Saw this film yesterday, and while is it well shot and the scenery is great, I did not find it good value. It is a 45 minute film that cost me $16 on a Senior's pass which I consider expensive. It must have been shot over a period of time, as the make-up of the train changed almost from shot to shot. Witness the magic disappearing diesel in the train and the variable number of carriages.
Didn't see this earlier Mr T. Blacksmith.
It shouldn't be too surprising that the film was made over several journeys. IMAX cameras aren't all theat plentiful due to their expense and weight - and a few other things. So they can't make it in a weekend.
As for the $16 Senior's ticket cost ($19 for the rest of us), while I agree that it's relatively expensive for such a short film, when one looks at the costs of making an IMAX film, it may not seem to be too bad after all. The costs are also why the films are so short.
I was quite surprised when told the cost just of the print (copy of the film) itself and can understand why Rocky Mountain Express is in only one IMAX theatre at a time.
Here are a few interesting bits and pieces collected from various websites about making an IMAX film.
- There are just a few IMAX cameras available. Camera rental is about $12,000 – $16,000 a week.
- Film stock will run $2 to $3 a foot to buy, process and reduce for viewing/editing. You will likely shoot 150,000 to 250,000 feet (double that for 3D). Yeah, that’s half a million bucks in film stock, processing and work prints.
*Note, this is for a 40 minute feature.
One of the key challenges when making any IMAX film has to do with the film size. The size of the film means three things to a director:
The camera is immense. It weighs 240 pounds (109 kg), so it requires special supports and rigging to move it around. A typical 35-mm movie camera, by comparison, weighs only 40 pounds (18 kg).
The size of the film means that the camera can hold only a three-minute spool, and it takes 20 minutes to reload.
The incredible detail available with a film size this large means that everything about the shot must be perfect, and each image must be stunning. The audience sees every flaw, and a lackluster image totally wastes the potential of the IMAX medium.
"The cost and complexity in every segment of physical production is an order of magnitude greater with IMAX." In addition, "There are only two IMAX 3-D cameras in the world, so if you have a breakdown, you are standing around spending $100,000 a day on production costs."
Okay, the 3D part doesn't apply here, but I left it in "for interest"
Now, should anyone still be thinking of seeing this film, I'm told it shall be showing at IMAX Melbourne Museum until late August. After that, the 70mm projection equipment - and even the existing digital one, will be replaced by digital Laser projection.