IMAX Film Cell
This film cell is from a nature documentary shot using the proprietary IMAX film format.
Ever since motion pictures were first created, the industry has continually invented ways to further impress audiences. One of these improvements was the IMAX system which allowed screens to be much bigger and visually impactful than standard film. But achieving this simple upgrade took a great deal of engineering.
Every step, from shooting the film to projecting it, requires special equipment and an incredible amount of work.
For example, to project an IMAX feature film, up to 60 reels have to be spliced together to create one continuous film that could be over 10 miles long. Even the projector itself is massive and requires a special vacuum system, compressed air systems, and a water-cooled quartz bulb.
IMAX has largely converted to digital projection which has eliminated many of these technical challenges. The trade-off however, is the maximum resolution of an IMAX digital picture is estimated to only be 1/4 of IMAX film.
7 More Interesting IMAX Facts:
- IMAX picture and sound are recorded onto 2 different sets of film.
- An IMAX film can cost up to $36,000 to print vs $1,000 for a standard 35mm film.
- An IMAX projector bulb is 15,000 watts vs a 4,000 watt standard projector bulb.
- The bulb costs around $6,000.
- The projectionists have to suit up in special armor to change the bulb because it is a quartz bulb that can reach 1,000°F.
- The bulb requires a dedicated water-cooling system.
- The film is sensitive and requires that the projection room remain at 68–75°F & ~50% humidity.