We are just over three months away from The Dark Knight Rises invading theaters nationwide July 20. Director Christopher Nolan recently spoke about utilizing the IMAX format for this sequel, and revealed it gives his Batman finale an operatic quality.
"The operatic quality of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises felt very well suited to IMAX's larger canvas. So it's different depending on what film you want to do. We didn't shoot IMAX for Inception because we were trying to portray the reality of dreams rather than their extraordinary nature, so we used a handheld camera and shot it in a more spontaneous way."
The filmmaker also talked about his Wall Street shoot, and how his use of 65mm during scenes in Inception paved the way for his last movie in the franchise.
"We shot 5-perf 65 mm for a few scenes in Inception and I liked the results a lot, plus you can use sound with it. But IMAX has three times the negative area of that format. It's such a leap up in terms of quality that if you're working on a film that's such a large-scale production you can embrace the more cumbersome technology, and allow for it and build it into your production process, then what you get in terms of quality when you're shooting is pretty extraordinary. For The Dark Knight Rises we were on Wall Street with a thousand extras, and you can see everybody's face in the frame. In some ways, I feel it takes me back almost to the silent film era, when they had those huge cameras. Trying to do things in more of a tableau fashion, it changes the way I direct a film, it changes the way I block the camera movement because of the size of the thing. The resulting image has so much power that you don't need to cut in the same way, you can frame the shot slightly differently, you wind up with a slightly different feel."
The director also talked about why he prefers IMAX over 3D technology, even though the studio wanted to make this last Dark Knight movie in 3D.
"Warner Bros. would have been very happy, but I said to the guys there that I wanted it to be stylistically consistent with the first two films and we were really going to push the IMAX thing to create a very high-quality image. I find stereoscopic imaging too small scale and intimate in its effect. 3D is a misnomer. Films are 3D. The whole point of photography is that it's three-dimensional. The thing with stereoscopic imaging is it gives each audience member an individual perspective. It's well suited to video games and other immersive technologies, but if you're looking for an audience experience, stereoscopic is hard to embrace. I prefer the big canvas, looking up at an enormous screen and at an image that feels larger than life. When you treat that stereoscopically, and we've tried a lot of tests, you shrink the size so the image becomes a much smaller window in front of you. So the effect of it, and the relationship of the image to the audience, has to be very carefully considered. And I feel that in the initial wave to embrace it, that wasn't considered in the slightest."