Feb 23, 2012

Tradecraft: Skyfall Goes IMAX

Sony and MGM announced today (via Deadline) that Skyfall, Daniel Craig's third outing as James Bond, will be the first 007 film released simultaneously in IMAX theaters. (It comes out October 26 in Britain and November 9 in America.) Though the press release promises that "The IMAX release of Skyfall will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX [Digital Re-mastering] technology," it's important to note that the film is not being shot or partially shot with IMAX cameras, which is what made action sequences in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight so memorable. (For those sequences, the image would actually expand to fill the entire IMAX screen from top to bottom. Because films tend to be shot in widescreen aspect ratios, most mainstream releases don't fit to vertically fill out an entire IMAX screen.) However, there is still a serious upside to an IMAX release. Back to the press release: "The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie." Plus, it will be cool to see a Bond movie so damn big! (Provided you're watching on a proper, larger-than-life IMAX screen, and not one of those disappointing mini-IMAXs that frequently confuse consumers at shopping mall theaters.) I remember watching Goldfinger on the IMAX screen at Navy Pier in Chicago back when I was in college, and that was pretty amazing even without being custom-formatted for the technology. Personally, when it comes to gimmicks to get audiences back into theaters, I greatly, greatly prefer IMAX to 3D.

No comments: