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Interstellar: Taking Film to the Edges of Space and Beyond

  • November 07, 2014

The science-fiction genre gets an infusion from Christopher Nolan with the release of Interstellar, an awe-inspiring tale of space exploration.Inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain. It follows the human and scientific choices that contribute to the discovery of a wormhole that is used to surpass the limitations of human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Nolan and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC chose KODAK VISION3 film in 35mm anamorphic film and 65mm IMAX to capture the story. Nolan told the LA Times, “I’m a fan of any technological innovation, but for me, it’s going to have to exceed what came before -- and it hasn’t yet.” 

All the camera negative and prints for the movie were manufactured in Kodak’s home town of Rochester, New York, where we continue to produce all film formats, including 8mm, 16mm, 35mm and large format film.

Nolan has relied on 65mm since the production of The Dark Knight in 2008. The format has seen a resurgence with many producers and directors enjoying the benefits of the larger frame, including The Master, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol, The Tree of Life, among many others. “Filmmakers shooting 65mm film to achieve something visually significant is not a new concept. Many films of the 1950s and 1960s were shown on supersized screens to lure television-crazed audiences back to movie theaters. Today, it seems to be the “wow factor” in image creation, a level of visual information that digital cameras cannot achieve. Additionally, post production processes have improved to handle the larger files through the workflow. 

Even more unique to Interstellar is the exhibition release plan. On Nolan’s request, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. committed to opening the film in theaters projecting in IMAX 70mm, 70mm and 35mm film two days prior to its wide release. Additionally, IMAX Corporation announced that Interstellar will receive the widest-ever IMAX release globally, eventually screening at more than 760 IMAX® theatres during its worldwide run, including approximately 370 domestic and 390 international IMAX locations.

Nolan’s hope is that audiences will see for themselves the true difference in moviemaking that originating and projecting on film has on the emotional and visual experience. And for that, we at Kodak are eternally grateful.

To find a film showing near you, check out this guide 

Go behind the scenes with Nolan and the cast in this Hollywood Reporter interview

Watch the trailer