Tuesday, December 2, 2014

When it comes to Interstellar, the spaceship Endurance isn’t the only thing going where no one has gone before—so is the movie itself. At 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 7 seconds, Interstellar is the longest Imax presentation ever. To screen it, all that film is wound up and placed on a 72-inch-diameter platter; fully loaded it weighs 600 pounds and takes a forklift to move. Director Christopher Nolan thinks it’s worth it: 70-mm Imax film means higher resolution and crisper, clearer colors. But for years the limit on Imax running time was 2 hours, 30 minutes. “The diameter of the Imax platter dictates how long films can be,” says David Keighley, chief quality officer at Imax. Then in 2009, when director James Cameron was producing a special-edition release of Avatar, he demanded more. So the company’s engineers moved the clamp system that keeps the film on the platter from the top to the bottom, allowing more film to wrap around the outermost edge without flying off. The result? Cameron’s cut came in at 2 hours, 46 minutes, and 54 seconds. Now Interstellar is topping that record by 13 seconds, including more than an hour of ultrasharp space footage shot with Imax cameras. Bigger isn’t always better, but when it comes to Imax movies, we think it is. (via)

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