'Apollo 13' Ready for Imax Launch

"Apollo 13" is coming to the big, big screen -- one that is eight stories high and 120 feet wide -- this summer. The Academy Award-winning film will be the first-ever feature film transferred to the Imax format, and "Tech Live" got to takes a sneak peek tonight, 9pm eastern 22nd March 2002.

"Technology is the filmmaker's friend," said Ron Howard, who directed the film. "It can only help directors realize the potential of a story. It's really about capturing images in a really powerful, provocative way."

Previously shot on 35 mm, the film will be remastered to the 70 mm Imax standard. The transformation, to be done with input from Howard, is expected to cost $2 million to $3 million and will take about four months to complete. The key to making the transition is digitally removing the fine grains that appear on the original 35 mm picture.

"About three to four years ago we started using digital techniques. What we had to develop was a smart computer program. No tape -- it's all digital," said Brad Wechsler, co-chairman and co-CEO of Imax.

Still, those involved with the film were initially reluctant about the new version. "I would have thought it was too big and too much to perfect, but I find it to be just the opposite," said actor Tom Hanks, who played a leading role in the movie. "I think it's extraordinary. I think that's a huge test of whatever feature films are going to play in the format."

News source: TechTV

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