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National Parks Adventure
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” ~ John Muir, 1912
A trio of adventurers’ quest to experience America’s wildest, most historic and most naturally beautiful places becomes the ultimate off-trail adventure in MacGillivray Freeman Films’ (MFF) National Parks Adventure, narrated by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford. The film is produced in association with Brand USA and presented globally by Expedia, Inc. and Subaru of America, Inc., with major support from the Giant Dome Theater Consortium. Immersive IMAX® takes audiences soaring up exposed rock faces, hurtling down steep mountain cliffs and exploring other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor places. Along the way, the film becomes at once an actionpacked celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service and a soulful reflection on what wilderness means to us all.
The power of America’s national parks is undeniable. The family park vacation has become an iconic, beloved, even satirized rite-of-passage. Millions have packed up the car and the kids to hike through impossibly lush forests, to gaze up towering cliffs and down plunging canyons, to witness the breathtaking arcs of national and natural history, and most of all to share unpredictable moments of laughter and wonder amid the protected treasures of this land.
The national parks are so much a part of the collective American experience, it’s barely possible to imagine the U.S. without them. Yet, perhaps because the parks are so entwined in the culture, they’re also easily taken for granted. That will change in 2016 as America marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service … and ponders what might have been if it was never created at all. Dubbed one of the nation’s greatest and most defining ideas, since 1916 the National Park Service has forged 400-plus sites, protecting a staggering diversity of landscapes, creatures and stories.
As this momentous birthday approached, two-time Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray felt a personal imperative to pay homage to the parks that have been the source of so 2 much creative fuel throughout his career. He felt now was the perfect time to explore the hard-fought story of how the parks were born, why the whole world flocks to them, and their never-ending power and mystery.
The journey he set out on kindled his most visually ambitious and vivid giant-screen film to date — a film that is not only a sweeping overview of the national parks’ history but equally an adrenalinepumping, rock-climbing, mountain-biking odyssey … and a moving true-life tale of friendship, art and communion inspired by nature’s grandeur.
“In the making of this film, we visited more than 30 national parks, looking for things we’d never seen before and images that blew us away,” says MacGillivray. “There’s beauty and magnificence in every national park, but we looked for places that would be the most amazing on the IMAX screen. The story of the national parks is a big one, but for me the most important idea is that these parks belong to everyone, to all the people. The parks give us a sense of awe, a sense of wonder, and in return I think we understand what a tremendous gift they will be for future generations of Americans.”
Adds producer Shaun MacGillivray: “This is a film we have longed to make for so many years –to weave together a powerful adventure story with a chance for people to experience a taste of all the wonder that await deep within the national parks. We’re so excited to bring audiences an experience of the parks that we feel is not like any other and hopefully will help spark future stewards.”
Sums up narrator Robert Redford, a renowned actor, filmmaker and leading conservationist: “National Parks Adventure captures the stunning beauty of our wild places and reminds us these landscapes are an essential part of the human spirit.”
Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, Dolphin Tale) narrates the IMAX® 3D documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the incredible true story of nature’s greatest explorers—lemurs. The film reunites Freeman with Drew Fellman, who also wrote and produced the 2011 IMAX 3D documentary Born to Be Wild 3D, and director David Douglas, who served as director of photography on that film.
Captured with IMAX® 3D cameras, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar as castaways millions of years ago and evolved into hundreds of diverse species but are now highly endangered.
Join trailblazing scientist Dr. Patricia Wright on her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Entertainment.
JERUSALEM takes audiences on an inspiring and eye-opening tour of one of the world’s oldest and most enigmatic cities. Destroyed and rebuilt countless times over 5,000 years, Jerusalem’s enduring appeal remains a mystery. What made it so important to so many different cultures? How did it become the center of the world for three major religions? Why does it still matter to us?
JERUSALEM attempts to answer these questions by following three young Jerusalemites and their families – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Through their eyes, audiences will learn what it means to call Jerusalem home and experience celebrations and events that mark the high points of a year in the life of the city. JERUSALEM will also follow noted archaeologist, Dr. Jodi Magness, as she explores some of the most extraordinary historical sites in the region in order to better understand how this region became a true crossroads of civilization.
Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “12 Years a Slave”), JERUSALEM gives audiences a completely unique perspective of a part of the world that still captivates the imagination of billions of people.
The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater
IMAX Dome Theater
Climb to the summit of the world’s highest mountain ranges, travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, go boldly where no man has gone before, all from your seat in the J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater.
IMAX is derived from the phrase “maximum image.” Through state-of-the-art IMAX technology, moviegoers are granted a unique perspective as larger-than-life images sweep above and around the 177 seats.
While the majority of IMAX theaters have huge, flat screens that more closely resemble commercial (35) mm screens, the 60-foot domed screen in the J.L. Bedsole Theater — the only domed screen on the Gulf Coast — wraps around the audience, immersing them in the center of the action.
The theater is lined with acoustic deadening material so that the only sound the audience hears comes from an array of digital speakers behind the domed screen.
The huge IMAX projector is operated in the glassed lobby area beneath the theater, visible from the lobby of the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. The film is loaded and then the projector is raised by elevator into a compact “doghouse” in the middle of the theater’s seating area.
The domed screen is made of perforated aluminum panels and is approximately 60 feet in diameter. The panels are perforated so the speakers and air conditioning can be mounted behind the screen.
IMAX projection systems use the largest film frame in motion picture history, the 70 mm 15 perforation format, which is 10 times larger than conventional 35 mm film.
The IMAX film format is roughly the size of a card from a deck of playing cards. In comparison, standard 35 mm motion picture film has only four perforations per frame and is roughly the size of a postage stamp.
An average IMAX movie runs 45- 50 minutes and the reel of film is nearly 3 miles in length. The film travels through the projector at a rate of 5 1/2 feet per second.
The film advances through the projector horizontally in a wave-like action referred to as a “Rolling Loop” film movement. An Academy award-winning breakthrough in cinematography, it is the key to superior picture sharpness and steadiness.
The film reels, called platters, can be seen from the theater lobby. It takes one reel to feed the film into the projector, one to retrieve the film and a third for upcoming movie trailers. Platters are 52′ in diameter — the size of a truck tire.
The IMAX projector is more than 6 feet tall and weighs more than 2200 pounds.
IMAX developed a “rolling loop” system that uses air to advance the film past the projection lens without tearing the film. The film moves horizontally in a wave-like action similar to the motion that an inchworm uses to move along a sidewalk.
An Academy award-winning breakthrough in cinematography, the “rolling loop” method is the key to superior picture sharpness and steadiness.
The light is mounted on the top of the projector and supplies the illumination for the film image. It is a 15,000-watt xenon arc lamp that is 18.5 inches long and 4.5 inches in diameter. This light, if positioned properly, could be seen from the surface of the moon. It has a brighter intensity than the sun as viewed from the Earth.
Because the bulb can reach 1300 degrees Fahrenheit, an elaborate cooling system must move water and air around it whenever the projector is operating. Projectionists changing a lamp must wear ballistic safety gear in case the extremely high-pressure cooling system explodes.
Each lamp costs $6500 and lasts about three months.
The sound system is designed and built in Birmingham, Ala., by Sonics Associates, a company that produces sound systems for IMAX theaters worldwide. The IMAX/Sonics sound system uses 44 speakers, including 6 clusters of 6 speakers each, plus 8 sub-bass speakers.
The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater’s sound system was the first DVD-based digital sound system installed in a theater. It is capable of producing 12,000 watts of undistorted sound. This allows the audience to be surrounded with crystal clear sound.
You would have to line up 140 100-watt boom boxes to equal the power of the IMAX DVD audio system.
There is not a bad seat in the house. There are 177 specially designed seats in the theater. Each row of seats reclines at a different angle so that each viewer’s focus is aimed at the center of the domed screen.