One of my most awaited films of this year, Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk shot by John Toll (starring Steve Martin, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, etc) in a super experimental 4K 3D 120 fps. They apparently showed footage at NAB in the format, but only showed it in 24 fps at Cinemacon.
Apparently, they're planning on using 120 fps especially for the war sequences making it an incredibly vivid experience. Practically no theater though can project it the way it's intended to be seen right now, they had to watch the dailies on set at 2K 60 fps, and probably very few people will be able to experience the film at this framerate, resolution and in 3D, but it sounds absolutely super interesting.
Most people who saw it said it looks like video for the first few seconds and then goes way beyond. Ang Lee is not using it as a gimmick, but specifically as a story tool, ie using the HFR for the war sequences, a few people who talked about the experience said they left the experience shaken by what they'd seen.
It being 120 fps doesn't make it invalid compared to 24 fps, not if it's right for THIS story.
"“This is really the beginning of a new quest to get deeper into cinema, through storytelling and human emotion," Lee said, speaking before a standing room-only crowd. "To me there’s nothing like sitting in a dark room with an audience and sharing the mysteries of life. That was my motivation.""
Lee did his homework before embarking on the production. He said he watched James Cameron's high frame rate test, which went to 60fps; Lee called it "eye-opening."
He also visited high frame rate pioneer Douglas Trumbull, who has developed his own HFR production and exhibition system, called MAGI. "He showed me everything he had developed and gave me a brief history of high frame rates. That was an inspiration," Lee said.
"Lee said that after completing his 2012 Oscar-winner Life of Pi, he intended to make a boxing movie. But that changed when Sony motion pictures group chairman Tom Rothman presented him with the Billy Lynnmaterial. "It seemed the perfect chance to test this new medium," he said. "It about experiencing — beyond storytelling. I thought if it could bring the sensation of war and also a Dallas halftime show, that would be incredible."
Practically no theater though can project it the way it's intended to be seen right now, they had to watch the dailies on set at 2K 60 fps, and probably very few people will be able to experience the film at this framerate, resolution and in 3D, but it sounds absolutely super interesting.
Oh, not again. Not another one of these... Will this cat-and-mouse game ever end...
Ang Lee is not using it as a gimmick, but specifically as a story tool, ie using the HFR for the war sequences, a few people who talked about the experience said they left the experience shaken by what they'd seen.
I understand and I bet it looks quite interesting. However, anything that uses a non-standard presentation system is for better or for worse a gimmick. The 70mm roadshow of 'Hateful Eight' was a gimmick. The 48fps of 'The Hobbit' was a gimmick. Heck, you can even say ALL 3D movies are gimmicks as well, especially since MOST of them aren't shot in 3D. So yes, HFR playback in the cinema is nothing more then a gimmick. The main reason is MOST people will never see it that way. The few people who are lucky enough to see a special presentation of it in theaters, won't really make a big enough impact in the grand scheme of things. Also, I'm certain whoever is doing the post, is strangling Ang Lee right now. The post on 'The Hobbit' was crazy ridiculous as it was due to the 48fps, can you imagine 120fps? CRAZY!!!
They have created a unique pipeline for the film. Cameron said that 60 fps should be enough, but we'll see. They had to put together a crazy setup for the NAB showing, there will only be a few theaters, but that was the same thing for The Hobbit when it first came out or similar to IMAX 70mm showings. Lee says the benefits are still here even with lower framerates which most theaters will have to show.
But still, practically all those who saw those 11 minutes call it a gamechanger, we're talking 4K 3D 120 fps PER EYE. So who cares if few people get to experience it that way? Ang Lee is clearly trying something really interesting and breaking new ground even though Trumbull and Muren have worked on super high framerates and even advised Lee before he shot the film. John Toll shot it as well. It's experimental, the footage still had temp VFX, temp color, etc, but it really seems to be incredibly immersive.
'The Hobbit' was playing in 48fps at every 3D theater here in Los Angeles. There wasn't a special presentation of it that I'm aware of. I saw it in 3D @ 48fps and so did all my friends. I have a feeling 48fps was designed into the playback systems and projectors from the start.
60 and 120 however, these are two totally different formats. The presentation system required to playback 120fps doesn't exist today. Sure you can use a computer, but without substantial upgrades, theaters will have no capacity for playback. It's not like projecting 35mm, most theaters have projectors still, even if they aren't hooked up. This is going to require a major/significant technology update.
In terms of Trumbull, his company's business was more related to short-length movie "rides" rather then feature length films in the theater.
What I mean is that not many theaters were equipped for HFR.
The presentation system does exist since they showed it that way at NAB, they used two Christie projectors. But yes, it will be very costly and only a select few will be able to show it as it's supposed to be.