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The Hobbit @ 48 FPS: Jackson Responds To Critics

April 29, 2012

Peter Jackson‘s has responded to mixed reaction over the 10 minutes of footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/The Hobbit: There and Back Again that screened during CinemaCon (formerly called ShoWest)

Jackson told THR: “It wasn’t particularly surprising because it is something new“.

The Oscar-winning director is filming his two-part 3D prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy at a higher frame rate of 48 frames per second. Movies have been shot and projected at a standard rate of 24 frames per second since the arrival of talkies, and with that there is a different aesthetic look to the film.

Jackson’s epic, is the first major motion picture to be made in 48 fps that Jackson believes can result in smoother, more lifelike pictures.

A lot of the critical response I was reading was people saying it’s different. Well, yes, it certainly is,” Jackson, speaking by phone from New Zealand, said. “But I think, ultimately, it is different in a positive way, especially for 3D, especially for epic films and films that are trying to immerse the viewer in the experience of a story“.

It does take you a while to get used to,” he said. “Ten minutes is sort of marginal, it probably needed a little bit more. Another thing that I think is a factor is it’s different to look at a bunch of clips and some were fast-cutting, montage-style clips. This is different experience than watching a character and story unfold.”

Because of that, he isn’t planning to release a 48 fps trailer for the movie. “I personally wouldn’t advocate a 48-frame trailer because the 48 frames is something you should experience with the entire film. A 2 1/2 minute trailer isn’t enough time to adjust to the immersive quality.”

Jackson himself has grown accustomed to watching 48fps imagery. He watches dailies in 48 frames every day, sometimes two hours worth.

You get used to it reasonably quickly,” he said, commenting that now when he views traditional 24 frames footage, “I’m very aware of the strobing, the flicker and the artifacts.”

We have obviously seen cuts of our movie at 48 and in a relatively short amount of time you have forgotten (the frame rate change). It is a more immersive and in 3D a gentler way to see the film.”

Jackson also explained the footage presented at CinemaCon would look different once it goes through the post-production process.

Because production is still going on the usual post production that affects the overall look of a film has not yet been done, so the clips were unfinished. They were not yet color corrected, nor had the visual effects been completed.

While the CinemaCon footage may have hinted at the direction in which Jackson is heading, he added, “People haven’t experienced it yet in the way it should be experienced.”

I think the higher fps will be easier to adjust to than everyone thinks–I hear many folks still complaining about 3-D in my travels–Heck I still think it’s lame. And though it’s impact on box office may have lessened a bit–it’s generally accepted that Tentpoles will be using that format. This is no different….This is just another shift for the medium like going from Silents To Talkies or from B&W To Color.

The prequel sees Bilbo (Martin Freeman) travel on his journey with dwarves Thorin Oakshield (Richard Armitage) Bofur (Stephen Hunter), Bombur (James Nesbitt), and Bifur (William Kircher). Oin and Gloin (John Callen and Peter Hambleton) Jed Brophy as Nori, Adam Brown as Ori Mark Hadlow as Dori Balin (Ken Stott) and Dwalin (Graham McTavish)

Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage Benedict Cumberbatch Luke Evans Conan Stevens Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving Dean O’Gorman, Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, David Tennant, Barry Humphries., Lee Pace Bret McKenzie Orlando Bloom Billy Connolly Ian McKellen, former “Lost” actress Evangeline Lilly and Christopher Lee also star in the Hobbit 2-fer…Production takes place through July.

Journey will bow on December 14th 2012 while Again reaches cinemas on December 13th 2013.

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