Ang Lee Shows Preview of 4K 3D 120FPS Movie in Las Vegas

Ang Lee showed preview footage of his upcoming film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, at an event in Las Vegas on Saturday. Unlike most previews, the plot or characters weren’t the centerpiece of the movie, but instead the advanced photography and projection techniques used to screen the movie, which the director believes may be the future of the filmmaking industry in the digital age.

The showing was part of the National Association of Broadcasters trade show, where Lee showed off 11 minutes of 3D footage from the film. It wasn’t presented in the typical fashion however, the show making use of a pair of laser projectors that were able to project a full 4K image at an amazing 120 frames per second per eye. This puts regular movies to shame in a number of ways, with the framerate alone being five times that of a typical film with Lee explaining that the jump to 120 FPS 4k allowing for crystal clear images without many of the negative visual artifacts that appear in traditional films.

This isn’t the first time a director has tried to make use of higher than standard framerates in their films, with Peter Jackson making use of 48 FPS recording in his 2012 film, The Hobbit. There were mixed feelings on the use of the higher frame rate with many feeling it stripped away the pseudo-realism that 24 FPS invokes. Lee, however, did not cite Jackson’s use of the technique as part of his reasoning for using it himself.

Whether the use of these techniques will catch on remains to be seen, but Ang Lee and his team feel that it is worth experimenting with new techniques to bring the film industry forward. Lee believes that employing technologies such as those that allow for higher frame rates is not just a case of mindlessly applying new technologies but instead requiring it’s own creative development. “This will be a long journey. I think we’re at the beginning of finding out what digital cinema means,” he said. “We’re not quite there yet, but it’s a strobe-free dimension.”

Unfortunately, for many, they will not get a chance to see the film as Lee showed off this weekend as no cinemas in the world have the ability to project the same way it was at the NAB show, with the film instead being shown in a variety of formats when it is released in November, including HFR versions.

Ultra HD Blu-Ray Release Date Revealed

More and more people are upgrading to a 4K capable TV or monitor these days, and with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offering content, albeit a limited library, ready to stream 4K movies and TV shows, it’s easy to see why. The prices of 4K TVs and monitors have been falling steadily and it now makes perfect sense to go for 4K vs a standard HD set if you’re upgrading.

Of course, streaming isn’t a viable option for everyone, mostly due to bandwidth limitations. I personally don’t have fast enough internet for streaming in 4K, so disc based media is certainly the way to go. I’m also a bit of a movie and home cinema buff, so streamed content, with its limited bitrates, compression and more, are simply a deal breaker for me; although perhaps not so for everyone else.

Ultra HD Blu-Ray has been a long time coming, with the format only having been finalized this year and Samsung revealing the first consumer model player at IFA this month. All the major studios are behind the new format and have helped shape the standards for it, but when can we expect discs to hit the market?

The new format will offer up a greatly improved resolution, wide colour space, HDR, HFR and much more, helping future proof the discs for quite some time and providing formats that we now often see used in the cinema, right in your own living room. The first discs are now expected to launch in January, with many of the major studios and networks pushing the Ultra HD discs on the same day they release the HD Blu-Ray.

Thank you AVForums for providing us with this information.