Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seven Minutes Of The Dark Knight In December

It started on the Brazilian site Omelette but since then, it's started to spread across the web like wild fire: apparently, a seven minute sequence from The Dark Knight is to play in IMAX cinemas this December, before screenings of I Am Legend.

Now, it makes sense that this will be the bank job sequence, taking place parallel to events in Batman Begins and already teased with production stills. It's one of four sequences in the film that have been filmed in the IMAX format and it's entirely possible that, in fact, it won't be part of the main release (though I expect it will, and so will the other three such scenes, just curiously reformatted to 'fit' a standard 35mm aspect ratio, be it cinemascope or widescreen). On the upside, at least when this IMAX 'prologue' is presented as a seven minute stand-alone piece, the problems I noted previously about shifting between aspect ratios will be moot.

This is one heck of a trailer/stunt and I'm sure the IMAX box office of I Am Legend is going to benefit greatly from this addition. It's obvious that 'the theatrical experience' is getting more and more like a theme park as home cinema eats into the straight-up viewing experience (just like the 1950s all over again, but seemingly more lasting) and now my curiosity is flaring: just what tricks will be played on us in the next few years to squeeze those ever inflating ticket prices out of our stony wallets?


Matt said...

I believe this whole film should be shot in 3D. The only two arguments that hold any sand for me against 3D are a) there is a percentage of the population that can't see 3D, and b) nauseating effects of 3D. I've read that spacing out 3D sequences might reduce nausea. I don't think these are valuable enough reasons to throw the idea away. Now, some visual effects will need to be rendered in 3D, but I think it will be worth it to at least keep the information. I wonder how much more expensive it is to convert a film to 3D than just shoot it that way.

Brendon said...

All of all films should be shot in 3D.

Well, in an ideal world.

These IMAX sequences are 2D, by the way.

Oh - and some of the population not being able to see in 3D? They'll still be able to see the film in 2D in 3D cinemas if they wear the glasses too, so they don't lose out.

3D never created any nausea in me.

Matt said...

You know, I wonder if anyone really cares about 2D IMAX in a 2D 35mm film. I'm not even sure that it might be good for the film. When I saw Attack of the Clones in Imax, all of their make up lines were showing. I don't know if actually shooting in Imax solves this or has the exact same issues. I see no reason to shoot portions of a film in large format.
My girlfriend has the problem of seeing 3D backwards, i.e. the background pops out and the characters push in. I'm going to see if maybe I can rig some glasses with the polarized lenses switched out and take her to the Nightmare Before Christmas 3D again to see if it works.

Brendon said...

I'm confused as to how your girlfriend only suffers from this when watching faked 3D, as opposed to in real life. Has she tried the Real D polarised system?

Matt said...

Was the Nightmare Before Christmas Read D? If that's the case, yes. My thought on it is that most people are wired so that their left brain controls the right side and vice versa. There are some for whom the left brain controls the left side and the right brain the right. I think that perhaps the channels for her eyes are switched from the usual 3D system, i.e. She's getting the left channel in her right eye and the right in her left, making the characters sink into the picture.

Brendon said...

I'm intrigued because it seems like it doesn't happen to here in every day life. It's tickled my curiosity bone.

Matt said...

It is curious. I've been experimenting with her a little. I want to switch the polarization filters in the 3D glasses I got last year and take her to a 3D film (maybe Beowulf) and see if it works (she didn't want to wear the glasses upside down, she thought she'd look silly). She thinks it has to do with the fact that she's right handed and left eye dominant. She discovered this in archery class. To shoot the bow, she had to get used to closing her left eye.
Any other ideas of something to try, I'd love to help her see these films as intended. I'm a student film maker, and I've been considering making a film in 3D, so helping her to see it is important to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brendon. Charles here long time lurker etc...

Well I wasn't even thinking about seeing I Am Legend at the cinema but as a superhero fan if the IMAX thing is confirmed I am there.

Makes you wonder though, is I Am Legend another Dreamcatcher?