Steven Spielberg says ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ looks better than ever in IMAX
By Matt McDaniel on August 15, 2012
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" was one of the biggest Hollywood hits of all time, and next month it will finally be projected on screens gigantic enough to suit it.
It was announced on Tuesday that the first Indiana Jones adventure will have a limited one-week run on giant-sized IMAX theaters across the country starting on September 7. The picture and sound have been digitally re-mastered to look and sound better than they ever have before. The IMAX conversion process was so thorough, it even won over the toughest audience you could imagine: director Steven Spielberg.
In a phone interview, the three-time Oscar winner told me he was "dubious" when he was first approached by the team at IMAX about bringing "Raiders" back. Spielberg said, "I didn't know if the 1981 print would stand up to a full IMAX transfer, so I came expecting a sort of grainy, muddy, and overly enlarged representation of the movie I had made  years ago. And I was blown away by the fact that it looked better than the movie I had made  years ago."
Spielberg said he was particularly impressed how the IMAX conversion was able to make up for some of the limitations he faced when he originally shot the film over three decades ago. "All the shadows in the earlier scenes that we shot in Hawaii [were] always kind of muddy anyway on 35mm," Spielberg explained, "because we couldn't schlep all of our big arc lights down into this valley." The restored version of the opening scenes was quite a revelation for him. He said, "Suddenly, there was definition in the shadows, which I had never seen before. And the shadows weren't murky and washed out; they were sharp as a tack." Spielberg joked, "I sat there, I think, probably with my mouth open a little wider than it normally is."
Spielberg commented that it wasn't just the image but also the sound that has been revitalized in this process. When the giant boulder comes rolling down after Indiana Jones, Spielberg said, "You'll see it full size, and you'll feel it in your stomach." He said that sound designer Ben Burtt didn't recreate any new effects, but was instead able restore the original elements to make them clearer and louder than ever. Read the entire article on Yahoo!.