More Star Trek news today: It’s been officially announced that the new Star Trek movie will be released in IMAX in addition to standard 35mm film.

Guess which format I’ll be watching it in? simple smile Star Trek To Be Digitally Re Mastered For IMAX

I’m a HUGE fan of IMAX (no pun intended). In ascending order (excluding the quality of the movie being watched) here is my “movie experience scale”:

  • Standard 35mm film projection.
  • Digital 35mm film projection.
  • Digital 3D film projection.
  • 70mm IMAX projection.
  • 3D IMAX projection.

Yes, I know – some of you hate 3D and others aren’t fans of IMAX… but this is MY list of escalating movie theater experience nirvana.

Now the problem with showing Star Trek in IMAX, you may say, is that it wasn’t shot using 70mm film and the special cameras required. Ah, but there is a solution to that: They don’t just blow up the 35mm film so it looks all nasty on that gigantic screen – proprietary software is used to digitally re-master the film so that it looks good at the much higher resolution.

From IMAX.com:

IMAX digital re-mastering starts by converting a 35mm frame into digital form at very high resolution, capturing all the detail from the original. Our proprietary software mathematically analyses and extracts the important image elements in each frame from the original grainy structure to create a pristine form of the original photography. This is the most complex step in IMAX digital re-mastering.

The image on a 35mm film frame is comprised of a fine grain structure like that of all photographic images. This grain when projected on to the IMAX screen looks like a TV channel with bad reception. IMAX DMR removes this grain while preserving the quality of the underlying image making what you see on the screen crystal clear.

To create the brightness and clarity that audiences have come to expect from The IMAX Experience®, IMAX uses a proprietary computer program to make the images sharper than they were originally, while colors are adjusted for the unique technically superior characteristics of the IMAX screen.

And here’s the actual press release from Paramount:

Paramount Pictures and IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III”, “Lost” and “Alias”), will be simultaneously released to both IMAX® and conventional theatres worldwide on May 8, 2009. Star Trek, which chronicles the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members, will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Paramount Pictures will be the exclusive distributor of the film to IMAX theatres worldwide.

Star Trek is one of the world’s most successful science fiction entertainment series and media franchises. Created by Gene Roddenberry, the Star Trek phenomenon has lead to six television series, ten feature films, dozens of computer and video games, hundreds of novels and fan stories, as well as a themed attraction in Las Vegas. Star Trek has also inspired a following of millions of “Trekkies” of all ages that span across the globe.

“We’re excited to share the enhanced IMAX version of this film with the millions of dedicated fans who have been anticipating this release since production began,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman, Paramount Pictures. “The IMAX Experience adds that extra level of excitement to an already action-packed film, giving moviegoers a premium ‘event’ at the multiplex.”

Added J.J. Abrams, “I’m thrilled that audiences will be able to experience this new, epic world of Star Trek – with an incredible cast and mind-blowing visual effects – on what is, obviously, the most remarkable film format in the world.”

Star Trek combines top Hollywood story-telling talent with space exploration, and each is very conducive to The IMAX Experience,” said IMAX Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. “Expanding our relationship with Paramount Pictures to include this film strengthens our 2009 slate, and with the continuing rollout of digital IMAX theatre systems, we will be able to offer the fan-base more locations to experience the epic first journey of the USS Enterprise in the most immersive way.”

“Both Star Trek and IMAX have taken audiences to far away places they would normally not be able to go, and in this case, it’s space – the final frontier,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “J.J. Abrams has created a powerful movie that has fans worldwide feverishly anticipating its release. We are thrilled to partner with Paramount Pictures to bring J.J.’S exciting vision of this incredible space adventure to IMAX screens.”

From director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (“Transformers,” “MI: III”) comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, “Star Trek,” featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no man has gone before. Star Trek explores the early Starfleet careers of future Enterprise officers Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin). A Romulan, Nero (Eric Bana), and a much older Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are influences, as well as Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), the first captain of the USS Enterprise.

If this movie turns out to be as good as I’m hoping it will, combined with watching it in IMAX – they may have to carry me out of the theater from Star Trek sensory overload. simple smile Star Trek To Be Digitally Re Mastered For IMAX

Star Trek opens on May 8, 2009