You might have heard the footage from The Hobbit that screened at Cinemacon wasn’t met with the resounding praise one would have expected. In fact, quite a few people in attendence were down right unimpressed with the new frame rate saying it made the movie look cheap! Peter Sciretta of /Film said the 48 FPS made it look like “a made for television BBC movie,” and adding, “It looked uncompromisingly real — so much so that it looked fake.” Wha-?!? This doesn’t sound like the future of movies both James Cameron and Peter Jackson were promising.
Jackson met with quite a bit of criticism for his Hobbit footage, and not one to back down, he’s been responding to the backlash to several different media outlets.
To The Hollywood Reporter Jackson admitted the new frame rate, “does take you a while to get used to.” Adding,
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
With Entertainment Weekly he mentioned people seemed to enjoy a scene between Bilbo and Gollum,
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. 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.
Jackson did admit he won’t be releasing the new trailer at the higher frame rate, instead going with the ‘ole reliable 24 FPS. Was this influenced by the recent criticism? Maybe, but here’s his reasoning,
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. There can only ever be a real reaction, a truthful reaction, when people actually have a chance to see a complete narrative on a particular film.
But what if even after seeing the entire movie, audiences still don’t like the faster frame rate?
I can’t say anything. Just like I can’t say anything to someone who doesn’t like fish. You can’t explain why fish tastes great and why they should enjoy it.
I’m getting a little worried about the 48 FPS. Having watched movies on TVs that sport the 120 hz or faster frame refresh rate, I know what Peter Sciretta means by it looks so real it appears fake. I’m hoping that this is a matter of adjusting and after a few minutes I’ll be so immersed in the world of Middle Earth I won’t give a flying fuck how fast the frames are zooming through the projector.
Thankfully, even if it turns out we do hate 48 FPS, the studios are making sure The Hobbit will also be releasing in 24 FPS.
What are your thoughts on this evolution of movie technology? And what kind of effect will it have, if any, on The Hobbit‘s success?