'Argylle', Matthew Vaughn's new film, opens this weekend in theaters around the world. Beyond all the stars and because it is an Apple TV blockbuster, 'Argylle' has also attracted attention because it is the first film of 2024 to be broadcast on HFR in compatible theaters. More specifically, TrueCut Motion technology has been used, which James Cameron already used in 'Avatar: The Sense of Water'.
HFR films have been “poking out” for a long time, but they have not yet established themselves in the film industry. Hence we only have some “experiments”, such as 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)' or 'Gemini (2019)'. But with the arrival of the much-discussed sequel to Avatar in theaters in 2022, the HFR returned to the scene. And, on the other hand, in recent weeks it has returned to prominence again after announcing Disney+ that it will launch films with this technology on its platform, first for Apple's new Vision Pro and later also for televisions.
Maybe it's because 'Argylle' is a movie produced by Apple TV, but the point is that Pixelworks, the company behind TrueCut Motion technology, has confirmed that more Hollywood studios are joining the use of its technology, this new spy thriller starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell being the first title of 2024 to arrive in HFR format. Of course, to see 'Argylle' on HFR we will have to go to a compatible theater that has been encouraged to project the film in this format.
'Argylle' arrives in HFR thanks to the use of TrueCut Motion technology
But what is TrueCut Motion? To be completely precise we must point out that HFR and TrueCut Motion are not exactly the same. In previous HFR releases, such as the aforementioned 'The Hobbit', the entire film was filmed at 48 fps, giving that feeling of fluidity that not everyone likes. The technology TrueCutMotionhowever, allows filmmakers to adjust movie motion at any frame rate on a scene-by-scene basisthus reducing vibration and allowing more fluid movement without losing the cinematic look.
That is, TrueCut Motion High Frame Rate (HFR) gives directors the ability to alternate between 24 frames per second at higher speeds (for example 48 fps), with the idea of achieving smoother movements in certain situations without losing the cinematic aspect in the rest of the footage. We have seen it (or not, depending on where you have seen the film) in the much-discussed sequel to Avatar, but James Cameron also used it in the re-release of Titanic.
In the case of 'Argylle', it will arrive in compatible cinemas in 2D cinematic HFR at 48 fps or at the usual 24 fps in the rest of the world's cinemas. The domestic distribution of the film is handled by Apple, so we don't know which version the apple service will upload when the time comes. Although if we take into account that the Vision Pro are already on sale and that HFR films are one of their great claims, It wouldn't be surprising if the film came to Apple TV in HFR format.
For the first time in a long time, it seems that HFR is gaining momentum, albeit with a new technology that directors do seem to like. In fact, Walt Disney Studios and Pixelworks announced a multi-year agreement to release a series of titles with TrueCut Motion HFR. And it is worth remembering that under the Walt Disney Studios brand we have such important studios as Disney itself, Lucasfilm, Marvel and 20th Century Studios.
Will HFR come to streaming services for televisions? Everything seems to indicate yes. However, the part of TrueCut Motion HFR that most worries the industry is the refresh rate (which will also be variable between scenes) on televisions, since 48 fps movie must play at 48, 96, 144, or 240 Hz on TV.
Pixelworks has commented that it is in talks with the main television brands, but that there are no certified devices yet. Additionally, the UHD Blu-ray specification does not support 48Hz, making these versions exclusive to streaming. Will TrueCut Motion HFR be the future of cinema? Time will tell.
Via | FlatpanelsHD