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The Hobbit at 48fps starts debate
The Hobbit at 48fps starts debate

10 May 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

Peter Jackson’s decision to shoot The Hobbit at 48 fps instead of 24fps has started an interesting debate. After the first previews, some viewers voiced concern over the different movie experience, while other movie people have publicly applauded the decision.

The Hobbit at 48fps starts debate

Today, all movies are shot at 24 frames per second but Peter Jackson wants to try something new. We first told you about Peter Jackson’s plans to shoot The Hobbit at 48 fps instead of 24fps last year. Peter Jackson has now screened the first demonstrations at CinemaCon, which has started a debate over the true benefits of higher frame rates.

The Hobbit will debut in December 2012 in 3D and 2D
The Hobbit is the first cinema-format movie to use the 48fps format instead of 24fps

After the presentations, viewers voiced concerns about the drastic changes to the movie experience. When going from 24fps to 48fps, moving images look smoother and less ”film-like”, it has been argued. Film critics have also shared their first impressions at Twitter.

- ”Saw the 10 minutes of raw The Hobbit footage in 48FPS 3D. Intriguing, the footage looks amazing, but the 48FPS experience is an odd change,” via Twitter.

- ”Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change.” via Twitter.

- ”Here’s what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius. It is drenched in a TV-like — specifically ’70s-era BBC — video look. People on Twitter have asked if it has that soap opera look you get from badly calibrated TVs at Best Buy, and the answer is an emphatic YES,”via

Peter Jackson tells about Red Epic cameras with 5K resolution
Peter Jackson is using Red Epic cameras with 5K resolution for shooting

Peter Jackson defends his decision and told Entertainment Weekly that,
- ”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, just 10 minutes or so. You settle into it,”

Support from the industry

The move to 48fps is also applauded by another camp. Douglas Trumbull, who has worked on effects in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, is thrilled and says
- ”just thrilled that Peter Jackson has done The Hobbit in 48 frames. It’s definitely a fabulous and brave step in the right direction”, according to Entertainment Weekly.

However, Trumbull also says that he thinks a combination of 48 and 24fps material is the ideal solution. 24fps is still best for close ups while 48fps is best for action scenes.

You can judge for yourself when The Hobbit starts rolling in cinemas this December. Learn more about the creation of The Hobbit here.

- Source: Entertainment Weekly (1, 2)

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