Effects guru has 120​ fps short film

by Bob Deutsch

raised digital cinema projection booth

Frame rates are a somewhat controversial issue in the film industry, particularly those that require especially large movie screens.

Last year, the emergence of the first film in Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of “The Hobbit” brought with it a storm of discussion surrounding Jackson’s decision to shoot and display the film at the speed of 48 frames per second (fps), twice that of the standard 24. Critical opinion was divided over the effect as it was absorbed from movie screens, with some praising it while others, like Forbes contributor Anthony Wing Kosner, dubbing it “unexpectedly painful.”

Now, industry veteran Douglas Trumbull has come to up the game with a ten-minute short film shot at 120 fps. It’s an ambitious move, as there are reportedly no movie theaters with the projection capabilities to screen at that framerate, nevermind the special increased screen and the latest in sound technology Trumbull is expecting.

The film, titled “UFOTOG,” was made almost entirely in front of green screens, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It is allegedly just the beginning for Trumbull, who has worked in visual effects for several iconic movies including “Blade Runner” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” but quit directing in the early 1980’s. Despite the difficulty in finding a way to display this technology, Trumbull is enthusiastic about the project and is hoping to show it sometime this August.

“What you see on the screen is less like a movie and more like a live event. The screen becomes a giant window onto reality,” he said, referring to the end result.

As movie technology develops, it’s likely that eager moviegoers will be given more incentive to investigate films shown on large movie screens, and outdoor screens can be one response to this possible interest.

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