Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, And More Are Developing New Cameras With IMAX

IMAX has announced that plans are underway to develop a new fleet of film cameras, and the company is turning to Hollywood royalty for some crucial input (via THR). Over the next two years, at least four state-of-the-art film cameras will roll out, with the first set to become available for use by late 2023. IMAX is also turning to Kodak, camera-maker Panavision, and postproduction company Fotokem in order to integrate film stock manufacturing, camera maintenance, and post-production services into this new generation. IMAX film cameras have long been prized for their high resolution and have a reputation for capturing detailed, lifelike images and presenting movies in 1.43 aspect ratio, with a unique 15 perf horizontal 65mm frame size. For those reasons, they've become a favorite for Hollywood's acclaimed visual artists — several of which will be weighing in on the development of the latest camera series. The list of filmmakers who will be collaborating on creating these new cameras includes major directors like Christopher Nolan and Jordan Peele, along with top cinematographers and directors of photography, including Hoyte van Hoytema ("Tenet"), Linus Sandgren ("No Time To Die"), Rachel Morrison ("Black Panther"), Bradford Young ("Arrival"), and Dan Mindel ("Star Trek").

The next generation of IMAX

Who better to assist in the development of new IMAX cameras than the filmmakers whose work accounts for some of the most acclaimed large-scale movies shot on the current series? This way, they can have the design account for any wild filmmaking ideas they have, like, I dunno, strapping some of Hollywood's largest and most expensive tech to the back of a dirt bike *cough* Linus Sandgren *cough*. There's certainly plenty of shared excitement for what these new cameras can help filmmakers achieve. In honor of the announcement, Nolan said:

"IMAX film brings images to life. From resolution and color to sharpness and overall quality, there is nothing compared to using IMAX film cameras today. Filmmakers and movie fans worldwide should be thrilled at the prospect of new and improved IMAX film cameras — I know I am."

Nolan is an IMAX fanboy from way back. He recently put the cameras to incredible use with his mind-melting visual masterpiece "Tenet," and his upcoming feature "Oppenheimer" (the one with the incredibly long cast list) marks his sixth film to be shot on IMAX film cameras following "The Dark Knight" (2008), "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), "Interstellar"(2014), "Dunkirk" (2017), and "Tenet" (2020). The next release filmed with the current generation of IMAX film cameras and Kodak 65mm film will be Peele's "Nope." Of the upcoming collaboration, Peele said:

"IMAX is movie magic pushed to its limit. When you see a film in an IMAX theater, it feels like you are there. It's complete immersion, and there's nothing quite like it. And we are only at the beginning, there's still so much to be explored in this format."

This development promises exciting opportunities for filmmakers across the industry. New and improved features being explored include a quieter design and a series of new updates to enhance usability. Additionally, the existing fleet of IMAX cameras and lenses are undergoing major upgrades and the previously mentioned industry partners are stepping in to offer support. Per Deadline, "Kodak will offer enhanced technical support and manufacturing of the 65mm film stock; Panavision is providing a global network of enhanced service and maintenance for IMAX camera productions around the globe along with new tools for the cameras and technical support; while FotoKem will work alongside the IMAX camera and post-production departments to improve production workflows and coordinate lab and post services."