Try this: launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and create a new, test library. Import some photos and check to see if the same problem persists. If it does then consider the following:
How much free space do you have on your boot drive? With that many photos in a slideshow the resuilting QT movie file will be rather large. Also the time required for conversion will not be trivial so turn of all Energy saving in the System/Energy Saver preference pane, as well as the Screen Saver. Do not let the computer or hard drive go to sleep.
The the problem does not occur with a new library then your current library is the culprit. In that case make a temporary, backup copy of your library if you don't already have one (Control-click on the library and select Duplicate from the contextual menu) and apply the two fixes below in order as needed:
Launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys held down and rebuild the library.
Since only one option can be run at a time start with Option #1, followed by #3 and then #4 as needed.
Using iPhoto Library Manager to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library
1 - download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.
2 - click on the Add Library button, navigate to your Home/Pictures folder and select your iPhoto Library folder.
3 - Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the File ➙ Rebuild Library menu option.
4 - In the next window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.
5 - Click on the Create button.
Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments. However, books, calendars, cards and slideshows will be lost. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.