SILENT RUNNING Director Douglas Trumbull to Helm New 3D, High Frame Rate Feature

     April 11, 2011

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Director Douglas Trumbull, whose past credits include Silent Running and doing the effects work for 2001: A Space Odyssey, is planning to direct a new film that will be in 3D and utilize higher frame rates.  As James Cameron recently explained at CinemaCon, films that shoot in 48 or 60 frames per second can provide a greater clarity and picture than movies that shoot at the traditional 24fps.  Trumbull planned to shoot his last feature film, 1983’s Brainstorm, at 60fps but eventually it was shot at 24fps.  THR reports that there are no plot details regarding Trumbull’s new film, but he is currently at work on the screenplay and he has formed a new production company, Magnetar Productions.

Hit the jump for my thoughts on higher frame rates and a quote from Trumbull on why he wants to shoot at a higher frame rate for his new film.

Here’s what Trumbull had to say about using higher frame rates:

“Higher frame rates create a sense of realism,” Trumbull said, suggesting that these frame rates should be another tool in the filmmakers’ toolbox. “We are now at a time when we can have any film texture we want. But it’s not an either/or situation.”

I like the idea of filmmakers shooting at an improved frame rate that allows them to provide better detail and clarity.  However, I’m still not keen on 3D and that comes from A) I haven’t seen a film yet that really made a compelling case as to why it’s better than 2D and not just a gimmick; and B) as long as the bulbs on 3D projectors remain expensive, the picture will look dim.  Even if the cost of bulbs decreases, there’s no incentive for theater owners to project 3D at the proper setting since it’s in their financial interest to make the bulbs last as long as possible.

Unfortunately, while I’m excited to see what 48 and 60fps features can provide, it looks like they’ll always be saddled to 3D.

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