Imax Case Study

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IMAX CASE STUDY

IMAX CASE STUDY

IMAX CASE STUDY

Introduction

Using the practical framework of historical poetics as outlined by David Bordwell, I will seek to answer the following questions: How do IMAX filmmakers construct their documentaries so as to elicit emotional responses such as wonder in spectators? To what extent are such aesthetic choices norm driven? And how do these films orchestrate and control emotion-inducing stimuli on a moment-by-moment basis given the difficulties involved in large-format film production? First, I will review the extant film studies literature on “ The IMAX Experience in hopes of legitimizing the corrective I am proposing. Then, I will discuss the emotion wonder from a neuro-cognitive perspective in an attempt to explore how our brains and bodies might process such overwhelming stimuli as IMAX motion pictures (Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt,2003). Finally, I will discuss the norms of IMAX filmmaking with reference to the trade press, filmmaker statements, and the films themselves. In this section of the paper I will argue that certain formal and stylistic norms exist by virtue of their ability to elicit wonder responses, however tacitly IMAX filmmakers may understand that ability. In this essay, I will attempt to provide a more thoroughgoing account of “ The IMAX Experience ” than has yet been available by focusing on the films themselves. I will characterize the experience as a unique emotional and physical one by employing concepts derived from recent literature on cognition, emotion, and neuroscience.

About Company

IMAX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment technology company worldwide. It specializes in digital and film-based motion picture technologies. The company operates in eight segments: IMAX Systems, Theater System Maintenance, Joint Revenue Sharing Arrangements, Film Production and IMAX DMR, Film Distribution, Film Post-production, Theater Operations, and Other. The IMAX Systems segment designs, manufactures, sells, or leases IMAX theater projection system equipment. The Theater System Maintenance segment maintains IMAX theater projection system equipment in the IMAX theater network. The Joint Revenue Sharing Arrangements segment provides IMAX theater projection system equipment to an exhibitor in exchange for a share of the box-office and concession revenues. The Film Production and IMAX DMR segment produces films and performs film re-mastering services. The Film Distribution segment distributes films for which the company has distribution rights. The Film Post-production segment provides film post-production and film print services. The Theater Operations segment owns and operates certain IMAX theaters. The Other segment primarily involves in camera and camera equipment rental operations. The company serves commercial multiplex, commercial destination, and institutional customers, including science and natural history museums, zoos, and aquaria and other educational and cultural centers. It also sells or leases its theater systems to theme parks, tourist destination sites, fairs, and expositions. As of December 31, 2009, its IMAX theater network comprised 430 theater systems, including 309 commercial and 121 institutional systems. The company was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Mississauga, Canada.

Analysis

IMAX was involved in several aspects of the large-format film business: production, distribution, theater operations, system development ...
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