11 Reasons to NOT to make an IMAX art film in your basement: #1: “It’s CrAzY!!!

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“The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds”

Mark Twain

#1: “It’s CrAzY!!!

So, January 2006, I’m in Las Vegas and I’m miserable. I had scraped together my last few dollars to attend “The Amazing Meeting”, a conference about “Science in Politcs” at which a leading space scientist involved with Cassini mission was speaking. I had told them about about HiDef film idea for “Outside In” using still images and the reception I got was, well a little chilly, for reasons I could not discern.

The meeting had also turned out to more about a large number of hard core aetheists feeling persecuted by American society and had gotten quite combative at points. I probably would have been in a better mood for all this except my poverty had forced me to stay in a horrible casino hotel (Gold Coast Casino) way off the Vegas strip. Lacking funds for a rental car, I was spending 45 minutes one way walking over streets littered with naked business cards of escorts handed out by tragic illegal immigrants. These long treks to the conference hotel after a miserable night in the smoke-infested cacophony of the slot machines had put me in sour mood.

So, after my anti-climatic encounter with the scientist, I went to the conference lunch and sat down at a random table with a few people. And this guy was there. James Hyder is the editor and publisher of LF Examiner, the trade publication of Giant Screen “Large Format” industry (IMAX is the brand name of company but like Kleenex or Google, most of us just know it by the brand name). He’s also a smart, insightful, passionate and helpful guy. After it came it up why I was here in Vegas, he said, with a charming, nonchalant air,  “You should really think about making it in IMAX”.

Actually, I don’t remember the exact words, James probably said “15/70” not “IMAX” but somewhere around that time my brain imploded, so my recall is a bit fuzzy. In addition to my Vegas misery, I already was plagued by the technical problem of trying to use space images just in High Definition. I did not know much about IMAX, but I had seen this image before.

HD is half of standard 35mm

With HD much lower resolution than 35mm and IMAX appearing 10 times larger than 35mm, it was clear James had no idea what he was saying. Sure, fun to think about how cool that would be, but it was crazy totally cRaZy. I took James’ business card and figured,” well, an interesting person to know, but that would be the end of that.” I would go back to Greensboro and forget all about IMAX and this sorry trip to Vegas would fade into memory.

Reason #2 here

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