The BBC Has Filmed a 600fps 4K Fight Over a Sandwich

By Gerald Lynch on at

If you weren't a fan of Peter Jackson's 48fps work on The Hobbit, you may want to stop reading -- the BBC is working on filming at 600 frames per second in 4K Ultra HD. And its first subject? A row over a sandwich:

Shot using a loaned experimental For.A FT-One camera worth £58,000, the BBC filmmakers could only shoot the scene in 14-second increments as the resultant footage produced such incredibly large files. A purpose-built portable data storage system had to be used, offloading the data from the camera as the stunt men fought.

“It is incredibly rare for anyone to to attempt to film entire sequences at high frame rates, with the intention of playing those sequences back at full-speed," shared BBC technologist Alia Sheikh on the BBC dev blog.

"As the video shows, every aspect of the production is affected - from the huge amount of data we have to be able to handle, the amount of light we have to throw onto the scene and even how the crew interact with each other."

However, with no video editing software currently able to cope with such high-resolution, high-frame-rate footage, the video still had to be slowed down to 200fps before it was usable. As for 4K BBC broadcasts, they remain a pipe dream -- as long as set-top box manufacturers settle for a 1080p standard, and broadband speeds fluctuate too greatly to justify a 4K iPlayer, such projects remain for research purposes only. [BBC]