An IMAX Projectionist Shows What It’s Like Preparing A Massive 70 MM Print Of ‘Interstellar’

Senior Editor
11.03.14 13 Comments

As I’m sure you all know by now, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar opens early this week on theaters capable of projecting it on analog, 70 mm IMAX, the way Chris Nolan wants you to see it, thanks to a special distribution deal Nolan helped make happen. BUT, have you ever seen someone prepare a 70 mm print for projection? I know we just met, but I bet you haven’t. In this YouTube video from AutoNation IMAX, Armando Mena, an IMAX projectionist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida prepares a “15/70” print of Interstellar, meaning it’s a 70mm picture frame with 15 sprocket holes in each frame. The film comes on 48 separate reels (!!) and has to be spliced together on what Mena calls “a six-foot platter.” No word on whether he spliced some giant dicks in there like Tyler Durden.

Here’s the YouTube description:

The Interstellar print is 60,288 feet long which equates to the length of 200 football fields!!! AutoNation IMAX Theater Chief Projectionist, Armando Mena, explains why Christopher Nolan shot Interstellar in 70mm film format, which offers the biggest, brightest, clearest images at ten times the resolution of 35 millimeter film shown on a new giant five-story-tall screen.

One thing we children of the digital age missed out on is technological developments with that “goes to 11” quality. Smaller storage devices and computerized processes are definitely more convenient, but that doesn’t mean our human brains ever stopped being impressed by “LOOK HOW BIG AND COMPLICATED IT IS!”

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S NEW FILM STOCK IS MADE OUT OF A RARE PLATINUM HALIDE SUSPENDED IN ENDANGERED SPERM WHALE BUTTER THAT COSTS A MILLION DOLLARS PER SECOND AND IS SO DENSE IT CAN ONLY BE TRANSPORTED VIA HARRIER JET.

Another fun thing about this video is that Armando is so uncomfortable being on camera that he almost seems like a Tim & Eric bit. The way he awkwardly breaks eye contact with the camera thinking they’ve already cut… magnefique. It makes me sad that Huell Howser isn’t still alive. RIP.

[hat tip: FirstShowing]

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