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Re: High Frame Rate Cinema

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Björn Engström
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
on Aug 17, 2012 at 11:04:00 pm

I am stunned by this sudden interest in high frame rates.
Why are people like Peter Jackson surprised by negative reactions to the look of 48fps? Shooting at 48fps or even 120fps is just doing during production what people's home TV sets have been doing for years - the interpolation of frames to reduce judder. I have seen The Lord of the Rings look as if it was shot on VHS interlaced! In stores, demo TV sets use interpolations of new frames and other destructive processes (maximum sharpness, maximum color, etc) to present laughable versions of multi-million-dollar movies. Why have filmmakers not been fighting to remove these horrible functions from TV sets?
No, instead now some of the greatest filmmakers in the world WANT their films to look like TV. They say it will look more real, but it will not.
To quote Jin Choung above: "it DOES NOT look like reality. it looks like BROADCAST TV." SO so true.

I can understand the relevance of HFR for 3D, to create an immersive experience, but how is this turned into being "the future of cinema"? It is something else, it is maybe a new medium taking form. But it is NOT cinema!
Cinema is an artistic medium for which 24fps is one important part.
As David Hansen says above about 24fps: "It has the quality of a memory, not a live feed."

If hyper-reality is what the audience wants, then why do they like action scenes shot in a Ridley Scott style with short exposure times (tighter shutter angle), double-printed frames, slow-motion etc.? Why does the audience love camera moves like the bullet-time effect in Matrix? Why does the audience so often prefer being told a story in non-linear time?
I believe it is because the audience wants to be told a story, in an expressive and visually exciting way. And if we make the medium too hyper-realistic, we will lose a part of the excitement.
I think there is already a way for the audience to become immersed in a world: computer games. They are interactive, and you can control what you look at. It creates a true sense of reality. Maybe the 3D and HFR people should have a look at it? :-)

/Björn Engström, filmmaker

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