EDITORIALS

CinemaCon: James Cameron Demos the Future of Cinema at 60 FPS

by
April 4, 2011

James Cameron

I've seen the future of digital cinema and it's 60FPS. If you don't yet know what FPS - frames per second - stands for and means, I'm sure within a few years it'll be an acronym everyone is familiar with. I attended a great presentation at CinemaCon late last week that was essentially the leader of the movie industry sharing with the leaders of the movie theater industry a brief glimpse at what the future of movies will be like. James Cameron presented a tech demo - he shot footage four weeks ago - to the industry to show the difference between 24FPS (the typical shooting framerate) and both 48 and 60FPS in 3D. One word: wow.

"It's about framerates, man." It's very hard to get into a discussion about framerates because, first of all, it's a very technical aspect of filmmaking - both from the production side and the cameras and so on, as well as a distribution side, in terms of projectors. But Cameron confirmed that in order for theaters to be able to use/show 48 or 60FPS, all they would need is a software upgrade to any existing "Generation 2" projectors - those manufacturer in 2010 and beyond. So most digital cinemas are already capable of running these framrates, it's just a matter of making them the norm. Cameron emphasized that the future of projection is not yet pushing the resolution above and beyond 4K, but rather improving framerates and light output first.

In fact, movies are behind in the framerate game. Not only are TVs already running at higher framerates than 24FPS, but the sports world is already broadcasting at 60FPS. And of course, PC gaming has already been pushing FPS above/beyond 60 easily, but that's not really a comparison that works here. Cameron also mentioned that Douglas Trumbull, the FX wizard who worked on Stanley Kubrick's films and Spielberg's early sci-fi films, created a method for shooting/using 60FPS back in the 1970's, but it wasn't logistically usable at the time. However, it was Cameron's message with this presentation that upgrading framerates wouldn't necessarily be a major cost to anyone - filmmakers or theater owners. Instead, it would be more of a technical challenge, but it's exactly what he is pushing for in terms of the future of cinema.

Most may think that they've already seen high FPS footage, but in the cinema world it's very rare, so rare that James Cameron himself was the one that had to show us what the differences look like. He shot a series of basic scenes with Titanic DP Russell Carpenter on a simple medieval set, using some of the most troublesome camera movements (pans and sweeps) that cause the dreaded "strobing" or flickering effect, which is especially evident in 3D. Most movies, in fact pretty much all movies, are shot and project at 24FPS at the moment. Cameron shot his scenes (one a feast at a dinner table, the other sword fight action scene) in 24, 48 and 60, and in 3D, and showed them back-to-back to give us a direct comparison between each one.

I wish I could show everyone Cameron's presentation in a theater myself, but since that's impossible, I'll have to do my best to describe the experience. Most have probably had the "realistic" video experience at some point, maybe even on their home 120Hz TVs, but the jump from 24 to 48 was astounding. However, it was 60FPS that really made the scenes feel completely and utterly realistic (think almost Public Enemies or Collateral, in a way). All the action, not only from the actors in the scene, but the camera movements themselves, were unbelievably smooth. There was no flickering and it was easy to remain focused on all of the important elements of the screen, even as they moved in and out of focus. The jump up felt like skipping from cinema to watching a realistic medieval sword fight like it was documented by the Discover Channel.

As Cameron explained at one point, if watching 3D in cinemas is like looking through a window - making the jump to 60FPS was removing that window. And that was true and in cinema, not many have been able to see that yet. Just wait until you actually get that opportunity - your jaw will drop as well.

Now this obviously presents some problems and of course my first reaction is that I don't like seeing "realistic" looking cinema, despite immediately wanting to see an entire movie shot/projected in 60FPS (just because it would look so smooth, unlike anything I've ever seen before). I would much rather have movies look like movies, with a stylistic edge, but as Cameron reiterated, that kind of style comes from the angle of the shutter and lighting in the scene, not necessarily the framerate. If Cameron is the one telling theater owners and filmmakers that pushing resolution beyond 4K is not our concern anymore, but getting higher framerates is, then I completely believe that's the technology theaters need to focus on next.

Framerates is obviously one of those areas where the discussion never ends, and Cameron knows that, as he invited everyone there to ask question and discuss openly his presentation and the future of technical cinema. Yes, most of us are already getting high FPS shows on TV, but to be able to go into a movie theater and experience truly realistic lossless non-jittery action would be incredible. The difference was obvious and this presentation should and hopefully did win over many people - especially the movie theaters.

Cameron said there's a minimum of 18 months until he starts shooting Avatar 2, so we have a while to go until then, but I'm guessing he's going to try and push the limits of filmmaking technology again with that movie. I have a feeling he's going to shoot that in 60FPS, but as always anything could happen in the next 18 months. For those filmmakers or VFX industry folks who think this will bring up many other issues at higher framerates, Cameron even proved (with footage) that downgrading the footage from 60/48 to 24 for older projectors would still look fine without motion blur and that even shooting in slow-motion, where framerates also go up/down, would still work well at any of these higher projected framerates. It's a massive technical discussion, but I was convinced by the end. When can we see 60FPS and where? Because I'll already start paying a bit more to make that happen, if only it were possible.

Does anyone have any direct technical experience with framerates in cinema (not just TV and video games)? Has anyone else been able to see a 48/60FPS big screen cinema demo? I wouldd love to hear your thoughts and open up the discussion on this, because as James Cameron said, a discussion about the future of cinema is definitely worth having. Do you think framerates will become the new tech focus for cinemas?

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  • xamel
    I find this more interesting than the 3D.
    • Rocky
      It relates to 3D a lot though. Because the strobing/flickering affect so prevalent in 3D virtually disappears at 60 fps. I love 3D and I think this may get some of the detractors on its side
  • Pedant
    FPS is an initialism, not an acronym. An acronym can be spoken as a word in of itself (i.e, NASA, NATO, etc.).
  • http://twitter.com/MadDocGonzo Daniel
    @xamel I don't really enjoy 3D at all, but it's okay when a film has been shot in 3D. This is definitely more interesting, I'd really like to see more major studios push to film sequences in IMAX and explore the possibilities of shooting at a higher framerate in the future.
    • Anonymous
      You can say FPS as a word...it does help if you have a lisp, though...
  • Zakabitz
    First thing I dont understand how it's possible is going from 60 to 24 and it looking good still? It takes a lot of down conversion in post to do that and usually you shoot higher than 24 for slow motion footage if you're bringing it back down to 24. So if you're converting it and not dropping it I would think you'd lose data and it would look odd. Now granted I'm sure Jim has done a lot of testing and I'd probably take his word for it so I can't argue much. Another thing is why would you want smooth movement in films? The reason film has lasted so long and is still being used today and trying to be copied by digital cameras now is that 24 is that film look. I guess I understand the want for it on 3D but if you've ever seen a cheap indie shot on a handycam or something you immediately know that not shooting 24 looks awful. Real life has motion blur. Why would you want to lose that? Maybe only for 3D but if regular movies catch this fever it will be upsetting. Lots of shows shoot at 60( or 59.97) and that's typically for live concerts or broadcasts. Another issue which is small now because of digital sensors getting so nice, is light. The higher frame rate the more light needed. But again, that's a small issue now. I also feel sorry for the post animators and colorists. Now they have more than double the frames to go through and fix each detail.
    • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
      That's kind of the big question but... you're just being limited by the technology we're currently used to. I think there's someone who can and will (and maybe it'll be James Cameron in 2013 with Avatar 2) shoot in 60FPS and prove that this can and will change the experience drastically once people get to see it. I can imagine Avatar would look even more realistic at 60FPS, but obviously every movie doesn't need that kind of realistic feeling, but that's still up to the filmmaker and cinematographer to stylize the scene other ways.
    • Guy
      You don't down convert. It stays at 60fps. Normal speed just with more in-between frames.
      • Zakabitz
        if you were going from 60 to 24 it would be down converting frames. In this sense is what I meant for making 60 go to 24 for other projectors. Not saying you convert 60 to 24 for speed but James said that the converted 60 to 24 still looked good when in reality you're changing the original frame rate and that just never looks right. It would be like shooting 24, going to broadcast speeds of 29.97 for tv. When you're converting its making those extra frames. It doesn't have to do with speed of the content but it is timing of the frames in the second. you're adding frames to up convert and you're losing frames to down convert from 60 to 24.
    • Mark
      From my experience, the 60 to 24 fps doesn't look good, simply because 60 isn't divisible by 24. It's very subtle, so much so that most people aren't consciously aware of it, but there is a slight stagger every second frame, and so with sweeping caerma moves or hand-held stuff just feels rougher. And you really do notice the difference in the motion blur. It makes everything have that strange "stop-motion" look. That said, footage shot in 60 fps and shown in 60 fps is amazing. This is an upgrade that should've happened a long time ago.
    • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
      Real life does not have motion blur - that's an artefact introduced by our limited visual system. If you viewed a 1000 fps movie, you'd still see motion blur from your own visual system, which would likely be a lot less than results from 24fps capture. And you really can't complain that "not shooting 24 looks awful" if all you're looking at is a cheap indie shot on a handycam (of course it will). People associate 24fps with the "film look" solely because every sweeping, epic film they've ever seen has been shot 24fps, and most faster footage they've seen has been far lower-budget. It only takes one sweeping, epic film shot at 60fps to change that perception forever. But fundamentally, it's about artistic choice. Directors are still free to shoot 24 (or post-reduce) where the feel is right for their scene, just as they're free to blur it, bleach it, grain it or whatever, but it's stupid to *force* them to only ever shoot 24. So many movies would benefit hugely from faster framerates, as Cameron is trying to show. Just make it *practical* to produce and show films at up to 60fps, then leave the choice to the directors (and the public).
      • Walter
        Not entirely true. You must not forget the eye-tracking where the eye naturally follows the movement of the object it is focussed on. For example, take a bird flying left to right. When keeping your eyes focussed on a fixed point, the bird will be blurry (motion blur), but when looking at the bird, following it's movements over the screen, there're won't be any motion blur (except maybe the wings flapping). With 24 fps cinema, you always have motion blur, not because you're eyes, but because the exposure-time of the one-frame is just too long to capture a fast moving object. (like taking a picture of the bird at a too low exposure time).
    • David
      Going from 48fps to 24fps is extremely simple. Going from 60 to 24 is trickier, but we regularly convert movies shot at 24fps to 30fps (60 fps interlaced) to show them on TV screens and 24 to 25/50 in 50Hz countries (look up "telecine" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine). Old methods of doing this made tiny amounts of jitter, but newer digital computer methods can make the motion seamless.
  • http://www.facebook.com/wagWang Ding 鼎 Wang 王
    not surprised, considering youtube is running 4k since last june.
    • Jace
      This is funny to me. Who has a display with the capabilities to view 4k? haha
      • Jackseuya
        Crazy japanese folks have them! :)
  • Lebowski
    While I'm all for technological advancement, these frame filling techniques concern me. Having seen many 120/200hz screens in operation, I really dislike the 'smoothness' they provide. It's sort of hyper-realistic (in a bad way) and I think all the true, creamy smoothness of good ole' 24fps is lost. Sure, traditional film specs may not be high tech, but it has a texture and a grace that stands on its own.
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502160911 Dan Arbiture
      yeah, well, that's just like...your opinion, man.
    • http://www.facebook.com/TomAnderson2010 Tom Anderson
      Nobody calls you Lebowski. I got the wrong guy. You're The Dude!
    • Outlander
      I kind of half agree. I really don't like watching blurays on 120hz TVs. There's something unnatural about the movement and everything ends up looking like cheap DV. But that is all stuff that was filmed at 24FPS. If a movie was shot at 60FPS with appropriate framing and lighting considerations I'm sure that the experience watching that on a 120hz TV would be very different.
      • Cai_tian_long
        In the end, it all does boil down to providing more access to the right equipment for the right job to be shown on the right projector/TV set in favor of the director's artistic choice
    • Anonymous
      I agree...the same way that old films are better in black and white...and some of those without sound. One of the neat things about movies is watching the technological improvements, but also the improvements that come in spite of the technology (think Inception). As much as I despise James Cameron's politics and philosophy, I am enough of a moviephile to admit that he makes a helluva good movie, and he is a true talent in his field of art.
    • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
      The naïve frame interpolation done by 120/200Hz screens has nothing to do with footage shot natively at 60Hz. And if you think 24fps actually has "creamy smoothness", you've clearly never seen real, quality 60fps footage.
      • LADP
        Yes it does. It will represent more closely the higher framerate. That is what is intended; smoother motion. If it's not as good, but still so revolting - even if done half-assed - I can't wait to see "real Cameron-Man footage". Sorry for my sarcasm. The differences in precision (which I suspect even you cannot perceive) are not as dramatic as the instant dissappointment causing a grab for the remote, or warranty, to see what's wrong with the TV. Oh, by the way, have you personally seen this mysteriously different 60fps? Really?
        • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
          Automatic frame interpolation will reduce the "juddering" that 24Hz suffers from, sure, but at the cost of an unpleasant "gooey" effect, where things seem to flow unnaturally (particularly between scene changes), and it doesn't help at all with excessive motionblur. I tend to turn it right down or off too. It's exactly like taking web video and resizing it to FullHD - some small improvements, but it still sucks and there's no comparison to true, detailed, 1080p footage - only it's resized in the time dimension instead of space. Have I seen full 60fps 2K footage? Yes, I work with CG footage like that regularly. Have I seen a high-budget movie shot at 48 fps, like The Hobbit will be? No, but I sure as heck am looking forward to it.
      • LADP
        NOTE: I agree that 24P is not creamy smooth. That's the point. Emotionally, though, it is less jarring to watch. At least I think so. Seems the smarter ones here do too.
        • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
          I do agree that 24fps footage has a particular emotional effect, and I'm not suggesting that directors avoid it at all costs. It should be an artistic choice, and directors should be free to choose 60fps where it makes more sense for their scene - how many movies have you seen where fast action sequences end up as a confusing, blurry mess? Limiting ALL scenes of ALL movies to 24Hz is as silly as limiting them all to black and white.
  • Anonymous
    If it looks like Public Enemies or Collateral then I probably won't be down w/ it. Those movies looked (and sounded) like shit.
    • Moif
      Agreed
      • Anonymous
        Thirded.
        • http://www.facebook.com/gockel Phillip Gockel
          Fourthed.
          • CisforCinema
            Fifthed. Collateral was ok but Public Enemies? Yikes yikes yikes.
          • http://twitter.com/ItsTheRickShow Rick
            That is my whole concern. If it going to look like Collateral or a soccer game it would not like it one bit! I just like motion blur and the feeling of it.
    • LADP
      Infinited.
  • Charles
    Film is shot in 24 because it's FILM. and that is what film should look like. Anything higher looks TOO smooth, TOO perfect, you lose the subtle motion blur, the deep colors, and the overall look becomes, like you said, looking like 'sports' blech... Maybe Cameron could convince me, but as of right now, totally think this is a terrible idea. We don't want to watch SPORTS we want to watch FILM.
    • Frysucks
      You read my mind, smoother does not look more realistic, the images start to look like a animated cg movie.
      • Eric S.
        I'd definitely agree with the both of you, but as far as action films go, some sequences (i.e. slow motion) could benefit from an increased frame-rate. In my opinion, it depends on the movie. The fact that cinematographers can pick and choose is all about the creative/artistic aspect of the field and everyone is entitled to their own way of doing things. I don't think 60FPS should eliminate the use of lower frame rates; there's just something about 24FPS that the cinema world just shouldn't do without on a wide-scale. I'm not against the increase of frame rate (in fact, I'd really like to see more of what Cameron described available, with higher frame rate (ranging anywhere from 60- to 1000+ FPS), lower-light capabilities (down to well-below 0 lux, which would allow GREAT exposure off ambient light as distant as a moonless, star-filled night.) as well as larger aperture options on lenses and a much larger image size/resolution should always be ever increasing so, if need be, editors can still severely crop video (e.g. taking a wide shot of a two people and cropping separate video close-ups of the actors and still use the cropped version in a film without any noticeable loss in quality) but ultimately, I think theater projectors should be prepared to output ANY frame rate available.
    • Konti
      @Charles Bullshit. Films are shot in 24 because it's much cheaper and convenient for producers. It's an archaic standard from the begging of XX-th century, when shooting each frame was extremally expensive.
      • LADP
        Whe's your 16th birthday?
      • David
        @c8098ecf7e4d95f50407307fbfbc1c0b:disqus  -- agreed! Many DPs would love to see "Too smooth, TOO perfect" and you can always make it look like film in post production. Higher framerates give added control. Sports "blech" is shot with really fast shutter speeds so that you can see exactly what is happening. The motion blur is intentionally eliminated to favor accuracy. (They do this even when shooting sports on film and always have) This also allows it to be slowed down on replay so that you can see, step by step, exactly what just happened. No one wants to watch a blurry sporting event. I don't see that "deep colors" is any issue. If digital capture hasn't greatly surpassed film in the color saturation department, it surely will soon. When the director (anticipating the audience preference) wants more blur or lower framerates, that can be completely emulated in post-production. Do you not think that Cameron sees MORE artistic control available from this new technology? Cameron's "Avatar" and "Titanic are the two highest grossing films of all time--bringing in over $4.5 billion USD. You may not have liked these movies, but the public votes with their dollars.  You may prefer old school, but the survival of theater chains is dependent on ticket sales. We haven't given anyone a good reason to leave their homes to watch movies since IMAX was introduced in 1970. (I did say "watch" -- theater audio has made great strides, but many home theaters surpass cinema in this regard as well)   I have noticed that out of all of the naysayers, none have said "I have actually SEEN a 60fps movie on a big theater screen and I still like 24fps better."   This is a very cheap upgrade: at production, at post-production, at distribution, at display. You may wax nostalgic for your old 8 track tapes, but don't you remember the first time you put on a pair of Walkman headphones? Technology CAN revitalize/save the film industry again. For those of us working in the field, this may mean that our future livelihood is safe. Even if you don't care about the movie theater industry, consider this: 24fps currently looks comparitively crappy when telecine-converted to be shown on TV screens. If you are watching a movie on your TV screen, it IS being displayed at 60fps. 
      • http://www.facebook.com/shyam.kj Shyam Kj
        I thought he was being sarcasstic.
    • pmr
      Film is (was) shot at 24FPS because having a standard (projection speed) was neccessary when sound arrived in 1926 and was the lowest cost-acceptable speed. The problems of strobing and blur are purely a result of that low film speed and are in no way natural or realistic. Audiences have simply gotten used to seeing these artifacts in the movies for the past 86 years. Cinerama, Todd AO, Imax HD, and Showscan were all high-frame-rate motion picture systems which dazzled audiences, but were unable to compete with standard 35mm/24fps films due considerably higher cost of the film required. Now digital technology practically eliminates the cost factor and allows the experience of watching movies to be better than ever, while always continuing to improve. Your argument is akin to preferring the noise and limited dynamic range of vinyl records over the noise-free and superior dynamic range of CD's. Do some background research to learn more. If you then still feel this way, maybe you're already too old to care and change your mind.
  • Ckotb627
    Keep film the way it is. I don't want my images hyper-realistic... it just looks like people trapped in a box. And how was the depth of field in the James Cameron shots? IMO, 3d and high framerates, complimented with a low DOP, look awful. It looks like a guy pasted on a background with photoshop. 3d and high framerates limit a director and a dp's creative control over the picture because now they're basically forced to use wider lenses... I hate you James Cameron.
    • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
      You think being stuck at 24fps *isn't* limiting a director's creative control? You think that being *able* to shoot at 60fps somehow prevents directors from still shooting at 24fps where they feel it's best?
  • Erinkal73
    I think some movies should be shot with higher frame rates. Movies that are impossible, like Avatar. Higher framerates make the unreal real. That's why I loved it so much. However, some movies should still be shot in 24. Honestly, it's up to the director on how he wants the audience to see the movie. Does he want the movie to look like film? Or does he want it too look like you're part of it. It's different for everything.
  • Grichmer
    This is fantastic! I feel that the only thing that was really holding cinema back in terms of upgraded frame rates was the use of film. With a typical film print in 24 fps be close to 2 miles of film, imagine how large the platter would have to be and how quickly the film would have to travel through the head if all film features were 60 fps. It would be a night mare. BUT NOW all of the larger chains are almost fully converted to digital. It completely negates the most difficult challenges. The only troublesome thing will be the upgrades. I'm sure it'll take some time. I can't wait to watch 60 fps.
  • c-r-u-x
    Just a little note about the "no increase in costs for anyone" - in my eyes 60fps will vastly increase the time and money necessary in post production. After all that means that 2.5 times the data capacity and in cases of VFX also rendering times will be necessary. I also imagine 60fps being much more work for the VFX artists, since for example rotoscoping 60fps is a lot more tedious than rotoscoping 24fps. Not to say that 60fps is a bad thing, just that there are definitely consequences to production costs.
    • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
      Nah, Cameron even addressed that. He suggest developing analysis algorithms to determine which areas need the VFX processed on each individual frame versus automated masking or something like that. Speak with Cameron, he'll explain how to make 60FPS a viable option along the entire production process.
      • c-r-u-x
        Yeah... right... probably "or something like that"... I doubt that he said what you just said because that doesn't make much sense in its current form. What he !could! have said was that we need to develop proper algorithms for automatic tracking and masking (rotoscoping) in order to compensate for the additional expenses that come with working in a 2.5 times higher framerate. That's basically saying "There's no additional work or costs involved in going 60fps. All we need to do is develop software that does our VFX artists' job automatically!" Nice in theory but well... not really considering the current reality of things.
      • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
        Viable, yes, but speaking as someone in the VFX industry, there's no way that costs won't increase significantly, at least in the short term. Storage costs alone will dramatically increase, as will computing power and bandwidth needs. Interpolated vfx will be sufficient for some scenes (it's already widely used), but many scenes will always require frame-by-frame work. But this is nothing new. 4K processing multiplied costs, as did 3D, and Moore's Law and improved software also reduces them. What's too expensive today is cheap tomorrow.
        • David
          I don't even a short term rise in costs. Costs are currently crashing down.  A RED camera can capture 60fps at 4K x 2K resolution and starts at about $10,000 USD to purchase. (Compare that to buying an Arriflex or RENTING a Panavision camera).As a happy, temporary side benefit, since everyone seems to be moving to video, renting film cameras has become unbelieveably cheap now.Storage requirements will go up. But storage gets cheaper every day. You can buy a 2 terabyte (=2000 gigabyte, =2000000 megabyte) hard drive now for $100 USD. AND the drives holding all of the scratch work can be reused -- try erasing and re-using 35mm film stock.The fx rendering takes more computer cycles with a higher framerate, but computers get faster every day too.With human-intensive effects like rotoscoping, expect computers to help speed that up too. (And most roto work happens at lower than 24fps even for 24fps films -- the number of hand drawn frames is not tied to frame rate even now) 
  • Moon
    James Cameron seems to only think Big-Budget studio films exist. If the industry were to push 3D and higher FPS then it would become nearly impossible for indie movies to get made. And movies shot in 24 FPS and in 2D end up looking better than the Avatar shit.
    • LADP
      Funny that he wants to make his products look cheaper then!
    • Grichmer
      lol. I think Cameron makes big-budget movies because he can. He just likes to push boundaries and get people's attention. He's pretty good at both. As far as the indie stuff though, if people still like 24 fps, they will continue to make features in 24fps. And who knows? Maybe 24fps will be the new vinyl.
  • Arqpablomoctezuma
    I think that the future of cinema its augmented reality, imagine for example a Matrix 4 scene, and a lot of bad guy shooting a rain of bullets, and u can see the bullets around u. That´s the new cinema. Well, that´s my opinion
  • Guy
    "Discovery Channel" and "Public Enemies" examples don't exactly excite me. As a matter of fact you can count me out. If i wanted to watch discovery channel I would stay at home, and in Public Enemies this "real" style was the worst aspect of the film. I understand it's a style, but don't need to see more of it. Even with different "Shutter Angles" 60fps still looks like 60fps. With any action it almost looks sped up because you can see so many more in-between frames. Essentially shutter angle can ad blur (Like Public Enemies) or make it more crisp and jittery (like Saving Private Ryan). Now moving into the digital age I understand trying to push the limit of reality. But I still prefer a film to feel like film, even if it is captured digitally. This seems like an answer to a 3D problem, not a FILM (Movies), problem. I don't really see the harm in it. If they want to give us a different experience, I am down to try it out and make a decision. As of now, this isn't enticing to say the least.
  • Jace
    This is why I do not like this. A higher frame rate certainly does produce smoother movements on screen, but it makes movies look like a soap opera on television. I actually love 24fps because it's what our brains associate with cinema. I love the flicker, and I love the motion blur. My television at home has 120hz and 240hz options, and I turn it off. It just makes everything seem like i'm watching a home video. That being said, I could be completely wrong, because I have not had the opportunity to sit down with James C and actually watch all the examples side by side....yet ;) Also, I wish 3D would go away. haha
    • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
      Great example of how 24fps is pure nostalgia. People say they prefer it because all our favourite films were flickery and blurry, even when they shouldn't have been. Our brains now associate these flaws with our favourite cinematic moments. We saw very similar concerns when "talkies" were introduced. Note that younger audiences do not yet have these prejudices, and I think you'll find that after seeing a few high-quality 60fps cinematic moments yourself, your brain may develop a few new associations. I might add, your TV's 240Hz interpolation options are a completely different thing, and soap operas are hardly a good basis for comparison either.
      • Jace
        I'm all for the advancement of technology, however not for the sake of "just because we can". Sometimes less is more.
      • LADP
        Namarrgon: Have you actually experienced/shot/produced/manipulated any footage? Maybe You did get a MacBook, Canon 7D and FCP for your birthday, but that last wedding video really wasn't cutting it, was it?
        • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/namarrgon Namarrgon
          Shot/produced? Not at any professional level, though my GH1 can do reasonable 720p @ 60Hz. Experienced/manipulated? Yes. I write vfx software for a living, and it comes up occasionally.
          • LADP
            GH1. "Not at any professional level... write vfx software for a living, and it comes up occasionally". That's a great start!
  • CisforCinema
    I know everyone is calling 60 FPS "hyper-realistic" but when you watch it on a television these days it's actually just a 24 FPS program or movie (as it was originally shot) filled in with black frames to keep up the pace. That's why you'll notice that people and things move unnaturally quick -- as does often the camera, denigrating the quality of what was once a planned shot. I always turn off the 60 FPS setting because of how strange it looks. As for shooting all films in 60 FPS I just think that's so unrealistic! Think of the cost to independent productions who want to shoot on the already pricey 16mm/35mm stock they've purchased. Are they supposed to spend triple the money on film? If theater chains upgrade to project at 60 FPS, does that mean they will project everything at the heightened speed (and if so what will be the horrible visual consequences of that.) I admittedly have never seen film that was shot at 60 FPS and then projected at 60 FPS but I have a feeling it's going to be jarring to what are eyes have become used to on the big screen -- like 3D, what's the point? -- Whatever happened to good storytelling?
    • LADP
      Longer frames. Not black. You'd see that black frame. Try c reating it on your software.
  • http://www.facebook.com/danielvutran Daniel Vu Tran
    60fps has always been possible. it's just you're all used to 24fps and that's why you think it looks "weird" and too hyper realistic. Then again, I tend to agree but that's only because I'm used to it too. It's the exact same in video games. 24fps for irl movies is just more common, hence, why people are complaining about 60fps being too 'realistic'. Though again, I agree with them, but I'm not sure how quickly I'd changed to 60fps.
    • Jace
      I don't think it looks more realistic at all. If anything 24fps looks much more realistic because there is motion blur. In real life, when something moves quickly by us, it is perceived by our eyes as being blurry. 60fps makes everything look very unnatural, and fluid. So my opinion is that 60fps is actually less realistic than 24fps. Thoughts anyone?
      • Bunty
        In the end aren't your eyes seeing this fluid motion of 60 fps at their own rate- if they move too fast they should still appear blurry just like real life.
        • Jace
          No. If you shot a scene twice of a fast moving object once in 24fps and again in 60fps, you would see a much more realistic blur effect from the 24fps shot. Whereas the 60fps would look unnatural because it's not how our eyes and brain perceive motion.
          • LADP
            Right. Perhaps the new breed of Cameron-Sapien will simply be more advanced?
          • David
            Motion blur is a function of shutter speed, not frame rate. True, that we currently don't have the technology to capture frames with a longer exposure than the frame rate, but this is beside the point.  A digital camera can be perfectly capable of getting a 1/60th shutter speed while capturing 60 fps. A film camera almost necessarily always shoots at shutter speeds of 1/48th or shorter.  The difference in motion blur levels can be almost undetectable. Also, modern digital post production can easily let you add back in all of the motion blur that you could ever want.
          • Stereographer
            This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. In good light human visual perception is equivalent to 300+ fps.
  • 97point6
    No matter the debate of good, bad or indifferent to the technology. The bigger picture (no pun intended) is getting butts inside the theaters. The competition from your personnel monitor at home is driving these projects. Expect smellivision and all sorts of crap to keep you in the movie houses. The presentation of which I prefer, versus home viewing.
    • LADP
      Yes. Unfortunately.
  • fovea
    I am not a film "purist". I love digital now. However, I am a DP who discovered the world of framerates at a pre-pubescent age with malfunctioning, and self-modified, equipment. So, with no real point of reference then (certainly no such discussions), I would shoot things in ways others were not, and always found myself returning to 24fps, or thereabouts, only because of how it made me feel. My experience is that the human eyeball is somewhat mechanically unsteady - jittery - with motion blur, and certain DOF (more than a single eye, but a paralax producing images separated from backgrounds, regardless of pupil aperture) and that to represent that "feel" of being there, the industry has developed exactly the right tools, over longer than we have been alive. Do we really have to reinvent the wheel? It's possible Avartar 2 will be a great success, but not because of the framerate. Maybe despite it. Some audience mambers may get it confused, but we'll know the truth. This 60Hz malarky is great marketing, and I agree with almost every aspect of the comments here. I certainly believe in choice, but the idea that more is always better is simply not artistically true. As much as Mr. Cameron (who a friend knows personally - I am not a hater)may have had considerable influence (maybe hypnosis?) over the masses with high tech, yet dramatically and intellectually wanting products, he was also responsible for "Unobtainium" - a creative crime, if ever there was such a thing? In short, not everything is gold. 60Hz fools gold, is still just that, but it will still be good at the bank.
    • LADP
      But I'd still feel like a fool depositing that check. Like when I got a date with the hottest girl in high school because she though I was someone else! The truth will always catch up!
  • Anonymous
    I've decided to ignore everything Cameron does or says, ever since Avatar I've just found Cameron rather boring and full of himself...as of right now film is fine the way it is.
    • Anonymous
      I liked it better when we didn't have to ignore Cameron, he just made great/good movies and kept to himself... then he did Titanic. As for 60FPS. Okay. Fine. It's 2011 and I still gotta buy a plane ticket to see (true) IMAX. In fact I'm sure it'll be another 3-5 years until I will be able to see it for myself. So yeah, looking forward to 60FPS in 2025!!!
    • Awtan90
      Thats why you read this article right?
  • fovea
    In addition, the whole motion and panning issue should be addressed, and not confused. I disagree entirely with the claim that the "window is gone". In fact I would contend the exact opposite. I will explain, and there's a fun experiment at the end. NOTE: we have basically experienced 60fps for years with NTSC's 60 fields per second, which will be experiencially very similar motionwise to 60fps (even though interlaced, etc., I know, but more like that than 24P, right?). And, other countries 50i, still basically 50fps. For the longest time I wondered why watching video felt the way it did, when logically higher (if not infinite) framerates should be more pleasing, should they not? Anyway, looking around the room while watching the news for example, one doesn't feel the same as looking at the screen. Indeed, normal TV (NTSC/PAL/SECAM, et al) is colder, smaller. Neither the same feeling with a feature movie, but 24P is bigger than the room we sit in, somehow. Then, I realized, when a camera pans (and even just a little) at high framerates, the smooth motion is unnatural because when we pan with our eyes, we cannot do it smoothly (well, one can learn some limited techniques, but this is not a common experience). Again, we don't pan like film either, but it's not so smooth as video which is more like looking through a frame which is moving. Not as if we're there as claimed by the high-framists. Try this experiment. This is part 1. Sit and look around the room (not in floursecent lighting to avoid the strobies). Even with very small increments of movement, your eyes (for physiological and neurological reasons) do not simply pan. Even while reading this, they dart. You will also see you cannot hold your eyes completely steady on one spot. You might think you can, but notice more closely at say this dot . There will be minute flutters and fluctuations - even in healthy eyes. Now, hold out your arms at full lenght and make the classic "DP/Director" frame with your fingers to look though. Then move this "window" around and lo-and-behold, it will look more like video. This is because your eye can fix on the "window frame" and which allows the image to pass behind. With a little practice, you can allow your peripheral vision to hold lock on your finger window frame and focus at will. Although, now we have sort of created an infinite framerate window though which to observe the world (although not truly infinite temporal or spacial due to limitations of our visual system), we simply don't go around the world looking through frames like this. Smooth it is. Unwieldy at best. Likely to get strange looks from people? Sure. Just wear a Jim Cameron shirt, and all will be fine. NOTE: I shall not be responsible for any consequences arising from this behaviour! Well, then why does 60i video still look "video-y" even when the camera is locked? It's because of the same forced "window", within which the images are held unanaturally still. 60fps can't win because it pans unnaturally, and it holds unnaturally but this time the effect is lees for sure. 24P is still unnatural, but more "exciting" as if we are more nervously scanning the scene. Then, why you say, doesn't looking through our front window look like a 200 inch screen? 1. Color/contrast. 2. 3D, try closing one eye to help. 3. DOF - not so much an particular focus, but because even with one eye closed we still can wander, and we do, slightly. And 4, because even at best, we still move our bodies just enough to clue us into paralax of the window frame (even with one or two eyes). We can by this method mentally separate it from the background. Experiment, part 2. NOTE, don't do anything silly with your eyes here. Read it first, don't blame me if you do a dumb thing! Take your hand. Make a fist, but open your fingers just enough to be able to see through - about half to quarter of an inch. Then press comfortably to open eyelids, NOT EYBALLS, just enough to prevent eye movement without defocusing, etc. With practice, you'll be able to. Then look around and you will feel as if looking through a video viewfind, kind of. You have eliminated the natural eye jitter. After mastering this, for fun, try both eyes in 3D, and you will be very close to the 60fps 3d Avatar experience, with having to wait, or pay, for it!
    • LADP
      Simpler, just look through an SLR/DSLR/Rangefinder viewfinder.
  • trollface
    Films shouldn't take on the look of DV video or appear like a videogame (as some movies look on modern LCD TVs; especially some animated features). The motion of film is perfect as it is and doesn't need to change. 3D is still an expensive (to consumers) gimmick and Cameron is full of wind again.
    • LADP
      Exactly the point.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MTEO7RKG3IO7LOJZ3GJJ5NSOOI john s
    I dont know. For me the higher the resolution, fps etc the more a film looks like video shot with a HD video camera. The image doesn't have that warm organic cinema look to it anymore.
  • http://www.molokini.be Axelmisbaksel
    Spend that production money on decent stories! I'm sorry James, but Avatar was pretty cheap. Without the 3D it isn't worth watching. Going to 60 FPM will only mean more frames of bad storytelling. And sure it will be nice to look at, but so is a campfire or an aquarium. Those are in 3D and have a far higher framerate. And if your mind wanders off, probably with a more interesting storyline.
  • Anonymous
    I think this just takes things too far. In fact, I think we've already gone too far. I prefer my films to be silent and in black and white, just as God intended. How dare they force progress upon us! The films I like to watch best are the science fiction movies where they present ideas about super-realistic media technology, which everybody drools over and then campaigns to stop reality catching up.
    • http://www.molokini.be Axelmisbaksel
      Yes! Me too! Oh wait.. we're you being sarcastic? Compare two industrychanging blockbusters. Star Wars and Avatar. Avatar will be completely forgotten in a few years while Star Wars (the original, not the I,II,III disasters) will still be playing. Why? Good story and characters. Despite of the huge difference in technology. I'm not saying technological progress isn't a good thing. But without a good story backing up the special effects it isn't worth much. Clash of the titans pretty bad for example. How can they spend so much money on such a crappy script?
      • Rocky
        Thanks for stating the ridiculously obvious. The theme here isn't about story quality. And I doubt Avatar will be forgotten anytime soon. Check with me in a couple of years so I can tell you 'told ya"
    • Vame
      This discussion will rise to an almost religious proportion if the ignorant prevail. Please, do your research - and actually experience things. You will be happier, and the rest of us don't have to witness such immature attempts at comprehension. We have earned our status, whereas you clearly have not. Do you really think this is progress? Probably better to back off the opinions until weened off ESPN and porn, or is it Spongebob? If that is only how you see the world, great (there is more out there, than your miopic view, however), but this discussion is about even deeper things. I would suspect that you are unable to tell the differences anyway - or if you can, why. You will tell your friends you can, and may even be revered by them. Consider the size of the pool, however. I bet you don't care where you sit in a movie theater, and you drive a compact car - if you drive at all - because "it's the same" as an E-Class Mercedes AMG. Probably think your phone can actually make an HD video, or 8Mp still picture (look up Nyquist limit). I thought so. When it comes down to it, we may say it is about "the individual preference", but an informed preference is what we all need. The other part to the puzzle, and one which I think the more advanced thinkers here see, is that simply telling the audience it's better, they will just believe it. For the longest time, I had clients who simply assumed 16:9 was HD, just because of the aspect, and that their DVDs were now HD based on their new panel display (not even upconverting). We need to educate, and understand, not simply spout rhetoric. In case you feel I am too harsh, well, that's another reason you're not qualified to comment.
      • LADP
        True dat.
    • David
      LOL at "silent and in black and white."  Reminds me of Grandpa Simpson saying "The metric system is the tool of thedevil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it."
  • Wash
    I think adapting and evolving with new technology (60fps) is without a doubt the future of film.
    • JPmiller
      Film? Seems we don't even know the basis of this discussion. Thank you. B'bye.
      • LADP
        Wash meant cinema I think, but it does smack of either a Cameron drone comment, or a nerd with a weak understanding, masquerading as experienced because they can tell their mom, "more is better".
  • Rodrio Prata
    To see what 60 FPS look like, just grab a 7D, shot at 60FPS and play it back on the camera or in the FCP time line without any conversion... It`s just horrible.... for years I got disapointed because I could not make my moves look like movies, and just a few years after I got to shot at 24 FPS and be able to emulate the "Film Look" this guy cames and says that the future is going to be just everything I was running away.... experiments in 60FPS where made a very long time ago, with a film camera running 60FPS and them a projector running at 60FPS (no need to be James Camerom to conceive that) and in that time, the audianve reaction wasn`t good. Why do you think cinema is still 24FPS whem it could have bem 30 or 48 or 60 for at least 30 years?
    • DP
      Exactly! The industry is a balance between technology and art. Always has been. As others have pointed out, just because something can be made different, doesn't make it better. It will get attention, but eventually the next step will be some sort of "Incredibly More Betterer 24P" (or whatever) so we can all go back to that and be thankful for Cameron for saving us from 60P. 60P is better for capturing sports, but not emotionally, in theaters. Another thing to consider is how a camera pans, and that the 24P limititation (yes, I agree it's not perfect) actually forces one to slow down. The reason this is better, is that when watching the project on a large screen, one's eyes - regardless of framerate - cannot simply take in all that movement when the screens has 90 degree (plus) POV to the viewer. On smaller monitors, the 24P strobing may be less obvious, but a trained and experienced DP will be able to see the indications of too much movement. So, just because a demostration will fool audiences into seeing what they already should have understood, doesn't make the delivery system better for the experience of watching a production which could be made by someone with a $200 camcorder. As much as I welcome advances; 60 fps is a) not one, and b) simply a trick of the execs who wish to sell products to what they percieve as an ignorant public.
    • David
      60fps on a Canon 7D is captured in a lower resolution than 24 or 30 fps. The 7D is capable of 1080p at 24 and only 720p at 60.  Granted, 60fps is not "film look" just like 70mm and IMAX are not film look. I am also nostalgic for the pops and clicks from vinyl LP records and the hiss of magnetic tape, but would never argue that it was a more realistic experience. Movies shot on 4Kx2K sensors at 60fps ARE the next thing that will drive ticket buyers into the cinema, I am convinced.
  • LADP
    Feel free to add your own... 24fps feature + 34fps = sports TV. 24fps feature + 34fps = worst indie look from 5+ years ago. Even the daytime soaps have caught on
  • S1RN
    24fps feature + Cameron's patented genius 34 Extra Frames = The Future, but one no one wants to be in. We can change our destiny. Feature + Cameron = one dude with loads of yesmen.
    • Wendy227
      Cameron - Money = 0
      • LADP
        That's not exactly fair, but I do still agree! Wendy, I bet we'd make great slower framerate passion!
  • LADP
    Maybe this is all just an April Fool's joke? Funny!
  • LADP
    Cinema CON! And we all though we were so smart!
  • Negativeions101
    Screw all you morons. Shooting at higher framerates is better for some things and 24fps is better for others. God fuck! Just shut up all of you. Down Syndrome epidemic. I swear. I mean, Cameron said it was the LENSE and LIGHTING that can give it more of the cinematic effect. READ!
    • LADP
      I say this for constructive criticism: So, you think that by being loud and profane (look it up) you seem more correct? Do you really think your tantrum will be respected? Telling us to shut up spawns debate? That's a totalitarian (framist?) technique. I bet you're a charm to work with... no, don't answer, "shut up!". All it convinces me of is that this debate is one more of interactive intelligence than feature production. You clearly do not have much experience in this field. Definitely do not have the people skills to survive on a real set. You may (benefit of doubt) have been associated with some limited productions, but you know little else. I bet you don't even have realtime projector output and surround monitoring from your editor, if you have an editing system at all, or even own better than HDV camera? Probably don't even know what theater spec jpeg2000 is. Have you worked a project from conception to theater, to DVD/BD? Do you even know how a CMOS or DLP works? Have you written, produced, directed/DP-ed/acted? Do you have eligibility or are a member of any of the professional unions (necessary evils -another debate altogether!) I (and others here, I'm sure) have/do. Do you care? Probably not, you just want us to shut up because we can't possibly grasp that 60 is more - and therefore better - than 24. All us morons! LOL! Oh, just looked at your handle. "Negative Ions"... well that explains it! You carry on in your negative world wondering why you don't get any gigs. You wouldn't want to work with us anyway, right?
  • Negativeions101
    If a film is properly dollied, shot and lit it'll look good you fucks. Free hand and dollying a shot have nothing to do with frame rate.
    • LADP
      So, as I thought, you don't work in feature production then. Also, surely this whole debate is e-x-a-c-t-l-y about what you state it is not. In fact, by your assertion, we may as well be watching a slide show at frames per minute rate? Wake up. Think before speaking, and please step away from the camera...
      • LADP
        Negative: Sorry for not shutting up, but as a point of reference, please tell us would we be able to see any of your work anywhere? I, and others here, have material you have most likely seen. I am excited to see your production quality, groundbreaking camerawork, and especially your outstanding light and dolly work.
  • Anonymous
    I'm very interested in seeing higher FPS, but those new televisions that convert normal film into 120 GHz really bother me. It simply doesn't look right...the higher GHz cheapens the look of the film. But that said, I'm more interested in whether the web can play up to 60 FPS. I know Flash can, but what about HTML5 video players? What about Vimeo or YouTube? I wouldn't mind producing my own shorts in 60 FPS, but if the display medium can't handle it, it sort of defeats the purpose.
    • LADP
      Great handle!
    • Odysseyofamind
      True. Newer TVs (LCD/LED) spoils the the way movies are shown. Simple, turn OFF motion-blur.
  • Cameron
    I see many concerns for this technology and Im wondering if its just fear of something new... which is natural, we all do it at times. If it does create this almost cheesy hyper-realistic feel, then we find new ways to avoid that aspect. Its up to us as artists to take the positives it does provide, but eliminate the negatives. Im all for the new possibilities and challenges.
  • BN
    24 FPS has some magic in to it, in another word its movies look! Why would any director want to shoot his movie on 60 fps which makes your movie look like a burger king commercial? It makes sense for 3D movies but for normal movies , there is no need!
    • http://www.facebook.com/gshauger Geoffrey Shauger
      You sound like someone who works at a Burger King
    • David
      Going to the cinema in the past meant enjoying a higher-tech experience than watching movies at home, either on television or 16mm film. Sadly, today most films look better at home than in the theater. While movie makers will experience additional costs, better technology in filmmaking might just save the theater industry. Higher resolution and higher frame rates are not simply distracting gimmicks (like many see current 3D films) but more realistic recordings of the performances. MANY people have seen Showscan short films. I loved them. That technology was cool enough to have its own theater in the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. Very impressive. Very real, and very lifelike.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Thurman/1215519484 Jeff Thurman
    24, 48, 60? Who the hell cares? First you have to have a script and a good script to boot. In today's Hollywood, the script is the last thing anyone gives a damn about. It's all FX and blowing up shit.
  • keeperXIII
    Funny how some people here just troll around, ignoring every good answer... 1. Is it good or not? Who cares? It's a *choice*. 2. The technology is very different from videogames or camcorders. Of course, this is for someone like me who stumbles upon this article 1 month later ;)...
  • http://twitter.com/mohrhd Scott Mohrman
     This isn't the first time that 60fps has come up. Hollywood has played with it before and decided that 24fps was better. I believe that 60fps was "too real" a look for it to catch on.
  • Phoenixnewmedia
      By 1983 Trumbull had perfected a method of filming called Showscan which shot movies at 60 frames per second.  He couldn't get funding to develop it into a commercial reality.  Showscan was described as 3D without the glasses. See "New Movie Technology Thrills Audiences But Fails to Win Financing From Industry." The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 1983, Section 2, page one.  Cameron used his own funds to perfect the 3D technology he introduced in Avatar.  Just think, if someone had backed Trumble we could have been watching 3D movies for the last twenty-five years.
  • http://twitter.com/Enlightenmentor Steve Cowie
    I notice that many people want to watch a movie or film for odd reasons. Rather than storyline, plot and fine acting, some people want to watch the effects OF the medium: Blur, judder, poor colour registration, grain, gamma distortions.   In effect they are watching the window rather than the scene behind it.   24P was only introduced to accomodate sound. Bill Trumball found the maximum rate of EMOTIONAL response to content of a movie was 72P.  I'll repeat that: MAXIMUM EMOTIONAL content.  That means lesser frame rates give a lower emotional impact. It's not just dead 'film' versus a  'video' realistic look, rather a higher frame rate gives a more viceral in-associated performance WHATEVER THE MEDIUM.  More exciting films (whatever the emotion may be).  And don't fall for the motion blur is like human vision argument.  The Flicker Fusion frequency of the human vision system is approx. 70-80Hz.  Even at 50-60Hz, motion blur can compromise pictures and can induce nausea at close viewing.  One reason why the BBC are experimenting with 300Hz for capture and slow motion playback. The problem for either 48 or 60Hz is legacy compatibility for WORLD WIDE distribution.  Remember the rest of the world is 50Hz.  The politics-free solution is simple.  A higher, WORLD STANDARD temporal frame rate of 72Hz/FPS for film and TV.
    • David James
      Steve, I am not sure how a frame rate of 72fps is really politics free, other than the fact that converting to 50i and 60i signals will be equally difficult. Faster is definitely better for telecine pulldown conversion where the frame rates don't line up super-cleanly. There is definitely no exact consensus on the Flicker Fusion threshold frequency, and it differs from person to person, and within a single individual depending on brightness levels, level of fatigue, amount of eye motion and other factors. I don't even think that 72fps will ultimately be any necessary stopping point. Many people see rainbow effects for single chip DLP projectors that rely on spinning color wheels, even when the wheels are spinning at 8x frame rate. Many people are irritated by fluorescent lights that flash at 120Hz. Stroboscopic rates related to film subject motion ("wagon wheel spokes") can occur at ANY frame rate and regardless of the level of motion blur allowed.  And remember that motion blur is entirely NOT a function of frame rate, but of shutter speed. Just because film cameras have historically been keeping near 180 degrees (where shutter speed is equal to 1/2 frame rate) does not mean that this is in any fashion a locked-in relationship --especially with video capture where the shutter speed can easily equal the frame rate. You can dial in a lot more motion blur, if you want. One really nice thing about 72 Hz? Just like we can still make silent movies and we can still make black and while movies, we will still be able to capture and/or present a film in 24fps "for artistic effect."
      • http://twitter.com/Enlightenmentor Steve Cowie
        I agree there is no consensus on the FFTF. The reason I raise 72P is that other people have raised it.  It's a clean multiple: 3 x 24P,  many theatres show film with a 72Hz Flicker and so do modern TV's when showing 'true' 24P movies. There's even a relationship with RealD Cinema's 144Hz.  The best reason is that Doug Trumball's original Showscan experiments at different speeds demonstrated that 72fps was the maximum rate for associated, human EMOTIONAL experience*. He chose 60fps as it approximated to the local (abstract) US standard TV/grid supply.  Yes, Conversion from 72p may be equally difficult for 60i and 50i systems so it makes logical sense for Television to change to 72p too! Historically speaking, TV and film have been only going for a short while; just over a century.  I suspect that film and TV will be with us for some time to come in the future.  It won't be too long before ASTC II and DVB III will be revising TV standards. Many PC refresh rates are also set to ...70-80Hz, for 60Hz can still produce flicker.  So: Legacy 24P (Not 23.79 from an obsolete system puhlease!)  and...72P? *also: Pearson, D., (1975), D. Transmission and Display of Pictorial Information, Chapter 2, Pentech Press, London.
  • Andyb
    There's a real opportunity to harmonize the framerates for US and European TV with cinema. Perhaps DC should be looking at something like 100 fps and pushing TV to go the same way.
  • jeffrey
    Looks like this article is from a while back, but since you asked, I'll answer:  Yes, I have seen 60 fps footage in a theater. Back in the mid-80s I was lucky enough to live near one of the four experimental auditoriums that were created to test Douglas Trumbull's Showscan process.  This one was in Dallas.  Showscan was shot on 70mm at 60 fps.  The auditorium's seating was arranged for optimal viewing and the Showscan projector was designed to cast a brighter picture.  There was a special sound system also.  To make a long story short, the effect was quite stunning.  I know a lot of people say that 60 fps reminds them too much of video (since video here in America is 60i, that makes sense), but it wasn't a problem for me.  It still looked like a movie, just a very clear and sharp one.  
  • http://www.facebook.com/FilmSaint Edward G. Robinson
    Happy to have stumbled upon this topic and after browsing through some of the comments, It all makes more sense to me. A few months back I happened to be watching TV at my brother's house on his new 52''. Immediately I asked him what was wrong with his TV??? It seemed to me almost as if we were sitting on the movie set and the director was going to pop out onto the screen saying "CUT". It seemed unreal I guess because of my brain being programmed to 24fps but I can surely say, it was weird. I bet it would bring a great enhancement to 3D but this 60fps has to work its way into the Films and Theatre. Although, I do believe it will be the new look in the near future.
  • Me
    Higher frame rates have been tried before - and rejected. Movies are about fantasy not "reality" on crack.
  • http://www.facebook.com/SuchorzewskiRoshi Scott Suchorzewski
    I went to Film School at Columbia and old school 24fps film stock can't hold a candle to digital 48/60fps. Most of you have no idea what you're talking about so you should do some research before you post. The faster the frame rate the more visual information you collect. Perhaps you'd like to go back to watching 'movies' on a rotoscope?
    • Actual Cinematographer
      Scott: Why the rudeness? You make some bold and powerful statements, so I researched you -- but you're not on IMDb anywhere. Maybe research is all you do? Come back to us after a few decades, and we'll maybe listen.
  • http://www.facebook.com/juhasz.rolandmario Juhász Roland Márió
    60 FPS is the way to go, watching a 1080p movie with 24-30 FPS while the camera is turning or moving at a medium speed is choppy and horrible not to mention the fast camera moves when you miss 80% of the scene, it ruins the whole movie. All 24-30 FPS movies should be recorded in space where no fast movement can be done because of the lack of gravity :P

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