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What are your professional opinions on 48 FPS vs 60FPS vs other High Frame Rates?


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I'm working on a project that's intended to play on a very large (somewhere near 100 ft x 25 ft) curved cylindrical screen. Because of the size, the consensus is that 24FPS will look too juddery on such a big, immersive screen. Some of the team is keen on shooting and delivering in 60FPS. However, I'm worried about the consistent thing where audiences hate high frame rates because of the perceived 'soap opera' effect. I am currently suggesting 48FPS. Basically, I liked how Avatar: The Way of Water employed both 24FPS and 48FPS throughout the film. (And it helped with me a LOT with 3D motion sickness that I usually get.) Audiences don't seem to even notice as far as I can tell. My thinking is, maybe Avatar is setting the stage for more 48FPS content?

Are any of your currently delivering in higher frame rates like 48, 60FPS? Or do you have a personal opinion on how it looks? Did you notice it in Avatar?

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It's a difficult one. While there is no doubt that 48 or 60 fps will deliver smoother motion it will also appear more "video" like (not that that's necessarily a bad thing). For decades feature films and IMAX films shot at 24p have been shown on huge screens and judder hasn't typically been an issue and many consider it part of the "movie experience" as some people have a different emotional reaction to the lower frame rates. 48fps in the Hobbit movies did not get a good reception, Avatar seems to be more of a mixed bag with some people loving it and others not. 


Personally, for narrative I like 24fps, there is something about it that separates it from the real world, I also like reading books and allowing my imagination to fill in the gaps. For "experience" films I think higher frame rates are better. What is interesting is that there is a lot of discussion at the moment about shooting narrative at 30p. It has significantly less judder and stutter than 24p but isn't as smooth as 48 or 60p. There is some reluctance to 30p simply because many confuse this with 30fps interlace, which has motion closer to 60p. But a lot of people are wondering if 30p may be a serious option for digital movie making as it offers a nice middle ground and fits well with computer displays.


If it were me and with the technologies available right now, I would be thinking about 30p or 60p for large screen presentation, in part because computer servers etc tend to output at 60Hz and 24fps or 48fps will stutter more than it should on a 60Hz system. But at the same time 24p on a big screen doesn't scare me.

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