While most film fans give Michael Bay grief for making loud, dumb, and immature action movies, the 48-year-old filmmaker continually pushes the limits of film technology. In 2011, Bay married IMAX-like visuals with 3D, in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. While the movie was natively shot in 3D, it didn’t take advantage of IMAX technology that Revenge of the Fallen utilized two years earlier. However, for Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bay has become the first director to use IMAX Digital 3D technology.
In an interview with /Film, IMAX executives Adam Davis and Hugh Murray talked about the emergence of the format in big Hollywood blockbusters. While every feature film shot in IMAX used special 65mm cameras, they were all shot in 2D. The one exception is Star Trek Into Darkness, which was presented in IMAX 3D, but was up-converted. Bay is the first filmmaker to use the new IMAX Digital 3D cameras, which offer both the full height aspect ratio of IMAX, as well as 3D. Davis explained:
Up until now, every feature film shot in full IMAX has filmed with a 65mm 2D IMAX film camera. IMAX has a 3D film camera available, but most filmmakers find it too big and loud to actually use. It wasn’t until recently that IMAX created a 3D digital camera, which will allow 3D capture in full IMAX. The first filmmaker to use that is Michael Bay on Transformers: Age of Extinction. That camera is much smaller and lighter than the other IMAX 3D cameras and will be used quite a bit in the future.
In the last shot of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay created an exact 1:1 scale ratio of Optimus Prime. The Autobot leader takes up the entire IMAX frame. With the crazy camera tricks in Dark of the Moon, the director used large IMAX cameras while shooting the destruction of Chicago, namely when the military commandos base-jump off city building. Just imagine how nuts Bay is going to go in Age of Extinction playing with his new IMAX 3D cameras.
Age of Extinction takes place four years after Dark of the Moon. The story follows an inventor named Cade, his teenaged daughter Tessa, and her boyfriend Shane, as they “discover a buried Transformer which sets the stage for the return of the rest of the Transformers.” The new film features new Autobots and Decepticons, including the Dinobots and the villain Cyclonus. It is rumored that the film might also feature Galvatron (the resurrected Megatron) and the planet-sized Transformer Unicron.
The film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller, Victoria Summer, Li Bingbing, Titus Welliver, Kelsey Grammer, and Peter Cullen. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which will be released on November 7, 2014, will also be full IMAX. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters everywhere on June 27, 2014, in 3D and IMAX.