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Peter Jackson Responds to Complaints Made Regarding "The Hobbit" Footage

Earlier this week at CinemaCon, Peter Jackson revealed a 10 min montage of the upcoming movie The Hobbit, putting the new technology he is using to shoot the movie on display. The reaction has been largely negative, but that won’t stop Peter Jackson from utilizing it.

In an interview with EW.com, Jackson supports his use of the technology and hopes that moviegoers will give it a chance and formulate their own opinions:

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

For critics of the new frame rate, Jackson has this to say:

“At first it’s unusual because you’ve never seen a movie like this before. It’s literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn’t last the entire experience of the film; not by any stretch, after 10 minutes or so,”

To date, every motion picture is shot at 24fps. Both upcoming Hobbit movies are being shot at 48ps, something that Jackson says enhances the 3D experience:

“Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok–and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years–but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.”

Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D. We’ve been watching HOBBIT tests and dailies at 48 fps now for several months, and we often sit through two hours worth of footage without getting any eye strain from the 3-D. It looks great, and we’ve actually become used to it now, to the point that other film experiences look a little primitive. I saw a new movie in the cinema on Sunday and I kept getting distracted by the juddery panning and blurring. We’re getting spoilt!” – Peter Jackson on his Facebook page

However, the 10 minute presentation by Warner Bros was criticized for being too lifelike. One of the other growing criticisms is that smaller cinema owners are afraid of the costs of upgrading their theaters, some maybe thousands of dollars per screen.

Jackson is confident in the use of the technology, noting that as the presentation went on critics began to like it more.

“A couple of the more negative commenters from CinemaCon said that in the Gollum and Bilbo scene they didn’t mind it and got used to that,” Jackson says. “That was the same 48 frames the rest of the reel was. 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.”

Moviegoers unfortunately will have to wait till the first of the two movies is released this December. The movie will be available in 3-D, 2-D and IMAX 3-D, and will be available in both 24fps and 48fps in each format, giving the view plenty of options to chose from. So if you are eager to see the movie in both formats so you can formulate your own opinion, the options will be available!

Sources:

All quotes from the EW.com article

Huffington Post

Slash Film

Source of Peter Jackson’s explanation of 48fps vs 24fps is his Facebook Page

About tyler

Freelance Game Journalist, currently covering games for Legendarium. Tolkienist. Once thought he saw a woodchuck chuck wood. Turns out they can't.

4 comments

  1. So if it takes ‘about ten minutes’ or so to get used to 48 fps, why only show a ten minute montage? Also, will there be a ten minute preamble to the actual film in theatres so moviegoers won’t miss any of it while they’re ‘getting used to it’?

    • “The movie will be available in 3-D, 2-D and IMAX 3-D, and will be available in both 24fps and 48fps in each format.”

      That says right there that if you don’t want to get a taste of the new tech, you can just ignore it. I don’t see what the big complaint is in general. No one just dives headfirst into new tech without some acclimation time.

  2. I believe it was shown as part of WB’s attempt to show off the new tech, so the play time was dictated by them.

  3. There are a LOT of weird things that happen with frame rates.

    I have been out of the entertainment industry for a little over 20 years now, and I am just now beginning to return (using digital media this time – I used to be a special effects model builder. I was VERY limited by space and component features in the past – Now… I can put literally ANYTHINg into a special effects model – although they can take a LONG time to build*). Recently, we have been playing with frame-rates for animation (going up to 150fpm). It is amazing the differences that happen as the frame-rate increases above 30. You begin to notice that perceptually, it is much more like how your brain/eyes actually see things (it is estimated that we “see” at a frame-rate of around 1,000 frames per minute, although this can be both lower and higher depending upon the frame of reference).

    Video games also have this problem, and it is likely that the tech of video games will zoom past that of movies in the next five years (as home viewing technologies tend to be less expensive than movie theatres)…

    Still… I can barely contain myself in waiting for this movie.

    * see my most recent post where I have the foundations for a new digital model of Minas Tirith that is a more appropriate size for the 250,000+ population it is supposed to be able to house. The Weta Minas Tirith would have had issues with a population of 10,000 people, basing this upon size estimates of Ancient Roman cities of similar population sizes

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