Director Peter Jackson recently showed a 10-minute preview of his upcoming movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, to a select group of people during CinemaCon 2012 in Las Vegas. But many of those who saw the preview weren't impressed by the film — not because it's bad, but because Jackson filmed the flick using a 48 frames per second (fps) format that's more commonly used for soap operas, made-for-TV movies, and reality shows.
Most movies, including Jackson's own Lord of the Rings trilogy, are usually filmed using a lower 24 fps format that gives them a surrealistic look and feel. After seeing movies shot in 24 fps our whole lives, our eyes would instantly associate the highly realistic look of 48 fps with cheap flicks, earning The Hobbit some pretty harsh criticisms. Devin Faraci of Badass Digest, for instance, had this to say about the preview: "The sets looked like sets. I've been on sets of movies on the scale of The Hobbit, and sets don't even look like sets when you're on them live... but these looked like sets... it all looked like behind the scenes video. The magical illusion of cinema is stripped away completely."
There are other early reviewers who loved the preview unlike Faraci, but it's pretty much a consensus among them that the 48 fps format wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. Jackson chose to shoot the first installment of The Hobbit with a higher frame rate, because it gets rid of much of the blurring that occurs when a film is shown in 3D. It's worth noting, however, that not all cinemas will show the film in 48 fps when it comes out in December; some will show it in standard 24 fps for those who prefer a more traditional look in their films.
[Image credit: The Hobbit Blog]
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