‘Nope’ Has Some Amazing Camerawork (That You Will Never See)
Nope, which releases this weekend, was shot using big fancy Imax cameras. So, are you ever going to see all the crazy clear footage?
If you wait for it to stream or buy it on disc, the answer is—nope. Even when films are shot in Imax, with extra large images that are shown in Imax theaters, these expanded frames usually don’t make it to home media. Sometimes, they do (Tenet, Star Trek into Darkness), but with many films, they don’t.
Well, what if this film is one of the lucky ones that does translate that big aspect ratio to home media? Then you’ll get to see it all, even when it leaves theaters, right? Nope. See, Imax is much more than just an extra strip of footage at the top and bottom of the frame. The frame is vastly larger than in a normal movie, so large and detailed and bright that you can't view it on any TV that exists now, no more than you could view a 4k movie on a phone from 2008.
So, this all sounds like a reason to go catch the movie in a theater, specifically an Imax theater. That way, you’ll see it all, right? Incredibly, the answer is once again—nope. Surprise: This is not an ad for Nope tickets but instead some disappointing info about the way films are released.
That fancy Nope Imax camera recorded footage to physical film. We’re not going to delve too hard into what’s so special about 15 perf horizontal 65mm Imax film, but let’s just say it looks really good. Lots of big blockbusters use Imax digital cameras, but only ones with really remarkable cinematography bother reaching for the premium stuff. To view this footage, you need a theater with a projector that shows that kind of film, and only a handful of those still exist worldwide. When Dunkirk released, they advertised the specific theaters that would show it using the top-quality film. There were only 25 such theaters in the entire United States.
Have you got a good chance of hunting down one of those theaters to see Nope projected in all its glory? Nope. Word on the street is that the distributor isn’t making any prints of the film at all, instead just sending out digital copies. Hey, digital Imax still looks good, and it’s better than your TV. But it’s sure crazy that there’s a still better version of the footage that no one will see.
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Top image: Universal Pictures