Hey, so if any of you remember a while back, there was a bit of a fiasco with Paramount releasing Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray without aspect ratio expansions for sequences filmed in IMAX. There was a project here to try and do a home-made ‘IMAX Edition’ of the film (http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Trek-Into-Darkness-IMAX-169-Preservation/id/16459/page/1) but thankfully Paramount eventually re-released the film with the IMAX sequences presented in 16:9.
It’s not 3 years later and we have the same issue with the incredibly-divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice…and to add more variables to the mix - there’s also the three-hour Ultimate Edition, with more footage filmed with IMAX cameras.
So the idea is, like with Into Darkness (although there we luckily had the iTunes enhanced commentary to help), we need to find the 16:9 broadcast master of the film - if it exists. The film (theatrical cut) should already be out on a variety of VOD/PPV platforms that should have a non-letterboxed version - if WB’s experience with the TDK trilogy is to go by the IMAX scenes should be presented in their expanded form as opposed to a pan-and-scan of the 2.40:1 crop. And then once we have that, edit the expanded scenes back in…
Which brings me to the Ultimate Edition issue - while it’s easy enough to do all this with the theatrical version, the UE will be a challenge because of extended IMAX-filmed sequences - the opening (one new shot), the Knightmare (quite a few new shots), the title fight (a few new shots), and the epilogue (majorly extended). Snyder’s intention with the IMAX in this film is that there aren’t any mid-scene AR changes but rather the AR stays in IMAX for the whole duration, so (unless by some magic there is a 16:9 broadcast master of the UE) with the new IMAX footage only being available in cropped 2.40:1, there are 3 approaches to handle this:
- Put in whatever full frame footage we can, don’t bother about mid-scene AR changes
- further crop the new IMAX footage to 16:9 from the existing 2.40:1 crop
- balance things out by employing JJ’s ‘inside-outside’ rule for STID or some variation of coherency with the aspect ratio switching. For instance, the start of the BvS fight, there is an additional bit in the extended cut of Superman throwing Batman down an alley before taking him through the Wayne Station building - can have the start of the fight up to that point in 2.40, then the moment Supes takes him through the building, open up to 16:9 and remain there for the rest of the fight.
So there’s that. If anyone knows if a broadcast master that’d be needed is out there, that’s our first step in this…