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Director Damien Chazelle Reveals The Secret Of First Man’s Success

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In our review of First Man, we took note of “a visceral intensity that’s unheard of in the long history of NASA movies.” By all accounts, this impact owes at least something to director Damien Chazelle’s use of IMAX cameras to shoot the film’s space sequences. Working with cinematographer Linus Sandgren, this choice was intended as a stark contrast to the film’s domestic scenes on Earth, which were shot in a much smaller film format: Super 16. A relatively informative overview of this and the film’s other visual strategies is offered in the latest instalment of IMAX’s Behind the Frame series.

“I wanted the whole feel of the film to reflect what it must have felt like to be going on these missions, really put the viewer into a totally immersive sort of experience,” Chazelle explains. “It’s trying to pinpoint what kind of style is going to best put the audience into the characters’ shoes, so Linus and I felt that was something we could really communicate on a gut level with this really radical change in formats. It’s hard to do a bigger jump in format than from 16mm to IMAX.”

Just about ready for liftoff, First Man arrives in theatres tomorrow. Check out the trailer below.