FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN-FOOTAGE, APOLLO 11 IN IMAX IS A CINEMATIC EVENT 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING
NEON and IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) announced today “Apollo 11,” the highly-anticipated documentary which premiered to critical acclaim at 2019’s Sundance Film Festival, will be digitally re-mastered into the IMAX format and will initially release in IMAX theatres exclusively for one week only beginning March 1, 2019. With some of the most spectacular and rarest behind-the-scenes space footage captured from the first moon landing, it is a cinematic event 50 years in the making that was designed for IMAX, the movie experience that has been bringing audiences to space for decades.
From director/producer Todd Douglas Miller (“Dinosaur 13”), producer Thomas Petersen at Statement Pictures and executive producers Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films, “Apollo 11” was crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. The film takes audiences straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, moviegoers vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
Miller and team were working closely with NASA and the National Archives (NARA) to locate all existing Apollo 11 footage when NARA staff members made a startling discovery that changed the course of the project: an unprocessed collection of 65mm large format footage, never before seen by the public, containing stunning shots of the launch, the inside of Mission Control, and recovery and post-mission activities. The footage was so pristine and the find so significant that the project evolved beyond filmmaking into one of film curation and historic preservation. Commissioned by CNN Films to create a film about the most extraordinary event in human exploration, “Apollo 11” began taking shape as a documentary feature film.
Director, Todd Douglas Miller remarked on the release, "We’re so excited to be working with NEON and IMAX on this very special event film. Ever since we saw the first frame of 65mm film footage roll off the film scanner we always envisioned ‘Apollo 11’ to be seen on the biggest screens possible. IMAX theaters are the cathedrals of cinema and we can’t think of a more perfect way for audiences to enjoy the adventure of ‘Apollo 11’."
“Miller’s film is a stunning achievement in filmmaking,” said Megan Colligan President of IMAX Entertainment. “The film is immersive, crisp and clear. Audiences can palpably feel the tension, immense pride and overwhelming joy of the team that came together to make the impossible possible. We at IMAX couldn’t be happier to be partnering with NEON in the release of ‘Apollo 11’.”
The more than 11,000 hours of audio recordings were made by two custom recorders which captured individual tracks from 60 key mission personnel throughout every moment of the mission. “Apollo 11” film team members created code to restore the audio and make it searchable, then began the multi-year process of listening to and documenting the recordings, an effort that yielded remarkable new insights into key events of the mission as well as surprising moments of humor and camaraderie.
The digitization of the 65mm collection—as well as the re-scanning of 16mm and 35mm materials—was undertaken at Final Frame, a post-production house in New York City, which helped create a custom scanner, capable of high dynamic range scanning at resolutions up to 8K. The resulting transfer—from which the film was cut—is the highest resolution, highest quality digital collection of Apollo 11 footage in existence.
Constructed entirely from archival materials and eschewing talking heads, “Apollo 11” captures the enormity of the event by giving audiences of all ages the direct experience of being there. When John F. Kennedy pledged in 1962 to put Americans on the moon by the end of the decade, he described it as a bold act of faith and vision. “Apollo 11” bears witness to the culmination of that pledge, when America and the world came together in an extraordinary act of unity and resolve, to achieve one of the greatest and most complex feats in human history.
“Apollo 11” will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX ExperienceÒ with proprietary IMAX DMRÒ (Digital Re-Mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
The film currently holds a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with additional offices in London, Dublin, Tokyo, and Shanghai. As of September 30, 2018, there were 1,443 IMAX theatre systems (1,346 commercial multiplexes, 13 commercial destinations, 84 institutional) operating in 79 countries and territories. On Oct. 8, 2015, shares of IMAX China, a subsidiary of IMAX Corp., began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code “HK.1970.”
IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).
2018 was a record-breaking year for NEON, with the release of Craig Gillespie’s runaway hit I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie and the Academy Award winner for best supporting actress, Allison Janney, as well as Matt Spicer's Sundance and Independent Spirit Award-Winner Ingrid Goes West. Three years after inception, the company continues to push the boundaries and take creative risks on bold content.
NEON acquired three of the most talked about features at last year’s Sundance Film Festival: Reinaldo Marcus Green's Monsters & Men, winner of the Sundance Dramatic Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature; Sam Levinson's Assassination Nation; and Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which has surpassed $13m at the box office. Upcoming releases include: Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm, the electrifying Amazing Grace, and Todd Douglas Miller’s cinematic event, Apollo 11, which just had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya, in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.