Peter Jackson Responds to Criticism of 48fps Filming in THE HOBBIT

     April 27, 2012


When director Peter Jackson announced that he would be filming The Hobbit in 48fps (double the frame rate of the industry standard 24fps), it sounded like a brilliant idea: crystal-clear resolution, a feeling of realism and elimination of motion blur.  However, the response to some test footage projected at 48fps at CinemaCon was not as glowing as one would have expected.  Steve was on hand to view the footage and described it by saying:

“The 48fps is so jarring that I’m not sure casual moviegoers will enjoy it.”

I recommend checking out Steve’s video blog in which he discusses his reaction to viewing The Hobbit footage in 48fps. Jackson spoke briefly in response to the criticism. Hit the jump to see what he has to say.

EW reports peter-jackson-martin-freeman-the-hobbit-set-imagethat word of the lukewarm reaction to Jackson’s footage for The Hobbit elicited a bit of frustration from the director.  Much like Steve described as a transition from silent movies to those with sound or from black and white to color, projection at 24fps to 48fps may be the way of cinematic future…we just happen to be experiencing some growing pains. As Jackson put it:

“Nobody is going to stop. This technology is going to keep evolving.”

During the presentation, Jackson did notice that many people seemed to get over their initial anxiety:

“I just wonder if it they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story. That’s what happens in the movie. You settle into it.”

I haven’t seen the 48fps myself, but it seems reminiscent of the transition to HDTV, where movements were just a bit off, news anchors’ make-up was glaringly obvious and every facial imperfection was viewable in the highest resolution.  We got over it.  Hopefully, theater goers will have the option of watching it in 24fps vs 48fps when it opens December 14th, but in time, I’d wager that 48fps is here to stay. Check out the synopsis for The Hobbit below:

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.


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