James Cameron Urges Industry to Use Faster Frame Rates
Higher frame rates offer the "potential to improve showmanship," the director tells attendees at CinemaCon.
LAS VEGAS — Calling the current use of frame rates in digital cinema “inadequate,” James Cameron urged the industry to consider shooting and projecting movies at rates higher than the standard 24 frames-per-second in a demonstration he presented Thursday at Cinemacon.STORY: James Cameron 'Fully Intends' to Make 'Avatar 2 and 3' at Higher Frame Rates The filmmaker noted that he is not alone in pursuing higher frame rates, saying that George Lucas (with whom he appeared on a CinemaCon panel Wednesday) is “gung-ho,” as is Peter Jackson, who “did testing for The Hobbit.” While adopting higher frame rates would affect both production and exhibition, Cameron said that digital cinematography cameras already accommodate these higher frame rates. In fact, 60 is the current standard in sports production. In terms of exhibiting digital movies at the higher rate, Cameron said: “The generation two projectors are capable of doing what I show you with a software upgrade." Cameron enthused at one point: “We are geeking out now, I love this stuff.” The demo came together fairly quickly. The idea to do the demonstration at CinemaCon was born at the recent DGA Awards, Cameron said. The CinemaCon presentation took place in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Cameron noted that the projection area looked like a “science project.” It included stacked Christie DLP Cinema projectors, with Doremi servers and the RealD 3D system. Cameron thanked a string of collaborators who made the demonstration possible, including Christie, Texas Instruments, Doremi, Real D, Sony, Blackmagic Design, Modern VideoFilm, Reliance Media Works, the production team including Russell Carpenter and John Buckley, as well as the team at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. The clips, which featured a period dinner and fight sequences, were shot in one day by Russell Carpenter, the Academy Award winning director of photography of Titanic. They were lensed with three types of digital cinematography cameras‹the Arri Alexa, Red Epic and Phantom high speed cameras‹all using the 3D rigs from PACE, which were developed by Cameron and 3D innovator Vince Pace. “I hope this opens the door to testing that needs to be done,” Cameron said, citing areas such as visual effects. “I’m making the content available to anyone who wants to test it.”
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