Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are You Experienced? BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK Premiere's October 14th

Yes, I say "experienced" because Ang Lee's BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK will be something you've never seen before and sets the stage for "the new platinum standard" of modern stereoscopic 3D. This is a game changer and a world's first.

It's not just 3D anymore guys. It's 4K 3D shot at 120 frames per second! From everything I've heard, this is THE way to experience the format. I've seen 3D shot/shown at 48 and 60 frames per second created by James Cameron, but never 120. Apparently, all aspects of the alleged "soap opera" effect disappear at 120 - something I have yet to see.

But the real trick is going to be for the masses to see it in 4K3D @ 120. Most cinemas can go to a maximum of 60 fps, not 120. There will have to be major capital investment by theater owners (new projectors!) in the future to be able to screen movies like BILLY LYNN in the premium format, and I certainly appeal to them to do so earlier rather than later, but it's a foregone conclusion that it won't be anytime soon.

If you will be in New York after the premiere, apparently the theater that is being used for the New York Film Festival premiere of the movie (AMC  Lincoln Square) will keep the dual laser projectors in place for the theatrical run. So there's that.

From FSLC (Film Society Lincoln Center): Lee’s stunning adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel is the story of an Iraq war hero (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour. This culminates in a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game—a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight. Lee’s brave, heartbreaking film goes right to the heart of a great division that haunts this country: between the ideal image of things as they should be and the ongoing reality of things as they are. With a brilliant supporting cast, including Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.

I know most of the 3D team behind this movie personally and trust me - these guys are at the top of the game, starting with the Stereographer / Stereo Supervisor, Demetri Portelli and Production Systems Supervisor (2D, 3D, All Digital Workflow), Ben Gervais along with 3D Systems Technicians, Brian Cassar and Sandra Lombardi. The team also set up a 3D digital lab and entire DI lab in Ang's office which housed Nathan Shields (Toronto), Daniel George (Toronto), Michael Buck (LA) and Derek Schweickart (LA) who also did LIFE OF PI with Ang.

Production Systems Supervisor Ben Gervais was quoted (Variety) talking about the audiences thus far: "Test subjects that have seen some footage have commented that 40 minutes after seeing battle footage, they're still shaking." Really underscores their accomplishment!

Stereographer Demetri Portelli used Stereotec lightweight rigs with F65 cameras and of course Master Prime lenses (same as he did on LIFE OF PI, 47 RONIN, TS SPIVET). He and Gervais manufactured their own mirrors specifically for this project and they modified the fiber cable on set workflow, to suit the needs of production. They used Panavision Woodland Hills for prep and accessories. The key element was building a complete 4K stereo DI in Ang's office watching 120 FPS which was only made possible by Baselight (a Filmlight color grading system which they also used on HUGO).

Says Portelli: "It is also the first film graded at 120/4K/3D on Christie projectors with the digital master being projected at 28 foot lamberts! As (audiences) will see during the 12 minutes at IBC, and then the whole experience at New York Film Festival - our huge thanks to Christie projectors for their support in getting these images on the screen."

I've talked to Ang Lee as well specifically about 3D and future plans - as usual he's humble, yet obviously an extremely gifted filmmaker. Lee will also receive the IBC International Honor For Excellence (International Broadcasting Convention) next month in Amsterdam.

We are in good hands here. I can't wait to be wowed. My anticipation is through the roof for this movie and I've got to find some way of seeing it in 4K3D @ 120 fps.

NYC road trip anyone? :-)

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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