Guardians of the Galaxy IMAX 3D

We occasionally see IMAX film presentations in which the film’s aspect ratio changes from scene to scene. Typically this is due to a shift between footage shot on digital or 35mm film and native IMAX footage. So we’ve seen the ratio shift in films like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Dark Knight Rises. Outside the IMAX space, we’ve also seen the aspect ratio shift used for purely artistic purposes, as in recent films The Grand Budapest Hotel and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Now, Guardians of the Galaxy will fit somewhere in between those practices. Director James Gunn has revealed that IMAX 3D presentations of the film will feature shifting aspect ratios, “in a way that makes the experience even fuller and more encompassing.” Read his note below.

Here’s Gunn’s note, posted to Facebook:

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!

First, note that to the best of our knowledge, there is no native IMAX footage in Guardians.

That said, I like this a lot. I love that Gunn is so enthusiastic about the possibility of playing with the film, and that he’s been given the leeway to do so. I hope we see one or two pretty extreme examples of the shift. In comics, breaking panel boundaries is a great method of creating a sense of depth and motion, and it’s not often we see cinematic versions of the same concept. Play away, Mr. Gunn!

Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1.

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