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Ang Lee Confirms He's Already Shooting His Next Film in 120FPS 3D

by
April 22, 2015

Ang Lee

We all thought we were done with High Frame Rate projection after The Hobbit, but it looks like that's not the case. During Sony Picture's annual presentation at CinemaCon this week, director Ang Lee appeared in a recorded video from the set of his new film based on the book Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. He talked about how making Life of Pi in 3D taught him how remarkable of a filmmaking tool 3D is. He has since explored new filmmaking technology even further, deciding to shoot this next film at 120 FPS (frames per second) and in 3D (again). No footage was shown, and they didn't mention anything else about it being released in HFR, but it sounds like Lee is now getting into HFR after James Cameron and Peter Jackson.

It was also mentioned this is the first time any film has been filmed fully in 120FPS. Cameron and Jackson have been using 48FPS and 60FPS, but this is the first 120FPS film. I am very curious to see some footage.

Ben Fountain's book Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is (described on Amazon) a "razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq, [that explores] the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad." The film follows an infantryman who recounts the final hours before he and his fellow soldiers return to Iraq. Ang Lee is currently shooting the film down in Georgia now, and Sony Pictures is planning a release sometime in 2016. The cast includes Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Beau Knapp, Ben Platt and Steve Martin. Beyond that we don't know much else as production is now underway.

Personally, I don't have anything against HFR. While I've only seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in HFR, I remember thinking "this is the future" but it's going to take years and years for everyone to get used to it. It looks different than every movie we've ever seen, and it's hard to start viewing them differently. But I believe with more time, and with more filmmakers (like Ang Lee) really showing how this technology can be used effectively, it will slowly but surely become embraced. I'm surprised Ang Lee is already jumping into it so soon, but he sounded excited about revealing this bit of news. I'll be keeping a very close eye on this.

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  • Screw 3D, screw 120FPS. The thing is: I don't wanna get 'used it'. I don't want movies to look like TV sports event. I want movies to look Epic, surreal and bigger than life. See 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia.
    • C.A. Hall
      Filmic, you mean. But I suppose that if he's using a cinematographer with an artistic sense then it shouldn't look too normal.
      • DAVIDPD
        I am inclined to agree with you CA Hall. He is just using the effect as a tool, like a painter who switches brushes.
    • avconsumer2
      Completely agree with the 3D. Have yet to see any high fps flicks (or high fps 3D).
    • JT AG
      I would agree. 3D has been on the wane over the last several years anyway. Don't know why Lee has decided to shoot this movie in 3D and in 120FPS. It sounds like a gimmick to me. and yes, I don't want films to look like a sporting event either, despite the fact that Hollywood might want us to.
    • SallySpider
      And they can't look epic at anything beyond 24fps?????
    • Yossi Cohen
      Sure cos 24 fps means the best movie ever while 60 means a static camera with 2 ppl talking... Proffessional camera work, great cgi and acting together with great stories are the things that make a movie great NOT a freaking MOTION BLUR with DAMN STUTTER! What differs soap-operas from movies is the content not the frame rate. I never watched soap operas nor stupid reality shows while watching ALL my movies and high quality series at 60FPS, i can't withstand the 24fps with the stuttery camera pans and weird motion(hated it even before i ever watched 60fps content except videogames). ps: i use SVP in order to watch everything on 60fps(48 on my low end i3 laptop)
  • Neuromancer
    As much as I dislike most 3D and the HFR Hobbit films, I do like experimentation and innovation, be it through technology or otherwise. Far be it from me to tell these artists how to create their art as they have every right to choose any of the tools available to them. Whether the choice, in this case 120 fps, is correct or not is still up for debate but I'd like to keep the possibility of being pleasantly surprised open.
    • grimjob
      Well said sir.
  • Max Rockatansky
    I wished Life of Pi was shot in 48FPS or higher. Watching 3D movies on a 24FPS is a total head ache especially during fast movements but The Hobbits on 48FPS was so damn clear in 3D.
    • Chris Groves
      I really wish that films like Gravity or Interstellar had been made at HFR in 3D. That would have been a mesmerizing experience.
  • DAVIDPD
    Lee is so far the only director to use 3D in a captivating way. THE LIFE OF PI was a stunning achievement.
    • sod-sailer
      Hahahahhahahaah....please
    • You're kidding right? Have you not seen Cave of Forgotten Dreams? Herzog is king.
  • OfficialJab
    Can you even tell the difference between 60 and 120?
    • avconsumer2
      From a computer gaming perspective... oh yeah. It's blatantly obvious.
    • Chris Groves
      I believe so.
  • ErrorSapiens
    I didn't realize orientals made movies
    • SallySpider
      My orientation also makes movies 😉 If you take my hint 😉
  • aanonn
    who will do the vfx ?

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