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Face to Face: “Gemini Man” (American Cinematographer)

Making a return to HFR filmmaking, director Ang Lee jumps the uncanny valley with the first plausible computer-generated human character.

Will Smith and his doppelganger in director Ang Lee’s ‘Gemini Man.’ 2019 © Paramount Pictures.

“Directed by Ang Lee and featuring cinematography by Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS, Gemini Man tells the story of Henry, an elite assassin played by Will Smith, who is stalked by another assassin, Junior, who turns out to be a younger, cloned version of himself. The noir thriller is rife with action and adventure, but it also evokes the emotional, thought-provoking confrontation of an older man with his younger self.

The storyline provides a vehicle for two groundbreaking cinema technologies. Created in collaboration with Weta Digital, Junior is a landmark computer-generated character who is onscreen for almost half the movie. In addition, the feature’s unique format of 120 fps in 3D at 4K was realized with custom tools and workflows. Lee first pioneered this high-frame-rate camera technology on his preceding film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, with cinematographer John Toll, ASC.” — Source: American Cinematographer.

Director of Photography Dion Beebe with Will Smith on the set of director Ang Lee’s ‘Gemini Man.’ Photo Credit: Ben Rosenstein.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

While previous HFR experiments like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk did poorly with critics and at the box office, Gemini Man director Ang Lee is pushing high-frame-rate technology and jumping the uncanny valley with cinema’s first plausible digital human. With advances in digital cinema such as Dolby’s double laser projection, audiences are finally gaining opportunities to watch HFR films as they were intended to be seen, and directors like James Cameron, who has said that his Avatar sequels will employ HFR, are also jumping into the game.

Head over to American Cinematographer to read the full interview with Gemini Man DP Dion Beebe.

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