A new IMAX film about protecting and regenerating wild koala habitats could usher in a new era of visual precision for filmmakers through its use of a 12K camera.
Currently in production, Stephen Amezdroz’s Koala employs the technology to follow Lizzie Corke, a wildlife expert, and her family and team as they explore ways to protect and regenerate wild koala habitats, including the development of a new social enterprise ecotourism venture ‘Wildlife Wonders’ on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
It is the first time a 12K camera has been used for an IMAX film, following on from the launch of the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K earlier this year.
The camera has a digital film resolution of 12,288 x 6480 through a 12K Super 35 Sensor that has 14 stops of dynamic range, and combines 80 megapixels per frame with new colour science.
According to IMAX, a frame of IMAX format film is approx 12,000 lines of horizontal resolution.
Amezdroz, who has been using the 12K camera since September, said it served to simplify the filming process by allowing a new level of control over the shots taken.
“Whereas previously we would be required to stretch the frames in post-production, or add grads to the top of the frame, this camera flows from a-z,” he said.
“You don’t have to think about how different elements will integrate, which is one of the questions you always ask yourself when you buy a camera.
“There are items that stand alone and don’t really talk to one another.
“Blackmagic have really been astute in developing this camera and have clearly done their research.”
Amezdroz has worked within the IMAX format for the past decade, having directed and co-written Great Barrier Reef 3D and served as executive producer for The Story of Earth, both of which were released in 2018.
For Koala, he turns his attention to the natural habitats at the Apollo Bay and Cape Otway areas.
He said the work of Corke to set up the Wildlife Wonders in the region carried an important lesson for environmental protection and education.
“People can come in and have a wildlife experience, while being given a backstory of the Otway region and its inhabitants,” he said.
“Once you have that knowledge you are going to get greater enjoyment out of touring the area.
“All the profits from Wildlife Wonders will go back into research for habitat and wildlife, so she has effectively set up a user-pay system for our wildlife and their habitat.
“The underlying message of the film is this idea can be transposed to anywhere in the world, and not just be about this region.
Koala is scheduled to be released 2022 through MacGillivray Freeman Films, which will handle distribution to IMAX cinemas.
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