A while back, we received an angry phone call regarding our list of the best IMAX films. Most of the complaints were valid since our list was written by an uneducated day laborer who had never been to an IMAX film. But still, who the hell is this guy to call us and complain about our content? Well, as it turns out, he was “The Imaxguy” (a.k.a. Pat Caldwell), an award winning IMAX projectionist and all around IMAX enthusiast. So, given the circumstances, we thought we’d let him write us a more accurate list of the greatest IMAX films. Enjoy….
When choosing titles for a “Best IMAX Films” article, the choices are always subjective. Everyone has his or her own ideas and thoughts on the subject. For the following choices, my rule of thumb was to select only those films shot with real 65mm film cameras, and reproduced in the theater with 70mm film projectors. Why? It is because for decades, that’s how IMAX films were made. Even today, with digital capture on set and digital playback in the theater, film still has more resolution and better colors, brightness and contrast. So for the IMAX purists, here are my personal choices for honest-to-goodness REAL IMAX films.
To Fly was initially released on Independence Day in 1976 and covers the history of flight. It has the distinction of being the longest running documentary film in continuous release. If you like flying, this has great aerial scenes and lots of panoramic views as seen from the cockpit of airplanes and balloons. It runs daily at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It has been designated as “culturally significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Everest was made by MacGillivray-Freeman Films and released in 1998. It is an epic film made about a group of climbers and their Sherpa reaching the top of Mt. Everest. The IMAX Corporation even designed and built a special camera for this film because of the cold temperatures and the fact it had to be operated with gloved hands. The price of admission to this film includes the use of an entire theater seat, but I guarantee you’ll only use the edge of it.