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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » HFR in 2013 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: HFR in 2013
Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12268
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 11-29-2013 08:42 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So in 2012, HFR (High Frame Rate) was ALl the buzz in the industry...everyone was boasting what equipment was required...that this was going to be THE thing that separates the men from the boys...that will make 3D actually be worth while...etc.

The Hobbit comes out in 48fps and, at best, the reviews of HFR were mixed with the majority, seemingly, being against the look of HFR.

Combine that with WB being stingy with HFR versions of the movie so those that invested in IMBs that could run it...were denied digital copies as if it was like film and one had strike a special 70mm print for each site.

So this year, I've barely heard a peep about HFR...there has been much more talk about "immersive audio" like Dolby's ATMOS, and to a far lesser degree, Barco's 11.1.

So, it is that time of year again when the second installment of The Hobbit is coming out in just a couple of weeks and I'm still not hearing anything about HFR for it. Are they scrapping it as a bad idea? Are they issuing it on the sly this time? Can anyone that has the equipment get it? Will it be highly restrictive and Top Secret again?

Is there anyone out there slated to run Hobbit this year in HFR 3D?

And what about HFR 2D? There is no reason to limit HFR to just 3D...ToddAo used 30fps with 70mm 2D, ShowScan used 60fps with 70mm and 2D and it was amazing.

Is James Cameron still going through with the next Avatar in 60fps? If so, I don't see anyone really preparing for it yet but I guess they'll wait until the last minute to issue test material, suitable blank CPLs...etc.

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Jock Blakley
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 218
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 2011

 - posted 11-29-2013 09:31 PM      Profile for Jock Blakley   Email Jock Blakley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IMAX Melbourne have Hobbit 2 scheduled for both 15/70 3D and HFR digital 3D, the latter apparently "by popular demand".

Of course 2D HFR is technically possible - it's no different in overall frame rate to standard 3D. Apparently the decision to restrict HFR to 3D only was primarily because it looked so appallingly bad in 2D. It was pretty obvious that on the back of the poorly-received preview screenings that Warner's took fright and wanted to limit their exposure, so to speak.

Personally I can't say I'm interested in any way... even the 2D SFR trailers for the first Hobbit looked a bit strange. I ended up running one against a 35mm trailer for LOTR 3 just to check that it hadn't looked weird either.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 797
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009

 - posted 11-29-2013 09:41 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Douglas Trumbull made a 10 min 4k HFR 3d short which was meant to be a big demo in the summer just past. I haven't heard a thing about it since.
I don't know if he has given up or what?
He also shot it at 120 fps to be projected at 60 or multiple frame rates.
All has been quiet since the summer.
The last I heard Cameron is shooting Avatars at 60 fps forever and ever! [Smile]

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2131
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 11-29-2013 10:14 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's what's on the one-sheet on display at my theatre. I'm pretty sure I've also heard HFR on the TV ads.


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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12482
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 11-29-2013 11:49 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That right there tells you they're just doing it out of an obligation to somebody, somewhere. I'd bet about 99.9% of people wouldn't have a clue what "HFR 3D" means. If HFR was "the" format to push, it would have been big and spelled out (and, if it was a Disney movie it'd have its own logo and be called "DISNEY High Frame Rate 3-D!"

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Randy Pryde
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Casper, WY, USA
Registered: Feb 2013

 - posted 11-30-2013 12:20 AM      Profile for Randy Pryde   Author's Homepage   Email Randy Pryde   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Warner Brothers is allowing 3D HFR versions of Hobbit 2 to those exhibitors who ask. Their preference is to pick up locations that were not selected last year. They have also provided a FAQ flyer for posting at theatres and on circuit webpages.

We had a lot of patron requests last year, so have booked the HFR version of Hobbit 2 in one location as a test. Dolby had a nice price reduction on the media block for our existing DSS200.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 868
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

 - posted 11-30-2013 12:49 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I REALLY enjoyed my HFR experience with the first Hobbit, I will absolutely be driving the 100+ miles round trip plus $12+ for the ticket to see the second one in HFR. It seriously blew my mind. Sure helped that that was my first Atmos experience too

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2159
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 11-30-2013 06:19 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Hobbit Pt 2 in 3D HFR is definitely on the schedule for a lot of the theatres I service. Does anyone know if a 2D HFR version will be available for it?
At least there's no HFR readiness test required from WB this time! (yet) It looks like any cinema that has HFR capability can book the HFR version, rather than the limited availability with part 1. That may be a nightmare for anyone lucky enough to be on call for opening night, the system still has to be configured and hopefully tested before it will work properly. There's still a dearth of HFR test material and probably the KDMs will open late.
For Doremi at least the current sw/fw setup is less clunky than the original "live beta" stuff. It still has to swap IMB firmware between HFR and ... LFR?? (normal) playlists but the persistent weirdness is gone - usually the server would show "PROJECTOR COMMUNICATION ERROR" in red across the playback window although it would work just fine, sometimes the projector tail-light would stay red (but show movies just fine). The server does a preroll and pause 2 minutes before a scheduled start time to allow the firmware swap to finish. Watch out that you don't have macros at zero seconds in your playlists.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3839
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009

 - posted 11-30-2013 07:35 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Again, no 2D HFR. The procedure for getting HFR is the same as last year, you apply for it, you receive encrypted test footage, you give them feedback, you receive a HFR DCP.

This year they are not restricting it to only selected HFR capable locations - normal booking conditions. The only restriction I heard of in germany is that no Non-HFR previews and Double-previews are allowed. Means, if you want to see it at opening midnight, it has to be 3D and HFR.

- Carsten

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Aaron Garman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1464
From: Toledo, OH USA
Registered: Mar 2003

 - posted 11-30-2013 09:33 AM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The local Cinemark has tickets on sale already for 3D HFR. They did not offer this last year. Finally, I'll check it out.

Now if only Atmos can get closer to home.


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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12268
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 11-30-2013 10:55 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Yeah, I like how the "HFR" is in the smallest, non-bold type as compared to Real-D and IMAX 3D. And as Mike is as if the public would know what HFR means.

I wonder if they have done anything to improve the look of HFR at 48 with the year they've had to work on it or if they are just going to through it out there as-is...take it or leave it.

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Pete Naples
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1548
From: Dunfermline, Scotland
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 11-30-2013 12:30 PM      Profile for Pete Naples   Email Pete Naples   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Over here screens certified last year do not require re certification. So no checks on light level etc required [Eek!]

Screens not certified last year require certification, same routine as before.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 11-30-2013 12:55 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
HFR is dead and needs to stay dead.

It took the cinema out of movies and made everything home video. No long-term good could've come from that.

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Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 819
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 11-30-2013 01:56 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Totally agree with Brad. The Hobbit looked horrible in HFR. The trailers for the sequel also look horrible. But the other day, I attended an AES meeting at the Dolby Screening Room in NYC and they showed a clip from the Hobbit in 2D in Dolby Atmos and it looked fine.

The problem is that in order to hear the sequel in Dolby Atmos, you're probably forced to see it in 3D because generally only those screens are so equipped.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2131
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 11-30-2013 03:54 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I disagree about HFR being dead. It may not be ready for prime time, but I don't think we should be locked into the mentality that a movie in a theatre should look a certain way. I really think HFR has the potential to make action movies much more watchable and enjoyable.

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