I’ve decided to create a new thread about the possibility of a TFA IMAX edition because we now have the sources to make this possible available to us. I’ll break this down into a few sections to outline what needs to be done to make this possible.
One sequence in The Force Awakens, Escape from Jakku, was filmed in the IMAX format - on beautiful 70mm film with a very square (1.43) aspect ratio. The rest of the movie was shot in the standard 2.39 AR. When watched in a true IMAX theater, the picture “opened up” for this one sequence. This sequence was shot with the square AR in mind and takes advantage of it, as seen in the image below.
In non-IMAX theaters, the IMAX sequence was cropped 1.43 -> 2.39 so that the AR remains consistent throughout the film. Lucasfilm decided to use this version for the Blu-ray release. Typically when a movie contains IMAX scenes, they are cropped 1.43 -> 1.78 on the Blu-ray release to fill in the entirety of the TV screen. The Dark Knight is a good example of this. A consistent AR release is the version of the film that most people saw and is perfectly acceptable for the majority of people. However, there are others (including myself!) who prefer to see the film as close to its original intended presentation as possible. To see the effect of cropping on the picture, refer to this image:
The goal of this project is to faithfully recreate the IMAX experience of The Force Awakens by inserting a 1.43 -> 1.78 crop of the IMAX sequence into the film while retaining the highest picture quality possible.
Luckily, a 1.43 -> 1.78 cropped IMAX sequence has been made available to the public. The Starz HDTV broadcast and stream of the film has been cropped throughout the entire film. Most of the film has been cropped 2.39 -> 1.78 and zoomed. This is a bad practice and has no use to this project. However, the IMAX sequence has instead been cropped 1.43 -> 1.78, and therefore contains more picture than any other home media release. Adywan has created a reconstruction of the sequence by overlaying Blu-ray footage (to retain quality) on top of an HDTV capture produced by PDB, so a huge thank you to both of them. The recreation has a few minor issues. First, in some shots, the color of the blu-ray source does not match the color from the HDTV source. This is only noticeable in some shots that have a clear blue sky. Second, a few shots contain minor pixelation from the HDTV source.
A second source is available, although its usefulness is debatable. It is a full capture of the Starz version of the film, but it is low quality. It may be useful for reference and perhaps masking pixelation.
As mentioned earlier, Ady’s recreation has just a few issues with color and pixelation. If Ady would be gracious enough to share the project, it would makes this project infinitely easier. I understand that he had to match the blu-ray footage to the HDTV source frame-by-frame, which is a huge pain.
Three shots from the IMAX sequence in the Starz broadcast have been identified as having been inexplicably cropped 2.39 -> 1.78 instead of 1.43 -> 1.78. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about this unless a new source for these shots with correct cropping becomes available. This would be the only inaccuracy of this project.
- Correct colors in portions of Ady’s reconstruction
- Mask pixelation
- Insert into remux of film
I need your help! While I will try to work on this project, I don’t have the skills to do it in a professional manner. I hope I don’t come off as begging for free work, but this board is full of people with amazing talent and I would be overjoyed if someone was willing to provide a guiding hand. Otherwise, I will take the time learn as much as I can and give it my best effort. I’ll update this thread if/when new developments occur. If you’re interested in helping out, please let me know!