Let Me Know When You See Fire: What a Video Shot at 1000 FPS Looks Like in 4K

Whether we may think it’s excessive or not, 4K is slowly starting to become the next standard in video. It makes me think of a criticism I once heard against digital filmmaking: that it becomes too real for the viewer to suspend disbelief. Growing up, many of us have been used to movies being shot on 24 FPS film; in a way, it allows us to “escape” the real world and watch a story set in a fantasy world. The blurs, light leaks, and contrast burns – every imperfection from that film – separates the world of the movie from the reality of the world in which we reside.

Fast-forward to today’s time, and you have the Hobbit films being released in 48 FPS across theaters worldwide. When Peter Jackson filmed the trilogy, he described watching the final result as looking through a window. The problem is that many people don’t want to view movies in a world that real.

When you’ve got 1080p and 4K making videos look as detailed as real life, you’ve got to be careful; that film can end up looking so real, the audience feels like it’s in the middle of the set itself and not a fictional backdrop.

Here’s a video that I think shows the potential of a well-shot 4K film. Helmed by director Brendan Bellomo and cinematographer Greg Wilson, “Let me know when you see Fire” is the first test footage shot on the new Phantom Flex4K Digital Cinema Camera. While the entire clip itself looks like it may have been shot on location with a real fire department operation, it wasn’t. The fire is staged, the firemen are acting, and the footage looks hyperrealistic. But at the same time, care is put into making sure that the 4K doesn’t give away detail to the point where we have to suspend our disbelief.

Granted, if you’re filming at 1000 frames per second – as this footage was shot – the only sensible reason for that would have to be slow-motion. The same technology was used for filming slowed-down scenes in Inception. But at the end of it all, this clip serves as a great example of how any film shot in such a high resolution should be approached: with a balance between fantasy and reality.

  • https://www.facebook.com/tfizzle Tony T-Fiz Carter

    TRULY amazing video work and subject!

  • https://www.facebook.com/john.m.deir John Deir

    And these newer cameras have multiple SSD drives as they have to be so fast to write the data. And all the footage captured is pushing storage drives into the penta-bite area.

  • http://twitter.com/paulpetch Paul Petch

    they broke the vase. Tut tut

  • echomrg

    “When Peter Jackson filmed the trilogy, he described watching the final
    result as looking through a window. The problem is that many people
    don’t want to view movies in a world that real.”

    or, more honestly, people don’t want to view boring movies that stretch a 300page story through 9 hours of too fake to believe GC effects.

    • joe_average

      did you actually see it in HD, 3D, HFR?

      • echomrg

        3D and HD yes, HFR i don’t think.

        i still think the movie is boring as hell, the stuff Jackson added basically useless and some of the characters stupid (i mean, Radagast… really?)
        and, more to the point, the GC effects are much less believable that those
        in the LOTR trilogy: they’re excessive, too clean looking and they seem to be there just for the sake of it and not because they help build a story.

        e.g. Radagast’s rabbit sledge, what use is it other than showing that’s a 3D movie? i believe we should be well past those scenes in anything but Z-series movies…

        • joe_average

          if you didn’t see hfr, you’re missing the point of the hobbit comment. story and script aside: the hobbit is the first to usher in high frame rate to the mainstream, just as avatar brought us 3d. IMO, these add to the realism and submersion of movies (regardless of your opinion on cg quality). yes, I’m one of the few who can see and appreciate the difference; so I gladly pay the premium to see choice movies. just be glad that we have so many options!!! let the directors have options, and you choose with your dollars. big screen, hd, 3d, hfr? YES, PLEASE! (because my little tv at home does not compare)

  • https://www.facebook.com/filluptailor Phil Taylor

    This was shot on the Phantom Flex4K. visionresearch.com
    Recorded to 64GB RAM, then stored on 2TB proprietary hot swappable flash. Downloaded via 10Gb Ethernet.
    4096×2160@1000FPS.

    • joe_average

      thanks, as if I didn’t have expensive enough tech to dream about
      :0…. drool

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ Razor512

    Can we get a rawtalk episode shot in 4K at 1000FPS?