Star Trek 2 Being Shot With IMAX for Some Scenes

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

I remember when I took my son to a 3D IMAX movie a few years back he was a toddler and would reach out to try and grab the objects floating in space in the third dimension.  IMAX is great for 3D because it’s so huge and immersive.  And it’s every Trekkie’s dream to immerse themselves into an adventure with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the gang, so I think it’s a stroke of genius that JJ Abrams is using IMAX cameras to shoot some scenes of the upcoming Star Trek sequel.

 IMAX 3D delivers the greatest brightness, clarity and depth creating unmatched experiences and images that leap off the screen and into your lap. – Imax.com

It’s already clear that Star Trek will be released in 3D, no doubt from a post 2D-3D conversion, but I’m holding out hope against hope that Abrams will actually have a native IMAX 3D print that will use scenes shot with 3D IMAX cameras, rather than just blowing up another 2D converted print that won’t really have the same stunning effect.

“The Imax 3D is really unique because of the geometry of our theater,” says the ‘What is Imax 3D’ video.  ”When a movie is put into IMAX 3d, it really has to be conceived with that in mind.”

The thing that has always bugged me about conversions (although they are getting better) is that they are fairly hit and miss.  Witness the conversion of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the conversion was inconsquential, most said there wasn’t hardly any impact at all.  Then again, the conversion of Titanic was fairly impressive.  Now neither of those were shot with IMAX natively, so having IMAX cameras on the set of Star Trek 2 (or 12, depending on how you’re keeping track of it)  is hopeful because that means JJ Abrams is going for the immersive feel.  And with the larger format IMAX, you can always convert down for regular features and still preserve the quality for the larger venues.  In my mind, there’s no better experience for 3D than IMAX.  Then again, I’ve seen conversions to IMAX which essentially just blew up the image because it wasn’t original shot with IMAX cameras and that looked pretty lame.

Why am I so hard core on the IMAX 3D experience?  Well, IMAX 3D is unique because it goes “old school” by projecting separate channels for each eye with two different projectors. The projectors are separated by the scaled distance between the eyes, and then the linearly polarized light is synced with the active shutter LCD glasses at 48 frames per second.  The result is a very realistic 3D experience.

So seeing those cameras on the set means that JJ Abrams is serious about how it’s going to look in those cavernous theaters with those giant 4 story screens.  And that thrills me to no end.  I’m already imagining a good ship to ship space battle where the photon torpedos leap off the screen and then impact and sent pieces of hull down into your popcorn.

Here’s hoping I’m right.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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