IMAX Cameras Send You into 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

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Some films are just meant to be seen in IMAX, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is one of them. When director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) took over the series, he knew right away that he wanted to shoot the 50-minute arena sequence using IMAX cameras. As Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) ascends in her tube and enters the games, the frame expands vertically to fill the entire IMAX screen. The result is both subtle and startling. You feel like you’re sucked straight into the middle of the arena with Katniss and the other 23 tributes, fighting for your life.

Editor's Note: This post was written by Justin Dise

The larger, immersive 1.43:1 aspect ratio and high-resolution offered by the IMAX format was the perfect fit for Lawrence’s vision of the Games. IMAX cameras use a large “15-perf 70mm” film that runs horizontally through the camera, rather than vertically like traditional film formats. Each 15-perf 70mm (15/70) IMAX frame is 10 times larger than standard 35mm film, and 3 times larger than a standard 70mm frame, making them the highest-resolution motion-picture cameras available.

Custom optics and modified medium-format lenses are required to produce an image circle and the resolution required for the 15/70 frame. Physically, the cameras are built like tanks. They are large and heavy; however, due to the craftsmanship in their mechanics, they've been used to capture images at the depths of the ocean, the peak of Mount Everest, and even the frontiers of space.

Three IMAX cameras were brought to the set in Hawaii, but shooting didn't come without challenges. The director wanted to maintain a hand-held style for the arena footage, and the size and weight of the IMAX cameras didn’t make life easy for the crew. The cameras are also very noisy, due to the speed and mechanics needed to pump twenty-four 15/70 frames through the gate per second. This required all of the dialogue to be re-recorded after the shoot. After seeing the end result, I would say that these challenges were well worth it.

With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug due to take over IMAX screens tonight, your chance to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is quickly waning. So what are you waiting for? Go out and experience Catching Fire the way it was intended to be, in full IMAX glory.

7 Comments

Hei,
Am jimshi, i wud like to knw frm wer i can hire an imax in india..... Pls lemme knw

Hi Jimshi-

Here is an interesting and nicely explained article regarding IMAX technology.

You may contact IMAX Corporation by clicking on this live link.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Iam working as cinematographer i m intrested to know about it

Hi Jay -

Here is an interesting and nicely explained article regarding IMAX technology.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

IMAX cameras are not for sale @davidfischer

awesome. 

Interesting; no mention of the cost of this monster.

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