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MOUNTAIN DREAMER Atlantic found the HDW-F900R more than a match for large format cameras on its Everest IMAX feature

When it came to choosing a camera for IMAX feature The Wildest Dream, about mountaineer George Mallory’s ill-fated attempt to climb Everest in 1924, the large format cameras usually used on IMAX films were out of the question. That’s because bulky cameras and large crews were completely unsuitable for shooting on the world’s highest mountain, explains Atlantic’s James Taylor. Step forward the Sony HDW-F900R, the camera

judged by Atlantic to offer the most suitable combination of CineAlta HD quality – capable of withstanding the transfer to IMAX – as well as reliability in extreme conditions. “The film contains the highest drama documentary reconstructions every filmed,” says Taylor, “so the challenge was to get amazing landscapes of Everest for IMAX screens as well as the intimacy of the climbers thrown together on a difficult mission”. The shoot involved three crews and four HDW-

20 theproducer Summer 2010

900Rs spending weeks in the Himalayas and was the “the most complicated shoot Atlantic has every undertaken,” according to Taylor. “We selected crew members who were proper mountaineers, such as DoP Ken Sauls, because they would have to do everything that climbers do as well as shoot the film.” The film, which features the story of Conrad Anker, the climber who discovered Mallory’s body on Everest in 1999 and returns to unravel the mystery of his disappearance, was shot on HDCAM tape before being digitised and onlined at Evolutions. “We mastered onto HDCAM SR and delivered it to the USA, where an IMAX version was created,” recalls Atlantic facilities manager Matt Pearson. “On a hugely difficult shoot such as this, the one thing you don’t want is technology that lets you down and the HDW-F900R stood up to the challenge.”

© Altitude Films

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