Two Thumbs Up: Ang Lee’s Latest Film Shot at Ultra-High 120 Frames Per Second

by Gary Rainville

Ang Lee’s latest movie, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, pushes filmmaking beyond anything moviegoers have ever seen.

Blending 3D, 4K and ultra-high frame rates of 120 frames per second, Billy Lynn marks the two-time Academy Award-winning director as one of the boldest filmmakers in cinema today.

Opening U.S. Veterans Day weekend, beginning Nov. 11, Lee’s latest project is an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about Iraq War heroes whisked back stateside for a victory tour. Like Lee’s Life of Pi, Billy Lynn relied on NVIDIA GPUs throughout most stages of production to maximize throughput and accelerate this first-of-its-kind technical workflow.

While critics praised Life of Pi for its 3D cinematic achievement. Lee’s latest film goes much farther — beyond, even, the capacity of most of the world’s movie theaters.

Ang Lee's Billy Lynn

The industry-standard frame rate for shooting feature films is 24 fps. Billy Lynn, shot at 120 fps stereo, generated 10x the amount of data as that of a traditional feature film. The film was captured in stereo on two Sony F65 cameras by John Toll (Braveheart, The Thin Red Line), who served as director of photography. NVIDIA GPUs powered on-set dailies, visual effects, color grading, compositing and final finishing workflows.

The commercial run of the film will play in a variety of 2D and 3D formats. But to see the film the way Lee intended, you’ll need to seek out a theater with a Christie TruLife projection system. It’s the only system in the world that can show such a high frame rate and resolution in 3D. That’s thanks to its proprietary, 1.2 gigapixel-per-second floating point architecture.

To learn more, read our case study.

Ang Lee's Billy Lynn