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Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' in IMAX 3D to Shift Aspect Ratios

by
June 5, 2014
Source: Facebook

Guardians of the Galaxy

It's been a big day for tidbits of cool stuff from Marvel's late summer release Guardians of the Galaxy. That might just be so everyone will talk about anything but the comic book studio's struggles with getting a director to replace Edgar Wright on their adaptation of Ant-Man. Either way, the fans win out with the cool artwork that was unveiled today from Blurppy's Poster Posse and the new TV spot with some great new footage. Now director James Gunn has added to the hype with some news about the IMAX 3D release of the film. He's been closely overseeing a post-production conversion, and it sounds like it'll be a bit different.

Taking to his Facebook page, Gunn hyped up the in-process 3D conversion:

Just got out of working on the 'Guardians' cut for IMAX 3D and I'm unbelievably excited about it. Guardians of the Galaxy has been planned as a 3D film from its very inception. Yes, if you see the film in 2D, you'll get a full experience. But the 3D experience promises a little something extra. Unlike many directors, I've been actively involved with converting every shot to 3D, making sure it works perfectly for the story and the film, making sure it's spectacular and immersive without being silly, distracting, or overly showy. 3D conversion was once far inferior to shooting in 3D, but over the past couple years new technology has allowed us incredible control over the 3D effects, making it equal to or in some cases greater than shooting in 3D.

As an EXTRA benefit for those who see the film in IMAX 3D, we will be changing aspect ratios throughout the film in a way that makes the experience even fuller and more encompassing. I've personally chosen all the places where the changes occur and, again, I love how it's coming along. The changing aspect ratios in this case are actually a part of the storytelling.

Just wanted to share some of this stuff with you guys since I haven't had a chance to talk about the 3D much. Hope you're all having a great day. Hi!

This is interesting because it has mostly only happened with films that were specifically shot on IMAX cameras. Christopher Nolan shot IMAX footage for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises and Brad Bird did the same for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Director Joseph Kosinski didn't shoot Oblivion in IMAX, but it did have a special, large aspect ratio to fill the IMAX screen. But this sounds completely different. This will be the first time a film not shot on IMAX will change aspect ratios. But why do Marvel and Gunn think this is something they needed to do?

If I had to guess, I'm betting they will make the 3D more immersive by having parts of actions sequences shoot out into the empty, letterbox black areas above and below a film in wider aspect ratios. You may have seen this done in certain TV spots for films where sparks, or debris or something like that shoots out of the scene and into the black bars surrounding the film's frame. Or maybe, they'll just change aspect ratios as if the film was shot on IMAX stock, and shift to a bigger frame for action sequences with lots of 3D elements. That makes the most sense, but we'll find out in August. Will you see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX 3D?

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  • Jon Odishaw
    I don't get the hype around 3D. I don't think it enhances the film. I'd like to be able to see movies in IMAX without spending money on 3D,
    • http://djkento.com/ Kento
      Are you going to a real imax screen or lie-max? When I lived in Portland they had a fake IMAX and they charged SO MUCH. The Dark Knight Rises was 17 dollars and it was just a really big screen, but not immersive like IMAX. Real IMAX 3D can be incredible. Also there are a ton of IMAX movies that aren't in 3D... the majority of them actually.
      • Jon Odishaw
        I live in Calgary. Chinook is our main IMAX attraction. It's the real deal. But only ever 3D.
    • avconsumer2
      ABSOLUTELY agree. Honestly, I'd even pay 3D prices to see it in 2D IMAX. Local theater actually did a single 2D showing of a movie not long ago (6 months?) in the morning (10AM)... can't remember the film, but the 2D showing was absolutely packed. This was the first & last time I've noticed they did it unfortunately. Why? Not sure, the numbers seemed to be there.
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    I have a feeling that the CGI is being rendered in the IMAX aspect ratio so the large space battles are going to fill up the entire screen. Anything that has digital set extensions could also be changed to fit the new ratio. Kind of like what they did for the DVD release of Finding Nemo which filled the 4:3 aspect ratio completely rather than crop the sides, something more studios should have done with their animation at the time.
  • DAVIDPD
    Sounds fun. Maybe worth the extra scratch.
  • rodneyjohnson
    The Amazing Spider Man shifted to a taller aspect ratio at the end of the movie in IMAX. Tron Legacy switched to a taller aspect ratio when they went from the real world into the Tron world. Other movies not shot on IMAX film have been presented in a taller aspect ratio in IMAX. Sky Fall, comes to mind. The current Guardian's trailer switches aspect ratios back and forth a few times. Long story short, it's not something that is brand new. It is nice to see filmmakers taking advantage of what IMAX can offer.
  • tman418
    Director Joseph Kosinski didn't shoot Oblivion in IMAX, but it did have a special, large aspect ratio to fill the IMAX screen. But this sounds completely different. This will be the first time a film not shot on IMAX will change aspect ratios. But why do Marvel and Gunn think this is something they needed to do?
    Wow, blatantly untrue. First of all: There are actually a few movies, not filmed in IMAX, that had their aspect ratios expanded in IMAX theaters for the entire film. You just listed Oblivion, after all. But this was also done for Prometheus, I, Frankenstein, Skyfall, Titanic (2012 IMAX 3D Exclusive re-release), Underworld Awakening, Apollo 13 (2002 re-release), and a Chinese movie called Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon. As for the movies released in IMAX (but not filmed in IMAX) that have "shifting" aspect ratios throughout the film are The Amazing Spiderman (with the 20 minute finale opening up to 1:78:1) and Tron: Legacy.

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