11 Reasons to NOT to make an IMAX art film in your basement: #3: “It’s Still Impossible”


The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.
Orson Welles

#3: “It’s Still Impossible”

So, arrived the summer 2006 arrived and I pushed my brush with IMAX out of my mind. But, these things have a way of not going away. Within the space of a couple of weeks, two friends of mine while asking me about the film, said with innocent excitement “you should do this in IMAX!”. Then I had to explain, that yes, I had run into this guy in Vegas…and why did people keeping bring up such an impossible idea? They obviously knew nothing about this kind of filmmaking.

It was simply impossible… or was it?

I had already thought about using lots of stills in the HiDef version of the film. And I was already using a technique I developed that created full motion from a still camera for a short “Crisp Yellow Flowers” for some sections of the film as well. Here’s the 10 second short film, shot only with a 35mm still film camera on Fuji slide film. Yes, it’s made from two rolls of slide film like your grandparents used to shoot.

Crisp Yellow Flowers from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

I started thinking, always a dangerous thing, still photographs, even those taken with relatively low cost cameras, were getting close to the resolution of IMAX. And animation was a timed honored method of creating compelling motion pictures. I had even done a HiDef stop motion film in 2004 using a $100 crap camera just to illustrate that the limitations of a cheap camera could spark creativity.


So I started rolling the thought of making an IMAX film around in my head. And I did not feel feel fear – instead I felt the raw excitement (my wife might say madness) of possibilities, of allowing myself to imagine making a film that would show on screen 8-foot high. I was electrified – barely able to sit down – but I had to, whatever the cost, know if it was really possible. This was my mission, my purpose and yeah, it was time to embrace my inner mad scientist (although the truth is it’s just really me frequently in my basement hunched in front of a computer, overdue for sleep and/or shower).

So I called James Hyder and started asking questions. He was honest about the challenges but encouraging and helpful. He gave me some names and numbers of people to call to start finding out what I needed to know technically to make “Outside In” an IMAX film.

And suddenly, without anything changing, without doing anything but changing my own internal beliefs, it was no longer “impossible”. It still might be crazy. But it was “possible”.

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