This week, Scott joins Leo to talk about how Warner Brothers and Apple have upgraded the Lord of the Rings trilogy to 4K HDR and high frame rate. And the thing is, it looks too real. You can see too much detail and that means you can tell the prosthetics from the real thing. And it's really noticeable. Leo says it'll take time, but filmmakers will have to adjust how they make a movie to return the dreamy look that makes cinema so great.
Leo finally got to see Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee. Shown at 120 fps, Leo says it was almost like a stage play. But the problem with it is that because it was shot at such a high frame rate, the actors looked wooden, and because they used very little makeup, you see them how they really look. It's disconcerting, and Leo doesn't think it worked. Scott, though, disagrees and thinks it's an experiment that pushes the boundaries of what we are used to in cinema. Scott says we also have 100 years of watching movies at 24 fps.
Scott says that the consumer industry has decided not to go all in on OLED, rather they will continue to focus on LCD TVs. LCDs are getting better, even approaching OLED. Sony's Z series is one such series. Scott says that the backlight in the Z series has independent LED backlights that get dimmed separately for precision control. Scott says that they are the brightest on the market and the HDR footage he's seen is remarkable, with incredible detail at extreme ends of the dynamic range. But they aren't cheap. They're around $8,000 to 10,000 for up to 65".
Scott got to see The Martian in high dynamic range at a theater in Los Angeles. But the interesting part is that AMC decided not to show the film in 3D HFR. So if you want to see it in 3D, you'll have to see it in regular theaters. Scott believes that it has to do with sterilizing Dolby 3D glasses, and also because AMC has a contract with RealD for 3D presentation. So you won't be able to see it in 3D HFR, unfortunately. But even then, it's definitely worth seeing.
Scott is going to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and he says that there are more theaters showing it in high frame rate this year than the two previous films. But only in 3D, and not all are in Dolby Atmos. If you go to the Hobbit Website, you can see a list of where the film is showing and in what format (there's about eight different versions). Leo wonders what would be best ... seeing The Hobbit in Atmos or in IMAX. Scott says while he loves Atmos, he'd prefer to see it in HFR because the technology shakes up the industry even more.
Scott can finally talk about "The Hobbit: The Desoluation of Smaug." It's crazy because there are over 200 different versions with different languages, high frame rate, 3D, IMAX, Dolby Atmos, and more. There's always the option to watch it in 2D, too. Scott saw it in HFR 3D. Even then, you still have the choice between Real D, IMAX3D, and Dolby3D. Scott says that high frame rate is the way to see it. HFR looks really sharp, less like film, and more like video. A lot of people object to it, saying it looking too real takes you out of the movie.
Scott joins us again to talk more about The Hobbit in HFR. Scott saw it in AMC ETX with Dolby Atmos and found it to be very compelling.
David worked on the The Hobbit by supplying aerial camera equipment for the helicopter film scenes. He saw the movie in 48p and he found it odd looking. Leo says he's a Peter Jackson fan and loves Lord of the Rings, and he's interested in seeing it for himself. But there are those who say that The Hobbit is not the ideal example because of how it was made in HFR. Leo has a hunch when 48p is the norm, we'll look back and wonder what the big deal was about.