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‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Tech Supervisor on the Challenges of Pioneering the Wild West of HFR

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk may have been a divisive film artistically speaking, but there’s no denying it was the most technologically advanced film of the year, shot in an unprecedented 120fps and in 4K 3D.

Tech supervisor Ben Gervais speaks to Definition Magazine about the challenges of pioneering the format. “The problem with shooting at 120, with Sony F65s, is that they don’t start on the same frame when you push record, they don’t stop on the same frame when you push stop; they don’t have the same timecode and it’s usually about three frames off but sometimes it’s more, sometimes less,” he explains. “There’s no reliable way to know and it’s running 24-frame code but at five times the speed, so it’s the ‘Wild West’ really. I had to have my lab technicians record the matching first frame in 3D and then build a database of every single take of every shot. Editorial wanted to run at high frame rate because we wanted to get as close to what Ang was trying to do as possible when we were in the editorial process. The fastest that the AVID will go is 60! So we delivered every shot as if it was a VFX temp so they all start at Zero frames.”

Read the full story here.