One of the next big things coming to a theatre near you will be movies shot and projected at rates much faster than currently – a process designed to dramatically improve the overall audience experience, particularly with 3D movies. With directors such as James Cameron and Peter Jackson planning projects that will use this High Frame Rate (HFR) technology, there’s a need to develop international technical standards and to explore how moviemakers can use the new technology most effectively.
Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) last week announced establishment of a unique international test centre for HFR moviemaking at the launch event for 3D Ontario, a new industry and academic collaboration. With support from Christie Digital, a world leader in HFR display technologies, and other local and international technology companies, the centre will generate test footage, evaluate workflows from production through display, and conduct workshops on HFR technology. The event was attended by the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport for Ontario, Ontario Media Development Corporation CEO Karen Thorne-Stone, and leading 3D industry executives and personnel.
The HFR initiative involves key creative and technical partners from all areas of moviemaking including the Directors Guild of Canada – Ontario; I.A.T.S.E. 667, which represents cinematographers; broad-based industry consortium FilmOntario which includes major equipment suppliers, post-production and visual effects houses; and researchers from York University’s 3D Film Consortium.
For HFR display SIRT will be using a new Christie Digital CP4220 4K theatrical cinema projector located in the Centre’s 5000-square-foot studio space at Pinewood Toronto Studios. This provides a unique setting for both 2D and 3D image capture and real-time display as well as audience testing on footage that’s gone through a full post-production process.
“Christie is very excited about the creative potential of high frame rate cinema,” stated Paul Salvini, Chief Technology Officer for Christie Digital. “We have been working closely with leading exhibitors, production and post-production facilities to roll out this new capability in a timely manner. The test centre is a great opportunity to build the base of knowledge around HFR production.”
Stereographer Demetri Portelli, (Hugo), a member of I.A.T.S.E. 667, who will be involved along with other stereographers in the centre’s activities stated that “HFR will allow me to approach my role as a stereographer in a different way, with expanded creative and technical choices. The centre means I can experiment with different on set choices and view the final shots as we develop best practices for using it in movies.”