Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Hobbit: 48 Frames No More

Peter Jackson 

        If you wanted to see every speck of Middle Earth dust, you may be out of luck.  Last April, Peter Jackson screened footage from The Hobbit in revolutionary 48 frames per second.  That is twice the normal rate of a film's FPS.   You would have thought he'd killed off Bilbo the reaction was so strong.  Viewers complained that the fantasy was taken from the film, that it was hyper-real, and that it took away the illusion of Middle Earth and replaced it with very clear images of set pieces.  Considering how beautiful the cinematography and design of The Lord of the Rings films is, such harsh criticism of the new film is surprising, but understandable.
      Warner Brothers has reacted though, saying that the film will only be released in 48 FPS in select locations only.  This is wise, considering even Jackson has said that it takes a while for the viewer to adjust to 48 frames.  No one wants the frames to distract from the content of the movie. I would love to see a sample of 48 FPS at least, just to see if the negative press was an overreaction to new innovation. As for the reactions to the  actual content of the films, the buzz was very positive.  Perhaps 48 frame will become the new norm, but for now, you'll may have to make do with a little less hyper-clarity in Middle Earth.

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