John Helliker, director of Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre, (SIRT) will join Avatar producer Jon Landau and a panel of international award-winning cinema leaders for a discussion on the future of high frame rate (HFR) cinema at the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in Los Angeles on August 8th, 2012.
The session, titled “High Frame Rate Cinema, Impacts on Art and Technology," will explore many of the creative opportunities and technical challenges that lay ahead for HFR technology, as filmmakers around the world begin to experiment with frame rates of 48 and even 60 frames per second (above the standard 24). Helliker will discuss the potential impact of HFR from an applied research perspective. He joins a high-profile panel of leading thinkers in visual effects, animation and postproduction including Landau, Dennis Muren (Star Wars, Jurassic Park); Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), Dr. Lincon Wallen, head of R&D at Dreamworks Animation, as well as Matthew Cowan of RealD and Luke Moore of Side Effects software. Cowan and Moore are also from Ontario and Side Effects Software is a Sheridan research partner. The session will be moderated by Dr. Paul Salvini, Chief Technology Officer of Christie, which develops HFR projection technology.
“It’s an immense honour to speak alongside these visionaries and represent Sheridan and Ontario,” said Helliker. “The movement to high frame rate filmmaking is a very exciting opportunity for innovation and I am proud that Ontario is playing a part in the development of HFR technology, best practices and expertise.”
As the founder and director of Sheridan’s SIRT Centre, John Helliker has led Sheridan’s role in recent years as a key academic research partner for digital media companies in Ontario. In April 2012, SIRT announced a partnership with Christie Digital dedicated to advancing high frame rate research and production capacity in Ontario. In 2011, Christie signed a five-year agreement with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment to exchange research, testing, development and technical support on HFR technology.
High frame rate display and projection has the potential to create a crisper, smoother viewing experience for the audience and could be the next major shift in filmmaking, with directors like Cameron and Peter Jackson already experimenting with higher frame rates. Cameron, widely considered a leader in HFR research, has expressed interest in working at frame rates as high as 60fps for his upcoming Avatar sequels. The first film to be shot and displayed at 48fps is Jackson’sThe Hobbit, in theatres this December.