Christopher Nolan makes movies unlike anyone else. He's constantly pushing the limits of what a film can be. With Oppenheimer, a movie I had the distinct pleasure of seeing in IMAX last night, he's created a masterpiece.
Now, you would think a movie about the most important scientific advancement in the history of humanity would have some advanced science in its showcase, and you'd be right.
Nolan can show the movie on IMAX cameras and has a 70mm print that is 11 miles long, which he can show at the 25 theaters in the United States which can handle that format.
But now, he added the advanced tech of a PalmPilot to the mix.
Yes, you read that right.
In fact, without PalmPilots, you wouldn't be able to watch the movie at all.
IMAX uses PalmPilot software to run a projection system called the "Quick Turn Reel Unit," which manages the transition between multiple reels. Nolan's movie is longer than the 150 minutes that IMAXC was capable of handling, so they had to design new software to allow him to showcase Oppenheimer, which runs around 180 minutes.
To do that, they went back to the PalmPilot.
An IMAX rep explained with all to Motherboard, a subsidiary of Vice. they said, “The original Quick Turn Reel Units operated on PalmPilots. In advance of the release of ‘Oppenheimer,’ Imax Engineering designed and manufactured an emulator that mimics the look and feel of a PalmPilot to keep it simple and familiar for Imax film projectionists.”
If you want some technical specs, IMAX uses the m130 emulation software, which was created in 2002. They then run it on a Windows tablet, for easy use.
When you are releasing a movie in a format not everyone is used to, you want to make everything as easy as possible for projectionists. And this is such an interesting way to make it happen.