Image Source: Warner Bros.

BY MADISON MACK

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


The Hobbit takes audiences back to Middle Earth for the first time in almost a decade and it also breaks 85 years of movie tradition.  

Director Peter Jackson shot the entire movie at 48 frames per second, twice the speed of the industry standard, 24 frames per second which tends to give movies a subtle motion blur, softness in details and the almost dream-like quality that is typically associated with cinema.   

So how will the higher frame rate affect the movie experience? Simply put, the film is more vivid.

“...48 fps gets rid of those blurs and strobes and makes everything much, much clearer.”

Which is a double edged sword to many. As The Telegraph’s Robbie Collins explains

“The intention is to make the digital special effects and swoopy landscape shots look smoother, which they do … The unintended side effect is that the extra visual detail gives the entire film a sickly sheen of fakeness.”

So far the new frame rate has been getting some lackluster buzz from the press and there are even a few reports of moviegoers feeling nauseous while watching. Grantland’s Zach Baron says the film ends up looking like a video game cut scene.

“...or more accurately, a movie set on which actors are acting, since you can see with terrible precision the costumes and the makeup and wigs and the fake rocks. High definition has been a miracle for sports and a largely unresolved catastrophe for nearly everything else.”

But on the flip side, Wired praises the visuals.

“...the 48-frames-per-second version of Hobbit, Middle-earth in 3D looks so crisp it’s like stepping into the foreground of an insanely gorgeous diorama.”

So why did Jackson decide to go with the new format? He says

‘I for one don’t think that the technology that we created for theatrical presentation in 1927 should still be what we are using in 2012. We must make the experience more immersive, more magical, more spectacular.’

Jackson also says most people under twenty don’t even notice the difference and that most of the opposition comes from older folks who spent a lifetime watching analog movies shot and projected on film.

Fast Company’s Steve Ramos elaborates.

“...in their mind that’s what a movie is and that’s what a movie looks like. But younger generation kids that spend a lot of time in front of gaming consoles are accustomed to high frequency and high sampling rate media. So for them, there is not a prejudice or ingrained idea of what a movie is.”

And Jackson’s not the only director embracing the new format. James Cameron is reportedly considering shooting the sequel to Avatar in the higher frame rate and the new X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past” is also rumored to be shooting in 48 fps.

The 48 FPS version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is only playing in 450 theaters across the country. 48fpsmovies.com is providing a list of theaters showing it. You can find a link to that below, in our transcript section.


 

 

 

The Hobbit’s Frame Rate Breaks 80 Years of Movie Tradition

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Transcript
Dec 13, 2012

The Hobbit’s Frame Rate Breaks 80 Years of Movie Tradition

 

Image Source: Warner Bros.

BY MADISON MACK

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


The Hobbit takes audiences back to Middle Earth for the first time in almost a decade and it also breaks 85 years of movie tradition.  

Director Peter Jackson shot the entire movie at 48 frames per second, twice the speed of the industry standard, 24 frames per second which tends to give movies a subtle motion blur, softness in details and the almost dream-like quality that is typically associated with cinema.   

So how will the higher frame rate affect the movie experience? Simply put, the film is more vivid.

“...48 fps gets rid of those blurs and strobes and makes everything much, much clearer.”

Which is a double edged sword to many. As The Telegraph’s Robbie Collins explains

“The intention is to make the digital special effects and swoopy landscape shots look smoother, which they do … The unintended side effect is that the extra visual detail gives the entire film a sickly sheen of fakeness.”

So far the new frame rate has been getting some lackluster buzz from the press and there are even a few reports of moviegoers feeling nauseous while watching. Grantland’s Zach Baron says the film ends up looking like a video game cut scene.

“...or more accurately, a movie set on which actors are acting, since you can see with terrible precision the costumes and the makeup and wigs and the fake rocks. High definition has been a miracle for sports and a largely unresolved catastrophe for nearly everything else.”

But on the flip side, Wired praises the visuals.

“...the 48-frames-per-second version of Hobbit, Middle-earth in 3D looks so crisp it’s like stepping into the foreground of an insanely gorgeous diorama.”

So why did Jackson decide to go with the new format? He says

‘I for one don’t think that the technology that we created for theatrical presentation in 1927 should still be what we are using in 2012. We must make the experience more immersive, more magical, more spectacular.’

Jackson also says most people under twenty don’t even notice the difference and that most of the opposition comes from older folks who spent a lifetime watching analog movies shot and projected on film.

Fast Company’s Steve Ramos elaborates.

“...in their mind that’s what a movie is and that’s what a movie looks like. But younger generation kids that spend a lot of time in front of gaming consoles are accustomed to high frequency and high sampling rate media. So for them, there is not a prejudice or ingrained idea of what a movie is.”

And Jackson’s not the only director embracing the new format. James Cameron is reportedly considering shooting the sequel to Avatar in the higher frame rate and the new X-Men movie, “Days of Future Past” is also rumored to be shooting in 48 fps.

The 48 FPS version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is only playing in 450 theaters across the country. 48fpsmovies.com is providing a list of theaters showing it. You can find a link to that below, in our transcript section.


 

 

 

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