For those of you who remember (lay off the alcohol and it’ll come back to you) “The Dark Knight” was shot only partially for IMAX screens. The total length of time of the various scenes was about 30 minutes. I saw the film about 5 times in the theater, but only once in IMAX, and it definitely made a difference. I live just outside of Chicago, where much of the film was shot, and it was cool to see that many of the outdoor shots were done in the massive format. The one downside was that the IMAX portions were visually jarring at times because the screen would increase and decrease dependent on what you were seeing.
If the next film is shot entirely in IMAX, there wouldn’t be that problem.
I’m sure not everyone knows the difference between IMAX and regular movie screens. I’d say the simplest analogy would be regular definition and HD. The size of the screen is larger, but also crisper. If you remember how beautiful “The Dark Knight” was, you can imagine that it looked that much better in IMAX.
The difference in screen size is demonstrated below.
As you can see, the film used for an IMAX camera is roughly 4 times the size used in traditional cameras. This is why it’s so much crisper and allows for the larger viewing area.
Different theaters have different sized screens as well, so that can be a factor in how good it looks. The world’s largest movie screen is an IMAX screen in Sydney, New South Wales, and it’s about 8 stories high. I don’t remember where someone mentioned having seen Transformers 2 on it, but they said Optimus Prime was life sized on screen at one point, and you could see him head to toe.
I am understandably jealous.
One other point worth noting is that Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer Wally Pfister (he’s worked with Nolan on all of his major studio films including “The Dark Knight” and “Inception”) has said that neither he nor Nolan wants to shoot the film in 3D. They apparently think it’s more of a fad than anything. I agree, but it’s worth noting that this is ultimately the studio’s decision, and they can charge more for a 3D ticket.
I’m guessing Batman 3 will be released in 3D, but it’ll be post-converted. It’s fine with me, so long as Nolan gets to make the film he wants.