 mm of the cinema of all the time. In addition, the sound is deliberate and recorded additionally in a unique and extra complicated manner.

Christopher Nolan, for instance, is a fan of one of these taking pictures. In addition to Dunkirk, Interstellar or The legend is reborn (third installment of his Batman), he has already shot some photographs of The darkish knight in IMAX.


In addition to him, different administrators similar to JJ Abrams or Michael Bay have shot on this format, a minimum of a part of his movies, however not all. Technology is pricey and, due to this fact, an IMAX taking pictures of sure scenes is alternated with the conventional one, in order not to shoot the finances.

Not solely the cinema makes use of IMAX. Singers like Adele and Rihanna, or NASA astronauts on their missions, have used cameras of this sort.

Why can you see films in IMAX that haven’t been shot in IMAX?

As you can see, IMAX is a set of applied sciences and never one thing unified. There is 3D, spherical projection in a dome of documentaries and movies tailored to this viewing, in some circumstances they offer you headphones for expertise …

Within these applied sciences can also be the IMAX DMR (Digital Media Remastering) which consists of utilizing numerous processes to convert a film shot in a standard manner to one in IMAX format.

Apollo XIII was the first conventional movie remastered in IMAX with this method, by which nice care is taken analyzing every scene and utilizing algorithms that assist to optimize it as finest as potential.

The fact is that, on many events, it hits the mark. Even Spielberg himself has confessed that he has been impressed by the conversion of a few of his movies. For this cause, you can watch historically shot films in your IMAX room.

What are the drawbacks of the format

All we have seen to date are benefits that improve our cinema expertise, however the IMAX additionally has its drawbacks.

The first is the value of the ticket, clearly. IMAX cinema is rather more costly to shoot, convert and venture, having to arrange particular rooms.

Another downside is the scarce provide of IMAX movies. While giant studios all the time attempt to remaster a few of his hits on this format (Eternals, Marvel, or the newest Bond are current examples), it’s too costly for many films and you can hardly select.

The Hemisferic IMAX of Valencia

How many IMAX rooms are there in Spain

Currently, you can discover four rooms in operation. Two are in Madrid (Parquesur and Las Rozas), as well as to the Festival Park in Majorca and the Hemisfèric in Valencia that we have now already commented.

As a curiosity, in Valencia you won’t be able to see the final of Marvel. The dome-shaped room initiatives documentaries specialised in one of these projection, nearly all the time centered on a toddler viewers, making an attempt to benefit from the traits of the room and lasting about 40 minutes.

Is the IMAX expertise value it?

If a film that you are actually trying ahead to seeing comes out on this format and you can go to a cinema of this sort, it is a kind of issues you have to expertise a minimum of as soon as in life.

However, the principal limitation is that there are hardly any theaters and flicks and there’s a small vicious cycle. As there are few movies in IMAX it’s not very worthwhile to construct many theaters and since there usually are not many theaters, it’s not very worthwhile to shoot or remaster in IMAX.

Netflix new sound

In addition to that, the conventional cinema expertise additionally tries to compete with different applied sciences. In addition to the 3D fiasco, which it’s higher not to speak about, the screens are getting bigger and a few rooms additionally use encompass sound techniques with the identical goal as the IMAX, that you really feel one thing extra inside the story.

As you can see, the IMAX is a spectacular, complicated and costly system, which continues to enhance its presence, though it’s true that it has not been prolonged as a lot as we wish. If you are a film buff, and you have all the time needed to be inside the film and never simply watching it, it’s the closest to that you can have.