Peter Jackson's 48fps Presentation Of 'The Hobbit' At CinemaCon Gets A Mixed Response

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by Kevin Jagernauth
April 24, 2012 4:58 PM
63 Comments
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While the fact that Peter Jackson was shooting the upcoming "The Hobbit" films in 3D at 48 frames-per-second rate instead of the standard 24 frames-per-second has been around since proudction started, it gained a bit more steam last week. There were concerns about how prepared (or not) theaters would be for the blockbuster film come December, to show it in the format that Jackson intends it be viewed. The short version is that exhibitors/theater owners will need to upgrade the software on their 3D projectors to handle 48fps, and it's not cheap (about $10,000). However, the selling point is that 48 fps offers a crisp viewing experience, free of any motion artifiacts, juttering or any other anomalies sometimes present in 24 fps screenings. Win/win right? Unfortunately for Jackson, it's not quite a slam dunk. Presenting 10 minutes of footage today in the fancy new format at CinemaCon, the screening left many unimpressed.

On the more negative end of the spectrum was Devin Faraci who took to Twitter to say "Oh no. Not a fan of 48fps. Oh no no no," adding that "THE HOBBIT, frankly, did not look cinematic." Over on his Badass Digest blog he elaborated his thoughts, and essentially, the crisper looking image had the odd effect of making everything seem almost too realistic. "The 48fps footage I saw looked terrible. It looked completely non-cinematic. The sets looked like sets," he explained.

But response from the rest of the crowd, even if negative, was toned with a bit of caution as well. Josh Dickey at Variety had a myriad of thoughts tweeting, "Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change. 48 fps has an immediacy that is almost jarring. And lighting it just right will be a learning process, as 3D was and still is. 48 fps also, unfortunately, looks a bit like television. But it does bring 3D to a different level."

Peter Sciretta at /Film also had mixed feelings saying, "Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I'm now very unsure about higher framerates. 48fps feature films will likely divide moviegoers -- I expect to see stronger hate, more so than 3D."

Meanwhile, the usually very picky Jeff Wells was impressed, but also echoed some of Devin Faraci's concerns. "I felt astonished & amazed...the term is WOWED...and yet a bit uncertain about the 48 fps 3D footage from Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit.' In a word, 48 fps 3D looks like high-def video.  It doesn't look 'cinematic', lacking that filtered or gauzy look we're all accustomed to," he tweeted. But it was Alex Billington at First Showing who proabably hit the nail on the head of what unfolded this afternoon: "There are going to be endless debates about 48FPS and how good/bad it looks. I just think we need to get used to change after 80yr of 24FPS."

It's too early to determine the success or failure of this new "format" (for lack of a better term), but calling it a "mistake" (as some people are) based on 10 minutes of footage is premature at best. In fact, much of the reaction today is reminiscent of the same concerns that James Cameron's "Avatar" was met with in the months leading up to its release, that 3D wouldn't be the game changer that Fox was hoping for, and audiences wouldn't be impressed enough to make it a hit. And then it went on to make over 2 billion dollars. But at the current moment, while everyone at CinemaCon is talking about 48fps, to the average regular moviegoer out in the real world? They have no idea what that means.

Just search "48fps" on Twitter and you'll see numerous people who don't know what it is or that "The Hobbit" was even shooting in that format. The problems that 48 fps purports to solve are arguably not even noticed by the average viewer. Terms like "artificating" and "juttering" are terms still best known among hardcore tech heads, not moviegoers, and frankly, that's because when most people watch movies, they aren't seeing those "problems." The only criteria for the average person buying a movie ticket is that the film is good, and that the presentation doesn't take them out of the movie. Will 48 fps be too real? Too digital? Too crisp? And more worryingly, uncinematic? Time will tell.

All told, the sky isn't falling. Yes, footage of "The Hobbit" was shown and people were concerned. But it was a brief bunch of footage that, it could be said, wasn't long enough to allow the viewer to truly settle in and get used to it. Our guess? More footage of the "The Hobbit" will be shown at Comic-Con and many of the people at CinemaCon today, now prepared for how it looks and feels, will start to turn their opinion around. As for the rest of us, we'll see if 48 fps makes a difference or not when "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens on December 14th.

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63 Comments

  • Chuck | December 26, 2013 12:15 PMReply

    I just saw the Hobbitt a week ago and complained to my wife that it didn't "look" real. I couldn't explain the feeling. Just that everything looked fake, made up with CGI. Lord of the Ring looked more natural and better. Then I come across this article and it finally explains what I was seeing. 48 fps doesn't look good. And the new tv's that are 120 Hz or better have the same problem. I go to friends homes and their tv isn't watchable to me. Looks like video.

  • Mike | November 23, 2012 11:01 AMReply

    Just as bad as the upscaled 120Hz TV's years ago. Too realistic, takes away from the film experience. The 4th wall has just been smashed, and its not pretty.

  • Michael McMullen | May 17, 2012 11:55 PMReply

    I'm waiting to see what kind of response the general audience will give it, too. I'm not convinced, yet, that it's the major revolution Jackson/Cameron are hoping it will be, but I'm curious enough to give it a shot.

  • Tom Larkin | April 30, 2012 11:20 PMReply

    I tested 24, 30, 48, and 60fps on the same video because of all of this hobbit hoopla. Check out my results: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL928F02075C2F9AF9&feature=view_all

  • Ben | April 30, 2012 7:24 PMReply

    I wonder what will be the preferred BluRay encoding format for 48 fps movies. I believe most movies are encoded in 1920x1080x24p. Current players do not support 1920x1080x48p. Instead, the best support option to show the improved frame rate would be 1280x720x50p which would mean playback would be at a lower resolution. Also, it would take more than just a firmware update to add support for 1920x1080x48p to the standard since the most players can't decode faster than the BluRay specified limit of 40 Mbit/s video. If the studios decide to push 48 fps, we may start seeing special edition BluRay releases with 2 discs (one in 1920x1080x24p and one in 1280x720x50p).

  • fstop | May 13, 2012 6:25 PM

    My guess would be they're not gonna bother and will just convert it to 24 fps. Bluray and dvd are struggling enough, why add something that's just going to reduce their profit margins? They don't release double edition disks in 1080p / 4k now why would they start for 48 fps?

  • jeroenw | April 28, 2012 5:16 AMReply

    Whatever. I gave up on motion pictures when scenarios became optional and the loudness wars also had their effect on the soundtracks. These days any major production is just a continuous low frequency rumble on a volume just below pain threshold.
    Combine that with the dismal theatre experiences and I wish them all a lot of luck but without my money, I'll catch it on TV in a few years.

  • Goatlips | May 6, 2012 7:57 AM

    The fact that The Artist, a silent, black and white, foreign film won the Academy Award for Best Picture says it all about the sorry state of modern film-making. The sound engineering in most films, being almost inaudible for (the usually terrible) dialogue then EXTREMELY LOUD for SFX, drives me mad too! With producers insisting on a Cert.12, directors being imbeciles who can't spot implausible behaviour and glaring plotholes, and writers only able to destroy any good work with concluding the story with laughable finales! We're lucky if there's 1 decent film per year now. Luckily though, if you wait about 20 years, you can re-watch great old films that have been completely forgotten. With a few snacks, the cost of watching modern films at a cinema is currently about £15 per person, it's disgusting! No wonder these pathetic movies are breaking box office records - but I'll wager more people went to see E.T. etc, just they weren't being conned in 1982.
    Regarding 48FPS, I'm amazed it hasn't been done before! But obviously, like CGI, if it's used poorly it can make things look terrible! Mind you, the world's most drab, putty-faced, ugly, TV actor, Martin Freeman, will make anything look like poor television.

  • Alph | April 28, 2012 2:14 AMReply

    Is it possible to see an example of 48 fps video on YouTube or some other site? Can someone link it?

  • Inez | April 28, 2012 1:02 AMReply

    This is gonna be just like those "talkies" and that color stuff Hollywood added to real cinema.

    Why does Hollywood keep cramming this stuff down our throats? If I wanted something realistic, I'd walk outside.

  • Fongaboo | April 27, 2012 7:38 PMReply

    This is such a cultural/psychological thing. If we had grown up with movies at 30fps and TV at 24fps, then it'd be the former we'd consider 'cinematic'.

  • Hugo | April 27, 2012 7:10 PMReply

    It's because we are always catering for the average person that advancements in media / technology in general take so long to become the standard.

    And yes, I notice the difference between 24, 48 and 60+ fps.
    I also always complained that any computer screen that operates under 60Hertz is complete crap and gives me headaches.

  • Rob | April 29, 2012 12:18 PM

    60Hertz was too slow for me I complained at anything less than 80

  • Stefan | April 28, 2012 6:06 AM

    the average person has the money.

  • Futur1st | April 25, 2012 4:06 PMReply

    It seems to me the problem isn't with the higher frame rate, it's with the failure of the rest of the filmmaking process to keep up. If everything else on-set was operating at the same advanced level of technology, people would be blown away! Improve make-up, set design, camera movement, etc - don't "dumb-down" the frame rate to make it look ok. By that logic, cinema would never improve as it would always be held back by the lowest performing aspects of production!

  • Surprise | May 6, 2012 6:06 AM

    "...people would be blown away!" You know what would blow me away? Better scriptwriting and better directing. Damn it. Invest in people. This neverending quest for more and better technology without a parallel commitment to more and better storytelling leads to very bad movies. Here's the deal: storytelling/character-driven narratives come first, then comes the fancy technology.

    "...it's with the failure of the rest of the filmmaking process to keep up." These innovations cost money, my friend. Big money. Small, independent theaters are already under threat. If movie studios want to move theaters to 3-D at 48 frames per second, they should pay for it.

  • James Causey | April 25, 2012 1:20 PMReply

    I saw a film at DisneyWorld way back in 1978 that had been shot at 48fps. It was in Fantasyland as a special attraction at that time and I cannot remember it's title at all. It had lots of nature footage.

    I recall being quite taken aback by it. It was TOO realistic looking. The film did 'star' a few people, and when they were in conversation, I don't know how to explain it' but everything seemed...slow motion. I THINK because the brain is having to process so much more information.

    Although it LOOKED great, almost 3D, it was entirely too realistic and because of the 'time slowing' effect, I could not ever imagine seeing a real narrative movie in this format. I was indeed left with a very disconcerted feeling at age 13.

    Needless to say, I can't recall another Disney attraction in the last 35 years that used the higher fps.

    Tl;dr, I had a feeling once people saw this high frame rate, it would not go over very well.

  • sam | April 27, 2012 7:12 PM

    People play video games at 60fps with no "slow motion" effect., your theory just can't be true.

  • Bob H | April 25, 2012 7:18 AMReply

    Then they are really going to hate the 120fps that I've seen produce the most fantastic motion reproduction... I've always hated the idea of 24fps, partly because it is a legacy system of a legacy celluloid age and mainly because it isn't very good at motion reproduction.

  • Druidblue | April 25, 2012 3:06 AMReply

    The jaded generation strikes again. The younger generations- 30, maybe 35 and younger- simply hate *everything*. New technology? Hate it. New game? Hate it. New movie? Hate it. Sequel to a hit franchise? Hate it.

    I simply can't comprehend how rough of an existence it is for these people. As for me, growing up on a Vic 20 and my imagination to entertain me, when technology improves, it does just that- improves. 3D, when done with the Cameron technology, is simply amazing (Avatar was as immersive an experience as one can have in a theater) and 48fps is 24fps better than before.

    This is an improvement, and the luddites need to step out of the way and let some progress be made for once. The LOTR series is still the best three movies ever made- perfection at every level. There is nothing you could say to convince me Jackson's hands on the two Hobbit movies won't make them slide right up into the top five as easy as a scalding knife through butter. The man is a genius, and has proven he can make amazing films with amazing technology. Nothing will be different this time.

    If people want it to be grainier, they can rub dirt on their glasses. The rest of us want to feel like we're *there*- like it's reality. That's what this will do.

  • laethyn | April 27, 2012 6:17 PM

    As far as the film footage, people amaze me with their lack of understanding. In the end though, I have have a hard time understanding how and why people are making "absolute" critiques (either negative OR positive), based on 10 minutes of viewing.

    @Huffy: "we got 3D, a neat gimmick, but not much else". uhh Where have you been hiding yourself? To call the 3D effect in films "a neat gimmick" is kind of a ridiculous statement, don't you think? I think it has proven itself to be more than just a gimmick.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to play a PC game, which just so happens to be running at 65fps :)

  • Huffy | April 27, 2012 1:09 AM

    Have you actually *seen* a 48fps film or are you just blindly praising Jackson out of your ass? Embracing new technology is fine and it's good that your excited for the film but I prefer to experience first hand what studios are shilling before I start sipping the Kool-Aid. The last time they declared that they had revolutionized the film business we got 3D, a neat gimmick but not much else. And yeah, some people are attached to the look of celluloid. Get off your high horse and stop acting like they're bitter snobs for having an opinion that differs from your own.

  • C.M | April 26, 2012 6:06 PM

    I pray that you're right. I'm thrilled to see this movie, but all the negative reviews on the new frame have been getting me discouraged. I know The Hobbit will still be a major hit - and I can only hope that Peter Jackson is as fabulous as we think he is: maybe that way he'll prove to make the new frame a good thing.

  • James Causey | April 25, 2012 1:24 PM

    The format is fine for an IMAX film documentary or something, but when you add dialogue and 'everyday action' of people, the effect is beyond bizarre and distracting. It bothered me 35 years ago as you can read in my other post. And I am hardly part of the new jaded generation.

  • BenE | April 24, 2012 11:34 PMReply

    I have one of those TVs that does a good job at extrapolating frames (Samsung 7000 led). And when you turn that functionality on, it does make everything look more 'fake'.

    It makes movies feel more like theater than cinema. When I first got the TV, I really noticed the makeup and excessive hairspray on men a lot. Also, the props in sci-fi movies look like they were foam or plastic (since that is actually what they are). Iron Man, for example, looked very plasticy.

    It only took a week or two to get used to it and now I mostly don't notice it anymore and actually prefer the crisper looking images. It's especially great for documentaries such as Planet Earth where everything is more life like. I know some people have difficulty getting used to it.

  • Chuck | April 27, 2012 7:49 PM

    I have that TV too. That setting is amazing for sports, but I had to turn it off for everything else. For me it wasn't so much looking like "theater", which is usually viewed from a distance after all, as "home movie", or possibly "daytime soaps".

    Anyway, it looks artificial because it *is*. It's tweening the motion where there would otherwise be motion blur. Since Jackson actually shot and processed the movie in 48FPS, I don't think it'll be quite so bad, but it will still take some adjustment.

  • C.M | April 26, 2012 6:08 PM

    Most of the scences for The Hobbit were shot on location - so, maybe, with a tinge of luck, this movie will be just realistic enough for all of us to appreciate it. I hope it's not awful like everyone's making it out to be.

  • Mark McA | April 24, 2012 10:41 PMReply

    To people growing up with 240 line VHS and 480/625 line TVs, cinema always looked better.

    To those growing up with 1080 HDTV and 85 fps graphics, cinema looks worse. It has to leap ahead again, and it will. In time, we'll all wonder what the fuss was about.

    Nobody rents a VHS for the olde-world feel.

  • matt | December 17, 2012 12:47 PM

    i do. i prefer some things on vhs. it suits some films better than dvd does. i like my old beater rental copy of return of the living dead because the fuzz and smoosh really suits the film.

  • Chuck | April 27, 2012 8:05 PM

    The human eye does not have a "frame rate" -- depending on lighting conditions, adjustment, contrast, focus, color, placement, and so on and so forth, we can discern discrete phenomena within even milliseconds of each other. Once you get around 60fps, you can get away with most any motion effect that wouldn't be disorienting no matter what the framerate, but that's more to do with motion perception as a whole and not so much about physical processing limits in our vision. The lower the FPS, the more motion blur you need to put in in order to compensate for fast pans without them looking jumpy. Movies use _tons_ of motion blur, and interlaced TVs created a degenerate sort of motion blur "for free".

  • OJ | April 27, 2012 6:23 PM

    I don't know about 30 fps being all that we can see. Have you see 30 fps next to 60 fps? There's a huge difference.

    It took me a while to get used to DVDs because they were pixelated instead of having the anti-aliasing that the analog signal gave. I'm ready to be impressed when I see 4k or 8k at 60 fps.

  • SW | April 26, 2012 11:24 AM

    This will lead to the "OMG I didn't realize her skin was so bad" moment that will cause the death of Porn.

  • TV | April 25, 2012 12:20 AM

    Your TV's refresh rate is 85hz - that doesn't mean it's 85fps. It's 29.97 or 30fps, interpolated to 85hz. Nobody even broadcasts higher framerates than that. 48fps is just for easy pull-down to 24fps, 30 frames per second is all our eyes can see.

  • Eric | April 24, 2012 11:08 PM

    couldn't agree with you more. I'm in the 72 Fps camp myself. Especially for 3D. It's a must. Thak you Peter jackson and james cameron -you're our only hope.

  • Tim Creed | April 24, 2012 8:01 PMReply

    The article was great! BUT they forgot to mention that Peter Jackson STRESSED that the footage wasn't in it's complete state.

  • Matt | June 27, 2012 11:18 PM

    I just finished watching all the Lord of the Rings movies AND the 20+ hours of special features, and one recurring theme was that they spent soooo much time in post production. They went through each frame individual and added effects, lighting, color tones, filters, and so much more. There's no doubt that they will be doing the same for these clips. Jackson said it himself, he doesn't want the finished product to be released early, so he is just waiting to release it in December, actually November 28 in New Zealand, and watch the world be amazed.

  • laethyn | April 27, 2012 6:19 PM

    @James: No, I'm sorry but you are wrong. There is PLENTY of post-processing to be done on the film. It is NOT a "yes or no thing".

  • James | April 25, 2012 1:12 PM

    It's the effects that wouldn't be complete. The footage being in 48fps is a yes or no thing, it's not a process it has to undergo.

  • John C | April 24, 2012 7:53 PMReply

    I would like to disagree with one point of the article. " In fact, much of the reaction today is reminiscent of the same concerns that James Cameron's "Avatar" was met with in the months leading up to its release, that 3D wouldn't be the game changer that that Fox was hoping for, and audiences wouldn't be impressed enough to make it a hit."

    I would argue that 3D is still a problem for most movies other than those released in the early going after Avatar. Avatar was the one movie so far that made 3D seem feasible, and other moviegoers have struggled mightily to find an audience for it. Even Hugo, a critic's darling and supposedly a herald of 3D movie making by a master artisan, failed to make headway.

    48FPS might be the future. In fact, at some point I wouldn't be surprised if the kids who start their moviegoing experience with 48FPS movies begin to see 24FPS like many of us see B&W TV. But there will be a period where many, if not most of us struggle to accept it.

  • a | April 24, 2012 7:52 PMReply

    I think it's silly to reject something that makes things more true to life, but I think a majority of the complaints will come from camera movement in 48fps films. More frames = more noticeable changes in position = more cognisance of instability. less frames helps smooth those quirks out, so I hope they get those dollies oiled up slick!

  • Kelson | April 27, 2012 7:12 PM

    That must be why movement is so smooth in those 15 FPS silent movies from the 1910s...

  • jay | April 26, 2012 12:44 PM

    I'm in visual effects, and camera movements can be smoothed out very easily with 100% accuracy. The issue people have is how unnatural it looks.

  • Vidar | April 24, 2012 7:34 PMReply

    Very excited about Dark Knight - looks great. I think the problem with "The Hobbit" is not the frame speed or splitting it into 2 movies, the problem is that fanboys would prefer that a "fat Peter Jackson" direct instead of the less successful "skinny Peter Jackson"...
    http://mankabros.com/blogs/onmedea/2010/10/28/fanboys-would-like-fat-peter-jackson-to-direct-the-hobbit/

  • Ina | April 24, 2012 7:34 PMReply

    I can't believe people got to watch 10 minutes of The Hobbit and all they want to talk about is the frame rate. What happened in the footage? I could not care less whether it has a soap opera effect(though it's going to be available in ALL types of formats, so if you don't like the frame rate, just go watch it in regular 2D, it'll be there for you watch, you have your choice, what's the big deal?), I want to know what happened in the scene(s) shown.

  • Matt | June 27, 2012 11:22 PM

    That's the funny thing about this whole argument. We have a CHOICE! If someone doesn't want to watch it at 48fps, they can find a theater without the camera upgrade and watch it like normal. I am planning on watching it at both, probably midnight showing and then the next night.

  • James | April 25, 2012 1:06 PM

    The fact that they're talking about nothing but the 48fps may give some idea of how distracting it probably was.

  • Patrick | April 24, 2012 6:41 PMReply

    Does anyone know if the 24fps projections will lose this television style quality and feel more like what we're used to?

  • Mark | April 25, 2012 10:47 AM

    It's unlikely. When you capture at 48 fps, there's a specific level of "motion blur"that goes along with it. As you shoot at higher frame rates, with generally a higher shutter speed, in this case probably 1/96, you have less motion blur than you would with 24 fps. Simply picking half the frames to make it 24 fps, won't completely make the footage less "crisp" - the motion blur needs to literally be captured on the frame of footage itself. That being said, there are programs that can generate fake motion blur I believe, like After Effects, but unless they've improved significantly in recent years, they aren't nearly as good as the real thing being captured at shooting.

  • hank | April 24, 2012 7:26 PM

    bahahaha. that's a funny one. Don't we all go to the cinema so we can see the BEST TV screen in the world?

  • Chris | April 24, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    I had a feeling this would be the case. Nobody knows why they prefer films at 24fps, they just know they do. The stutter of cinema adds a slight, intangible barrier of separation of the viewer from the cinematic dimension that, like the uncanny valley of graphics, allows us to step away from our reality while we watch it, just enough to accept the film and its obviously faked lighting and production design as fantasy rather than to scrutinize it's imperfections.

  • Simon | April 25, 2012 4:00 PM

    Excellent point! I didn't even think about that aspect of it. I'm a professional futurist and am quite accustomed to people complaining about new technology in just about any form, so I generally found the complaints to be a bit ridiculous, but I failed to factor in that level of separation that allows us to watch "from a safe distance." I still find it difficult to believe that we should forever continue using antiquated technology like 24fps, but I do recognize that there is another way to look at this now. That begs the question- will really violent movies (ie. SAW) start having unsettling affects on moviegoers without that layer of "unreality"?

  • Alex | April 24, 2012 5:40 PMReply

    Trust me. We'll all get used to it looking "too realistic". And u guys are definitely wrong to think that it'll be just like the filter we have on ours tv's that we can turn on and off that make it look soap opera-y.

  • callumq | April 24, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    I personally hate 25 frames! I think that looks fake and "soap opera" but 48 frames is just too much. As stated, the only people that are going to notice these changes are the hardcore tech heads, so why only annoy them with this stupid change?

    First we jump over to digital... then it was 3D... what next? Contemporary cinema has lost its way.

  • Matt | June 27, 2012 11:27 PM

    Here's something to think about. I watched all the Hobbit production videos, and they mentioned something about this. As they are filming, they are able to watch their daily footage in 3d at 48 fps. By doing this, they can perfect shots and the way things look. On top of that, they can remove a lot of the "fake" aspect in post production. They can alter facial pores and whatnot. Let's be honest, this is Peter Jackson, who is a perfectionist. Just look at LOTR. They are visually stunning, and perfected down to the last detail and frame. I am a die hard LOTR fan, and I put my full faith in Peter that he will come through with this and not jeopardize this movie for the mere fact of making a movie at 48 fps.

  • Surprise | May 6, 2012 5:48 AM

    This 3-D, 48 frames per second thang is VERY worrying.

    ~Peter Jackson is said to be begging movie theaters to project the 3-D "Hobbit" in 48 frames, but to do so will cost the theaters thousands of dollars to upgrade the requisite software. Theaters are already hurting, especially small, independent ones that have made the leap to 3-D projectors, and that's after recent conversions to digital. Who's going to pay for these upgrades? Either the theaters or the audiences. It probably won't be paid for by the movie studios or their shareholders.

    I love you, Peter Jackson. You gave the world "The Lord of the Rings" movies. But, if filming in 48 frames per seconds in 3-D helps nudge local, independent theaters off the precipice, you're going to break my heart.

    ~Most people will still see "The Hobbit" in 2-D. Most theaters don't have 3-D projectors, and those that do only have them available for 2-3 screens. How will a film designed to be filmed in 3-D at 48 frames per second appear in good-old-fashion 2-D?

    ~One of the many things that made "Lord of the Rings" so special was a burnished glow that seemed to infuse the films from within. From what I've heard about 48 frames per second, the technology seems to deliver the opposite effect. Hard edges, human pores in facial close-ups, that "made for TV" feel. Not an auspicious start.

    Well, time will tell. There's not a lot we can do about it at this point.

  • C.M | April 26, 2012 6:02 PM

    I dearly hope you're right. My heart's been sinking into my feet, worrying about if The Hobbit will be awful with this new frame resolution. If only tech-heads will notice it, then maybe, maybe, I hope to goodness, that I won't notice.

  • TV | April 25, 2012 12:21 AM

    You're funny.

  • Kevin Klawitter | April 24, 2012 5:16 PMReply

    So it doesn't look "grungy or filtered" and some people are consiering that a BAD thing? I remembered when James Cameron first mentioned doing the "Avatar" sequels in 48-60 fps he said it was because he wanted it to work with the 3D to look like you were just looking at Pandora, rather than looking at Pandora through a screen or glass. Based on these reports, that seems to be pretty much the case with "The Hobbit".

    Just another example of how people CLAIM to be all for innovation, but in practice reject anything that seems "different".

  • Matt | June 27, 2012 11:31 PM

    Believe me, Peter Jackson has time to make these movies. They are shooting 2 movies here as opposed to 3 for LOTR, and they are shooting for more days for the hobbit than lotr. After watching all the special features for lotr, they never took a back door or a shortcut in props and sets. Every set was as real as ever, every piece of wardrobe was actually made with real embroidery and stitching, and everything in between. There will be no problem with that aspect.

  • Sally | April 25, 2012 5:59 AM

    Problem is that Pandora is made in a computer and The Hobbit is one stage-y set after another mixed with computer generated imagery. It's the most difficult thing to make something look real that is fake - and I don't think that anyone involved in making films has fully understood the breadth of the change that allowing the viewers an unfiltered look requires. Make-up will become noticable, cheap materials for sets will be noticable, using printed material to stand in for embroidery will become a no-go, movement itself looks different. Most adjustments to this will be expensive and might require completely new approaches. Meanwhile Jackson has to deliver two movies on budget and deadline. I am not sure if he has the time to develop them.

  • Nate | April 24, 2012 5:15 PMReply

    Oh God, this is worse than I thought. It's going to be exactly like that terrible "soap-opera"
    effect on HD TVs, isn't it?

  • Noah | April 25, 2012 1:34 PM

    Yes, seeing makeup lines on actors is not something I want to see. I turned off the 120Hz auto-motion setting on my HDTV after one day.

  • James | April 25, 2012 1:04 PM

    Yep.

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