Peter Jackson is taking what he hopes is a huge leap into the future this weekend, releasing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 48 frames per second-- a high-frame-rate format that essentially gives you twice as much information about the world of Middle Earth. Some say the format gives astonishing clarity and makes the effects look amazing; others say it makes the sets look cheap and the whole thing feel like a BBC series. Reactions are definitely mixed, and we will probably have to see a few more movies in the format before we know for sure if 48 fps is sticking around.
We've already told you our own feelings on whether you should see The Hobbit in 48 fps, but it's probably time to let Jackson speak for himself on the matter. At the press conference last week for The Hobbit Jackson talked at length about how he decided to shoot all three films in the Hobbit trilogy in 48 fps-- but before anything, he has heard your complaints about 48 fps, and thinks maybe the people who don't like it are just too old:
That effect on 3D is something Jackson first saw when he was working on, of all things, a video for the King Kong ride at Universal Studios-- it was in 60 frames per second, but it had essentially the same high frame rate appeal. At the time no one was making projectors that could actually project at 48 frames, but one of Jackson's colleagues went to a conference, met enough manufacturers of projectors who were willing to make the change, and suggested the time was right:
For Jackson, the reason to shoot the movie at such a high frame rate is the same reason they use it for videos shown as part of theme parks-- it makes everything feel more real, and very close to you. You don't get the blur effects that happen when the camera pans quickly or a character moves too fast, and crucially, you don't get the headache that often happens in 3D films where your eyes simply can't follow all the different planes of action fast enough. Having seen The Hobbit in 48 fps and in 3D I can totally back Jackson up on that, but allow him to explain in his own, very technical terms as well:
Clearly Jackson knows his new technology is going to take some time to endear itself to moviegoers, and he doesn't blame you if you're not initially as invested in it as he is. After all, he's spent years of watching dailies and editing the film-- he's more used to the format that anybody else in the world. But like his friend James Cameron, Jackson also seems to be something of a futurist. He's just waiting for everybody else to catch up:
You can see Jackson's version of change, but also the familiar world of Middle Earth, in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this weekend.
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Staff Writer at CinemaBlend