While Steven Soderbergh has made a number of movies over the past few years, for whatever reason, I’d never had an opportunity to speak with him. So when I was offered a possible interview for his latest thriller, Side Effects, I sent an email saying I’d like to do it and figured it would never happen. Thankfully, I was wrong.
At the Los Angeles press day, I was given 45 minutes with Soderbergh (he only does 45-minute interviews), and we talked about a wide variety of subjects like his his post-retirement plans, Twitter, comic book movies, his preferred digital camera, whether digital can ever match IMAX quality, 48fps, the success of Magic Mike and the sequel, his work as second unit director on The Hunger Games, championing Christopher Nolan before the world knew who he was, his filmmaking process, editing while shooting, why he cut 45 minutes out of Contagion and why you’ll probably never see the footage, Kickstarter, and so much more. If you’re a Soderbergh fan, I promise you’ll dig this interview. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.
Welcome to 2013, folks. If you’re reading this it means that you survived the Mayan Apocalypse, the first Dick Clark-less New Year’s Rockin’ Eve celebration in like four decades, likely some sort of mandatory holiday time with your extended family, and incessant political jabber about some sort of “fiscal cliff”, all in a matter of about two weeks. Congratulations on a job well done. In spite of all these accomplishments, though, odds are you still haven’t spent any part of 2013 hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his tank. So, to this point, our Dave Trumbore still wins 2013.
All tank envy aside, let’s keep our heads up and focus on the first Top 5 installment of the new year. This week’s recap includes Brendan’s editorial plea for giving 48fps the old college try, Justice League rumors, Matt’s Warm Bodies set visit and ensuing zombie transformation, news of Jay-Z being brought on to score Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, and the results of our first ever readers poll that asked for your top movies of 2012. Brief recaps and links to all of the above are dying for your attention after the jump.
If you are at Collider, you probably watch a lot of movies. Based on our demographics, most of you have seen The Hobbit. A significant portion of you will see The Hobbit in 48 frames per second. Virtually all of you who do will think the higher frame rate looks strange, at least at first. And yet, Hobbit director Peter Jackson proclaims 48fps is the future of filmmaking. Critics are far from convinced, calling the new look “a gaudy high-definition tourist attraction” and “washed out and flat, yet unforgiving in its hyper-realism.”
Jackson’s push for 48fps (also known as High Frame Rate or HFR) has sparked a surprisingly heated debate over what seems like a relatively simple technological innovation. Although my first viewing of The Hobbit was a peculiar experience, I am a believer in 48fps. So after the jump, I examine the arguments for and against 48fps, the neuroscience behind the negative response, and what it will take for HFR to find widespread acceptance.
When director Peter Jackson announced that he would be filming The Hobbit in 48fps (double the frame rate of the industry standard 24fps), it sounded like a brilliant idea: crystal-clear resolution, a feeling of realism and elimination of motion blur. However, the response to some test footage projected at 48fps at CinemaCon was not as glowing as one would have expected. Steve was on hand to view the footage and described it by saying:
“The 48fps is so jarring that I’m not sure casual moviegoers will enjoy it.”
I recommend checking out Steve’s video blog in which he discusses his reaction to viewing The Hobbit footage in 48fps. Jackson spoke briefly in response to the criticism. Hit the jump to see what he has to say.
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.