BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 17:16 GMT
Imax expands its action movies
Star Wars
Star Wars: Episode II was one of the first films to be reworked
UK film lovers will soon be able to watch classic action movies on screens eight storeys high thanks to new technology which can turn normal movies into giant Imax versions.

Cinema company Imax has unveiled a system that digitally remasters original 35mm movies so they can be shown on its giant, high resolution screens.

The technology has already been successful in North America, where space disaster movie Apollo 13 and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones were the first two films to be reworked.

Apollo 13 in its Imax format will make its European debut next year following the Canada-based company's official European launch on Tuesday.

Apollo 13
Apollo 13 star Tom Hanks has endorsed the quality of Imax
It is expected to open the way for more of the same - from Hollywood live-action blockbusters to the latest Harry Potter films.

Apollo 13 star Tom Hanks said the new format - known as Imax DMR - was stunning.

After watching trial sequences, he said: "To watch a film this way completely immerses an audience and engages all the senses.

"It's not the same as any movie-going experience before it, and in a different universe entirely than watching a film at home."

The technology enables film prints to be scanned at the highest resolution possible and each frame converted to a digital image.

The picture is enhanced using tools which sharpen the focus, rework colour and sound, and remove grainy images.

Images are printed on to Imax's 15/70mm format - the largest in the world - for delivery on screens 4,500 times the size of TV screens.

Hayden Christensen
Attack of the Clones was remastered for the US
The enhanced digital signal is then recorded onto 15/70 film and fed into a projector which uses a vacuum to hold it hard against the lens for increased clarity.

The film is delivered via a 15,000-watt lamp on to screens the width of football pitches. Pictures are complemented by six-track loudspeakers delivering 12,000 watts of surround sound.

Imax theatres have curved screens rising up to eight storeys high and steeply raked seating allowing unobstructed views.

They have traditionally played science and nature films which the company produces itself in either 3D or 2D format.

In North America, the Star Wars film in Imax format took $1.4m on 58 screens on its debut weekend.

In three weeks it has already taken more than $5 million at the box office.

There are more than 200 Imax theatres operating worldwide in 30 different countries.

See also:

10 Sep 02 | Entertainment
07 Aug 02 | Entertainment
22 Mar 02 | Entertainment
20 May 02 | Scotland
09 May 02 | Entertainment
19 May 02 | Entertainment
10 May 02 | Entertainment
13 May 02 | Entertainment
09 May 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes