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'2001' & 'Blade Runner' VFX Legend Douglas Trumbull To Direct 3D Feature Using Higher Frame Rates

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 11, 2011 at 2:34AM

While Douglas Trumbull will go down in the history books as the visual effects legend who worked on such films as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Blade Runner" and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" (and yes, Terrence Malick's upcoming "The Tree Of Life") he's also directed a handful of feature films, perhaps most infamously of all, 1983's "Brainstorm" which become known as the last film Natalie Wood was making before she died. Now, nearly three decades later, Trumbull is ready to mount another feature and he's going to throwing as much new technology at it as possible.
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While Douglas Trumbull will go down in the history books as the visual effects legend who worked on such films as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Blade Runner" and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" (and yes, Terrence Malick's upcoming "The Tree Of Life") he's also directed a handful of feature films, perhaps most infamously of all, 1983's "Brainstorm" which become known as the last film Natalie Wood was making before she died. Now, nearly three decades later, Trumbull is ready to mount another feature and he's going to throwing as much new technology at it as possible.

During the Digital Cinema Summit at the NAB Show over the weekend, Trumbull announced his new movie will not only be in 3D, it will be shot at higher frame rates of 48 or 60 fps instead of the current 24. The idea is to give an even greater sense of realism to the images on screen and it's been said it makes motion heavy sequences appear even more lifelike on the big screen.

If this all sounds familiar that's because it's the new trumpet James Cameron has been recently blowing, announcing his "Avatar" sequels will be going down the same path. "Higher frame rates create a sense of realism," Trumbull said. "We are now at a time when we can have any film texture we want. But it's not an either/or situation."

Of course, it says something of the nature of moviemaking these days that there are no details on what the screenplay -- which is not yet complete -- involves, Trumbull will utilize his patent pending process that he's developed ShowScan Digital to shoot the film. He's already shot a test video for musician Dana Fuchs that is in post-production. But 3D seems to be the wave of the future like it or not, and at least filmmakers are trying to find a way to utilize is new ways. Describing Martin Scorsese's forthcoming "Hugo Cabret," VFX supervisor Rob Legato said the director is "altering the use of 3D so that instead of a being an obvious, in-your-face visual effect, the viewer is experiencing a sensation of depth. Sometimes that sensation replaces dialogue. You don't necessarily need to describe a scene in words if you can feel it, and if you can feel it, it's usually a more powerful moment than anything else."

And as much as we truly hate wearing those glasses, we can't help but be a little excited when we read descriptions like that. No word yet on when Trumbull will get his movie rolling, but "Hugo Cabret" hits on November 23rd. [THR]

This article is related to: Films, Douglas Trumbull, Hugo Cabret


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