Avengers: Infinity War directors explain the benefits of the film being the first movie ever to be shot exclusively using IMAX technology. It’s hardly uncommon for blockbuster action movies to include scenes shot with IMAX cameras.
Christopher Nolan was one of the pioneers of IMAX technologywhen he shot The Dark Knight, and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther was specially formatted for IMAX. But Avengers: Infinity War takes this one step further as the entire film is shot using IMAX cameras.
The Russo brothers had experimented with IMAX technology during production of Captain America: Civil War, and clearly loved the experience. In a statement back in 2015, they explained that they felt IMAX cameras were “the best way to exploit the scale and scope required to close out the final chapter of these three phases.”
Entertainment Line took advantage of a set visit to talk to the Russos about the IMAX technology. Both expressed delight with IMAX’s Arri-65, a customized digital camera designed for Hollywood. Anthony Russo described using the cameras as “Amazing,” and his brother Joe gave a sense of what IMAX adds to the film.
“They’re beautiful cameras, the chip is unbelievable, it’s stunning. We have a lot of characters who … are tall, unnaturally tall. So it really helps with the frame, because that IMAX aspect ratio works for those types of characters, and the landscapes are stunning. There are some really exotic landscapes in the film, and to be able to put those on an IMAX screen, it’s an incredible tool to have as a filmmaker to be able to exploit that scale of aspect ratio.”
Marvel fans got a real sense of the IMAX aspect ratio with Black Panther, which introduced viewers to the fictional African country of Wakanda. The film’s landscapes were stunning, and it was no surprise Black Panther broke February’s IMAX viewing records. Infinity War‘s third act will return to Wakanda, while other sequences are set on the doomed planet Titan. With such a range of diverse locations, it’s no surprise the Russos have turned to IMAX technology.
For Anthony Russo, the key is that IMAX technology continues to evolve. The Russos have a very distinctive cinematic style, and it was important that the cameras meet their needs.
“The good news is we’ve been working with IMAX very closely on this and the technology of the cameras continues to evolve. So there’s a new iteration of the cameras that is much more user friendly than they have been. Because we, in our style, we like a very active, aggressive camera, so it’s always been important to try to convert their system into something that is a little more mobile, and something that camera people can actually move in a way that’s not gonna just drag them to the ground. So we have a brand new camera that we’re using that’s called the [IMAX branded] ARRI 65 which is finally completely synced up with the IMAX needs as well and it gives us a lot more latitude, in terms of what we can do with the cameras.”
Marvel and IMAX recently released a video celebrating their years-long partnership, but there’s never been anything quite like this before. What’s more, the Russos’ experience with the ARRI 65 – which they first used during production of Civil War – means they’re entirely comfortable with the technology. If any directors can make this innovative approach work, it’s the Russos.
IMAX tickets are more expensive than the standard movie tickets, so fans are often wary. In the case of Infinity War, though, it looks as though the IMAX showings really will be the ultimate experience.