Paramount Is Urging Theaters to Show Ang Lee's New Sci-Fi Movie at 120 FPS

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
Moviegoers have been turned off thus far by films that weren’t shot and projected at standard frame rates (e.g., 24 FPS), but that isn’t stopping Paramount and critically acclaimed director Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain”) from pushing high-frame-rate cinema: letters from the studio indicate Lee’s latest, “Gemini Man,” a sci-fi venture starring Will Smith, will be shown in some theaters at 60 FPS (3D) and 120 FPS (2D). Critics of HFR claim it results in “hyper-real and unnatural visuals,” but supporters suggest that’s because audiences have been subjected to 24p film and 30p video for far too long.

Paramount's letter includes directions on how to conduct an HFR test and describes the 120 FPS-4K-3D combo as the "most pristine and immersive format" for showing the film. Billy Lynn was the first film to be presented at 120 fps, meaning it had a higher frame rate than the 24 frames per second adopted by most movies. HFR advocates James Cameron (who's shooting the Avatar sequels in the format) and his long-time producer pal Jon Landau have been opining about its benefits since 2011.
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
I'm all for this. I agree with most about the synthetic approach of t.v.'s, software, etc. for raising 24/30 to 120 but I also want naturally shot 60/120 movies. This b.s. over 24p is just that. It's nostalgic hyperbole rooted in the insecurities of filmmakers to tell themselves they're being artistic or true to the art at this point. Twenty or thirty years ago I would've felt different but we're way beyond the technical limitations of back then.
 

Snowdog

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
10,773
We should stick with slow, juddery video frame rates, because it was good enough for 19th century.... :rolleyes:

Frack that!

Retire 24fps and give me some of that supposedly "hyper-real" visuals.

What happens to these people when they watch live shows with infinite frame rates. Do they get sick and have to leave?
 

brentsg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
1,707
I'm all for this. I agree with most about the synthetic approach of t.v.'s, software, etc. for raising 24/30 to 120 but I also want naturally shot 60/120 movies. This b.s. over 24p is just that. It's nostalgic hyperbole rooted in the insecurities of filmmakers to tell themselves they're being artistic or true to the art at this point. Twenty or thirty years ago I would've felt different but we're way beyond the technical limitations of back then.
I thought Billy Lynn looked awful. Maybe it was just that movie but I'd certainly be opting out of watching new movies if they looked like that.
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
I thought Billy Lynn looked awful. Maybe it was just that movie but I'd certainly be opting out of watching new movies if they looked like that.
Didn't see that. TBH, not a huge Ang Lee fan but I am tired of this 24fps fake cap.
 

nysmo

Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
945
120hz looks good with CGI and video games because there is no illusion required to sell a shot. Punches can connect, bodies can fly, action can be as hard hitting as desired. But when you introduce real humans into the equation you have to cheat, you have to use stunt doubles, camera angles from behind the victims head so you cant really see the punch connect, angles so bad guys with wires attached to them dont look so flawed as they fly out of a window when a building explodes, squibs to simulate the effect of a bullet shot, etc. Did you know a common effect for a fight scene is to use small amounts of fullers powder on the actors so it looks like someone got punched or kicked extra hard since you can "see the dust flying off". Once you start capturing these scenes at high framerates all of those tricks are exposed. Your eyes are given more information to process and suddenly the punches look weak, you can tell the hits dont connect, the squibs look like firecrackers with ketchup, and the bodies flying look like dolls. This is why it's likened to the soap opera effect, since soap operas are considered cheaply filmed and this overall makes the movie look equally cheaply filmed.
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
I agree with you here but it's time for the industry in front of the camera to catch up again. It happened when we went from siltent to film with audio. It happened when we went from b&w to color. It also happened to some extent when we went from analog to digital and in turn 480p to 1080p. At each stage things on both sides of the camera have to be equal or one looks horribly bad.
 

Formula.350

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
1,107
What I've found weird is that movies at a higher frame rate are somehow visually awkward somehow (can't put my finger on it), yet watching 60FPS content on YouTube looks great and doesn't appear to have any Soap Opera effect to it at all.

As far as the Hobbit goes, though (unrelated to frame rate)... It just lacked the quality that LotR had. The CG looked poor and stood out like a soar thumb. This is my impression of it in 480p (DVD), where it should've been easier to hide!
Nevermind that it felt like a kid's movie... Dunno if it was the script writing, the acting, the directing, or just some combination of all three.

Honestly, seeing such a high budget film like that visually fail so hard like it did, completely scared me away from Blu-ray out of fear that 1080p movies were going to all look that shoddy and ruin the immersion. However, I finally grabbed a BD-R drive last year for storage reasons, and recently decided to pick up Interstellar since it was $5 at Wal-Mart... which I must say, looks amazing in 1080p! Sure the movie itself is also amazing, but I'm hoping other movies that are far more CG-heavy than Interstellar also look really good.

But to bring it back on topic, I think 120FPS was a little ambitious, particularly when barely a handful of TVs actually let you utilize the high-Hz capability of their panels. I mean my 2010 TV has a true 120Hz panel, but is otherwise limited to 60Hz (65Hz is stable, and I've managed 70Hz with less reliability, via custom res in AMD drivers). :\ Should've just went with 4K60 instead.
 

djoye

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
2,866
I don't think I'm particular about movie frame rates, but I'd definitely be interested at seeing one at 120FPS. Then again, I do hate that frame smoothing technology on TVs, so I'd be skeptical, but I assume something actually filmed at 120 FPS would look significantly less crappy than a frame interpolation technology.

You could show any movie at 1FPS and so long as nobody wakes me up I'd be just fine with it.

Just turn down the fucking volume, shee-it theatres are loud these days.
Are you my sister? ;) She sleeps through movies.
 

Snowdog

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
10,773
120hz looks good with CGI and video games because there is no illusion required to sell a shot. Punches can connect, bodies can fly, action can be as hard hitting as desired. But when you introduce real humans into the equation you have to cheat, you have to use stunt doubles, camera angles from behind the victims head so you cant really see the punch connect, angles so bad guys with wires attached to them dont look so flawed as they fly out of a window when a building explodes, squibs to simulate the effect of a bullet shot, etc. Did you know a common effect for a fight scene is to use small amounts of fullers powder on the actors so it looks like someone got punched or kicked extra hard since you can "see the dust flying off". Once you start capturing these scenes at high framerates all of those tricks are exposed. Your eyes are given more information to process and suddenly the punches look weak, you can tell the hits dont connect, the squibs look like firecrackers with ketchup, and the bodies flying look like dolls. This is why it's likened to the soap opera effect, since soap operas are considered cheaply filmed and this overall makes the movie look equally cheaply filmed.
Frame rates really only come into place when motion is a factor, and there is little motion in soaps and they look like crap all the time.

IMO the "Soap Opera Effect" is a misnomer/mistake. You can look at a still image from a Soap and it still looks like crap, because of crappy sets, lighting, camera work and other production values. It really has nothing to do with frame rate.

A still image from a good movie looks better because of the great care given to sets, lighting, camera work and other production values. Zero to do with frame rates.

As such I really hate the usage of the term "Soap Opera Effect". It's nonsense.
 

Joust

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
3,775
I prefer the shiny traditional frame rate in film. If you want to see a video of actors on a set with props - that's what you get. In a film, usually, I want to see superheroes or monsters or whatever. Not actors.

That said, I love performing arts in person, and I used to patronize them quite a bit.
 

Oldmodder

Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
706
Seem like most theaters don't have the hardware to run it at 120 FPS.
I think we need more Danish film noir with 100 % handheld gimbal cameras, featuring ugly girls in sweaters and rain. :LOL:
 

maw

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 27, 2000
Messages
4,131
What turned me off when I saw the HFR version of The Hobbit was how much the hyper-realism took me out of the film. It was too easy to see all the flaws in the sets and costumes, things like sloppy paint brush marks on the walls, Phillips head screws holding planks together, fake fire in the fireplace, every blade of trampled grass, sole patterns in the dirt, loose stitching on costumes, peeling/smudged make-up, socks peeking out from under boots, etc.. It just all added up to make the whole thing look like a cheap kid's play in someone's backyard. And that's not even counting weird "sliding" effect moving objects had instead of the blur effect. It just looked goofy.
 
Last edited:

Ur_Mom

Fully [H]
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
20,259
What turned me off when I saw the HFR version of The Hobbit was how much the hyper-realism took me out of the film. It was too easy to see all the flaws in the sets and costumes, things like sloppy paint brush marks on the walls, Phillips head screws holding planks together, every blade of trampled grass, sole patterns in the dirt, loose stitching on costumes, peeling/smudged make-up, socks peeking out from under boots, etc.. It just all added up to make the whole thing look like a cheap kid's play in someone's backyard. And that's not even counting weird "sliding" effect moving objects had instead of the blur effect. It just looked goofy.
So it comes down to poor details, which was an issue in porn with HD/UHD. It was too detailed and you could see the flaws. The blur effect? That can be a downside for some.

I wouldn't mind a variable frame rate. 24/30 during normal things, then the 60/120 during the high motion sequences to smooth things out a bit.
 

Zulgrib

n00b
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
31
Didn't people get nauseous and physically ill (vomiting) when they watched The Hobbit at 48fps?
120 fps might make people's heads explode a la Scanners.
I didn't and felt fast scenes were more smooth, special effects less stuttered.
Only later discovered it was shown at higher images par seconds.
 

filip

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Messages
2,233
You know I enjoy higher frame rates, but I can adjust even to 30fps on consoles, it just has to be smooth.
I have gotten use to the 24fps in theaters though as I don't play high frame rate fps games anymore. When I did though I noticed the difference very much.
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
4,518
I doubt a tech forum will get it, especially since we're so used to higher framerate meaning a better experience in games, but there actually is an advantage to keep films at 24fps. While yes, that sucks for rapid motion scenes, for less dynamic parts, that's exactly what gives things a "movie" feel. When it's a high framerate, it doesn't feel like a movie anymore, it feels like you're on set, watching the actors live, which gives it a cheaper look, rather than something more fantastic. What's happening is at 24fps your brain is actually filling in the gaps with your subconscious to make it a little more dreamlike. At higher framerates, that's gone.

Don't believe me? Try running SVP on any movie content and you'll see how it actually DOES feel less cinematic.

But whatever, higher numbers always better, blah blah.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
525
I watch everything in an least 60fps. The tv adds frames as needed and you do get very used to it after a while. It's only a problem for people who are used to low framerate, just like the posting said.

Bring on high framerate cinema. I'm tired of seeing the blur and stutter of the framerates they use for any kind of smooth panning shot.
 

Snowdog

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
10,773
I doubt a tech forum will get it, especially since we're so used to higher framerate meaning a better experience in games, but there actually is an advantage to keep films at 24fps. While yes, that sucks for rapid motion scenes, for less dynamic parts, that's exactly what gives things a "movie" feel. When it's a high framerate, it doesn't feel like a movie anymore, it feels like you're on set, watching the actors live, which gives it a cheaper look, rather than something more fantastic. What's happening is at 24fps your brain is actually filling in the gaps with your subconscious to make it a little more dreamlike. At higher framerates, that's gone.

Don't believe me? Try running SVP on any movie content and you'll see how it actually DOES feel less cinematic.

But whatever, higher numbers always better, blah blah.
SVP is not the same as real HFR content.

24 FPS looks like shit on panning shots, or forces them to go real SLOW so they won't judder. It's an anachronism that some people make absurd rationalizations about. Nothing more.
 

polonyc2

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
18,057
I'm all for pushing new technology...I love 70mm IMAX and Dolby Vision...but I saw The Hobbit in 48fps and it didn't look good at all...totally had that soap opera look to it...
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
525
soap opera effect is just what people who watch things in low framerate notice when they see something not in low framerate.

if you watch everything in high framerate, it all looks the same and it's completely fine. Better than fine. Better than crap 24fps video for sure. paying 20+ bucks a ticket to watch jittering blury transitions ... F that noise.
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
4,518
24 FPS looks like shit on panning shots
tetris42 said:
yes, that sucks for rapid motion scenes
Hence why I said that.

It's an anachronism that some people make absurd rationalizations about. Nothing more.
And that's an ignorant statement, what can I say? Regardless of what you prefer, it DOES affect your perception of reality and the framerate is a reminder that the content isn't real. That creates a different perception of the experience. Think about it, if it didn't create a different feel, you wouldn't even notice the difference to begin with.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
4,682
I'm all for pushing new technology...I love 70mm IMAX and Dolby Vision...but I saw The Hobbit in 48fps and it didn't look good at all...totally had that soap opera look to it...
Part of the issue is that people need to learn how to shoot for. Higher FPS not only requires some different choices in how things are lit and shot, but it lets you see more flaws that were just masked with the lower framerate. I suspect that as time goes on directors, DPs, editors, etc will learn how to make shit look good for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulP
like this
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
794
MI:Fallout was in 24fps and it was glorious

high fps only good for shots of busy , action filled, long pans
 

sharknice

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
2,089
Fuck yeah I can't wait to see a real movie in 120 fps. Hopefully I can find a theater near me capable.


And all the people crying about it just stfu old man. It's the same shit we have to go through with every technological advancement. Hurr durr I don't need to play games at 60 fps because I'm a console pleb. Hurr durr I don't need 4k the eye can't see more than 1080p.. hurr durr the eye can't see more than DVD quality. Hurr durr high frame rate makes me sick. Hurr durr driving in a car at 30 mph makes me sick I'm just going to ride horses. People will get used to it and won't be able to go back.
 

Advil

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,875
Part of the issue is that people need to learn how to shoot for. Higher FPS not only requires some different choices in how things are lit and shot, but it lets you see more flaws that were just masked with the lower framerate. I suspect that as time goes on directors, DPs, editors, etc will learn how to make shit look good for it.
Agreed, just like a whole lot of TV shows looked like absolute dog feces right after they started shooting in HD.

But there's a difference this time. High frame rate video has existed for a very long time now. You notice that outside of the video game industry, virtually no one uses it for long cinematic sequences.

It could be that we've reached a point of diminishing returns for the work involved. Artistically, it simply may not be worth the effort to make 120 frames per second look good for cinema.

It might not be reasonable to make it look good outside of fully rendered CGI or "in game" cinematics where an adequate virtual world can be created to support that very specific light and scene necessary.

The movies done so far in 120hz have frankly been UNPLEASANT AS HELL TO WATCH. You can't just call us "old men" or whatever when so many people just plain say it doesn't look good and/or isn't fun to watch. It doesn't really matter WHY a majority of the audience doesn't like it. If the effect OR the result is bad artistically... then it's BAD. Fix it, or drop it, but don't tell people to "just accept the crap sandwich."

Watching a movie is voluntary. If I don't immediately appreciate the movie and the time I'm wasting to watch it... I stop watching it. My annoyance level goes nuclear if I just payed $15+ for something that looks like crap on screen.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
4,682
But there's a difference this time. High frame rate video has existed for a very long time now. You notice that outside of the video game industry, virtually no one uses it for long cinematic sequences.
I mean could be you are right and that we just require a low framerate for movies to work. However I suspect it isn't the case. My main counter argument would be live theater: Here you have motion as smooth as they eye can perceive, and yet people do not find it unpleasant to watch. On the contrary, good live shows are often sold out months in advance. That again leads me to believe that it is a matter of how something is shot, that it may require very different decisions in the cinematography for it to look good. Maybe it won't work for all kinds of movies, maybe some will be appropriate in high framerate, some won't. I don't know, but I am just a little wary of it getting written off right away because the early stuff hasn't been great.

There also may simply be a relearning/adjustment process that needs to happen. The reason that we feel 24fps looks good and right may simply be we are so used to it, and we just need more exposure to high framerate stuff to adapt. I mean I think back to when I got my first big monitor, when I jumped from a smallish CRT to a widescreen LCD. It was actually strange playing games on my computer, it felt weird to me having so much of my FOV taken up. There was an adjustment period before it felt normal. Now, there's no way I could go back.
 
Top