WSJ Tech Behind: Exploring the High Costs and Cutting-Edge Technologies of IMAX Film Production and Digital Projection

The latest WSJ Tech Behind video delves into the intricacies of IMAX’s technological advances, highlighting the transition from traditional film to digital projectors. It showcases IMAX’s efforts to maintain the immersive quality that film offers in a digital era, emphasizing the development of a new laser projector system and the production of a modernized film camera. The video also touches on the remastering process that ensures films maintain high-quality visuals and sound in IMAX theaters and the daily calibration of IMAX systems to provide a consistent viewing experience across all theaters.

  • IMAX uses advanced laser projectors with no prisms and three different color lasers to enhance image brightness and contrast.
  • The precision of component assembly and alignment is crucial to uphold IMAX’s high-quality digital video standards.
  • IMAX film cameras are capable of shooting on 65mm film with an approximate resolution of 18K, offering a richer texture compared to standard digital media.
  • Due to their size and noise, IMAX film cameras are challenging to use for entire Hollywood movies, hence they are typically reserved for filming dramatic sequences.
  • An entirely new IMAX film camera is in development, employing modern materials like carbon fiber and titanium for competitiveness with digital cameras.
  • IMAX collaborates with filmmakers and studios for remastering movies, ensuring they don’t appear grainy on larger screens.
  • IMAX theaters feature a steep stadium design, up to 12 speakers for localized sound, and screens with a unique aspect ratio and curvature for uniform visibility and brightness.
  • All IMAX theaters, regardless of size, are connected to operation centers for daily monitoring and calibration to maintain a consistent viewing experience.
  • The company’s focus on immersive experiences aims to create a suspension of disbelief for viewers, making them feel a part of the content.

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