CinemaCon: Projector Makers Talking as Ang Lee Confirms He'll Shoot Next Film in 120 Frames Per Second

'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' could challenge the projection industry.
AP Images

Ang Lee has introduced the next challenge for digital cinema projector makers.

During the Sony slate presentation, Wednesday at CinemaCon, it was confirmed that Lee’s next movie, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, will be shot in 3D, 4K resolution and uniquely at a high frame rate of 120 frames per second. This would be a first, and would put attention on the projection side of the equation.

Details were not explained, but it’s being shot with Sony F65 4K cameras, and presumably Sony is working on a way to project this material.

Representatives at Texas Instruments — which makes the DLP Cinema chips used today in projectors from Barco, Christie and NEC (representing most of the world’s digital projectors) — said that if by 120 fps, they mean 60 fps, per eye, for the 3D, then they can develop an upgrade for installed DLP projectors. If Lee intends to film at 120 frames per eye, then presumably two projectors would be used to accommodate the frame rates, along with 3D and 4K.

Today's movies are generally screened at 24 fps. Only Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy went to a higher frame rate of 48 frames per second.

James Cameron has said he intends to shoot his Avatar sequels at a high frame rate.

Filmmaker Douglas Trumbull has been experimenting with the potential of 120 fps.

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