Despite being largely shot using 35mm film, Star Wars: Episode VII is to get some scenes shot in IMAX format.
A tweet by Bad Robot, the production company behind Star Wars: Episode VII, suggests that parts of the film are to be shot in IMAX, with an accompanying image showing an IMAX rig pointing right at one of the film’s sets. As teasers go, it's pretty blatant.
Slashgear confirmed the news too. It talked to IMAX, whose spokesperson said, “all we can say at this point is that we can confirm that JJ Abrams is using the IMAX camera for Star Wars: Episode VII.”
Star Wars: Episode VII had already been confirmed for a release in IMAX cinemas, but this was no assurance that parts of the film would be shot using a ‘native’ IMAX camera. Director JJ Abrams was also very keen to point out that the film would be shot in ‘old school’ 35mm format back in August 2013.
It seems likely that the IMAX cameras will provide additional footage for the IMAX-specific version of the film.
IMAX film is quite different from standard 35mm ‘classic’ film stock. It’s double the width, for one. At 70mm it provides greater resolution than normal film reel. 65mm of it is reserved for video, 5mm for multi-channel audio.
There are now more than 20 IMAX cinemas in the UK, with nine in London. However, not all of them use the 70mm film that was initially introduced as the IMAX standard. Nowadays, newer IMAX establishments tend to use the IMAX digital projection system, a more conventional system that uses two 2k-resolution projectors working in harmony.
We are currently still a way off the release of Star Wars: Episode VII, which is due to hit cinemas in the US in December 2015.
Next read about next-gen audio with our take on Dolby Atmos