The gimmick: IMAX used to be the sole domain of class field trips to the natural history museum. But mainstream filmmakers started to co-opt the technology in the early part of this decade. Movies were blown up to fit IMAX screens, which are more than 70 feet wide and 50 feet tall.
The result: The IMAX craze has been a boon for studios, who have used the technology to both re-release classics (like Apollo 13) and screen normally filmed flicks. But the technology works best when filmmakers use IMAX cameras to film a movie in the native format. IMAX cameras have a much higher resolution than the typical movie camera, creating detail that shines on the massive screen. 2008’sThe Dark Knight included scenes filmed with the special (and expensive) cameras, offering moviegoers something more than just a bigger picture.