by Ingenious
Jun 29, 2017
Toronto, Ontario
Photo of an IMAX movie projector
Courtesy of Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation

The really big show.

Moviegoers want to be amazed continually by what they see, and moviemakers try to keep up and even get ahead by creating bigger, wider, clearer pictures. Today’s truly big picture is IMAX. Before this system, filmmakers couldn’t use the bigger film stock required to display images that would fill a viewer’s field of vision. Seventy-millimetre film, which is ten times larger than regular film, would shake when run through a camera and projector, distorting the image these machines tried to capture and display. Created in 1971 by five men working in Toronto – Ron Jones, William Shaw, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and Graeme Ferguson – IMAX solved this problem by running the film sideways in a wave-like action called a rolling loop. This method produces a steadier (five times more than conventional systems), clearer (more than 17 million pixels per frame), and bigger image (ten times the size of commercial 35-millimetre film, or eight storeys high). Now that’s seeing the big picture.

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