Finally saw it after previous plans to see it were delayed by COVID-19 cases and some dental issues Avatar: Path of Water The experience on the big screen was fun.Cool ocean imagery, stunning colors, and crisp cinematography all seemed incredible on a canvas as big as my imagination. I really felt the hype about what kind of visual it was road of water Except for one glaring issue that’s immediately recognizable. As the film begins, the 20th Century Studios logo was moving at breakneck speed. Surprisingly so.
“Oh no,” I muttered from my seat. This wasn’t just premium 3D viewing. road of waterThose swift logos indicated that I had stumbled upon a screening James Cameron‘s latest directorial work is projected at 48 frames per second. All the beauty on screen was often subdued in its impact by this choice of projection.
What is High Frame Rate Projection?
Of course, many people reading this may not know what high frame rate or 48 frames per second projection is. Movies are usually projected and displayed at 24 frames per second. According to Masterclass, very early films alternated with other forms of projection (such as 16 frames per second), but 24 frames per second was ultimately chosen. This is because it is the “lowest frame rate necessary to make motion look natural to the human eye”. His decision to shoot and project features at 24 fps seems to have coincided with the introduction of sound cinema, and by the end of the 1920s his two default elements of filmmaking had been established.
24 fps has been the standard for filming and showing movies for nearly a century, but the format has seen many variations over the years. With the first forays into filming with digital cameras and camcorders, a handful of films, such as the 1994 documentary, were shot at higher frame rates. hoops dream, however, most of these projects were projected at 24 fps in typical theatrical screenings. year 2012, peter jackson Throw away the gauntlet by shooting and releasing hobbit unexpected adventure In a format of 48 frames per second, its two sequels were also captured this way. Today, some of the greatest fantasy movies of all time are challenging the 24fps standard.
While this seemed like Jackson’s status as a pioneer in visual effects could be a big step towards legitimacy of 48 fps, it’s not surprising how many tests this newfound technology has. It was a massive move in several respects, including how it was made.In Jackson’s own words, the advantage of pursuing this format was that he saw it as a way to enhance the realism of the images on the screen. That’s what it means.This and other sentiments in favor of high frame rates, such as 3D photos looking sharper, have echoed other filmmakers who have dabbled in formats such as Ann Lee and James Cameron. We pay tribute to these cinematic legends, but in their current form, high frame rates are a disaster for narrative functionality.
High Framerate Issues in Avatar: Path of Water
when you look Avatar In the movies, we want to immerse ourselves in all the details of Pandora. Your eyes snap to the coolness of the water or to the creatures lurking in the trees in the background. Unfortunately, high frame rates often make that impossible. A supposedly soaring scene featuring Jake and Neytiri soaring in a banshee looks strangely rushed when filtered with a 48fps shooting style. A tense battle between digital characters that should serve as a compelling battle between good and evil is only documented as moving at an awkwardly fast pace. The world of Pandora should be an immersive realm in terms of how it is presented to people. Shooting at high frame rate, road of water Instead, it creates a barrier between the viewer and what’s on screen.
Now, you might think that after 191 minutes your eyes will be used to shooting high frame rates, just as you will not notice 3D after 10 minutes.It may be so in some circumstances, but it’s not road of waterThe majority of the film is captured in a high frame rate format, while the remainder of the film is captured at traditional 24 fps. Weirdly, this decision means switching between frame rates within the same scene. Jake and Neytiri’s intimate conversation goes from 24 fps of him one shot to 48 fps of him on the next. Transitioning between the two formats is always jarring and distracting.that’s just another example The Way of Waters High frame rates are a problem, not an enhancement.
But Avatar: Path of Water, at least it doesn’t suffer from the serious problems that plagued Ang Lee’s work captured at high frame rates. In his two films before him, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk When gemini man, Lee not only shot at 48 fps, but shot the piece at 120 frames per second (only a handful of cinemas on the planet can project at 120 fps, and most cinemas shoot these titles at 48 fps). It was showing in fps). Shooting at a higher frame rate requires more lighting.Gaffer Jared Waldron half time walk Shooting the film at 120 fps “required at least 2.5 times the amount of light normally required for photography,” he said.
as a result, half time walk When gemini man They both look awful like in the movies. The former in particular often has a barren look that makes every scene look like his Swiffer commercial or something, regardless of the intended tone. The high frame rate process doesn’t make this distracting lighting choice interesting, it just makes the character move a little faster on the screen. What’s even stranger is both movies in particular. half time walk, aiming for realism.These are not works intended to occupy an elevated visual space, where abundant lighting can turn into a positive or unique attribute intended to accentuate a distinctive visual landscape. A nightmarish landscape deliberately designed to avoid human-like reality Panos Cosmatos Also David Lynch You could have used this lighting to your advantage.
Instead, scenes of emotional intimacy half time walk It looks cold and uncomfortable. It all looks pristine and not in a way that feels intentional or influences the theme of the story. gemini man The lighting is a little more involved, but it still seems a little too clean and brightly lit for its own good, especially given the feature’s surprisingly dark tones. He says he’s been working on it and is having trouble seeing movies projected or filmed at 24 frames per second on Polygon. Unfortunately, all that dedication goes to technology that isn’t working yet. High frame rates are a nuisance in both of his recent directorial endeavors, but the lighting choices made to allow filming at 120 fps make these movies unwatchable even at 24 fps. It’s guaranteed to be a boring experience.
Imperfections make movies… well, movies
In a feature article on the home video release of Wallyfamous cinematographer Roger Deakins was interviewed during a short trip to Pixar Animation Studios to teach animators the finer details of classic camera work. Specifically, director Andrew Stanton and his team explored the use of camerawork, such as how background light turns into indistinguishable blobs when shot with a particular lens associated with the 1970s landmark film. I wanted to mimic finer flaws and intricacies. Deakins had to chuckle when talking about this. He knew that artists in countries like Germany had worked tirelessly over decades to eradicate various flaws in traditional camerawork. It was interesting to him to be asked by an animator to show him how to recreate those imperfections on a computer.
But this short film exemplifies how important the supposed “flaws” of cinematography, gaffing, and other visual features of cinema are to the medium. For example, 35mm film may not produce images as “pristine” as those captured by digital cameras, but 35mm film captures a sense of living reality and makes movies look more vivid and alive. Visual imperfections bring cinema closer to us humans. Our lives, bodies and experiences are not perfect. They are full of bumps, creases and imperfections. Countless classic movies reflect this beautifully in their camerawork. If things look slightly blurry in the frame, or if parts of the frame are covered in shadows, those details reflect the imperfections of reality.
It’s hard to believe that notable filmmakers like James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and Ang Lee are unaware of this detail, and their obsession with high frame rates is not inexplicable. All three are very experienced filmmakers who have spent much of their lives, for example, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkIn their pursuit, they encountered many obstacles that on paper could be solved by shooting at 48 frames per second or higher. In an interview with Polygon, Lee explained that he is obsessed with shooting 120 frames per second because pie life All three directors expressed hope that higher frame rates would make digital 3D look better.
Despite these admirable ambitions, high frame rates remain a decade after they were first adopted by major narrative features. hobbit unexpected adventure, is not getting better.In fact, thanks to the method road of water alternates between 24 fps and 48 fps. It’s a format that’s just finding new ways to frustrate moviegoers.As countless others have said, there is a home for high frame rate filming in the world of certain documentaries, but again, whether this technology will be properly “immersive” for many titles. I wonder if people stopped watching dick johnson is dead Also sloth Thought high framerates were desperately lacking? Come to think of it, not only were these documentaries excellent when screened at 24 fps, but both projects managed to do just that by maintaining the visual “imperfections” of the home video material they employed. It was an incredible level of emotional intimacy.
It’s always nice to see filmmakers trying new things at certain stages of their careers (remember: Steven Soderbergh Did you mean to shoot the movie only on the iPhone?) Artistic flaws shouldn’t prevent future experimentation. However, the high frame rates of current formats are not suitable for narrative films. To make matters worse, the methods necessary to enable filming at 120 fps make certain features positively terrible, even when viewed at 24 fps. Perhaps another incarnation of this projection and shooting format would work better, but the modern high frame rate incarnation is a disease that major filmmakers need to get out of their systems quickly.