Do you think this is the future of filmmaking? Do you think audiences will eventually adapt to this?
Lee: I think so. But I don't know! We'll have to see how this one goes. We're less than a week from release, I'm anxious. You were in the New York show, right? In the Dolby theater?
Lee: Seems like people are pretty positive about it. I was quite delighted. Sometimes critics, seeing it, they don't want that to be the future, clearly. And then last night I had it shown not only in 120 but in 4K, special projection in a Chinese theater, with a thousand in the audience. There were oohs and aahs, people gasping about how beautiful things looked, people were saying that they wish that that was how movies were showing everywhere. What you saw was 2K. That was in 4K, that's even more exquisite. To me, it's pretty logical. But my eyes are different from other people's eyes. I've been getting on with this for years. I hope that more people will get used to it. Digital seems more like life, and in life there is no strobe. It takes about 100 frames per second to get rid of strobe.
You've been immersed in this for so long, and the rest of us only get to see it for two hours at a time. Was it ever difficult to showcase the technology without making this movie all about the frame rate? Was it difficult to balance making a movie, telling a story, but also trying to show off this really cool technology?
Lee: I will say it's very hard in the beginning, because it consumes most of your energy. Your energy and focus go through to the technology just so you can see it. To see it is a big thing. And then I think you should be able to play it, because it's a commercial movie. It's not just a school exercise. You're taking a lot of people's money [laughs]. You want to attract a lot of people to see it, and when the audience is large they think in certain ways. What they have established, you have to play along with that, which is not new, while you're trying to do something new. So, those things trouble you, day in and day out, you cannot help but get sucked into the technology. You want to do art, but when your tool is so difficult, it takes a lot of energy. I still want to feel optimistic. You can overcome that, you can make it easier. And then you get to be playful again. I think the audience needs a little adjustment and time to be playful, too. So, getting it out there, to have people seeing it, discussing it, giving feedback back and forth, that's very important. We're still early in the stage, so I hope we have a great future there. Not the future, but one of the great possibilities. I'd like to think so.
What are you hoping to do next? Are you even thinking about that yet?
Lee: [Laughs] I'm thinking. There's ups and downs. When I talk to you, I start thinking. When I read a bad review I want to just run away. I think after another month this thing will settle, and I'll probably need a break, and I'll think. But there are things happening in my head. There are people getting excited, there are things people want to try, there are things I want to try. There are things.