Imax has started to develop a new fleet of cameras, hoping to meet and built growing demand for its technology among filmmakers.
In cooperation with Kodak, Panavision and FotoKem, Imax will make and deploy at least four new, state-of-the-art film cameras over the next two years — growing its existing group of film cameras by 50% — with plans to put the first new device into use by late 2023.
“As Imax grows as a global platform for entertainment and events, we want to offer more filmmakers, storytellers and artists the opportunity to create with our unrivaled end-to-end technology,” said Megan Colligan, president of Imax Entertainment. “From our connected global network to Imax Enhanced for the home, the Imax Experience provides a more expansive creative canvas than ever, and these new film cameras will enable a new generation of creators along with those who already love working with the cameras a better way to unlock the power of Imax.”
Imax is working with filmmakers such as Jordan Peele and Christopher Nolan to identify new features for the prototype development phase, which is already underway. Peele’s next nightmarish film “Nope” (hitting screens on July 22, 2022) and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming war epic “Oppenheimer” (on track for 2023) were shot using the current generation of Imax film cameras and Kodak 65mm film.
“Imax film brings images to life,” Nolan said in a statement. “From resolution and color to sharpness and overall quality, there is nothing compared to using Imax film cameras today. Filmmakers and movie fans worldwide should be thrilled at the prospect of new and improved Imax film cameras — I know I am.”
Peele added, “Imax is movie magic pushed to its limit. When you see a film in an Imax theater, it feels like you are there. It’s complete immersion, and there’s nothing quite like it. And we are only at the beginning, there’s still so much to be explored in this format.”
New features for Imax technology will include a quieter design and a number of usability enhancements. Imax’s existing cameras and lenses will also get major upgrades as part of the program. The press release also reveals, “Kodak will offer enhanced technical support and manufacturing of the 65mm film stock. Panavision will provide a global network of enhanced service and maintenance for Imax camera productions worldwide along with new tools for the cameras and technical support for the cameras. FotoKem will work alongside the Imax camera and post-production departments to improve production workflows and coordinate lab and post services.”
The announcement comes as Imax makes a bigger push to integrate itself in the moviemaking process. In 2022, there will be at least 10 movies — “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” among them — that involve Imax cameras. Upcoming films from Denis Villeneuve, Chloé Zhao and other directors have started shooting with Imax technology instead of retrofitting it later in the process. In the case of “Dune,” a recent release involving the premium format, Villeneuve actively advocated for audiences to watch his movie on Imax screens.